Florida Senate - 2020 CS for SB 1582 By the Committee on Commerce and Tourism; and Senator Simmons 577-03866-20 20201582c1 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 are admissible in evidence under certain 14 circumstances; providing for the adjustment of a 15 judgment under certain circumstances; providing for 16 severability; providing an effective date. 17 18 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 19 20 Section 1. Section 774.301, Florida Statutes, is created to 21 read: 22 774.301 Asbestos trust claim disclosures.— 23 (1) As used in this section, the term: 24 (a) “Asbestos claim” has the same meaning as in s. 774.203. 25 (b) “Asbestos trust” means a government-approved or court 26 approved trust, qualified settlement fund, compensation fund, or 27 claims facility that is created as a result of an administrative 28 or legal action or a court-approved bankruptcy, or under 11 29 U.S.C. s. 524(g), 11 U.S.C. s. 1121(a), or other applicable law, 30 and that is intended to provide compensation to claimants 31 arising out of, based on, or related to the health effects of 32 exposure to asbestos. 33 (c) “Trust claim materials” means a final, executed proof 34 of claim and any other document or information submitted to or 35 received from an asbestos trust, including a claim form or 36 supplementary material, an affidavit, a deposition or trial 37 testimony, a work history, an exposure allegation, a medical or 38 health record, or a document reflecting the status of a claim 39 against an asbestos trust and, if the trust claim has been 40 settled, any document relating to the settlement of the trust 41 claim. 42 (2) Within 30 days after filing an asbestos claim, a 43 plaintiff shall provide all parties with a sworn statement 44 identifying all asbestos trust claims made by the plaintiff and 45 all material submitted to or received from an asbestos trust. 46 (3) A plaintiff must supplement the information required 47 under subsection (2) within 30 days after the plaintiff files an 48 additional asbestos trust claim, supplements an existing 49 asbestos trust claim, or receives additional information related 50 to an asbestos trust claim. 51 (4) A defendant in an asbestos claim may seek discovery 52 from an asbestos trust. The plaintiff may not claim privilege or 53 confidentiality to bar discovery and shall provide consent or 54 other expression of permission that may be required by the 55 asbestos trust to release the information sought by the 56 defendant. 57 (5) Asbestos trust claim materials are admissible in 58 evidence only to the extent permissible under the Florida 59 Evidence Code. 60 (6) If a plaintiff files an asbestos trust claim after the 61 plaintiff obtains a judgment in an asbestos claim and before 62 satisfaction of the judgment, and the asbestos trust was in 63 existence at the time of the judgment, the trial court, upon 64 motion by a defendant, may only adjust the judgment by the 65 amount of any payments obtained by the plaintiff as a result of 66 such after-filed claim to the extent permissible under Florida 67 law. 68 Section 2. If any provision of this act or its application 69 to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the invalidity 70 does not affect other provisions or applications of the act 71 which can be given effect without the invalid provision or 72 application, and to this end the provisions of this act are 73 severable. 74 Section 3. This act shall take effect July 1, 2020.