Similar to the so-called FACT Act, H.B. 403 is a Utah bill recently introduced that will delay or deny asbestos exposure victims' ability to collect compensation from those responsible for their conditions.
The bill is titled the "Asbestos Litigation Transparency Act." Last week the House Business and Labor Committee of Salt Lake City voted 7-3 to advance litigation of H.B. 403. According to the Salt Lake Tribune, the bill will:
• Require plaintiffs to quantify the "dose" of their asbestos exposure, identify the source and establish that the exposure was "a substantial factor" in causing the disease;
• Identify the beginning and end dates of each alleged exposure and the manufacturer of the asbestos product in each exposure;
• File a declaration disclosing personal information including Social Security numbers and identifying any compensation the plaintiff may have received for prior claims;
• Allow companies named as defendants to file motions to delay proceedings in order to dispute the information in plaintiffs' declarations.
The victims of asbestos exposure are often veterans, blue collar workers, or members of their families. When diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease, like mesothelioma, they are often only given six months to two years to live. This bill will force these individuals to spend precious time fighting for justice.
Victims and their families have voiced their opposition to the bill. How do you feel about it?
Sources: The Salt Lake Tribune Legal Reader