North Carolina state lawmakers recently voted to advance and asbestos claims bill that could potentially place burdensome restrictions on mesothelioma victims attempting to recover vital compensation needed to cover the costs of medical treatment. The House II Judiciary Committee voted 6-4 to advance Senate Bill 470 for a vote in the Senate, setting up a showdown between parties over the extent to which mesothelioma victims may be required to disclose certain information to the courts.
The bill would essentially require a person filing an asbestos cancer lawsuit to also disclose whether or not the plaintiff has also sought or is seeking compensation from one of the dozens of asbestos bankruptcy trusts set up by various defunct manufacturing companies. Supporters of the bill claim that the measure prevents so called “double dipping” by unscrupulous parties attempting to recover double damages for the same injury.
However, few mesothelioma cancer victims in North Carolina have even filed lawsuits in state courts, with all current claims being litigated in federal District Courts in the state with separate rules and procedures. Critics have rightfully called out the bill for what is is, a measure to help the broader asbestos industry and deny and delay dying people the money they need to pay for medical treatment to live a more comfortable and dignified life.
States, Congress Passing Other Asbestos Claims Bills
Similar bills have already become law in other states, most considered to be unfriendly to plaintiffs seeking to hold large corporations and other powerful entities responsible for the harm caused. Additionally, Congress is poised to pass its own version of this very same bill as well as other federal laws dealing with class action tort claims. The House of Representatives recently passed the FACT Act requiring asbestos cancer victims to disclose any claims with asbestos bankruptcy trusts when filing civil claims in court.
The proposed legislation in North Carolina is especially disheartening due to the nature of mesothelioma itself, often taking the lives of victims just a few months after diagnosis occurs and putting victims in a difficult situation. Mesothelioma takes decades to develop and victims often do not show any signs of serious health problems until the disease has metastasized beyond the point at which surgery can be most effective.
That means victims may never see any compensation while alive to help them seek better and more advanced medical treatment. Fortunately, the law allows surviving family members to carry on mesothelioma cancer lawsuits on behalf of the deceased and hold negligent parties responsible for the harm caused by their dangerous and defective products.
Nationwide mesothelioma lawyer
If you or a loved one are 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.