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s_jud_2018a_2018-02-28t13:36:07z4 Hearing Summary


Date Feb 28, 2018      
Location SCR 352

SB18-123 - Referred to the Committee of the Whole

01:58:01 PM  

Senator Sonnenberg, sponsor, explained SB18-123, concerning asbestos trust claim transparency.   Senator Sonnenberg further extrapolated that this bill attempts to provide transparency of claims made against asbestos-related bankruptcy.

Senator Sonnenberg answered questions from the committee about lawsuits, plaintiff attorneys, and the need for transparency. 


02:09:33 PM  

Kevin Hannon, representing the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association, testified in opposition to the bill. He brought up issues regarding the need for timely trials in mesothelioma cases, current practices, disclosure requirements, privilege, and liability. 

02:21:16 PM  

Mark Hillman, representing Colorado Civil Justice League, spoke in support of the bill.  He explained that victims should be able to recover health care costs, and the bill is necessary to prevent double dipping.

02:23:13 PM  

Phil Goldberg, representing the United States Chamber of Commerce/Institute of Legal Reform, spoke in support of the bill.  He stressed that the Asbestos Transparency Act encourages efficiency, integrity, and transparency.  He reported that twelve states have adopted similar measures.  He distributed a Proof of Claim form (Attachment C).   He further discussed solvent bystanders, peripheral versus major players, the unique nature of asbestos claims, and plaintiff lawyers subverting the system.  Mr. Goldberg also clarified that the bill does not take care of all trust claims in one hearing but rather is an act of transparency that exposes juries to information. 



02:40:27 PM  

Kevin Whitesel, representing Heat and Frost Insulators, spoke in opposition to the bill.  He stressed the need for victim compensation in asbestos cases. 

02:43:54 PM  

Senator Sonnenborg made closing remarks.  He emphasized that court delays most often happen because of attorney trial tactics, and the bill provides for transparency without putting undue burden on the plaintiffs.  

02:47:17 PM
Motion Refer Senate Bill 18-123 to the Committee of the Whole.
Moved Cooke
Coram Yes
Fields Excused
Kagan No
Cooke Yes
Gardner Yes
Final YES: 3   NO: 1   EXC: 1   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  PASS