WASHINGTON, Sept. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, the American Legislative
Exchange Council (ALEC) released a study for informational purposes on The
Fairness in Asbestos Injury Resolution (FAIR) Act of 2005, and found the
legislation to be fundamentally flawed. The report, done by Bates White, a
Washington, D.C. based economic consulting firm, will be released Monday,
September 19, 2005 at Mealey's National Asbestos Litigation Conference being
held in Philadelphia.
The Bates White study found that the FAIR Act, which removes asbestos
claims from the courts and creates a $140 billion asbestos trust fund, to be
financed by defendants and insurers, has one prevailing problem that cannot be
overcome: it will be bankrupt in just 1-3 years. The study determined this
financial shortfall will result primarily from many individuals with lung and
other cancers, who were not historically compensated with asbestos lawsuits,
to now be compensated by the FAIR Act. Additionally, claimants who have
settled with most, but not all defendants, could now be able to use the FAIR
Act to recoup additional payments.
Sandy Liddy Bourne, the Director of Legislation and Policy for ALEC, said,
"The report has conclusively shown that the FAIR Act is going to be bankrupt
in just a few years. The people who this legislation was designed to help,
the real victims of asbestos exposure, are going to be left out in the cold
because the trust fund created by the FAIR Act will go broke. We have model
legislation which has been enacted in Ohio, Texas, Florida, and Georgia that
addresses the asbestos litigation crisis in an effective manner which assures
that the real victims of asbestos exposure are compensated." ALEC prefers
state-level action on this matter.
According to the study, the FAIR Act would create asbestos claims worth
between $301 billion and $561 billion for individuals who assert a work
history either with, or in the vicinity of asbestos. Since the funding level
of the Trust Fund is $140 billion over 30 years, the result would be a funding
shortfall of $161 billion to $421 billion and could leave 383,000 - 913,000
potential future asbestos victims uncompensated.
SOURCE American Legislative Exchange Council