Ga. Legislature Backs Asbestos Medical Criteria Measure

March 17, 2005

The American Insurance Association (AIA) praised the Georgia General Assembly’s approval of H.B. 416, asbestos medical criteria legislation aimed at helping truly sick victims of asbestos exposure get compensated quickly and fairly for their injuries. The bill received final approval by the House of Representatives Thursday and now goes to Gov. Sonny Perdue (R) for his signature.

“We are pleased that a bipartisan group of legislators introduced and provided support for this timely measure,” said Raymond Farmer, AIA assistant vice president, Southeast Region. “Georgia is one of several states that can benefit from a more rational and defined asbestos claims litigation process, and H.B. 416 promises to do just that.”

The legislation will require asbestos claimants to meet a minimum level of objective medical criteria before filing any legal action. This ensures that those who are truly sick from asbestos exposure will be fully compensated, instead of being forced to compete for claims dollars with the growing number of claimants who are not currently sick or who have had minimal exposure.

The bill also tolls the statute of limitations, so that individuals who do not yet show signs of impairment will be able to file a claim when and if they ever do get sick.

H.B. 416 also requires that those who file claims in Georgia must show that they were either exposed to asbestos in the state or are residents.

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