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Retroactivity for me, but not for thee?



To widespread applause from some quarters, state legislatures have passed bills retroactively reopening lapsed statutes of limitations to revive defunct causes of action over asbestos exposure. But does retroactive tinkering with tort law have to be favorable to plaintiffs to be legitimate? Trial lawyers have now prevailed in a Florida appeals court on the argument that the state legislature acted improperly when it sought to apply to existing asbestos legislation new criteria defining credible medical injury: plaintiffs have "vested rights" to sue over old exposures, it seems, under the less demanding criteria of injury that formerly prevailed. Since the ruling conflicts with that of another Florida appeals court, it may be headed for review by the high court in Tallahassee. More details in the Daily Business Review.

 

 


Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy
rmangual@manhattan-institute.org

Katherine Lazarski
Manhattan Institute
klazarski@manhattan-institute.org

 

Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.