Over the past 40 years, asbestos-related litigation has forced over 100 companies into bankruptcy — devastating workers, retirees, and entire communities. Some project the total cost of asbestos claims at more than $260 billion. Plaintiffs’ attorneys efforts to target companies that had little to do with the manufacture or supply of asbestos-containing products contributes to this astounding figure. Read More...
An avalanche of asbestos claims has led to the creation of numerous bankruptcy trust funds, which were intended to allow businesses to restructure while providing compensation to affected individuals. Unfortunately, each trust operates completely independently and opaquely, hiding information from other trusts and defendant companies. This lack of transparency fosters an environment ripe for waste, fraud, and abuse, and the unsurprising result has been a significant decline in resources for victims.
Recently, four U.S. senators introduced the PROTECT Asbestos Victims Act, a bill that aims to protect future asbestos victims by implementing necessary reforms to the bankruptcy trust system. Plaintiffs’ lawyers often double-dip by making multiple, inconsistent claims against companies and trusts on behalf of their clients. The PROTECT Act would strengthen the U.S. Department of Justice’s (DOJ) ability to investigate double-dipping and other misconduct of asbestos claims while shining much-needed light on the operations of asbestos trusts.
Genuine reforms will protect job-creating businesses from abusive lawsuits and ensure that legitimate victims receive the compensation they deserve.