Missouri could be the next state to adopt so-called asbestos claims transparency laws that could have a tremendous impact on the legal rights of victims struck by a mesothelioma diagnosis due to a manufacturer’s negligence. While supporters of the bill tout the legislation’s cost savings and ability to preserve asbestos bankruptcy trusts for future claims, the reality is that the law would force claimants to disclose sensitive information and make it more difficult to recover much needed compensation.
A set of bills, House Bill 333 and Senate Bill 347, are currently working their way through both houses of the Missouri state legislature but face a deadline at the end of May when legislators recess for the year. However, even if the bill fails to pass this legislative term, many legal experts studying the issue believe the Missouri state legislature would take up the issue early in the next session and eventually adopt the provisions.
Like many other similar pieces of legislation in Ohio, West Virginia, Tennessee, Mississippi, Wisconsin, Iowa, Oklahoma, Texas, North Dakota, South Dakota, Arizona, and Utah, the Missouri Asbestos Claims Transparency Law would require cancer victims filing claims with asbestos bankruptcy trusts to disclose whether they have filed claims or lawsuits with other parties. The focus on asbestos bankruptcy trusts comes after defense attorneys in a federal asbestos cancer lawsuit alleged that unscrupulous asbestos plaintiffs lawyers somehow manipulated claims, and thereby the system, to enrich themselves.
The bill’s provisions would prevent victims from filing formal lawsuits against liable parties for at least 45-days after plaintiffs submit all information to the court regarding any asbestos trust claims made, including expected compensation. The bill, if passed in the legislature, is expected to receive support from Missouri’s Republican governor, Eric Greitens and eventually become law at the expense of so many asbestos cancer victims trying to support themselves and their families.
What are Asbestos Trusts?
Asbestos bankruptcy trusts were created years ago after many manufacturing and construction companies went out of business but still faced hundreds and even thousands of claims over the asbestos contaminated products they produced. To satisfy bankruptcy proceedings, these companies created trusts to compensate mesothelioma cancer victims and absolve the firms of future liability.
Often times, victims can recover compensation from an asbestos trust claim more expediently than filing a formal mesothelioma cancer lawsuit against liable parties for the harm they have done. As is common with many asbestos lawsuits, defendants try to deny and delay claims while refusing to compensate victims appropriately, which can exacerbate many of the medical and financial strains of battling the disease.
Nationwide Mesothelioma Lawyer
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.