If one can believe the Google translate version of this web page from Swiss media, senior Swiss officials are thinking about creating an extended statute of limitations for asbestos diseases – perhaps 20-30 years. The extended statute option apparently is being explored now that the Swiss government has declined union requests to create an asbestos compensation fund.
Some on the defense side will complain bitterly about such a long statute of limitations. For some, complaints of that sort will make great economic sense. Indeed some Eternit (and related) entities could be badly hurt. On the other hand, imagine what asbestos litigation might look like today if Manville, Raymark, and Unarco had always been subject to a 30 year statute of limitation. Some of today’s defendants would never have been sued.
Tort litigation is full of double-edged swords, and it’s always important to be careful when wishing.
A hat tip to Laurie Kazan-Allen for flagging the topic in the News section of her IBAS web site – see October 30, 2014.