Utah Court of Appeals

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Utah Court of Appeals holds joint and several liability reform law applies to asbestos case

April 05, 2013

The Utah Court of Appeals upheld the trial court's determination that the Liability Reform Act applied to the plaintiff's asbestos-related claims. The court held that regardless of whether the damaged cells over time produced the cancer, the plaintiff did not have an actionable claim until she was diagnosed with mesothelioma.

U.S. Chamber files amicus brief addressing asbestos liability

March 06, 2012

NCLC urged the Utah Court of Appeals to rule that Utah’s 1986 Liability Reform Act (LRA), which replaced “joint and several liability” with “proportionate liability,” applies to cases where plaintiffs were exposed to asbestos before the LRA was enacted, but whose claims did not mature until after the LRA was enacted.

In its amicus brief, NCLC argued that the plaintiff’s theory would essentially eviscerate the application of the LRA to asbestos cases in Utah, given that virtually all current asbestos cases involve pre-1986 exposure. NCLC also argued that imposing joint and several liability would run counter to the LRA’s fundamental objective of “basic fairness” since many of the companies most liable for asbestos damages have already been forced into bankruptcy and solvent companies with only an attenuated connection to the original conduct would become targets for complete liability. Changing this settled law would have a substantial negative impact on many Utah companies, including small businesses, and would serve to make Utah a litigation magnet.

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