A new bill in Utah could interfere with future asbestos lawsuits. If passed, the Asbestos Litigation Amendments bill would require potential plaintiffs to clear multiple additional legal hurdles before an asbestos lawsuit can be filed.
The objective of the amendment is to require potential plaintiffs to provide medical proof of asbestos exposure, identify the exact location of exposure and manufacturer of the asbestos, and specify the name of each asbestos product that contributed to their exposure.
Why the Bill Could Prevent Victims From Filing Lawsuits
Decades ago, workers were frequently exposed to asbestos in various industries. However, a worker then most likely would not have known the risks of asbestos exposure and developing cancer or other illnesses.
Asbestos diseases, such as mesothelioma, can take decades to form and may be difficult to diagnose or treat. If a victim of asbestos exposure is diagnosed with mesothelioma 40 years after working in an asbestos environment, then there is a slim chance the victim will be able to correctly answer all required questions to file a lawsuit.
Today, the circumstances are vastly different than when asbestos was in use. Most types of asbestos have been banned in the United States, so the primary exposure concern is legacy asbestos, or asbestos remaining in old structures. However, people diagnosed with mesothelioma today were exposed in the 20th century. People exposed today won’t know if they have mesothelioma for another 20-50 years.
Still, the proposed bill – as written, requiring knowledge of how someone was exposed – could impact potential mesothelioma victims decades from now. A legacy asbestos exposure victim would likely have zero knowledge of the specific manufacturers or products used in an older home but likely could have been exposed to asbestos and later developed an asbestos disease. If this victim wanted to receive compensation for his asbestos exposure, they’d be denied before the process ever started.
More Details on the Bill
The Asbestos Litigation Amendments bill has passed favorably through Utah’s house and senate committees. The positive response to the bill can be attributed to an asbestos plaintiff’s attorney who testified in favor of the bill, stating the current version is a pleasing compromise to the “terrible” first draft.
The attorney provides an interesting take, especially coming from an attorney whose career involves representing asbestos victims. One can’t help but wonder how extreme the first version of the bill was. Even the current version even seems a little over-the-top.
According to The Salt Lake Tribune, the bill has bipartisan support and will most likely be signed in the future.
By establishing new and unfair requirements for asbestos litigation and compensation, the state legislature is creating more unnecessary challenges for victims of asbestos exposure and asbestos diseases. The victims have experienced enough hardship. The least the state could do is keep the current procedures, which were originally implemented to create a favorable legal system for victims of corporate greed and mistreatment of American workers and consumers. Now, the state wants to interfere with the victims and their rightfully deserved compensation.
It is unclear what the committee’s intentions are in passing this bill.
However, if Utah does pass the Asbestos Litigation Amendments, victims of asbestos exposure are urged to connect with Mesothelioma Guide and our expert team. We offer many useful resources to help determine the location of asbestos exposure and confirm an asbestos disease diagnosis. Even with these potential hurdles, Mesothelioma Guide’s team will do everything it can to help you and your family get the financial support you deserve.
- Bill would raise major barriers to sue for asbestos injuries in Utah. The Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved from: https://www.sltrib.com/news/business/2023/03/01/bill-would-raise-major-barriers/. Accessed: 03/08/2023.
- H.B. 328 Asbestos Litigation Amendments. Utah State Legislature. Retrieved from: https://le.utah.gov/~2023/bills/static/HB0328.html. Accessed: 03/08/2023.
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