Earlier this month, we wrote about a new law in Ohio which could potentially prevent the filing of some asbestos lawsuits in the state. In the coming weeks, an Illinois lawmaker reportedly has plans to introduce similar legislation in this state. If the Illinois bill passes, it could have a significant impact on potential asbestos lawsuits in Madison County and throughout the state.
Much like the Ohio bill, Illinois State Representative Dwight Kay says that his legislation will include a clause requiring all asbestos lawsuit plaintiffs to reveal all asbestos claims previously filed by them or on their behalf. If they fail to do so, they could face criminal perjury charges.
As stated in that earlier asbestos blog post, people who are sickened or injured as a result of asbestos exposure generally have two avenues for seeking damages. They may file a civil lawsuit or seek compensation from a trust, which are usually set up by bankrupt companies in order to compensate asbestos victims.
According to the proponents of these new laws, many people “double-dip” by collecting money from a trust and then filing a lawsuit in which they purposely or negligently fail to disclose that they have previously been compensated for their injuries. It is not known, however, how often this actually happens in Madison County or elsewhere.
Illinois Rep. Kay says that it is the large number of asbestos cases that are filed in Illinois every year that motivated him to create the legislation. We will continue to update our blog as (and if) the new bill progresses in the state legislature.
Source: Madison Record, “Kay to introduce legislation to prevent asbestos ‘double-dipping’,” Ann Maher, Dec. 12, 2012