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