Millions of people suffer with asbestos-related injuries and many die from those injuries and illnesses each year. It is estimated that 300,000 new cases of asbestos-related injuries are diagnosed each year. A number of asbestos trusts provide some compensation to victims of illnesses related to asbestos exposure. For families who have lost a loved one to an asbestos related illness, a wrongful death lawsuit may be an option to gain justice from the at-fault parties and companies who caused their loved one’s death.
Because of the number of asbestos lawsuits being filed and the number of companies filing bankruptcy, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court established several asbestos trusts to help compensate the victims and their families for damages related to asbestos exposure. The current value of these trusts is estimated to be $30 million.
If a victim does not qualify for payment from one of the asbestos trusts, he or she has the choice of joining one of the many class action lawsuits against companies who exposed workers to asbestos or file a lawsuit on his or her own. Unfortunately, current legislation pending before the Senate could make it much more difficult for victims to qualify for benefits from one of the asbestos trusts.
FACT Act Now Before The Senate Judiciary Committee
The FACT Act has passed the House for the third time and it has been sent to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee for discussion. Opponents of the Act allege it will make it much more difficult for asbestos victims to receive compensation from trusts and it will expose victims to potential identity theft risks.
Opponents of the FACT Act allege that the Act has stiffer eligibility requirements making it much more difficult for asbestos victims to receive compensation from asbestos trusts. The Act also lengthens the time it takes to receive compensation from the Act; therefore, some victims will never receive any compensation because they will die before their claim is fully processed. For those families, they should consult with a wrongful death attorney as soon as possible to discuss their legal options under the Act and under wrongful death statutes.
Opponents also claim the Act will put victims at risk for identity theft by requiring victims to disclose personal information to obtain funds. The Act would require that applicants to provide personal information when applying for compensation from an asbestos trust. This information would be available to the public through the company’s bankruptcy docket. Victim advocates claim this will put victims at an increased risk of being taken advantage of by criminals who prey on asbestos injury victims.
Many groups are opposing the legislation including first responders, teachers, and veteran groups.
Have You Lost a Loved One and Need a New Orleans Wrongful Death Attorney?
The wrongful death attorneys of The Olinde Firm want to help you get justice for your loved one and for your family. Louisiana’s wrongful death laws cover a variety of circumstances including product liability, vehicle accidents, premises liability, defective drugs, defective medical devices, medical malpractice, slip and fall cases, and boating accidents. If you have lost a loved one in an accident or due to a defective product, you should consult with a NoLA wrongful death lawyer immediately. You only have a short time to file a wrongful death lawsuit to hold the party responsible for your loved one’s death accountable for his or her actions.
Contact our office for a free consultation and case evaluation to get started right away.