Tennessee is the latest state to take up asbestos and silica medical criteria bills; meanwhile, the Texas Senate will debate a bill similar to the one introduced in the state's house earlier this month, sources told Mealey Publications.
Kyle Janek, R-Houston, introduced SB 15 to the Texas Senate on March 9. The bill is similar to the medical criteria bill introduced on Feb. 22 by Joe Nixon, R-Houston, and currently in the House's Civil Practices Committee, sources said.
Both bills require a doctor to diagnose an asbestos- or silica-related impairment before being able to file lawsuits, sources said. Sources said they hope this would give impaired claimants top priority. Sources also said the bill would create an extended period before limitations begin to run in which to bring claims for nonmalignant injuries.
Both Tennessee HB 1561 and SB 1790 require any doctor making a diagnosis of silica or mixed dust exposure to have a doctor-patient relationship with the claimant and limit the authority to spending no more than 25 percent of his or her time to providing consulting or expert services, sources said.
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