Simmons Hanly Conroy Stands Beside Asbestos Victims, Denounces the “PROTECT Asbestos Victims Act” (S. 2564)
Some have called the actions of the asbestos and insurance industries “perhaps the greatest corporate mass murder in history.” And now, once again, we were seeing asbestos companies and insurance companies push for laws in multiple states that would delay and deny asbestos victims and their families just compensation from those companies. The latest attempt is called the “PROTECT Asbestos Victims Act” (S.2564), and on behalf of Simmons Hanly Conroy, I am here to say we strongly oppose this bill on behalf of our clients.
Do not be fooled by the name of this bill. Authored by Senators Tom Tillis (R-NC), John Cornyn (R-TX), and Chuck Grassley (R-IA), the PROTECT Asbestos Victims Act is similar to the former FAIR Act and FACT Act, which are all “Asbestos Claims Transparency” bills that are written and shopped around the country by national lobbyists. Rather than “protect” asbestos victims, as the name suggests, the act would delay claims payments to victims dying from mesothelioma for as long as possible, many times until after their death. Knowing that many families often don’t continue litigation after the victim dies, the large corporate donors who fund the group responsible for the bill (the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC), are motivated by the knowledge that this delay would result in fewer settlements for asbestos victims.
Susan Vento, widow of Rep. Bruce Vento (D-MN), a mesothelioma victim, states it best in her letter to lawmakers, which is accumulating signatures from victims and their families.
“These bills would force asbestos patients and their families to jump through numerous expensive and time-consuming hoops before being allowed to move forward with filing a claim in state court,” said Vento. “By creating unnecessary hurdles to file a lawsuit in court, the asbestos corporations hope to escape any responsibility.”
Simmons Hanly Conroy stands beside the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) and other organizations fighting for justice for asbestos victims by denouncing the PROTECT Asbestos Victims Act, and we urge you to do the same. This bill, and the others that came before it, are undoubtedly shameless acts against innocent Americans, who through no fault of their own were exposed to a toxic substance that cut their lives short. We strongly oppose all congressional efforts that benefit asbestos companies and insurance companies at the expense of mesothelioma and other asbestos victims.
States that currently have a bill that attempts to delay and deny justice to asbestos victims and their families include:
- New York
Simmons Hanly Conroy will continue to stand behind asbestos victims and their families – the veterans, the caregivers, the American workers, the wives and children, the voiceless – all of the ordinary, innocent people who unknowingly had their lives changed by corporations who knowingly put them at risk.
Along with other pro-victim groups such as the American Association for Justice, the Environmental Working Group, and ADAO, we are working hard to stop these harmful bills, but we need your help. Please sign on to a letter to oppose these bills in your state and across the country. Please also consider forwarding onto your friends and family. You can view and sign the letter online here. Thank you.