A proposed Missouri law is raising significant concerns for residents of Missouri who are at risk for malignant mesothelioma. The bill, sponsored by state Senator Jeanie Riddle, R-Mokane, would make it nearly impossible for people who have been exposed to asbestos to file claims against the product manufacturers responsible for their exposure. The state currently allows people who have been harmed by a product up to five years after the date that they are diagnosed with an illness to file a liability claim against its manufacturers. Ms. Riddle’s proposal would shift the limit to ten years after exposure to the dangerous product took place. Because mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases have such a long latency period, the new rule would effectively preclude victims of asbestos exposure from getting the justice that they deserve.
Though Senator Riddle has indicated that the change is needed in order to protect manufacturer’s resources, those who are opposed to the change point out that consumers would suffer – and that those diagnosed with mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases would be robbed of their ability to get much-needed compensation. They are arguing for the addition of language that would specifically address negligence in order to protect those who have been equipped with medical device implants or that are exposed to chemicals that may be associated with latent diseases in the same way that asbestos is. Consumer advocates testified against the bill, with one saying, “Putting an arbitrary 10-year statute of repose on this case does nothing to make safer products. It does nothing to create an environment where people are fairly compensated. It does everything to protect manufacturers of harmful and defective products, most of which are not in Missouri.” Though the proposed law does include some carveouts for exceptional situations, including knowing concealment of an unsafe condition or product, it does nothing to address the concerns of those who have been exposed to asbestos.
If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease, you need to know your rights as dictated by the state in which you live, as well as the best options available to you. Contact us today at 1-800-966-2244 to discuss your situation.