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Kansas State Lawmakers Debate Bill to Limit Compensation for Asbestos Cancer Victims

Kansas state lawmakers recently took up debate in the legislature's upper house over the passage of House Bill 2457, a law that could end up imposing serious restriction on the legal rights of asbestos cancer victims to recover vital compensation following a mesothelioma diagnosis. If approved, the bill would require mesothelioma patients to undertake a lengthy administrative and investigative process that could go beyond the time they have left.


In February 2018, the Kansas State House of Representatives passed their version of the bill with a 77-40 vote over the objections of advocates who claim the bill is necessary and places roadblocks to justice. House Bill 2457 is Supported by the Kansas Chamber of Commerce, a statewide business and industrial coalition in the state of Kansas that often creates pro-business legislation.


If passed, House Bill 2457 would require asbestos cancer victims to file all possible claims against other defendants in a 30-day window, allowing a jury to consider shared liability among sources of asbestos exposure. Often times, this includes filing administrative claims with asbestos bankruptcy trusts in lieu of formal lawsuits against solvent companies still doing business.


Asbestos bankruptcy trusts are pools of compensation victims can file claims with in the event that the entity responsible for their asbestos exposure is no longer doing business. Such trusts were established by federal courts to ensure that large corporations were able to cover their liabilities even if they became insolvent. Across the country, other states are adopting similar bills to the one introduced in the Kansas State Legislature as a means to reduce compensation for victims and protect the business interests of large corporations that were producing defective and dangerous asbestos-contaminated produces for decades despite knowing full well about the risks.


Asbestos is a naturally occuring mineral once used in a variety of industrial and commercial applications for its malleability and heat resistant properties including brake parts, insulation, pipe gaskets, and drywall. However, asbestos is also directly linked to mesothelioma, a rare and deadly form of cancer that commonly affects the thin linings of tissue surrounding vital organs like the heart and lungs.


Mesothelioma has a latency period, the time it takes for the cancer to develop, of anywhere from 20 to 50 years, depending on the individual's health and the type of asbestos to which the individual was exposed. Often times, patients are left with limited treatment options and only a few months left to live, giving little time to navigate the complicated legal process to recover compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.


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If you or a loved one were diagnosed with mesothelioma, contact our office to speak to one of our experienced nationwide 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.




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