Asbestos litigation in Florida
In 2005 the Florida legislature passed the Asbestos and Silica Compensation Fairness Act (ASCFA). This act was intended on reducing the amount of litigation being brought into state courts. The Act set specific guidelines on several aspects of asbestos litigation in Florida
Asbestos litigation: Physical Impairment
The Act governed that only people with physical impairment can file a claim; including those diagnosed with a deadly disease such as mesothelioma.
Asbestos litigation: Eligibility
The Act stated that only people who live in Florida or those exposed to asbestos in the state were eligible to claim in the state courts. Before filing a claim, claimants would need to provide proof of residence or employment in the state of Florida
Asbestos litigation: Statute of Limitation
The statute of limitation, which is the timeframes surrounding when a claim starts or ends, were outlined by the Act. The Act states that the asbestos claim does not begin until an asbestos related disease is discovered, that is to say until diagnosis.
This is an important factor as this helps mesothelioma patients to be compensated adequately as the disease takes decades to surface from the initial asbestos exposure occurrence.
Asbestos litigation: 2 Disease Rule
This rule applies where a claimant has non-malignant asbestos related conditions due to asbestos exposure. The rule allows a claimant who has been awarded a claim for non-malignant conditions to claim again against the same defendant if the condition later develops into mesothelioma or another asbestos related cancer.
Asbestos litigation: Liability limits
The Act limited the liability a company held for asbestos claims. Therefore, this limits the amount of compensation claimants in Florida can receive. Florida further, does not allow punitive damages for asbestos claims. Also, claimants are required to report any payments received from settlement or judgements for the same claim before proceeding to trial.
The Act limited the liability of sellers, renters, lessors and retailers in asbestos claims.