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AG Derek Schmidt applauds new Justice Department oversight of asbestos trusts

Release Date: Sep 14, 2018

TOPEKA – (September 14, 2018) – New federal oversight of asbestos trusts as recommended by state attorneys general will inject much-needed transparency and ensure that funds are properly used to support victims of asbestos exposure, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt said today.

Schmidt applauded new efforts by the U.S. Department of Justice, which has said it will inject itself in legal cases that propose to establish new asbestos trusts to ensure that the trusts are transparent and have safeguards against fraud. The Department will also ensure that trust assets are kept available for victims and to reimburse taxpayers for the medical costs paid for victims’ illnesses, not used to pay excessive attorneys fees and administrative costs.

This new commitment from the Department came in response to a letter sent last year to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions by 20 state attorneys general, including Attorney General Schmidt, asking the Department to increase its efforts to oversee these trusts.

Schmidt received a response to that letter yesterday from Acting Associate Attorney General Jesse Panuccio, outlining the Department’s new efforts. A copy of Panuccio’s letter is available at http://bit.ly/2Onrxt6. A copy of the attorneys general’s 2017 letter is available at http://bit.ly/2CXFRrc.

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News releases issued prior to 2011 are available through an archive hosted by the Kansas State Library.