Ohio Senate Clears Bill On Asbestos Lawsuits

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A bill aimed at curbing duplicate lawsuits over on-the-job asbestos exposure in a state with one of the nation's largest backlogs of such cases has cleared the Ohio Senate.

Senators approved the divisive legislation Wednesday. It would require workers to divulge all asbestos claims filed by or for them or face perjury charges.

Proponents say the proposal prevents double-dipping by victims, who have two separate ways of pursuing damages: trusts set up by sometimes bankrupted companies to compensate victims, or lawsuits against active businesses.

Opponents say the bill impedes legitimate claims. They say its passage makes Ohio the first state in the country to impose such claims restrictions. Similar legislation has been introduced in Louisiana, Oklahoma, Texas and West Virginia and in Congress.

Senate changes still need House approval.