There is a troubling trend that has been cropping up recently of faulty and fraudulent asbestos and silica related lawsuits which was recently addressed by the state affairs committee. The answer may come from a freshman house member, who happens to be a medical doctor, who’s authored a senate bill that businesses are in favor because it concerns the myriads of claims currently clogging the courts that are questionable. These lobbyists are alleging that too many people get taken advantage of personal injury attorneys, who tend to be greedy and self-promoting. They can’t do this, of course, without the help of doctors, who falsify or embellish X rays. Companies often find themselves spending their hard-earned money defending against baseless claims brought by such shady lawyers and supportive doctors.
There have been some recent changes in tort law that require any new asbestos claims to be heard by a specific estimate in each state, and so many personal injury lawyers have used this to show that there is no further need for action by state legislatures. Despite these changes, many doubtful claims have nevertheless managed to appear on the court dockets, while other attorneys have begun using silica exposure as a basis for the next round of claims.
Business lobbyists counter that there is a simple measure to resolve this. If we simply ask that anyone filing a lawsuit must demonstrate experiencing and injury from their exposure prior to wasting the court’s time, this will fix the problem. We need proof beyond a simple x ray, which can be exaggerated by unethical doctors. The bill being hypothesizedv would alter the bar association’s current proposal requiring the claimants to satisfy a specific medical assessment involving a course of X-rays, doctor exams and breathing tests prior to being permitted to proceed with the hypothesizedv lawsuit.
The bill does protect the interests of the workers in addition as it gives workers that cannot in addition prove harm a few protections. First, it removes the past limitations of two year. So if you have been exposed but the necessary symptoms develop well after the two year period, you will nevertheless be able to sue, no matter how many years have gone by. Also, the bill would ban insurance companies from denying coverage to workers that had before had medical tests suggesting a unhealthy exposure to asbestos.
While both of these ideas are basic to protecting workers’ rights, many critics of the legislation argue that the medical standards to be applied are too strict and inflexible. The current medical standards enabling a suit would keep in the new proposal. However, the estimate would refer the claim in order to determine merit. Without that, there would be no suit. The effort is in trying to weed out situations which are truly fraudulent, while also safeguarding the rights of workers who have been exposed.
Raising medical standards won’t solve the problem if doctors are lying, according to the house member. The bill will not be able to keep doctors from lying to a higher standard. No matter what drives each side of the argue, the state has strong motivation to flush questionable lawsuits out of the judicial docket. Workers who have a authentic claim have the right to their day in court as soon as they can. This is house bill amendment, however, one house member feels that the senate should be considering this idea in addition.