Iowa became the first state to enact law this month to rename defendants in asbestos litigation. The new law, which was signed on June 1, requires a plaintiff to file an affidavit, in addition to the original pleading, containing certain evidence as the basis for their claim against each named defendant. If this information is not passed against a defendant, that defendant will be released.
This law offers an unprecedented solution to the all too common practice of over-naming defendants in asbestos and silica matters. As a result, plaintiffs are now required to produce a greater amount of specific evidence against each named defendant at the time of filing. The law is likely to result in fewer claims being made in Iowa and may encourage other states to push for similar laws.
For those defending asbestos and silica matters, this law is welcome news. Both highlight a major issue in this area of litigation and provide a workable solution to ensure that the right parties are brought to justice