Monthly Archives: March 2018

Colorado State Senate to Take Up Asbestos Claims Bill

The Colorado state senate is expected to take up a bill that could potentially have far reaching effects on the rights of mesothelioma cancer victims looking to recover vital compensation to help with their medical treatment and recovery of lost wages. The bill is one of several others passed in state houses across the country under the guise of transparency and expediency, but is really meant to help asbestos companies skirt liability for the harm they have caused.

Introduced by Senate President pro tem Jerry Sonnenberg of Sterling, Colorado, Senate Bill 123 is based on model legislation created by the National Conference of Insurance Legislators, a nationwide group of lobbyists funded by insurance companies and defense attorneys. At least 12 states have already passed their version of the Colorado bill and other states with Republican controlled legislatures are expected to try and pass their own.

If passed, Senate Bill 123 would require mesothelioma cancer victims filing lawsuits against solvent entities to disclose whether or not they may have filed any claims with asbestos bankruptcy trusts for the same injuries. Because of the decades-long latency period associated with a mesothelioma diagnosis, many victims must file both civil lawsuits and administrative claims with the asbestos trusts to ensure they hold all negligent parties responsible, whether these entities are still doing business or not.

There are currently almost 60 asbestos bankruptcy trusts created by more than 100 now defunct companies whose products contained asbestos at one point and may be liable for future claims when a victim receives his or her diagnosis. With a combined $25 to $30 billion in all the asbestos bankruptcy trusts, lobbyists for insurance companies often assert that legislation like the one being considered in Colorado is important to ensuring the trusts help as many people as possible.

However, these types of bills are often just another hurdle mesothelioma cancer victims and their attorneys must overcome in order to proceed with litigation with defendants who refuse to take responsibility for creating such deadly products. Sadly, the majority of asbestos cancer plaintiffs pass away within two years of receiving their mesothelioma diagnosis, making time a precious luxury that many cannot afford to waste on ancillary legal proceedings designed to only satisfy the insurance lobby.

With so much on the line, asbestos cancer victims need to make sure they retain an experienced and dedicated mesothelioma lawyer to handle their case and ensure all administrative and civil procedure is followed. Because victims only have one shot at justice, they need to pick the right lawyer for them and their case.

Arizona Mesothelioma Lawyer

 If you or a loved one were diagnosed with mesothelioma, contact our office to speak to one of our experienced Arizona mesothelioma attorneys about your situation. Our office can help investigate your case and determine if compensation can be sought from negligent parties to help pay for your medical treatment to help you and your family live a more comfortable life.

 

Indiana General Assembly Debates Bill to End the Rights of Mesothelioma Cancer Victims

A new bill recently introduced in the Indiana General Assembly would impose restrictions so severe on mesothelioma cancer victims that it may restrict any conceivable access to justice for those attempting to hold asbestos companies responsible for their greed and indifference to public safety. The statute of limitations on filing asbestos cancer lawsuits are so egregious that they fly in the face of science and the basic understanding of the latency periods associated with such a devastating disease.

According to the language of House Bill No. 1061, introduced by Republican Representative Matt Lehman of Berne, no individual in the state of Indiana could sue a manufacturer for a medical condition that arises more than 10 years after exposure to a toxic substance. The law also states that a medical diagnosis of an asbestos disease is only valid for the purpose of taking legal action if that diagnosis is made 15 years after the first exposure.

One of the most common and deadly asbestos related diseases is mesothelioma, a rare and deadly form of lung cancer that commonly affects the thin linings of tissues surrounding vital organs like the lungs and abdominal cavity. What makes the law so detrimental to the legal rights of mesothelioma victims is the long latency period between exposure and when a diagnosis actually takes place, usually anywhere from 20 to 50 years.

As a result, mesothelioma victims would be effectively barred from bringing claims because the overwhelming majority of patients would not receive their diagnosis until well after the exposure to asbestos occurs. If passed, Indiana would be the only state in the country that creates a law where there is no exception to the statute of repose for latent or asbestos diseases. The bill is essentially modeled after legislation written by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform, both of which lobby for business interests.

Fortunately for Indiana residents, an amendment was attached to the bill as it left the state House for the state Senate that would send the section of the bill that enacts the 10-year statute of repose to another study committee to be looked at urgently. Although that means the 10-year statute of limitations would not take effect immediately after the bill’s passage, the possibility of an extremely restrictive statute of limitations is still a real possibility and may eventually be added at a later date. For now, mesothelioma victims in the state will simply have to watch and wait as their legislature debates the merits of the bill that has a strong chance of passage.

Arizona Mesothelioma Lawyer

 If you or a loved one were diagnosed with mesothelioma, contact our office to speak to one of our experienced Arizona mesothelioma attorneys about your situation. Our office can help investigate your case and determine if compensation can be sought from negligent parties to help pay for your medical treatment to help you and your family live a more comfortable life.