North Dakota Joins States Enacting Asbestos Bankruptcy Trust Transparency Legislation
On April 14, 2017, North Dakota became the third state this year to enact legislation mandating disclosure of asbestos bankruptcy trust claims. The new legislation requires plaintiffs to provide, within thirty days after an asbestos action is filed, a sworn statement from both plaintiff and counsel stating that all asbestos trust claims have been made. Plaintiffs must also provide parties with all trust claim materials, which are admissible in evidence. Supplementation is required, and failure to comply may result in dismissal of the case by the court. Further, defendants may request a stay of the proceedings if defendants believe plaintiffs have additional trust claims. If plaintiffs file a trust claim after obtaining a judgment, the trial court has jurisdiction to adjust the judgment by the amount of subsequent asbestos trust payments, and it may impose sanctions for failure to comply with this chapter.