A bill in committee in the Arizona Legislature would make it tougher for mesothelioma victims, including train engineers, to file asbestos lawsuits against their former employers, such as train and rail companies.
Legal critics of the bill argue that the law would just delay justified lawsuits being brought by patients that suffer from being exposed to asbestos.
The bill has been attempted in other states as well, such as Texas, but has not yet passed anywhere.
Asbestos trusts were set up by firms that were being sued to handle the lawsuits. However, many of those trusts lack money or are dormant. Plaintiffs do not usually name them in lawsuits.
The law, if passed, would allow for more delays in discovery in asbestos claims.
We handle many mesothelioma cases in our personal injury practice, and we strongly oppose any bill that could potentially restrict the ability of plaintiffs to bring asbestos-related lawsuits. Mesothelioma is a horrible, incurable cancer that is caused by inhaling asbestos fibers for years in many industries, including railways and train yards.
Many companies knew many decades ago that asbestos was hazardous, yet they continued to use the materials in locomotives, boilers, railroad shops, brake shoes and other train-related parts. We think ex-workers for those companies should have full right to seek damages from responsible parties if they are diagnosed with asbestos-related health problems.