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  • NJ A3848
  • "Personal Injury Trust Fund Transparency Act;" requires plaintiff to file personal injury trust claims under certain circumstance; addresses allocation of trust claims; establishes scheduling and discovery requirements for certain tort actions.
In Committee
Crossed OverPassedSignedDead/Failed/Vetoed
2016-2017 Regular Session
This bill requires the filing of a claim against a personal injury trust in certain circumstances, addresses the allocation of trust claims, and establishes discovery and scheduling requirements for certain personal injury actions. A personal injury trust is a trust or compensation fund that is established pursuant to a bankruptcy or other legal action in order to compensate plaintiffs who file claims as a result of harm potentially compensable in a personal injury action, for which the entity that established the personal injury trust is to be responsible. The personal injury trust compensation system operates independently of personal injury civil actions. It is the sponsor's belief that a lack of transparency and oversight in the personal injury trust compensation system has resulted in suppression of evidence in personal injury or tort actions; statements made in personal injury or tort actions by plaintiffs that are inconsistent with information provided to personal injury trusts, and may reflect inaccurate or untruthful information in support of personal injury or tort litigation by plaintiffs; and unfair compensation for certain personal injury plaintiffs. It is the sponsor's intent, through this legislation, to provide access to documentation that will enable claims to be evaluated based on accurate and reliable information. Under the bill, a plaintiff who files a personal injury claim or other tort claim must, within 30 days, provide the court with a sworn statement indicating that an investigation of all personal injury trust claims has been conducted and that any personal injury trust claims that can be made on the plaintiff's behalf have been filed. The plaintiff shall provide the parties with copies of all trust claims materials. The bill also allows a defendant to move the court to stay proceedings if the defendant identifies additional personal injury trust claims the defendant believes the plaintiff can file. In response, the plaintiff may file the claims, explain to the court why there is an insufficient basis to file the claims identified by the defendant, or request a determination from the court that the cost of submitting the personal injury trust claims would exceed the plaintiff's reasonably anticipated recovery. If the court determines that there is sufficient basis for the plaintiff to file the personal injury trust claims, the court shall stay the proceedings until the plaintiff files the personal injury trust claims and provides copies of the trust claims materials to the parties. If the court determines that the cost of filing the personal injury trust claims identified by the defendant exceeds the plaintiff's reasonably anticipated recovery from those trusts, the court shall stay the proceedings until the plaintiff provides the parties with a sworn statement of the plaintiff's history of exposure, usage, or other connection to personal injury or a tort covered by that personal injury trust. The bill requires the court to enter into the record before trial a list identifying each personal injury claim the plaintiff has made against a personal injury trust. Personal injury trust claims and trust claims materials are non-privileged under the bill. If a defendant is found liable for the plaintiff's injury, the defendant is entitled to a setoff in the amount of any money the plaintiff received from a personal injury trust and the value of any pending trust claims. Sanctions are available against a plaintiff that fails to comply with the act, including the potential for any judgment to be reopened and adjusted by the amount of any post-judgment personal injury trust payments received by the plaintiff.
Introduced, Referred to Assembly Judiciary Committee  (on 6/2/2016)
Date Chamber Action Description
6/2/2016 A Introduced, Referred to Assembly Judiciary Committee
Date Motion Yea Nay Other
None specified