Introduced Version - Originating in Committee Senate Concurrent Resolution 67 History

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(By Senators Kessler, Browning, Foster, Jenkins, Laird, Minard, Oliverio, Palumbo, Snyder, Stollings, Williams, Yost, Caruth, Deem and Hall)

[Originating in the Committee on the Judiciary]

Requesting the Joint Committee on Government and Finance study issues related to asbestos trust disclosures.

Whereas, Millions of American workers and others were exposed to asbestos, especially during and after World War II and prior to the promulgation of regulations by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration in the early 1970s; and
Whereas, Exposure to asbestos has been associated with various types of cancer, including mesothelioma and lung cancer, as well as such nonmalignant conditions as asbestosis, pleural plaques and diffuse pleural thickening; and
Whereas, Corporations filed for bankruptcy, some as a result of claims arising out of asbestos exposure, resulting in the creation of trust or claims facilities intended to provide compensation to claimants alleging injuries as a result of asbestos exposure; and
Whereas, In excess of $30 billion has been placed with these trusts for the payment of asbestos claims; and
Whereas, Asbestos claimants may seek compensation for alleged asbestos-related conditions from both the civil tort system and from trusts or claims facilities formed in bankruptcy proceedings if they meet the requirements of a particular trust; and
Whereas, There is a current case management order requiring an asbestos trust affidavit disclosing all asbestos bankruptcy filings for a particular case set for trial that some parties feel may be inadequate; and
Whereas, In order to afford defendants against whom asbestos claims are filed the right to complete disclosure regarding claims filed against bankruptcy trusts and in order to preserve assets for individuals who may in the future bring asbestos claims against bankruptcy trusts, more transparency about bankruptcy trust claims may be necessary; therefore, be it
Resolved by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That the Joint Committee on Government and Finance is hereby requested to study issues related to asbestos trust disclosures; and, be it
Further Resolved, That the Joint Committee on Government and Finance is hereby requested to study the need for further disclosure by claimants in civil actions involving exposure to asbestos of all current and anticipated claims against bankruptcy trusts and all supporting documentation filed with the bankruptcy trusts; and, be it
Further Resolved, That the Joint Committee on Government and Finance report to the regular session of the Legislature, 2010, on its findings, conclusions and recommendations, together with drafts of any legislation necessary to effectuate its recommendations; and, be it
Further Resolved,
That the expenses necessary to conduct this study, to prepare a report and to draft necessary legislation be paid from legislative appropriations to the Joint Committee on Government and Finance.
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