Larry Cohan has been advocating for Pennsylvania
asbestos victims for decades.
On January 11, 2016, Anapol Weiss Shareholder Larry Cohan testified before the Pennsylvania House Judiciary Committee on behalf of Pennsylvania asbestos disease victims. He spoke before the Committee to oppose House Bill No. 1428, which would benefit asbestos suppliers while limiting the rights of people who have developed mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases.
The bill represents an attempt by the asbestos industry to delay and deny compensation to asbestos victims and to cripple the operation of asbestos trusts, which were established to provide compensation.
Currently, asbestos victims and their families can file suit against non-bankrupt asbestos suppliers as well as against bankruptcy trusts. The trusts have a pre-approved “scheduled value” as well as a pre-approved percentage of that amount, which the victim actually receives. The proposed bill would give the asbestos companies control over victims’ bankruptcy process submissions and provide the companies with an offset against any verdict against them in the amount of the scheduled value of the bankruptcy trust claim, rather than the actual percentage paid to the victim. In other words, a victim might receive $10,000 in compensation from a bankruptcy trust, but the non-bankrupt defendants would receive a $100,000 credit against any judgment against them.
Cohan argued that if the bill is passed into law, the asbestos companies would have complete control of the course of the litigation – even though they were the ones whose products caused these deadly diseases. Their ability to delay the litigation means that many asbestos victims will likely pass away before their cases even reach trial. Asbestos product identification would then become extremely difficult, and those victims will never have an opportunity to achieve resolution before their death. In addition, victims and their families would receive a fraction of what their case is worth – and far less than what other victims received historically for the same catastrophic injuries.
Cohan will continue to oppose House Bill No. 1428 and fight for the rights of asbestos disease victims in Pennsylvania.