Asbestos Litigation Over-Naming Reform Act

Summary

The Asbestos Litigation Over-Naming Reform Act requires asbestos plaintiffs to file, within thirty days after filing the complaint or other initial pleading, a sworn information form specifying the evidence that provides the basis for each claim against each defendant with supporting documentation.  Defendants that are not identified in the required disclosures will be able to obtain early dismissal, saving defense costs for entities that never should have been sued in the first place.  Meritorious claims against defendants with a connection to the plaintiff will be able to proceed more efficiently to settlement or verdict.

Asbestos Litigation Over-Naming Reform Act

Section 1. Asbestos action – filing of sworn information form – dismissal.

(1)         A plaintiff in any asbestos-related personal injury or death action shall file, within thirty days after filing the complaint or other initial pleading, a sworn information form signed by plaintiff and plaintiff’s counsel specifying the evidence that provides the basis for each claim against each defendant. The sworn information form shall include all of the following with specificity:

(A)         The name, address, date of birth, marital status, occupation, current and past worksites, and current and past employers of the exposed individual and any individual through whom the exposed individual was exposed to asbestos;

(B)         Each individual through whom the exposed individual was exposed to asbestos and the exposed individual’s relationship to each such individual;

(C)         Each asbestos-containing product, whether from a bankrupt entity or otherwise, to which the exposed individual was exposed, or if the exposed individual was exposed through another individual, to which that other individual was exposed;

(D)         The identity of the manufacturer or seller of the specific asbestos product for each exposure;

(E)          The specific location and manner of each exposure, including for any individual through whom the exposed individual was exposed to asbestos;

(F)          The beginning and ending dates of each exposure, the frequency and length of the exposures, and the proximity of the asbestos-containing product or its use to the exposed individual and any individual through whom the exposed individual was exposed to asbestos;

(G)         The specific asbestos-related disease claimed to exist;

(H)         [FOR STATES THAT HAVE NOT ENACTED ASBESTOS TRUST TRANSPARENCY LEGISLATION:] A certification that any claim that can be made by the exposed individual with a bankruptcy trust concerning any asbestos injury has been filed; and

(I)          Any supporting documentation relating to the information required under this section.

(2)         With respect to any asbestos claim that is pending on the effective date of this section, the plaintiff shall file the sworn information form described in subsection (1) within thirty days following the effective date of this section.

(3)         Plaintiffs have a continuing duty to supplement the information that is required to be disclosed in subsection (1).

(4)         The court shall dismiss the plaintiff’s asbestos claim without prejudice as to any defendant whose product or premises is not identified in the required disclosures set forth in subsection (1).

(5)         The court shall dismiss the plaintiff’s asbestos claim without prejudice as to all defendants if plaintiff and plaintiff’s counsel fail to comply with the requirements of this section.

Section 2.

Section 1 applies to asbestos-related personal injury or death actions that are filed on or after the effective date of this act and to pending asbestos-related personal injury or death actions in which trial has not commenced as of the effective date of this act.