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Asbestos bill moves one step closer to Senate vote

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Rep. Bruce DeGroot’s House Bill 1645, which helps bring fairness and transparency to the asbestos trust system, was voted out of Senate committee on April 4.

The bill reforms the current practice of “double-dipping” by trial lawyers that depletes limited trust fund resources to the detriment of future claimants. It allows for the fair allocation of fault, and for plaintiffs and all victims to receive their compensation faster by filing the trust claims up front. Twelve other states have already enacted similar laws.

The Missouri Chamber has been testifying in support of the bill throughout its progression in the legislature.

“We’re seeing smaller businesses being pulled into the litigation. If there are liabilities, our member companies are willing to pay for those if there are legitimate claims,” said Justin Arnold, general counsel for the Missouri Chamber. “Their concern is that there are other exposures being alleged in the trusts that our member companies are not aware of and are not able to defend against, and so this bill will bring both those aspects into the same arena so that those issues can be fairly litigated.”

Does Missouri’s litigation climate impact your business? Let us know your opinion.

For more information, contact Arnold at jarnold@mochamber.com or 573.634.3511.

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