Supporters of the Furthering Asbestos Claim Transparency (FACT) Act of 2015 make it their mission to prevent double dipping, and they have been joined by The South Carolina Civil Justice Coalition (SCCJC).
As it stands currently, the legal system has no access to information regarding who receives awards from asbestos claims. This gives claimants and their legal representatives ways to seek multiple awards, something that is considered unfair to people filing new claims. The FACT Act aims to make it a requirement that quarterly reports are filed, detailing who is making claims and who is being awarded settlements. This would make it difficult to impossible for one person to receive multiple payouts.
The director of SCCJC, Earl Hunter, recently explained that workers who have been negatively affected by asbestos will always have representation. Fraudulent claims, however, could make it difficult to receive the awards they deserve. Transparency would promote fairness for those people who need it the most, and it would make sure that anyone attempting to scam the system would find it difficult to do so.
With all of the talk surrounding transparency, the number of fraudulent claims has declined. It is expected that the passage of the act will further reduce those claims and the harm they can cause to people who actually deserve compensation. According to Hunger, “There are good lawyers who are trying to do the right thing, but there are a few who make the rest look bad.”