The FAIR ACT was introduced onto the U.S. Senate floor early in 2006. The Act would prohibit any lawsuit being filed to recover for any asbestos-related disease. Instead, a trust fund would be set up. One major problem with the trust fund concept is that none of the companies that are supposed to contribute to it are willing to divulge how much they would individually contribute. Independent analysts have concluded there will not be enough funds available to adequately cover the claims. The trust fund will very quickly go bankrupt. The FAIR ACT is bad news for anyone who has an asbestos-related disease.
The FAIR ACT came up for a vote in the Senate in the Spring. It failed to pass by only one vote. But it did not die forever. It may come up for another vote in June when Congress reconvenes.
Because the FAIR ACT would have such a devastating effect on the ability of men and women diagnosed with mesothelioma to recover fair damages, I have kept in touch with several Senators to see how they feel about the proposed legislation. On March 24th I had breakfast with Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) in San Francisco. Senator Nelson voted against the FAIR ACT earlier this Spring. He indicated that he understood that certain huge corporations stood to gain from having the FAIR ACT pass, but that individuals would have their rights taken away. He is resolved to oppose the ACT if it does come up for another vote.
On April 9th I had lunch with Harry Reid (D-NV). Senator Reid is the Senate minority leader. He was instrumental in gathering the support necessary to defeat the vote on the ACT earlier this Spring. Senator Reid was a trial lawyer prior to becoming a Senator. He told me that several of his cases had involved injustices to “little people” who had a hard time finding a lawyer to accept their cases. One involved a large corporation refusing to pay overtime, even though it was clear that the ovetime pay was earned. He took these cases and won them, which resulted in the “little people” getting what was fair from the large corporations. He is resolved to oppose the FAIR ACT if it does come up for another vote.
On April 10th I attended a dinner for Senator Joe Biden (D-DE). Senator Biden is considering running for President in the next election. He said that he understood that the FAIR ACT is being backed by huge corporations which stand to gain from having it pass, but that individuals would have their rights taken away. Senator Biden voted against the FAIR ACT earlier this Spring. He is resolved to oppose the ACT if it does come up for another vote.
I have met with Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) several times in the past year concerning the FAIR ACT. She voted against the FAIR ACT earlier this Spring. She is resolved to oppose the ACT if it does come up for another vote.