Asbestos transparency bill heard in House committee
No information about a plaintiff’s ability to file a claim against one of the trust funds is entered into evidence in one of these cases, under current law.
The bill provides that plaintiffs in asbestos lawsuits must file any claims they may have against one of the asbestos trust funds that has been set up to compensate asbestos victims before proceeding to trial against another defendant. This will prevent currently allowed double-dipping: filing a lawsuit against a company, receiving a judgment or settlement, then filing a claim against one of the asbestos trust funds.
Associated Industries of Missouri fully supports this legislation. In addition to AIM President/CEO Ray McCarty, testifying for the bill were Mark Behrens of Shook, Hardy and Bacon, appearing at the request of the U.S. Chamber Litigation Center; Lindsay Dibler of Kurowski Shultz LLC, appearing at the request of the Missouri Insurance Coalition; and others.
Sole testimony against the bill was provided by Bart Baumstark of the O’Brien Law Firm, P.C., a firm that specializes in asbestos litigation.
The Committee took no action on the bill at the hearing.