Fla. House Passes HB1019, Asbestos and Silica Compensation Act

April 22, 2005

The Florida House has passed the Asbestos and Silica Compensation Act (HB1019), which requires plaintiffs meet specific medical criteria before they can pursue an asbestos or silica claim in the court system. The bill contains important components of the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America’s tort reform agenda, asbestos and premises liability reform.

“These bills are part of a comprehensive effort to restore balance and fairness to the civil justice system in Florida,” William Stander, PCI regional manager said. “Asbestos and premises liability are part of a sweeping package that includes class action litigation, bad faith and joint and several liability reform legislation.

“This bill is a very fair approach that efficiently handles the glut of asbestos cases. It will ensure that those who are truly sick receive just compensation,” Stander said. “Under this bill, the right to bring suit is also preserved by those who have been exposed to asbestos or silica, but are unimpaired. If and when they develop an asbestos-related or silica-related disease or injury, the person then may bring suit.”

House Bill 1931 addresses premises liability by providing that if a person slips and falls in a retail business the injured person must prove that the business knew about the dangerous condition and did not take proper action to remedy the situation. It would also provide some protection to businesses from liability for criminal acts committed by an unrelated party.

“Presently businesses can be held responsible for criminal acts that just happen to occur on their property. This legislation is designed to address these situations. Businesses should only be held responsible for damages that result due their own fault or negligence,” Stander said.

Earlier this week the Senate Judiciary Committee approved similar legislation on asbestos (SB 2562) and premises liability reform legislation (SB 2566).

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