2019 Georgia Code
Title 51 - Torts
Chapter 14 - Asbestos and Silica Claims
§ 51-14-9. Who may bring a claim; claims in multiple jurisdictions
(a) Notwithstanding Code Section 1-2-6 or 1-2-10, a civil action alleging an asbestos claim or silica claim may only be brought or maintained in the courts of Georgia if the plaintiff, whether a citizen of Georgia or a citizen of some other state, is a resident of Georgia at the time of filing the action or the exposure to asbestos or silica on which the claim is based occurred in Georgia; provided, however, nothing contained in this chapter shall preclude a nonresident of Georgia who currently has a case pending in this state that was filed before April 12, 2005, from maintaining that asbestos claim or silica claim if that nonresident can establish prima-facie evidence of physical impairment with respect to an asbestos claim or silica claim as provided in paragraph (17) or (18) of Code Section 51-14-3. Civil actions alleging an asbestos claim or silica claim filed on or after May 1, 2007, must comply with the forum provisions set forth in this Code section. Civil actions alleging an asbestos claim or silica claim filed on or after April 12, 2005, and before May 1, 2007, must comply with the forum provisions of Code Section 51-14-8, as enacted on April 12, 2005, by 2005 Act No. 29 (Ga. L. 2005, p. 145) as they existed prior to May 1, 2007.
(b) The trial court, on motion of a defendant, shall dismiss each asbestos claim or silica claim that is subject to this chapter against the defendant unless the plaintiff files a written statement with the trial court electing to abate the plaintiff's claim against the defendant for a period of 180 days from the date the trial court disposes of the defendant's motions in order to afford the plaintiff an opportunity to file a new action on the claims in another state of the United States.
(1) A trial court may not abate or dismiss a claim under this Code section until the defendant files with the trial court or with the clerk of the court a written stipulation that, with respect to a new action on the claim commenced by the plaintiff, the defendant waives the right to assert a statute of limitations defense in all other states of the United States in which the claim was not barred by limitations at the time the claim was filed in this state as necessary to effect a tolling of the limitations periods in those states beginning on the date the claim was filed in this state and ending on the date the claim is dismissed or the period of abatement ends. The fact that a claim subject to this Code section was barred by the statute of limitations in all other states of the United States at the time it was filed in this state shall not prevent the claim from being dismissed pursuant to this Code section and such claim shall be dismissed even if it cannot be filed in another state. The trial court may not abate or dismiss a claim under this Code section until the defendant files with the trial court or with the clerk of the court a written stipulation that, with respect to a new action on the claim commenced by the plaintiff in another state of the United States, the plaintiff may elect that the plaintiff and the defendant may rely on responses to discovery already provided under Georgia law, plus any additional discovery that may be conducted under the rules of civil procedure in another state, or use responses to discovery already provided and conduct additional discovery as permitted under the rules of civil procedure in such other state.
(2) If less than all of the defendants agree to provide the stipulations set forth in paragraph (1) of this subsection, then the court shall dismiss the claims against those defendants who so stipulate.
(d) To comply with this Code section in relation to an action that involves both claims that arose in this state and claims that arose outside this state, a trial court shall consider each claim individually and shall sever from the action the claims that are subject to this Code section.
(e) If a plaintiff alleges that the exposed person was exposed to asbestos or silica while located in more than one jurisdiction, the trial court shall determine, for purposes of this Code section, which of the jurisdictions is the most appropriate forum for the claim, considering the relative amounts and lengths of the exposed person's exposure to asbestos or silica in each jurisdiction.
Code 1981, § 51-14-9, enacted by Ga. L. 2007, p. 4, § 1/SB 182.