Iowa became the first state to enact law this month to rename defendants in asbestos litigation. The new law, signed on June 1, requires a plaintiff to file an affidavit in addition to the original pleading containing certain evidence as the basis of their claim against each named defendant. If this information is not filed against a defendant, that defendant will be dismissed.
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 even 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