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Proposed Legislation to Limit Asbestos Lawsuits

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In Virginia, a bill filed in the General Assembly could make it much more difficult for residents to sue for asbestos exposure in The Peninsula area.

The Peninsula area, which includes; Newport, Portsmouth, and Norfolk, has one of the country’s highest death and injury rates from asbestos that had been heavily used in shipyards for decades.

The proposed legislation would limit how much parent companies would have to pay out on asbestos claims against entities or divisions the parent company had purchased before 1972. The purchasing company’s liability would be limited to the dollar value of the purchased entity’s assets at the time of purchase. Any claims against those companies that do not go to trial by July 1 will be thrown out.

Opponents of the bill believe the legislation is geared towards one company, but fears that it could serve to open the floodgates for other companies to request special legislation that would allow them to be exempt from their liability to those that have died and been hurt as a result of the asbestos exposure.