Litigation over personal injuries due to asbestos exposure has continued for more than 40 years in the United States, with hundreds of thousands of claims filed and billions of dollars in compensation paid. Many companies with significant liability for asbestos-related injuries have filed for bankruptcy, resulting in the creation of asbestos bankruptcy trusts, which pay claims on behalf of bankrupt defendants. While these trusts are playing an increasingly important role in the compensation of asbestos-related injuries, information about the operating procedures and activities of these trusts is not readily available. In particular – and most importantly from a fraud perspective – there is little analysis of how the trusts have affected the overall compensation that asbestos claimants receive and the asbestos liabilities of solvent defendants and their insurers.
The Furthering Asbestos Claims Transparency Act would require the personal injury settlement trusts established by bankrupt asbestos lawsuit defendants to file quarterly reports with the bankruptcy courts. These reports would be available on the public docket and would describe each demand the trust has received from a claimant and the basis for any payment made to that claimant, excluding any confidential medical record or the claimant's full Social Security number. It would also require the trusts to provide any information upon request related to claims made from a party to any legal action if the subject concerns liability for asbestos exposure. This commonsense, bipartisan legislation would be a valuable resource in combating fraud in asbestos claims, which would ensure that trusts have sufficient funds to pay legitimate claims.
NAMIC supports legislation that would prevent the abuse of the asbestos trust fund system by increasing transparency in the claim process.
January 23, 2020 The second week of the 2020 Florida legislative session has been packed with activity on many bills. NAMIC is working on the ground with industry partners to seek an amendment to HB 269 and SB 292, companion bills that seek to codify the procedure for wh Read more
January 21, 2020 NAMIC-supported SB 575, which brings greater transparency to asbestos-related litigation, received a “do-pass” vote of 5-2 on Jan. 16 in the Senate General Laws Committee. The bill now... Read more
May 28, 2019 SB 45, NAMIC-supported legislation to ensure transparency of asbestos trust claims, was signed May 23 by Gov. Kay Ivey and assigned Act No. 2019-261. Several bills on the Alabama Department of Insurance legislative agenda also have passed... Read more
May 14, 2019 SB 45, continues its steady progress through the legislative process with a favorable report from the House Commerce and Small... Read more
April 23, 2019 Asbestos trust claims transparency legislation, SB 45, was approved April 18 by the Alabama Senate Judiciary Committee. The bill would require plaintiffs in asbestos actions to file all available asbestos trust claims and produce all trust claims... Read more