Asbestos trust fund transparency bill heard in committee
The bill would require disclosure of a plaintiff's ability to file a claim against one of approximately 60 asbestos trusts when bringing a lawsuit alleging they were harmed by other parties. The asbestos trust funds were set up by manufacturers of asbestos as the companies went bankrupt for the purposes of paying such claims for future diseases caused by asbestos, like mesothelioma.
Associated Industries of Missouri president/CEO Ray McCarty supported the legislation, as did many other organizations representing businesses in Missouri. McCarty said judges and juries need to know about the ability of the plaintiffs to file claims against these trusts and should be able to consider this fact when assessing the liability of the defendant. Otherwise, the judge and/or jury may believe the current defendant is fully responsible for the plaintiffs' disease and they may not know the liability should be shared with the asbestos manufacturers.
The bill was heard but no action was taken.