The Wisconsin Senate recently passed a bill that would require plaintiffs in asbestos lawsuits to notify defendants of their various asbestos trust claims. This comes in response to about the lack of transparency that allows plaintiffs to double dip from trusts and solvent defendants.
The bill passed on a mostly party line vote, and returns the issue to the state Assembly, which approved a similar measure last year. Several states have passed or considered similar legislation. Under the bill, plaintiffs would divulge all of their claims against asbestos trusts and any related documents, including those related to the settlement of the claim. The proposed legislation would also allow the trust documents to be admitted as evidence in asbestos personal injury claims. If a trust determined a plaintiff’s claim against the trust was valid, a later jury could find that the plaintiff was exposed to the other asbestos product and that the other exposure may have been a substantial factor in causing the plaintiff’s alleged asbestos-related injury in the suit.
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