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.
March 10, 2020 With one week left in the Florida legislative session, a number of bills important to the property/casualty insurance industry are nearing the finish line for passage. Session is scheduled to adjourn on March 13, but some additional days to complete... Read more
March 5, 2020 NAMIC-supported legislation to codify the federal standard allowing use of a multiplier for fees in only rare and exceptional cases passed the Florida House on March 4. If HB 7071 becomes law, a lodestar fee would be presumed sufficient and reasonable... Read more
February 11, 2020 A subcommittee of the Iowa House Judiciary Committee voted Feb. 6 to recommend passage of HSB 600, which will crack down on the abusive “over-naming” tactics used by trial lawyers in asbestos litigation. NAMIC is a strong supporter of... Read more
February 6, 2020 The Florida legislative session continues with furious activity on insurance-related bills during week four. Those of interest making progress include a controversial personal injury protection/no-fault auto insurance repeal bill that is... Read more
February 5, 2020 NAMIC will provide testimony Feb. 6 to a subcommittee of the Iowa House Judiciary Committee asking it to approve HSB 600, which will curtail abusive litigation tactics by trial lawyers. Read more