Asbestos Bankruptcy Trust Transparency: S.F. 376 (2017)
Requires plaintiffs to file and disclose all asbestos trust claims
Requires plaintiffs to file and disclose all asbestos trust claims before proceeding to trial in any asbestos action, provide all parties with all trust claims materials connected to the plaintiff’s exposure to asbestos, and if the plaintiff’s claim is based on exposure to asbestos through another individual, plaintiff must produce all trust claims materials submitted by that individual to any asbestos trusts. The bill allows a defendant to file a motion requesting a stay of the proceedings if the defendant has information that could support the filing of additional trust claims by the plaintiff. If the court determines that there is sufficient basis, the court shall stay the asbestos action until the plaintiff files the asbestos trust claim and produces all related trust claims materials. The bill also has medical criteria to set aside the cases of the non-sick for both asbestos and silica actions, would abolish consolidation of dissimilar cases, and would abolish liability for component parts or replacement parts made by third-parties.
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A Washington controlled by Democrats would be a bonanza for the trial bar, writes W.J. Kennedy for Legal Newsline.