SUPPORT HOUSE BILL 293!
Protect Kentucky Small Businesses While Ensuring Fair Compensations for Victims
Fraud and abuse, primarily from aggressive personal injury lawyers, is putting Kentucky companies out of business while jeopardizing plaintiff compensation. HB 293 establishes several commonsense protections and much-needed transparency to ensure that asbestos victims in Kentucky are fairly compensated before their lawyers.
House Bill 293 is Good for Kentuckians
Promotes economic growth and preserves assets needed to compensate deserving victims by filtering out meritless or duplicitous claims.
Ends “double dipping,” a practice where aggressive personal injury lawyers game the system filing multiple claims on the same injury, fraudulently claiming that each case was the only time/place of exposure.
Prevents fraud in civil litigation by requiring disclosure of trust claims. Court records are already public and trust claims should be as well.
Ensures a fully-informed jury can decide that trust-related exposures were the cause of the plaintiff's harm.
Kentucky Can’t Afford Current Asbestos Litigation Standards
To date, more than 100 Kentucky companies have been forced into bankruptcy due to asbestos-related litigation, including virtually all major asbestos producers and even some formerly peripheral defendants: non-asbestos companies. Plaintiffs’ lawyers abuse the lack of transparency between the asbestos bankruptcy trust and civil tort systems to gain an unfair litigation advantage.
CASE STUDY: A 2014 decision by a federal bankruptcy judge found plaintiff committees requested more than $1 billion in aggregate liability claims from Kentucky-based gasket manufacturer Garlock Sealing Technologies despite the company only being liable for $125 million. The firm has since gone bankrupt.
HB 293 Levels the Playing Field for Kentucky Business While Protecting Plaintiffs
Kentucky employers are facing growing competition from other states and international competitors with much lower litigation costs. Similar laws already exist in Texas, West Virginia, Ohio, Arizona, Oklahoma, Utah, Tennessee, Wisconsin, South Dakota, Iowa, North Dakota and Mississippi.
Importantly, these jurisdictions have not seen an increase in the duration of asbestos cases. Instead, the rule change provides a road map for judges, juries and attorneys to efficiently handle asbestos law suits.
Without HB 293, the widespread abuse will continue draining asbestos bankruptcy trust funds and forcing the funds to reduce net payouts to individual claimants to remain solvent, thereby reducing the awards to deserving victims while grossly overpaying others.