Last week, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker signed AB 19 into law. The new law requires greater transparency from tort plaintiffs who may also pursue claims with asbestos personal injury settlement trusts.
The trusts were set up to ensure that, even if companies went bankrupt, there would be money to pay asbestos victims. However, they operate with little or no transparency, allowing plaintiffs to file lawsuits against solvent companies while “double-dipping” into the trusts. This means the trusts are being depleted faster, leaving less money for future victims.
Wisconsin became the third state to recently enact transparency laws. Oklahoma passed legislation in May 2013 and Ohio did the same in December 2012. Other states should take notice and work to protect future asbestos victims.