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.
   19  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   21         Section 1. Section 774.301, Florida Statutes, is created to
   22  read:
   23         774.301Asbestos 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.