Behrens Talks Tort Reform Bills with Bloomberg BNA

Shook, Hardy & Bacon Partner Mark Behrens explains how a tort reform bill addressing “no-injury” class actions and asbestos bankruptcy trust claim transparency could further the cause of tort reform in a January 6 Bloomberg BNA: Class Action Litigation Report article titled, “Fairness in Class Action Litigation and Furthering Asbestos Claims Transparency Act of 2015.”

Behrens, co-chair of Shook’s Public Policy Group, speaks with Bloomberg BNA on the challenges the Fairness in Class Action Litigation Act and Furthering Asbestos Claims Transparency Act will face in the U.S. Senate.

“Asbestos plaintiff lawyers are especially politically active, well-funded, and influential within the American Association for Justice, the trial bar's lobbying organization,” Behrens shares. The combined legislation passed out of the House of Representatives on Jan. 8 by a vote of 211-188. Behrens said about its prospects in the Senate: “Legal reform bills usually draw strong opposition from trial lawyer allies in the Senate so the FACT Act would most likely face challenges, including a filibuster, if it reaches the Senate floor.”

Even if the bill fails in the Senate, Behrens said, “Committee hearings and floor debate provide important opportunities to shine public light on plaintiff lawyer suppression of evidence in asbestos cases.”