COLUMBUS: A bill to curb lawsuits over on-the-job asbestos exposure is nearing a vote in the Ohio Senate.
A Senate panel votes Tuesday on legislation requiring workers to divulge all asbestos claims filed by or for them, or face perjury charges. The measure preserves victims’ rights to sue when harmed by the powdery white carcinogen. It wouldn’t cap awards.
Proponents say companies don’t know about potential double-dipping by victims, who sometimes seek damages from trusts set up by bankrupted companies as well as surviving businesses. The U.S. Supreme Court calls accelerating asbestos claims against some 8,500 U.S. companies a crisis.
Asbestos cancer victims say the bill impedes legitimate claims to protect corporations.
Some 5,700 open cases in Cuyahoga County, home to Cleveland, place it among America’s busiest asbestos dockets.