Sent to me via a friend, and not something I usually write about, but interesting and worth knowing about nonetheless. Plus, I like to throw people off with not-so-common topics every now and again.
Congressmen Blake Farenthold (R-TX) and Jim Matheson (D-UT) are sponsoring bi-partisan legislation, the FACT Act (Furthering Asbestos Claim Transparency).
Harold Kim wrote an article for Free Enterprise detailing the specifics of nonexistent people receiving funds from Asbestos trusts with the help of the best mesothelioma lawyers. Thousands and thousands of dollars intended for real victims being dispersed to faulty trusts and placed in undeserving hands. Imagine that.
the trusts’ opaque operations open the door to abuse. A recent article in the Wall Street Journal revealed that an employee of a California law firm filed a claim with a trust in the name of someone who didn’t even exist. Five weeks later, he received a $26,000 check from the trust. The same firm also filed trust claims on behalf of clients who were nurses. They allegedly were exposed to asbestos while chipping paint from boilers – not exactly a typical duty for nurses.
The Wall Street Journal also found that,
“In its analysis, the Journal found 2,689 [Johns Manville bankruptcy trust] applicants through 2005 who claimed to be working in various labor-intensive occupations while under the age of 12. Among them were 753 people who claimed their exposure to asbestos began while working in construction before turning 12; 356 people who said they were metal workers; and 184 chemical workers.”
The FACT Act requires more transparency by requiring quarterly reports to be filed for examination by courts and trusts. A small opportunity to demand more accountability, but certainly worthwhile. Baby steps when we can, right?