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October 18, 2018

U.S. Chamber Commends House Judiciary Committee Hearing on Asbestos Trust Transparency Legislation

WASHINGTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–

Lisa A. Rickard, president of the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal
Reform (ILR), made the following statement regarding today’s hearing on
the “Furthering Asbestos Claim Transparency (FACT) Act of 2015” (H.R.
526) in the U.S. House Judiciary Committee. The legislation would
require asbestos personal injury settlement trusts, which currently
operate with little oversight and transparency, to report on their
claims.

“We applaud Representatives Blake Farenthold and Tom Marino for
introducing this legislation, and the House Judiciary Committee for
holding today’s hearing. Abuse of the asbestos compensation system is a
national problem, and the recent indictment in New York with allegations
of kickbacks and self-dealing is just the latest example. Evidence of
plaintiffs’ lawyers manipulating and withholding key information
continues to unfold in the Garlock bankruptcy case, which stands
out as ‘exhibit A’ of the systemic fraud in asbestos litigation.

“Exploitation of the system drains the funds available to deserving
claimants and forces solvent companies, as well as their shareholders
and employees, to pay more than their fair share when claimants ‘double
dip’ in court and in the trust systems. The FACT Act would diminish the
damaging economic ripple effect of these abuses, without impacting
legitimate asbestos claims.”

ILR seeks to promote civil justice reform through legislative,
political, judicial, and educational activities at the national, state,
and local levels.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation
representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all
sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and
industry associations.

www.uschamber.com

         

@USChamber

         

www.freeenterprise.com

Contact:

U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform (ILR)

Justin Hakes, 202-463-3156

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U.S. Chamber Commends House Judiciary Committee Hearing on Asbestos Trust Transparency Legislation

Views wanted on asbestos claim bill

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Views wanted on asbestos claim bill

Asbestos complaints rocketing


Asbestos complaints rocketing


TESS MCCLURE

Last updated 09:00 26/05/2014

Asbestos

Supplied

SAFETY FIRST: An asbestos removal company employee at work in the city. Earthquake demolition work has increased complaints of exposure.

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Workers complaining of asbestos exposure in Canterbury have increased by 350 per cent following the Christchurch earthquakes.

But with asbestos not covered by health and safety notification laws, companies are not obligated to report it, and the scope of the problem may be much larger.

In the last two years, government workplace health and safety regulator Worksafe has shut down the sites of Christchurch companies with 33 prohibition notices for unsafe asbestos removal.

Worksafe Canterbury rebuild health and safety director Kathryn Heiler said that, despite increasing training and awareness, companies were still demolishing buildings without checking for asbestos.

“Our inspectors are seeing too many properties throughout the region being demolished before asbestos has been properly identified and appropriate controls have been put in place,” she said. “This is simply not acceptable.”

Complaints to Worksafe of asbestos exposure jumped from 16 in 2010 to more than 70 last year, a 350 per cent increase.

And notifications of being exposed unsafely to asbestos recorded on the voluntary National Asbestos Register have tripled from pre-quake levels to 61.

Data collected by Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment shows a huge amount of asbestos work being done in Christchurch. They record 560 notifications of asbestos work from July 2012 to May 2013 – compared to 48 in Auckland and 40 in Wellington.

Asbestos was a common building material in Kiwi homes until its carcinogenic properties were discovered in the 1980s.

Enclosed and undisturbed, it is benign, but as post-quake deconstruction ramps up some demolition companies are not testing for the substance properly.

A demolition worker speaking to The Press anonymously said when he first began in demolition in 2013, the company did not test for asbestos, wear safety gear or have safety procedures for dealing with the substance.

“We had nothing. It wasn’t talked about at all. Asbestos was like this sort of myth. We weren’t testing the buildings we demolished.”

He estimates around half the houses they demolished in that time period could have been asbestos contaminated.

“Only now, looking back, in hindsight . . . pretty much everything we touched could have had asbestos in it.”

At the end of 2013 company training began, and safety procedures were put in place, and the team realised how much exposure they may have already had.


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“It was a big shock. Most people felt pretty depressed. Even our foreman was like ‘Oh, my God,’ because he’d been doing demolition for two years, pulling down buildings and breathing this stuff in.”

He had not laid a complaint or registered on the exposure registry, and believed many others would not bother.

A Worksafe spokesperson said employers were not obligated to report if employees were exposed to asbestos.

Asbestos exposure was not included in the legislation criteria and could not be recorded as a serious harm notification.

Worksafe had issued 33 prohibition notices to 25 companies since 2012 for asbestos, including Wheelers Construction.

Wheelers office manager Suzy Bragg said initially there were no clear guidelines for asbestos removal in residential homes.

“When we first started [after the earthquakes], no-one really knew what the asbestos requirements were.

“It wasn’t till the end of 2012 that anyone even started thinking about asbestos.”

Bragg said Wheelers followed all legal requirements as they learned of them. She said the company had responded to each of their two Worksafe prohibition notices and fixed the problem within 24 hours.

University of Canterbury Toxicology Professor Ian Shaw said health effects from asbestos would only emerge years after exposure.

He said high exposure over several years was needed for serious effects to be likely, but there was no “minimum exposure” to cause cancer.

“In theory you only need one asbestos fibre, and for that fibre get into the right place into the lungs.”

– The Press


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Asbestos complaints rocketing

Shrader & Associates, L.L.P., Announce New Representation Resources for Shipyard Asbestos Claims

Houston, TX (PRWEB) March 28, 2014

Asbestos was once a widely used material for building and manufacturing. The material offers excellent resistance to fire and heat, it absorbs sound well, and it is relatively inexpensive to acquire. Consequently, people who worked in the construction and manufacturing industries were greatly exposed to asbestos, including workers who build ships and other types of floating vessels at shipyards. With time, however, asbestos began to fall out of favor when illnesses were linked to exposure to the material. Shrader & Associates, L.L.P.—with offices in Houston, Texas and Glen Carbon, Illinois—has become one of the foremost law firms in the provision of resources for people seeking to file shipyard asbestos exposure claims.

Perhaps the best known illness linked with asbestos is mesothelioma. Although a rare form of cancer, it is lethal precisely because of its rarity. Even after inhaling or ingesting the material, it takes a rather long time—in most cases 20 to 50 years—for the signs to show up. Over time, the mesothelium, which is the protective lining that covers internal organs like the lungs and heart, develops malignant tumors. Symptoms of mesothelioma include chest pain, shortness of breath and coughing.

With shipyard workers in particular, approximately 14 of every 1,000 workers out of the 4.3 million that insulated World War II ships died from mesothelioma. This does not include the number of those who succumbed to asbestosis, a chronic inflammatory condition also caused by exposure to asbestos.

Because of the dangers it presents to those exposed to the material, the United States has come up with years of legislation to regulate the use of asbestos, or ban it outright. Shrader Law & Associates L.L.P. now provides consultation services for those suffering from asbestos-related diseases. Attorneys with the firm take the time to review the specifics of the victim’s claim. Then the lawyers will guide the clients accordingly: advising them of their rights to be compensated for their suffering and to file a claim in the court of law. It is usually up to the clients to decide on whether proceeding with a legal case is ultimately worth it. Shrader & Associates, L.L.P. is already well known for their efforts to secure compensation for people suffering with asbestos-related ailments.

About

Based in Houston, TX, Shrader Law & Associates L.L.P. specialize in representing people suffering from the effects of exposure to asbestos. The firm has also worked on claims involving other substances or products like vinyl chloride, thickening gel and pharmaceuticals. For consultation, Shrader Law & Associates, L.L.P. can be reached by dialing 713-782-0000.


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Shrader & Associates, L.L.P., Announce New Representation Resources for Shipyard Asbestos Claims

Asbestos bill goes to Supreme Court

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Asbestos bill goes to Supreme Court

Asbestos Advice Helpline Welcome New Fund for Mesothelioma Compensation

These new proposals represent a significant improvement when compared to the current level of provision

(PRWEB UK) 5 December 2013

The Asbestos Advice Helpline, a celebrated team of dedicated asbestos litigators, has applauded a new decision which means that thousands of mesothelioma sufferers over the next 10 years will be able to claim from a £350 million fund to attain some measure of recompense for their damages. Described as a significant breakthrough, the amendments mean that sufferers who were previously disqualified from claiming compensation may now be eligible to do so.

Mesothelioma is an invariably lethal disease that typically overcomes its victims within an average timeframe of 9 months following diagnosis. The mesothelioma condition is almost exclusively confined to those professions that came into regular contact with asbestos dust prior to the substance being banned at the end of the 1990s, and more than 2,000 people die every year due to its influence. The quantity of reported incidents is only expected to increase over the next 3 years, and the number of deaths is expected to total in excess of 60,000.

A spokesperson from the Asbestos Advice Helpline has said: “These new proposals represent a significant improvement when compared to the current level of provision. In previous years, many victims have been inexcusably left without adequate support following a mesothelioma diagnosis, and this scheme goes some way towards rectifying a situation that has been in sore need of attention for a number of decades”.

Previously, a pair of relevant legislations has allowed mesothelioma claims to be placed up to an average of £20,000. Should the new fund attain parliamentary approval, this amount is anticipated to rise to heights of £115,000. Current government predictions suggest that more than 1000 sufferers will be able to receive this assistance in the next decade and, should the currently debated Mesothelioma Bill be passed without incident, the first payments could well materialise within a maximum of 8 months.

A degree of discontent has been voiced due to proposals that may implement a cut-off point for those claimants who are able to take advantage of the new fund, although the government have stated that an indiscriminate arrangement would be financially unviable. Despite the fund being restricted to sufferers of mesothelioma, and no further provision planned for those who are afflicted with alternative conditions, many campaign groups have hailed the legislation as a considerable degree of progress. The spokesperson from Asbestos Advice Helpline added that: “We welcome these reforms as a notable step in the right direction, and sincerely hope that, in time, they will be able to be expanded to incorporate all asbestos related conditions”.

The Asbestos Advice Helpline was established to help those suffering from asbestos related diseases and individuals who may be entitled to make a claim for compensation. The Asbestos Advice Helpline operates on a no win, no fee policy to help those afflicted (and their families) to deal with the legal procedures of making a claim. Asbestos was widely used before its ban and has affected many trade professionals who worked with it at the time; as well as people who may have come into contact with it since without knowing. Asbestos kills around 4,500 people a year from related diseases including asbestosis, mesothelioma and lung cancer.

The new fund for mesothelioma compensation means that more sufferers from this incredibly serious disease can now take advantage of the compensation that they deserve. For more information, to place a claim with the Asbestos Advice Helpline or to contact them about any of their professional services, visit http://www.asbestosadvicehelpline.com or call the Asbestos Advice Helpline team on 0800 088 7396.


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Asbestos Advice Helpline Welcome New Fund for Mesothelioma Compensation

Asbestos cost bill passed by Senedd

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Asbestos cost bill passed by Senedd

House votes to increase asbestos claim disclosures

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House on Wednesday voted to tighten disclosure requirements from asbestos trusts set up more than 20 years ago to help pay billions of dollars in injury claims.

By 221-199, the House approved a measure requiring asbestos trusts that pay damages to current and future asbestos victims to publish detailed quarterly reports with bankruptcy courts. The information must include names of new claimants and how much money the trust has paid out, under the legislation.

House Republicans say the bill — backed by the business community and the Chamber of Commerce — would provide oversight to asbestos trusts and ensure funds are available for future victims.

Most House Democrats opposed the measure, citing privacy concerns. The bill is likely to die in the House. The Democratic controlled Senate has no plans to take up the bill and the White House on Tuesday said President Barack Obama would veto it.

Asbestos, a building material linked with cancer and other health problems, has been the subject of lawsuits awarding billions of dollars in damages. As health concerns became clearer, and the number of lawsuits swelled, companies forced into bankruptcy because of asbestos litigation transferred their assets and liabilities to trusts established to pay current and future asbestos victims.

At least 100 companies have gone into bankruptcy at least in part from liabilities tied to asbestos, according to a 2011 Government Accountability Office report. There are 60 asbestos trusts, with about $37 billion in assets, according to the GAO report.

Republicans say those trusts are ripe for fraud because of scant disclosure requirements.

Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, who wrote the bill, said more oversight is needed to prevent people from filing claims with multiple trusts, or fraudulent claims. Trusts are in danger of running out of money if nothing’s done, he said.

“We’ve got to protect this for future generations,” Farenthold said. “We simply ask that we know who is getting what out of these trusts.”

Democrats said the bill would subject asbestos victims to new privacy concerns because their name and the last four digits of their Social Security numbers would be public under the law.

“Every crook in the world with Internet access could use this information,” said Rep. Hank Johnson, D-Ga.

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House votes to increase asbestos claim disclosures

Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization Outraged by Shortcomings of the Chemical Safety Improvement Act of 2013

LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–

The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO), an independent
non-profit organization dedicated to eliminating asbestos disease,
stated today that it cannot support the “Chemical Safety Improvement Act
of 2013” (S. 1009) without significant improvements to protect the
public from dangerous chemicals, such as asbestos. While the chemical
industry is pleased with the bill, ADAO and the majority of other
environmental and public health groups do not support the current
language.

“We are encouraged by bipartisan efforts to overhaul the outdated and
ineffective Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) from 1976, but we cannot
support it unless critical clarifications and changes are adopted,” said
Linda Reinstein, ADAO Co-Founder and mesothelioma widow. “Asbestos
victims are outraged to see ADAO’s suggested amendments regarding
asbestos stripped from S. 1009. The facts are irrefutable – asbestos is
a known carcinogen. Congress has known for more than 100 years that
asbestos exposure causes diseases, yet exposure continues. ADAO urges
Congress immediately amend S. 1009. One life lost from an
asbestos-caused disease is tragic; hundreds of thousands of lives lost
is unconscionable.”

ADAO wrote a letter voicing their concerns to Chairman of the Senate and
Environment and Public Works Committee Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and
Sen. David Vitter, Ranking Member (R-LA). Additionally, this week, ADAO
will launch their seventh “six-word quote campaign,” in which they
invite asbestos disease patients and their families to write succinct
messages to Congress about how asbestos has affected their lives. Past
quotes submitted include “Asbestos has stolen my Dad’s life…stop the
killing” and “Asbestos is a creeping thief – stealing families.”

“Mesothelioma is an awful disease,” said Janelle Bedel, a 37-year-old
mesothelioma patient who is now in hospice care in Indiana. “We need
Congress to take action to prevent others from becoming sick from deadly
preventable disease. However, if the legislation as currently written
becomes law, future generations of Americans will fall victim to
mesothelioma and other life-changing afflictions from exposure to
dangerous chemicals. Americans need to know asbestos is deadly and has
not been banned in the U.S. There are over 3,000 different
asbestos-containing products that are still shipped to the U.S. every
day.”

The World
Health Organization
 (WHO) states that all forms of asbestos are
carcinogenic to humans and may lead to mesothelioma, lung, larynx,
ovarian cancer, and respiratory diseases. WHO estimates that 107,000
workers die every year from asbestos-related lung cancer, mesothelioma
and asbestosis. Each day, 30 Americans die from asbestos-caused diseases.

About Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization

Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) was founded by asbestos
victims and their families in 2004. ADAO seeks to give asbestos victims
and concerned citizens a united voice to raise public awareness about
the dangers of asbestos exposure. ADAO is an independent global
organization dedicated to preventing asbestos-related diseases through
education, advocacy, and community. For more information, visit www.asbestosdiseaseawareness.org.

Contact:

Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO)

Doug Larkin

Director of Communications

202-391-1546


doug@asbestosdiseaseawareness.org
www.asbestosdiseaseawareness.org

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Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization Outraged by Shortcomings of the Chemical Safety Improvement Act of 2013

Reporting asbestos in public buildings now mandatory

The province has passed a bill that will make Saskatchewan the first province in Canada to require mandatory reporting of asbestos in public buildings.

Under the new legislation, information about asbestos will have to be disclosed in a public registry.

“People want and deserve to have easier access to information about the presence of asbestos in public buildings,” said Dustin Duncan, the minister of health for the province.

Last November the province launched a voluntary registry and posted an online asbestos information guide.

The new legislation will require that any buildings owned by the province, such as hospitals, schools, or those used by crown corporations, must be listed in the registry if there is asbestos present.

More buildings will be added to the registry as regulations become better defined.

The legislation comes in response to the efforts of Howard Willems who died from a form cancer caused by asbestos fibres. Willems was a strong advocate of asbestos reporting.

“This registry is an important step forward in protecting Saskatchewan workers,” said Don Morgan, the provincial minister of labour relations and workplace safety.

“We are approaching the Day of Mourning when we remember those injured or lost through workplace injury and disease. All of us need to work together to make sure that all of our workers come home safe every day,” he added.

Asbestos is a heat-resistant fibrous mineral that can be woven into fabrics, used in fire-resistant and insulating materials.

According to Health Canada, asbestos has health risks only when fibres are present in the air.

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Reporting asbestos in public buildings now mandatory