Since 1999, there have been a few attempts to update or improve legislation, but all of them have been defeated in Congress after they've been re-written so much they are virtually unrecognizable by the time they are voted on. Some examples include:
-In 1999, the Supreme Court ordered Congress to develop asbestos legislation that would ensure prompt resolution of asbestos mesothelioma lawsuits, so that victims get their deserved compensations before they pass away. This purposed legislation was however frustrated by a barrage of protests from the giants of the asbestos industry, who responded with increasingly strict guidelines for proving adequate exposure to asbestos.
-The "Asbestos Compensation Act" was developed in 2000. This was legislation that proposed a separate Office of Asbestos Compensation within the Department of Justice. Numerous rewrites, adjustments and squabbling over the proposed legislation has however prevented the legislation from getting a single vote for many years. This act would have ensured the participation of the Department of Justice and would have enabled more people to get their compensation.
-In 2004, another asbestos legislation was proposed which would have put a limit on all claims for any asbestos related cases. It strictly limited the amount of compensation to be given and had strict proof guidelines that would burden those who were ill or dying. The main drawback of this legislation was that it proposed the setting up of a Trust Fund for payments. This trust fund would have been contributed to by the asbestos companies themselves and if it were to become insolvent or bankrupt the victims would not be able to sue the asbestos companies again. Thankfully however this legislation never saw the light of day.-
-In 2006 another legislation known as the "Fairness in Asbestos Injury Resolution Act" or the FAIR bill was proposed. It proposed set limits with strict guidelines, a standardized litmus test for all cases and a Trust Fund for all those suffering from asbestosis or mesothelioma. It heavily favored asbestos defendants because each company would only be contributing a small percentage of what they would have paid if they were sued by the victims or their families. This legislation has not been passed into law yet.
To date, no asbestos legislation has been successfully passed that would guarantee compensation to all sufferers. The inability to pass such laws has been primarily the result of the efforts to tamper with the individual bills in order to protect the asbestos corporations themselves.
With new proposals going before Congress nearly every year, it is imperative that you seek the services of a highly experienced mesothelioma lawyer to litigate your mesothelioma law suit.