Florida Senate - 2020 SB 1582 By Senator Simmons 9-01163A-20 20201582__ 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to asbestos trust claims; creating s. 3 774.301, F.S.; defining terms; requiring a plaintiff 4 who files an asbestos claim to provide certain 5 information to the parties of the action within a 6 specified timeframe; requiring the plaintiff to 7 supplement the information and materials under certain 8 circumstances within a specified timeframe; 9 authorizing the defendant to seek discovery from an 10 asbestos trust; prohibiting the plaintiff from 11 claiming privilege or confidentiality to bar discovery 12 of such materials; providing that asbestos trust claim 13 materials and trust governance documents are 14 admissible in evidence under certain circumstances; 15 providing for the adjustment of a judgment under 16 certain circumstances; providing for severability; 17 providing an effective date. 18 19 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 20 21 Section 1. Section 774.301, Florida Statutes, is created to 22 read: 23 774.301 Asbestos trust claim disclosures.— 24 (1) As used in this section, the term: 25 (a) “Asbestos claim” has the same meaning as in s. 774.203. 26 (b) “Asbestos trust” means a government-approved or court 27 approved trust, qualified settlement fund, compensation fund, or 28 claims facility that is created as a result of an administrative 29 or legal action or a court-approved bankruptcy, or under 11 30 U.S.C. s. 524(g), 11 U.S.C. s. 1121(a), or other applicable law, 31 and that is intended to provide compensation to claimants 32 arising out of, based on, or related to the health effects of 33 exposure to asbestos. 34 (c) “Trust claim materials” means a final, executed proof 35 of claim and any other document or information submitted to or 36 received from an asbestos trust, including a claim form or 37 supplementary material, an affidavit, a deposition or trial 38 testimony, a work history, an exposure allegation, a medical or 39 health record, or a document reflecting the status of a claim 40 against an asbestos trust and, if the trust claim has been 41 settled, any document relating to the settlement of the trust 42 claim. 43 (d) “Trust governance document” means a document that 44 relates to eligibility and payment levels, including a claims 45 payment matrix, a trust distribution procedure, or a plan for 46 the reorganization of an asbestos trust. 47 (2) Within 30 days after filing an asbestos claim, a 48 plaintiff shall provide all parties with a sworn statement 49 identifying all asbestos trust claims made by the plaintiff and 50 all material submitted to or received from an asbestos trust. 51 (3) A plaintiff must supplement the information required 52 under subsection (2) within 30 days after the plaintiff files an 53 additional asbestos trust claim, supplements an existing 54 asbestos trust claim, or receives additional information related 55 to an asbestos trust claim. 56 (4) A defendant in an asbestos claim may seek discovery 57 from an asbestos trust. The plaintiff may not claim privilege or 58 confidentiality to bar discovery and shall provide consent or 59 other expression of permission that may be required by the 60 asbestos trust to release the information sought by the 61 defendant. 62 (5) Asbestos trust claim materials are admissible in 63 evidence only to the extent permissible under the Florida 64 Evidence Code. 65 (6) If a plaintiff files an asbestos trust claim after the 66 plaintiff obtains a judgment in an asbestos claim and before 67 satisfaction of the judgment, and the asbestos trust was in 68 existence at the time of the judgment, the trial court, upon 69 motion by a defendant, may only adjust the judgment by the 70 amount of any payments obtained by the plaintiff as a result of 71 such after-filed claim to the extent permissible under Florida 72 law. 73 Section 2. If any provision of this act or its application 74 to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the invalidity 75 does not affect other provisions or applications of the act 76 which can be given effect without the invalid provision or 77 application, and to this end the provisions of this act are 78 severable. 79 Section 3. This act shall take effect July 1, 2020.