Sunday, October 05, 2003

Rail worker asbestos cases out of Roanoke

The Roanoke Times has this overview of asbestos claims brought by former Norfolk & Western employees in Roanoke. The article notes that the cases are "piling up" in state court. Virginia has a special statute for the management of asbestos cases. Va. Code § 8.01-374.1 provides that "[i]n any circuit court in which there are pending more than forty civil actions against manufacturers or suppliers of asbestos or products for industrial use that contain asbestos in which recovery is sought for personal injury or wrongful death alleged to have been caused by exposure to asbestos or products for industrial use that contain asbestos, the court may order a joint hearing or trial by jury of any or all common questions of law or fact which are at issue in those actions," and that "when separate or bifurcated trials will be conducive to judicial economy, the court may order a separate or bifurcated trial of any claim, or any number of claims, cross-claims, counterclaims, third-party claims, or separate issues, always preserving the right of trial by jury."

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