Despite state courts not having to deal with asbestos cancer lawsuits for quite some time, the New Hampshire state senate is poised to introduced proposed legislation that could seriously limit the legal rights of mesothelioma cancer victims. If passed, the proposed law would put New Hampshire in a group of over one dozen states that have passed so-called transparency acts aimed at slowing the pace of litigation and forcing plaintiffs to take legal steps they otherwise would not be obliged to.
In studying the issue, the New Hampshire state senate has created a study committee to “review the current compensation system specific to asbestos litigation and study ways to promote transparency, fairness, and timeliness of payment in the asbestos litigation system in New Hampshire.” Specifically, the study committee will look into whether or not mesothelioma cancer victims should be required to explore alternative avenues for compensation for their injuries.
Additionally, many of the asbestos tort reform bills being circulated around states legislatures require plaintiffs to disclose to courts whether or not they have filed claims for compensation from any asbestos administrative trusts in addition to filing a formal lawsuit. Many of the largest asbestos companies were required to create trusts for asbestos cancer victims to file claims as part of the business’ release of liability to file for federal bankruptcy protections.