Senate Committee Ponders Asbestos Trust Transparency
Sharply differing views on the need for asbestos bankruptcy trust reforms dominated a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Feb. 3, as proponents of an overhaul bill complained of abusive litigation tactics, while opponents said the bill protects asbestos companies at the expense of mesothelioma victims.
The Furthering Asbestos Claims Transparency Act would amend Section 524(g) of the Bankruptcy Code to require each asbestos bankruptcy trust to file a report with the bankruptcy court every quarter that “describes each demand the trust received from, including the name and exposure history of, a claimant and the basis for any payment from the trust made to such claimant.”
Some witnesses said the FACT Act would bring needed transparency in asbestos litigation trusts—and deter “rampant” abuse by plaintiff lawyers—but others said it would assist asbestos companies in maintaining secrecy about their products as they insist on transparency by plaintiffs.
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