CA vets: FACT Act will 'discourage double-dipping' in asbestos bankruptcy trusts

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)
Five separate members of the California State Commanders Veterans Council recently expressed support for the Furthering Asbestos Claims Transparency (FACT) Act, S. 357, which is currently pending in the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee.

In a letter to Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), the commanders of the American Legion, Department of California; Military Officers Association of America, California Council; American G.I. Forum of California; Reserve Offices Association, Department of the Golden West; and, Jewish War Veterans, California, urged support for the legislation.

"S. 357 will help protect veterans and others by curbing fraud and preserving bankruptcy trust resources for future claims," wrote Pete Conaty, U.S. Army (ret), Lieutenant Colonel, legislative advocate for the California State Commanders Veterans Council.

Sponsored by U.S. Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ), the FACT Act would require asbestos-liability trust-fund managers to submit quarterly reports on claims that have been filed and/or paid out to help reduce fraudulent claims.

"Reportedly there are at least ten trusts that compensate claimants who were exposed to asbestos in naval shipyards," Conaty's letter continues. "These trusts are collectively paying claimants 50 percent less today than they paid six years ago."

Conaty's letter also was sent to U.S. Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles Grassley (R-IA), and ranking committee member Patrick Leahy (D-VT).

"Enacting trust transparency legislation in California and at the federal level will discourage 'double-dipping' and help preserve financial resources for military veterans and others.

S. 357 awaits further action in the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, following a hearing last month in the Senate Judiciary Committee.