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Congressman Adriano Espaillat

Representing the 13th District of New York

Congressman Adriano Espaillat Introduces Amendment to H.R. 985, the Fairness in Class Action Litigation and Furthering Asbestos Claim Transparency Act of 2017

March 13, 2017
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Congressman Adriano Espaillat (NY-13) issued the following statement on his amendment to H.R. 985, the Fairness in Class Action Litigation and Furthering Asbestos Claim Transparency Act of 2017, which would exempt a claimant who is or has been living in public housing or any dwelling unit for which rental assistance was provided under section 8 from Title II of the bill.

“I firmly believe every individual should be exempt from these outrageous provisions, and my amendment to H.R. 985 recognizes that we, as the landlords, owe a unique duty to the people living in public housing units,” said Rep. Espaillat.  “We are responsible for the dilapidated conditions of our public housing, and we are responsible for the health and well-being of the low-income tenants living in them.

“Much of our public housing was built during the 1950s and 1960s, coinciding with what was perhaps the peak time for the use of asbestos-containing products in building and construction materials.  This has left thousands of our most vulnerable citizens at risk of exposure to asbestos, which kills as many as 15,000 Americans each year.  People who have legitimate claims and have been exposed to asbestos while living in either public housing or Section 8 housing should be afforded the due process they deserve and given the opportunity to bring their claims in a timely manner.

“That is why I introduced this amendment – to ensure claimants living in public housing or Section 8 housing have the opportunity for due process, and that their privacy information is protected.  I was disappointed that my colleagues on the other side of the aisle did not support this amendment as we each have a role to play in ensuring equal treatment of our most vulnerable neighbors in communities across the country.”

Click here to watch video of Congressman Espaillat’s full remarks on the introduction of his amendment to H.R. 985, the Fairness in Class Action Litigation and Furthering Asbestos Claim Transparency Act of 2017.

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Media inquiries: Candace Randle Person at Candace.Person@mail.house.gov