Ohio Governor John Kasich will sign a bill passed by the Ohio state Senate that will make it very difficult for workers who were exposed to asbestos to file a claim against their employer. Changes to HR 380 passed by five votes in the Republican controlled House. Four Republicans joined Democrats in opposition to the bill, which was pushed for by the American Legislative Exchange Council.
Victims who suffer from asbestos-related diseases, such as asbestosis, mesothelioma, and lung cancer, will have to endure their debilitating illness and eventual death due to exposure, but now they must pass through very difficult hurdles to collect damages in Ohio. While Ohio is the first state in the Union to enact this kind of law, Lisa Rickard, president of the US Chamber for Legal Reform, hopes this will catch on in other states.
The bill states that anyone who files an asbestos lawsuit will now need to cite any other entity they have sued, which includes the bankruptcy trusts, and tell what kind of evidence they used in those other claims. The bill will also allow corporations to ask a judge to delay a trial if there is any suspicion the victim withheld information regarding another lawsuit or did not sue the right party. The bill’s primary goal is to help corporations that avoided bankruptcy, but are now battling other lawsuits. Trusts are already set up to help victims, and the bill’s supporters say this will help keep anyone from getting more than they should.
It’s one thing for an insurance agency to put a price on someone after they become the victim of an accident or fall ill, but now the state of Ohio wants employees to know they are not worth more than what’s in the trust.
Even though Gov. Kasich will sign this bill, which is heavily influenced by corporations and their lobbyists, if you have become ill due to asbestos exposure, and are in the Ohio area, please contact Robert W. Kerpsack, Co., LPA today for an initial case evaluation.