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asbestos trust fund

What Is An Asbestos Trust Fund?

In an effort to escape their massive legal liabilities, many large companies that used asbestos in their products or working environments have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. In order to make sure that victims of asbestos-related diseases are compensated fairly, the U.S. Congress has determined that these companies must establish an asbestos trust fund when they file for bankruptcy protection. This ensures that future victims will be able to get the financial compensation they deserve.

History of Asbestos as a Material

Beginning in the 1800s, asbestos became widely used by a variety of manufacturers because it was cheap, flexible, and durable. It was also a material that provided insulation and was fireproof. Construction, shipbuilding, and manufacturing companies in particular began using the material in large quantities.

Asbestos Lawsuits

A hundred years ago, the industry knew asbestos was killing people. By 1940, they knew it caused cancer, and by 1960, companies were well aware of the connection between asbestos and mesothelioma. This affected a variety of companies, including those that produced products containing asbestos, or those who used asbestos in their operations. Since the link between lung disease and asbestos was clear, these companies began to be overwhelmed with lawsuits from the people they had exposed to asbestos. As a result, many of these companies felt they had no choice but to file for bankruptcy.

Establishment of Trust Funds

Many companies filing for bankruptcy hoped that they would be able to limit their asbestos liability. Thanks to section 524(g) of the bankruptcy code under Chapter 11,the legal system did not allow them to entirely escape their obligations to their victims. Companies were ordered to establish asbestos trust funds, which were to be run as separate organizations requiring new trustees, separate from the original company.

Determining Claim Eligibility

The most essential requirement necessary in order to file a claim to a trust fund is the ability to prove that the victim was exposed to a certain company or product that contained asbestos, and was diagnosed with an asbestos related disease as a result. Every trust fund is able to set its own eligibility criteria, and the best way to determine if you are eligible is to contact an experienced attorney who specializes in trust fund related claims.

Receiving Payment

If your claim is approved, the trust will make a payment offer to you and your attorney. This is typically a percentage of the full value that has been allotted to whichever lung disease that you might have. For example, when a trust was established, schedules were set for claimants with mesothelioma, different amounts established for those with asbestos lung cancer and other amounts for other asbestos diseases

If you or your loved one has been a victim of asbestos exposure, it’s important to seek the help of a trusted and experienced legal professional. You will most likely be dealing with companies who have years of experience in trying to pay as little possible to their victims. While the establishment of the trust funds does provide you some protection, having a skilled professional on your side can greatly increase your chance of receiving fair compensation.

FAQs About Mesothelioma Trust Fund Awards 

mesothelioma trust fund awardsMore than 50 US companies have declared bankruptcy to avoid the full costs of asbestos lawsuits. Those companies have set up asbestos trust funds to provide compensation for people who become ill with mesothelioma, now and into the future.

Mesothelioma Trust Fund Awards: Who Are They For?

If you have mesothelioma or other asbestos-related illness and you were exposed to asbestos by a company that has established an asbestos bankruptcy trust, you are entitled to an award from that company’s trust fund.

Asbestos trust funds have been established by companies that acknowledge their products contained harmful asbestos. These corporations have accepted liability for the fact that their negligence has led to asbestos disease. The trusts compensate people who have become ill with mesothelioma or other asbestos-related illness after working with or around those products. There are more than 115,000 sites and 19,000 ships in the US where these companies admitted they exposed people to asbestos.

If you have a diagnosis of mesothelioma or other asbestos disease, you may seek compensation from an asbestos trust fund. You will need to establish that you worked at one of the identified sites or elsewhere, what your job was there, and the time period during which you worked there.

A mesothelioma lawyer who understands the requirements of asbestos trust funds can gather and complete the documentation you need to make your claim. If you have been exposed to asbestos from multiple sources, your attorney can investigate to determine which corporations share responsibility for your injuries and help you receive all the compensation you are due.

Expected Mesothelioma Trust Fund Awards and Payouts

Payouts from mesothelioma trust funds depend on several factors, including the amount of funding left in the trust for future claimants, the severity of your illness, and the length of your exposure to asbestos at a particular site. Funds use a formula to calculate standard payout amounts.

Over the past three decades, asbestos trusts have paid more than $21 billion to claimants who have been injured by exposure to asbestos. Claimants with mesothelioma usually get the largest awards, averaging around $260,000. The trusts have remaining combined assets of more than $32 billion for compensating people who develop mesothelioma in the future.

You may submit your claim for expedited review, which can result in a quicker payout but the amount will be fixed and non-negotiable. Claimants must meet certain requirements to be eligible for expedited review. The individual review option gives you the opportunity to highlight all the circumstances of your claim. With help from an experienced asbestos lawyer, claimants often receive higher awards through the individual review process.

Once you have reached agreement with the mesothelioma trust fund on the amount of compensation you are due, your award may be reduced by something called the “payment percentage.” Few trusts pay the full amounts awarded, most pay only a fraction of the award amount, if trust funds are limited. This is done to insure that there will be enough money left to compensate all future claimants. The payment percentage can be 25 percent or less. The payment percentage may increase in the future, if there are fewer future claimants than expected. If this happens, you and your family could receive additional compensation at a later date.

How to Secure Your Mesothelioma Trust Fund Award

You can file claims against more than one mesothelioma trust fund, if you were exposed to asbestos from the product of more than one company. You may also file a lawsuit for damages against other corporations while seeking trust fund compensation.

If your asbestos exposure was due to a product you used at work, your claim may be against the manufacturer of that product. An asbestos lawyer can help you determine the appropriate party against which to file your claim.

Each asbestos trust has a website that outlines procedures for filing a claim and the proof required to support your claim. The claim procedures are standard for all these bankruptcy trusts and many allow you to submit your claim online.

Every mesothelioma trust is administered jointly by bankruptcy trustees, a Trust Advisory Committee made up of attorneys representing the interests of mesothelioma claimants, and a representative for future claimants. These parties determine the payment percentage and supervise The Trust’s compensation.

The process of receiving compensation from a mesothelioma trust is simpler than filing a lawsuit. You should still enlist the assistance of a mesothelioma lawyer to ensure that the process flows smoothly and that your best interests are represented.


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