Tort reform moving forward

March 9, 2017

The Iowa Legislature considered several bills this week related to tort reform. Making sure Iowa’s legal system is fair is part of the competitive business climate priority for ABI in 2017. Two key bills were statute of repose and asbestos claims.

SF 260 – This bill codifies common law concerning the liability of trespassing. It passed the Senate on Monday by a vote of 48-1. The bill is eligible for debate in the House.
     ABI Position:  For

SF 376 – This bill relates to asbestos bankruptcy claims. It requires a plaintiff to disclose claims against other trusts within 90 days. There is language in the bill that is designed to stop “double dipping.” It prioritizes claimants concerning medical conditions based on AMA guidelines. The bill is designed to ensure that funds continue to remain in trusts for future Iowans. After a vigorous debate, the bill passed the Senate 27-22.  Click here to read news coverage of this bill.  
     ABI Position:  For

HF 69 – This bill increases the penalties for trespassing. The bill was amended and passed the House on Tuesday by a vote of 94-0.
     ABI Position:  Undecided

SF 413 - The bill shortens the amount of time statute of repose can be brought forward concerning real property. It is currently 15 years and this legislation lowers it to eight or 15 years depending on the type of property. The bill passed the Senate on Wednesday 32-16.
     ABI Position:  For