Summary: H.R.1283 — 106th Congress (1999-2000)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Reported to House with amendment(s) (07/24/2000)

Asbestos Compensation Act of 2000- Title I: Establishment and Procedure - Establishes in the Department of Justice the Office of Asbestos Compensation (OAC), headed by an Administrator, with exclusive jurisdiction over proceedings to determine if a claimant is entitled to compensation for an asbestos claim, and the amount of such compensation. Establishes in the OAC: (1) the Asbestos Compensation Fund; and (2) the Office of Administrative Law Judges.

(Sec. 101) Instructs the Administrator to appoint a Medical Advisory Committee to evaluate the medical review process and eligibility criteria. Prescribes guidelines for: (1) medical eligibility review; (2) election of administrative process; (3) settlement offers; (4) claimant's choice of forum; (5) administrative adjudication; (6) the appeals and judicial review process; and (7) OAC data gathering and maintenance in connection with product identification, settlements, judgments and awards.

(Sec. 108) Instructs the OAC to implement a legal assistance program to represent claimants. Declares that claimants shall retain their right to be assisted by counsel of their free choice.

(Sec. 109) Sets forth time limits upon decision making by either the Medical Director or the Trustee of the Asbestos Compensation Fund (Trustee).

Title II: Law Applicable to Asbestos Adjudications - Conditions a claimant's recovery of compensation for damages caused by an eligible medical condition upon presentation of a medical eligibility certificate establishing its existence. Prescribes requirements and procedural guidelines for: (1) damages; (2) statute of limitations or repose; (3) come back rights; (4) class actions, aggregations of claims, and venue; and (5) core claims. Sets forth special rules applicable to adjudications and to the Trustee.

Title III: Eligible Medical Categories - Identifies the following as eligible medical categories that are asbestos-related: (1) malignant conditions with impairment; (2) mesothelioma; (3) lung cancer; and (4) other cancer. Sets forth the standard criteria for such categories.

(Sec. 306) Prescribes medical testing reimbursement guidelines.

Title IV: Funding - Requires the Administrator to adopt rules for calculating and collecting from defendants all costs associated with claim determination and payments. Vests the Trustee with subsequent enforcement authority.

(Sec. 402) Prescribes guidelines governing fiscal and financial management of the Asbestos Compensation Fund.

(Sec. 403) Authorizes appropriations for the OAC and the United States Court of Federal Claims. Authorizes offsetting collections of administrative assessments.

Title V: Transition - Prescribes applicability guidelines and transitional civil action procedures.

Title VI: Definitions - Sets forth definitions germane to this Act.

Title VII: Miscellaneous Provisions - Prescribes implementation requirements and guidelines with respect to: (1) relationship to other laws; (2) annual status report by the Administrator to the President and Congress; (3) enforcement; (4) defendant parties to a Qualifying National Settlement Plan; and (5) settlements.