Widow of U.S. Congressman Makes Impassioned Plea to Stop the FACT Act
The widow of a U.S. Congressman who died due to asbestos exposure recently wrote an impassioned editorial in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune opposing the FACT Act, a blatant attempt to protect asbestos manufacturers from litigation. Susan Vento, whose husband Bruce passed away due to mesothelioma in 2000, has since worked with groups across the country to fight for a total ban on asbestos.
What is the FACT Act?
The FACT (Furthering Asbestos Claims Transparency) Act is an effort by certain members of Congress to shield asbestos manufacturers from claims filed by victims of asbestos exposure and their families. Proponents claim the Act will actually help those victims by weeding out fraudulent lawsuits, but, as Vento writes, the truth is far, far different.
The Act would actually make it incredibly hard for asbestos victims and their loved ones to pursue legal action. One of the more insidious components of this vile piece of legislation is the requirement that asbestos patients and their families allow personal information to be viewed on a public website. This includes not only their names, addresses and their medical diagnoses, but also the last four digits of their Social Security numbers and any financial compensation they received through legal action.
In addition, the Act would subject plaintiffs in asbestos lawsuits to incredibly burdensome paperwork, responding to endless information requests from defendants. There is a very high likelihood that plaintiffs would become so sick of the process that they would either settle, as Vento writes, for “pennies on the dollar” or simply drop their cases entirely.
Time to Kill the FACT Act for Good
The true motivation behind the Act should be obvious to anyone capable of rational thought. It is merely a smokescreen to ensure that the asbestos manufacturers who killed hundreds of thousands of people are able to escape accountability.
Please do not let this happen.
The FACT Act may be up for a vote fairly soon, so this is the time to make your opinion known. Call your local Congressional representative and let him or her know you are vehemently opposed to this legislation.