Asbestos Trust Funds
Asbestos manufacturing companies sold asbestos for decades despite knowing the health risks. Asbestos trust funds were created to compensate patients affected by mesothelioma.
Compensation for Victims of Asbestos Exposure
Many people with asbestos-related diseases receive financial support from asbestos trust funds. These trust funds were organized by bankrupt companies to ensure that there will always be monetary compensation for victims of asbestos exposure. Trust funds support people with all types of asbestos-related diseases, but mesothelioma claims usually result in the most substantial compensation.
What You Need to Know About Asbestos Trusts
Billions Available in Compensation
Victims of asbestos exposure collectively received approximately $3.3 billion in total from asbestos trust funds in 2008. The median trust fund payout for a mesothelioma claim was $180,000.
Thousands Receiving Financial Support
More and more mesothelioma patients and their families are turning to asbestos trust funds for financial support. Trust funds have paid out over $15 billion since 2006 when many were established.
Mesothelioma Patients Are Victims
People who develop mesothelioma are victims of corporate misconduct. Most companies selling asbestos knew about the dangers of their products but neglected to inform their workers or the companies purchasing their products.
Get Access to Trust Fund Money
How Can Trust Funds Help?
- Over $30 billion is available for patients and families.
- Potential for an expedited review of your mesothelioma claim.
- Access financial assistance for treatments, lost wages and family support.
How Are Trust Funds Created?
Asbestos companies that have filed for bankruptcy were forced by the bankruptcy courts to set up trust funds. The purpose of the trusts is to set aside money for future asbestos claims. These trusts help protect mesothelioma victims who deserve to be compensated by these bankrupt companies.
Asbestos trust funds are a result of Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Chapter 11 bankruptcy is a form of corporate bankruptcy that allows companies to reorganize their finances in order to continue doing business, while also continuing to pay their debt.
The Johns Manville Corporation
The Johns Manville Corporation became one of the first companies to file for bankruptcy because of asbestos liability. They established the first asbestos trust fund in 1987, creating a precedent for other companies. Since Johns Manville created their trust, almost 100 other asbestos companies have had to file for bankruptcy. Many of these companies created their own trust funds.
Johns Manville was once a leading manufacturer of insulation and roofing materials. Their products contained substantial quantities of asbestos. Employees of Johns Manville began filing for disability for lung diseases as early as 1929. The corporation was even involved in a violent strike at one of its supplying asbestos mines in Asbestos, Canada.
Top Companies With Trust Funds
Learn About Top Companies with Asbestos Trust Funds
Compensation in Top Trust Funds
- Initial Funding
- U.S. Gypsum Company
- Owens Corning
- Johns Manville
- Armstrong World Industries
- Babcock and Wilcox Company
- Owens Corning/Fibreboard Corp.
- Combustion Engineering
- Kaiser Aluminum & Chemical Corp.
- Eagle-Pitcher Industries
- Federal Mogul/Turner & Newall
- National Gypsum Company
Filing a Claim Against an Asbestos Trust Fund
The bankruptcy trust claims process is broken up into a 4-step procedure.
Filing begins with determining which companies in the claimant’s (the asbestos exposure victim’s) occupational history are responsible for their illness. During filing, claimants select the method of review as either expedited or individual review.
There are two separate procedures for reviewing claims:
These reviews settle claims quickly and the payout is a fixed value. This procedure is used when claimants know the fixed value and meet a set of criteria established by the trust, providing medical evidence and occupational history. If the evidence is determined to be sufficient, the claim is valid and the process proceeds to liquidation. If not, claimants can file an individual review.
These reviews are required when claimants do not fall within the typical criteria set up by the trust for an expedited review. Payout values for individual claims may be greater or less than the fixed values established for expedited claims. The individual review process is usually based on special circumstances of a case such as a claimant being diagnosed young, having minor children, or losing earnings. In these cases, claims tend to be higher.
Extraordinary claims: These are special cases where the claim meets the criteria of an expedited claim, but liquidation is allowed to be determined like an individual claim. These claims are used in cases where the claimant was a victim of one specific company under certain employment circumstances, such as being an employee who worked for the company for a significant amount of time (30 years, for example).
Liquidation is the assignment of a monetary value to the claim. Valid claims filed as expedited already have a monetary value scheduled by the trust. Liquidation for individual claims, on the other hand, is determined by negotiation of the trustee and the claimant’s lawyer.
After an offer is made and accepted, payment is the final step of the procedure.
In order to prevent a trust from running out of funds, trustees established what are known as “payment percentages” for claimants. Some trusts are unable to pay claimants 100 percent of their claim amount. Instead, they will pay claimants a specific percentage of their claim.
Payment percentages are different for each trust. Some trusts have a payment percentage of 100 percent, while others have low payment percentages of 1 to 2 percent. If a claimant’s claim was hypothetically liquidated at $100,000 with a payment percentage of 25 percent, the trust would pay the claimant $25,000.
These payment percentages also fluctuate. If payment percentages increase, many trusts will pay prior claimants to make up the difference. This way there is no benefit to waiting for percentages to rise before filing a claim. Claimants can file their claims as soon as possible without worrying about the percentages changing.
Asbestos has been used in many industries because it resists heat and chemicals. It is also inexpensive. For these reasons, asbestos companies concealed the health risks of asbestos from workers. As more and more people were diagnosed with mesothelioma, the number of legal cases concerning asbestos exposure grew, creating a so-called “avalanche of litigation.”
Trust fund compensation can be used to cover lost wages, treatment costs, funeral bills, and restitution for pain and suffering. Learn how to access these trust funds with our free legal support.