The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill yesterday designed to cut down class action lawsuits associated with asbestos claims. H.R. 1927 combines the Fairness in Class Action Litigation Act and the Furthering Asbestos Claim Transparency Act, or FACT Act. The class action part of the bill would require uninjured consumers to be a part of separate class actions than injured consumers and directs judges to decide early on in cases which proposed class members are significantly and comparably injured and those who aren’t. The other part of the measure reforms asbestos trusts, requiring quarterly reports on claims made to the trusts and allowing defense attorneys to access information about whether or not claimants are citing a certain company’s products while also citing a trust fund company’s products. President Obama has stated that he intends to veto the bill if it reaches him, amidst criticism that the bill shields corporate wrongdoers.
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