On cockroaches and some asbestos attorneys

David Yates Oct. 5, 2015, 12:21pm


La cucaracha, la cucaracha

Ya no puede caminar.

Porque no tiene, porque le falta,

Una pata de atras.

Here in southeast Texas, folks know a thing or two about cucarachas. We know, for instance, what can happen when one gets out of bed at night and goes to the kitchen for a midnight snack. The second the light goes on – whoosh! – cockroaches scatter.

Cockroaches prefer the cover of darkness. They do not like the light. In that respect, they're much like some asbestos attorneys.

One way to keep cockroaches under control is to shine the light on them. U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold thinks the same approach might work on many asbestos attorneys, too.

To combat double-dipping by wily lawyers like Brent Coon and ensure that the trusts will be around to compensate future victims, Farenthold has once again introduced in Congress his Furthering Asbestos Claim Transparency (FACT) Act. The bill would protect asbestos trusts from untrustworthy attorneys by requiring disclosure of claim information quarterly and compliance with information requests from asbestos litigators.

  

“The funds were supposed to provide fair compensation to past, present, and future asbestos victims,” Farenthold explains. “Instead, 23 asbestos trusts have reduced their payments to victims since 2008. Some more than once.”

Farenthold boasts that more than 600,000 Texas veterans support his bill.

“Don’t our veterans and first responders deserve the same compensation as the asbestos victims who came before them?” he asks. “I believe they do. To make this possible, Congress must pass the FACT Act to keep asbestos trusts from running dry due to fraud and abuse.”

Farenhold thinks the key to ending double-dipping and preserving the trusts is to eliminate the secrecy surrounding them. “By shining a light on the trusts,” he predicts, “the FACT Act will discourage abusive claims and protect the money owed to future asbestos victims.”

Like cockroaches, some attorneys will scatter.

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