UPDATE: House Committee Endorses Asbestos Bankruptcy ‘Transparency’ Proposal
By a 19-9 vote along party lines Thursday (May 14), the U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee has decided to send an asbestos bankruptcy transparency proposal to the full House. The legislation, called “FACT,” for Furthering Asbestos Claims Transparency, would require court-approved bankruptcy trust funds to disclose name, claim and payout information of people seeking payouts from the funds.
Dozens of the trust funds have been created to address liability of bankrupt firms facing asbestos exposure liability. Republicans argue that transparency is needed to prevent “double dipping” from people who get paid by both trusts and civil lawsuits; Democrats counter that trusts are a different system and defendants could get the payout information via pre-lawsuit discovery efforts. Both sides claim to have interests of veterans at heart.
Watch the sometimes testy debate at the House website archives (note it might take some time to convert the webcast to archive): http://judiciary.house.gov/index.cfm/videos