Asbestos victims in Ohio and across of the rest of the nation stand to be victimized a second time, this time by legislative action. A proposed bill titled the Furthering Asbestos Claim Transparency Act seeks to disclose the private and personal information of individuals who have been victimized by asbestos exposure. Several groups are lobbying against the bill out of concern that the FACT Act would make it remarkably easy for this type of sensitive information to become compromised.
If passed by the House and later signed into law, FACT has some disturbing implications. The Act aims to create trusts which would be updated quarterly and include the information of those who have filed claims of exposure and received compensation for those claims. Perhaps the most concerning aspect involves how easily accessible those reports will be.
The current plan involves updating these reports on a publicly accessible website. Not only would victims' names be listed, but also their medical and work histories, date of birth, partial Social Security number and other private details. Not only would this violate a huge sense of privacy, but it would also open up any number of people to the distinct possibility of becoming identity theft victims.
It would be unthinkable for victims of almost any other type of disease, illness or injury to have to subject themselves to such a devastating violation of personal information in order to seek just compensation for their damages. However, for the time being this Act is still just a bill and has no legal bearing whatsoever. As such, workers and other individuals in Ohio who have been victims of asbestos exposure and are now dealing with the deadly repercussions should not fear any of the bill's potential implications when seeking recourse from negligent employers.
Source: scmagazine.com, "Asbestos bill would expose victims' personal data, medical histories", Jeremy Seth Davis, Jan. 6, 2016