Senate Passes AB 19 Providing Transparency in Trust Fund Legislation

The Wisconsin Senate on Wednesday, March 12, passed asbestos trust fund transparency legislation (AB 19). The bill passed on a party-line vote (17-16). The bill was amended and therefore needs to go back to the Assembly for final concurrence.

Below is a summary of the legislation:

  • Requires asbestos plaintiffs to disclose any and all claims that they have filed or will file with asbestos trust funds, along with all of the documents and information that support the trust claims.
  • Requires judges to admit trust claims and supporting materials into evidence at trial; prohibits plaintiffs from spuriously alleging that trust claims and their supporting documents are privileged.
  • Provides defendants with a powerful tool to ensure that plaintiffs file and disclose all possible claims with asbestos trusts. AB19 authorizes defendants to identify trust claims that the plaintiff could and should file. If a judge agrees, the case is stayed until that claim is filed and disclosed.

To learn more, go to the WCJC website here.