Center for America

Recent Press Releases about Legal Reform

May 2005


Texas Becomes Fourth State to Pass

Asbestos and Silica Legislation

For Immediate Release

Contact: Gretchen Schaefer
202-682-1163 x15

Washington, D.C. May 15, 2005—Texas today became the fourth state to pass asbestos and silica litigation reform legislation (S.B. 15), according to the American Tort Reform Association (ATRA). The Senate concurred with a House amendment to the bill, which now goes to Gov. Rick Perry.


“We applaud the Texas Legislature for passing legislation that will unclog the court system and put an end to frivolous asbestos and silica claims,” said ATRA President Sherman Joyce. “By establishing medical criteria and putting an end to the mass screening of patients, the legislation will ensure that the claims of the truly sick are given priority.”


“Passage of the bill is a culmination of statewide grassroots efforts by the Texas Asbestos Consumer Coalition and the Texas Civil Justice League,” Joyce said. “Getting this bill through the legislature would not have been possible without their tireless efforts.”


Key components of S.B. 15:

  • Establish medical criteria requiring that all pending and future asbestos claims show illness or impairment from asbestos exposure;

  • Put and end to the practice of “bundling” thousands of claims together. Asbestos and silica claims would have to be tried separately and on their own merits;

  • Ensure that that the most seriously ill will receive expedited trials and adequate compensation for their injuries;

  • Extend the two-year statute of limitations on filing asbestos lawsuits to protect the rights of those who may develop asbestos and silica related illness in the future;

  • Shut down the “mass screening” of potential asbestos and silica claimants that has resulted in tens of thousands of unimpaired asbestos claims in the courts.

Ohio, Georgia and Florida have passed similar legislation.




The American Tort Reform Association (ATRA) is the only national organization dedicated exclusively to tort and liability reform through public education and the enactment of legislation. ATRA’s membership includes non profits, small and large companies, as well as state and national trade, business, and professional associations.



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