House Bill 1181 – Asbestos Litigation
Authored by Rep. Matt Lehman (R-Berne)
Requires certain disclosures regarding asbestos trust claims in civil asbestos actions. Requires a defendant to identify additional trust claims that a defendant believes a plaintiff is eligible for in a written motion. Requires a defendant to disclose, in the defendant’s motion, the basis for the defendant’s belief that a plaintiff is eligible for an additional trust claim. Prohibits a defendant from filing an additional motion alleging plaintiff eligibility for additional trust claims in certain instances.
Chamber Position: Support
The Latest: The bill was amended to include language that requires a defendant to disclose in their motion the asbestos trust claims for which they believe that a plaintiff is eligible. No new testimony was allowed from the public. The bill ultimately passed the House Judiciary Committee by the narrow margin of 7-6.
Chamber Action/Commentary: There was a bit of drama as the bill had to be held until Rep. Tony Cook (R-Cicero) returned to cast the tie-breaking vote.
This is an Indiana Chamber priority bill and would bring needed transparency to the legal process. It does not stop anyone from bringing suit against a company they believe caused exposure to asbestos. What the bill does do is allow a jury to have all the information to make an informed decision. The Chamber is working with coalition members to secure votes for passage of the bill on the House floor.
Resource: Mike Ripley at (317) 264-6883 or email: [email protected]