Senate Votes To Curb Asbestos Lawsuits

Dec 6, 2012

The Ohio Senate has approved a bill aimed at curbing duplicate lawsuits over on-the-job asbestos exposure in a state with one of the nation's largest backlogs.

Ohio Public Radio's Karen Kasler reports.

The bill requires those filing new asbestos related lawsuits to disclose all the other claims they’ve filed. Republican Bill Seitz of Cincinnati said people can make claims against bankruptcy trusts set up by companies that made asbestos, that sold asbestos-related products, or that used asbestos in their products or their buildings.
“We’re trying to – number one – prevent double dipping by plaintiffs who are entitled to a single recovery.”

But Democrat Michael Skindell of the Cleveland suburb of Lakewood blasted the bill as a conservative tool to protect the profits of companies at the expense of victims – and used a line from the movie the Outlaw Josey Wales to fire back at Seitz.
“Senator, don’t piss down my back and tell me it’s raining. The scales of justice are not out of balance in Ohio. There’s no need for this corporate legislation.”

Four Republican Senators joined 10 Democrats in voting against the bill, which passed 19 to 14.