U.S. Senator Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-OK) introduced the Furthering Asbestos Claim Transparency (FACT) Act today, a bill that would require 524(g) asbestos bankruptcy settlement trusts to disclose on a quarterly basis all claims and exposure allegations made and to cooperate in providing third party discovery in tort actions. Additionally, this legislation protects against the release of patients' medical records and Social Security numbers to ensure the privacy rights of claimants are not violated. Last month, Representative Benjamin Quayle (AZ-3) introduced H.R.4369, a companion bill to the FACT Act.
"There are currently 60 company-created asbestos trusts totaling over $37 billion. These trusts were created to compensate injured victims, but the lack of transparency and oversight of these trusts has resulted in a system where claimants could file inconsistent claims among the numerous trusts or against trusts and solvent companies in the tort system. This lack of transparency threatens the ability of future claimants to receive full compensation for their injuries. This bill addresses that problem," said Senator Coburn.