Interim Court Ruling Permits Ohio’s Asbestos Litigation Reform Law to Procede

September 7, 2004

The American Insurance Association (AIA) has praised a ruling last week by Ohio’s Eighth District Court of Appeals (Cuyahoga County) that temporarily allows the nation’s first statewide law creating objective medical criteria for asbestos litigation (HB 292) to take effect.

“While there is still a long road ahead for supporters of HB 292, we are pleased with the Court’s interim ruling,” Steve Schneider, AIA vice president, Midwest Region, said. “The Court demonstrated wisdom and prudence in denying the writ while granting each side an opportunity to present their position.”

On Sept. 1, the Eighth District Court of Appeals in Cuyahoga County, pending further arguments, denied in its entirety an alternative writ seeking to block HB 292 from taking effect as it is scheduled to today. The Court also set a deadline for dispositive motions to be filed on or before Sept. 20 with any responses due by Oct. 12.

“Supporters of asbestos litigation reform in Ohio, and across the country, must remain vigilant in their efforts to have HB 292 officially and fully implemented,” Schneider added.

HB 292 was enacted this past May. The law will reportedly help individuals who are truly sick from asbestos get compensated quickly and fully; it also will unclog the court system – which has been overwhelmed by claims brought on behalf of tens of thousands of people who show no sign of impairment.

In addition, because asbestos-induced diseases can have exceptionally long latency periods, HB 292 preserves the right of individuals who have been exposed to asbestos to file claims many years from now should they become sick from that exposure.

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