SB 1050 Establishes the Asbestos and Silica Claims Priorities Act
Sponsor: Crowell
LR Number: 4810S.01I Fiscal Note: 4810-01
Committee: Judiciary and Civil & Criminal Jurisprudence
Last Action: 1/31/2008 - Second Read and Referred S Judiciary and Civil & Criminal Jurisprudence Committee Journal Page: S160
Title: Calendar Position:
Effective Date: August 28, 2008

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Current Bill Summary


SB 1050 - This act shall be known as the "Asbestos and Silica Claims Priorities Act".

The act requires that any claimant in an action alleging an asbestos or silica claim must file together with the complaint or other initial pleading a narrative medical report and diagnosis signed by a qualifying physician, accompanied by supporting test results, constituting prima facie evidence of the claimant's asbestos-related or silica-related injury. If the court finds that the claimant has failed to make the required prima facie showing, the claim shall be dismissed without prejudice. Claimants are also required to file a sworn information form containing all of the information listed in this act.

No asbestos or silica claims shall be filed on behalf of a class or group, other than claims relating to the exposed person and members of his or her family. However, the court may consolidate asbestos or silica claims with the consent of all parties, or may consolidate cases for pretrial or discovery purposes.

No person shall bring or maintain a claim alleging a nonmalignant asbestos-related condition, unless such person makes a prima facie showing as to each defendant that the exposed person has a physical impairment for which asbestos exposure was a substantial factor.

No person shall bring or maintain a claim related to an alleged asbestos-related cancer, other than mesothelioma, unless such person makes a prima facie showing as to each defendant that the exposed person has a primary cancer for which exposure to asbestos was a substantial factor.

No person shall bring or maintain a claim of alleged silicosis, or an alleged silica-related condition other than silicosis or silica-related cancer, unless such person makes a prima facie showing as to each defendant that the exposed person has a physical impairment for which silica exposure was a substantial factor.

No person shall bring or maintain a claim related to alleged silica-related cancer unless such person makes a prima facie showing as to each defendant that the exposed person has a primary cancer for which exposure to silica was a substantial factor.

In all of the above claims, the prima facie showing must include a detailed narrative medical report and diagnosis signed by a qualifying physician, containing all of the information listed in this act. Evidence relating to the prima facie showings required by this act shall not be conclusive as to liability of any defendant, nor shall evidence be offered at trial with respect to what constitutes a prima facie showing or an asbestos or silica-related impairment.

No asbestos or silica claim is subject to discovery until the court enters an order determining that the claimant has established prima facie evidence of impairment, other than discovery related to the establishment of or any challenge to the prima facie evidence.

A claimant's cause of action shall not accrue, nor the limitations period begin, before the exposed person received a diagnosis of impairment related to asbestos or silica, or before the exposed person discovered facts that would have led a reasonable person to obtain a diagnosis of such an impairment, or before the date of death of the exposed person, whichever is earliest.

No damages shall be awarded for fear or increased risk of future disease in any civil action related to an asbestos or silica claim.

This act is identical to HB 512 (2007) and HB 1850 (2008).

ALEXA PEARSON