H.R.1957 - Asbestos Compensation Fairness Act of 2005109th Congress (2005-2006)
Summary: H.R.1957 — 109th Congress (2005-2006)
Introduced in House (04/28/2005)
Asbestos Compensation Fairness Act of 2005 - Requires as an essential element of a nonmalignant asbestos or silica claim that there be physical impairment to which asbestos or silica exposure was a substantial contributing factor.
Sets forth evidentiary requirements for a prima facie showing of: (1) physical impairment for nonmalignant asbestos or silica claims; (2) asbestos- or silica-related lung cancer; (3) asbestos-related other cancer; and (4) asbestos claims based upon mesothelioma.
Requires evidence relating to physical impairment to comply with the AMA Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment. States that presentation of prima facie evidence meeting the foregoing requirements (excluding evidentiary requirements for mesothelioma) shall not: (1) result in a presumption of impairment at trial; (2) be conclusive as to any defendant's liability; and (3) be admissible at trial.
Addresses claim consolidation, Federal jurisdiction and venue, preliminary proceedings, and the plaintiff's burden of proof.
Delineates the statute of limitations for asbestos- and silica-related claims. States that an asbestos or silica claim arising out of a nonmalignant condition shall be a distinct cause of action from such a claim relating to the same exposed person arising out of asbestos- or silica-related cancer. Prohibits damage awards for fear or risk of cancer in civil actiosn premised on asbestos or silica claims.
Specifies the scope of liability and damages for civil actions under this Act, providing that: (1) a defendant shall be liable only for that portion of a judgment for which the defendant is responsible; and (2) no punitive damages may be awarded. Establishes a cap for damages relating to noneconomic losses. Requires plaintiffs to disclose collateral source payments based upon the same claim at the time of filing suit. Reduces the amount of an award otherwise available by the amount of such collateral compensation.
Sets forth liability rules applicable to product sellers, renters, lessors, and premises owners.
Makes this Act applicable to any civil action asserting an asbestos or silica claim in which final judgment has not been entered as of the date of enactment.