2010 Tennessee Code
Title 29 - Remedies And Special Proceedings
Chapter 34 - Torts
Part 3 - Silica Claims Priorities Act
29-34-302 - Legislative findings Purpose.

29-34-302. Legislative findings Purpose.

(a)  Silica is a naturally occurring mineral and is the second most common constituent of the earth's crust.

(b)  Silica-related disease, including silicosis, can occur when silica is inhaled. To be inhaled, silica particles must be sufficiently small to be respirable.

(c)  Silicosis was recognized as an occupational disease many years ago. The American Foundry Society has distributed literature to its members warning of the dangers of silica exposure for more than seventy (70) years. By the 1930s, the federal government had launched a silica awareness campaign that led to greater protection for workers exposed to silica dust.

(d)  The legislature finds that the public interest requires giving priority to the claims of exposed individuals who are sick, in order to help preserve, now and for the future, access to our court system for those who develop silica-related disease and to safeguard the jobs, benefits, and savings of workers in Tennessee.

(e)  It is the purpose of this part to:

     (1)  Give priority to silica claimants who can demonstrate actual physical impairment caused by exposure to silica;

     (2)  Fully preserve the rights of claimants who were exposed to silica to pursue compensation, should they become impaired in the future as a result of exposure;

     (3)  Enhance the ability of the judicial system to supervise and control silica litigation; and

     (4)  Provide access to the court system for those who are actually physically impaired by exposure to silica, while securing the right to similar access for those who may suffer physical impairment in the future.

[Acts 2006, ch. 728, § 3.]  

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