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WEST VIRGINIA CODE

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CHAPTER 55. ACTIONS, SUITS AND ARBITRATION; JUDICIAL SALE.

ARTICLE 7G. ASBESTOS AND SILICA CLAIMS PRIORITIES ACT.

§55-7G-4. Filing claims; establishment of a prima facie case; additional required information for new nonmalignant claims; individual actions to be filed.

(a) A plaintiff in an asbestos or silica action alleging a nonmalignant condition shall file within ninety days of filing the complaint or other initial pleading a detailed narrative medical report and diagnosis, signed by a qualified physician and accompanied by supporting test results, constituting prima facie evidence that the exposed person meets the requirements of this article. The report shall not be prepared by a lawyer or person working for or on behalf of a lawyer or law firm.

(b) A defendant in an asbestos or silica action shall be afforded a reasonable opportunity before trial to challenge the adequacy of the prima facie evidence that the exposed person meets the requirements of this article. An asbestos or silica action shall be dismissed without prejudice upon a finding that the exposed person has failed to make the prima facie showing required by this article.

(c) A plaintiff in an asbestos or silica action filed on or after the effective date of this article shall also include an information form with the complaint for nonmalignant conditions containing all of the following:

(1) The name, address, date of birth, social security number, marital status, occupation and employer of the exposed person and any person through which the exposed person alleges exposure;

(2) The plaintiff's relationship to the exposed person or the person through which the exposure is alleged;

(3) To the best of the plaintiff's ability, the location and manner of each alleged exposure, including the specific location and manner of exposure for any person through which the exposed person alleges exposure, the beginning and ending dates of each alleged exposure and the identity of the manufacturer of the specific asbestos or silica product for each exposure when this information is reasonably available;

(4) The identity of the defendant or defendants against whom the plaintiff asserts a claim;

(5) The specific asbestos-related or silica-related disease claimed to exist; and

(6) Any supporting documentation relating to subdivisions (3), (4) and (5) of this subsection.

(d) Asbestos and silica actions must be individually filed. No asbestos or silica action filed on or after the effective date of this article shall be permitted on behalf of a group or class of plaintiffs.

Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2020 Regular Session
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