Senate cracks down on asbestos and silica claims
Image via Associated Press.

asbestos image via AP
The Florida Justice Reform Institute, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Florida Insurance Council all support the legislation.

The Senate has approved legislation requiring more information from people looking for compensation in asbestos and silica cases via 2005’s Asbestos and Silica Compensation Fairness Act.

Republican Sen. Travis Hutson’s bill (SB 720), approved by a 29-6 vote without debate, amends Florida Statutes to compel claimants to provide more information about their smoking history, along with info about people who can attest to the claimant’s exposure.

If a second party is testifying to the claimant’s exposure, that person must also provide their name, address, date of birth and marital status.

The statute of limitations on these claims doesn’t begin to run until the person exposed discovers a physical impairment related to asbestos exposure. Furthermore, cancer claims could lead to a second lawsuit after one filed for the previous non-cancer physical issue related to exposure.

Republican Rep. Robert Brackett’s similar measure (HB 1367) was on the Special Order Calendar in the House, but has since been moved back to the Second Reading Calendar. The only path the bill has is if the House takes up the Senate version in Messages, in light of the 55 day rule precluding bills moving from 2R to the floor this late in the Session.

The Florida Justice Reform Institute, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Florida Insurance Council all support the legislation.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


  • Dont Say FLA

    March 2, 2024 at 12:28 pm

    Obvious question: If they are complicating factors, why did the asbestos and silica companies fail to get marital status and smoking info prior to purchase time? Why are they asking only now?

    • MH/Duuuval

      March 4, 2024 at 10:15 am

      Elected officials often are looking ahead to their next job. Here state officials, elected locally, are inserting themselves in a national matter. There is no obvious grassroots interest in this proposal — as is too often the case, this is driven by lobbyists/donor classes.

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