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Missouri House passes changes to asbestos lawsuits

The Missouri House has passed legislation to change the rules for lawsuits over asbestos exposure. (File)

The Missouri House has passed legislation to change the rules for lawsuits over asbestos exposure.

House members voted 96-48 Thursday to send the measure to the Senate. It would require plaintiffs alleging harm from asbestos to file claims against every potentially liable company or bankrupt company's trust fund at once.

Republican Rep. Bruce DeGroot said his bill would prevent "double dipping." He says people with asbestos-related illnesses now can get multiple payouts from different companies and might be overcompensated.

But bipartisan critics said the measure would hinder people with mesothelioma or other asbestos-related injuries from seeking justice in court. Republican Rep. Jay Barnes said it would be challenging for firefighters to know every instance they were exposed to asbestos when filing initial claims.

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