North Carolina set to change asbestos lawsuit requirements

26 May 2017 by under Legal, News

NCLegislature 100x100 North Carolina set to change asbestos lawsuit requirementsNorth Carolina is poised to join the gaggle of states changing requirements for lawsuits.

Earlier this week The News & Observer reported the state’s House Judiciary II Committee approved the Personal Injury Bankruptcy Trust Claims bill, or Senate Bill 470, by 6-4 vote earlier this week. The bill is now headed to a vote by the full House.

It would allow for similar changes to those more than 10 states have already approved. “It would require people who are suing over exposure to asbestos to research trust funds for asbestos manufacturers that declared bankruptcy, file claims through the funds and disclose those claims in their lawsuit. It would also allow courts to delay payouts while the person suing goes through the process with trust funds,” according to the news source.

As has been the case in other states, the North Carolina bill’s proponents claim it is increasing transparency in the asbestos trust fund system and ensuring money is in the trust for those affected in the future. However, opponents are adamant it is just another way to delay payment from companies responsible for knowingly exposing employees to a human carcinogen linked to the development of lung cancer and , which normally is deadly within two years of diagnosis and is completely preventable.

Rep. Pricey Harrison (D-Greensboro) did garner support to have a provision of the bill that would have reduced payouts based on “the amount ‘reasonably expected’ to be paid by a bankruptcy trust fund,” according to the news source.

The bill has already passed the Senate once in a 43-5 vote, but will have to be voted on again due to the House’s changes.

 

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