History of Asbestos Trust Funds
Human use of asbestos goes back thousands of years, but its use on a large industrial scale did not occur until the mid-1800s. The adverse health effects of asbestos began to appear in the early 20th century.
Sadly, asbestos litigation didn’t come about until well into the 20th century. The act of holding companies liable for exposing workers and consumers to this deadly substance is a recent phenomenon when compared to how long asbestos has been used.
Many of the companies that used or sold asbestos products were aware of the dangerous impact it could have on employees. These companies chose to keep that information behind closed doors in the name of profit.
The asbestos industry and the companies that used or sold asbestos worked diligently to cover up the health risks associated with the substance. When demand for asbestos products grew through the mid-20th century, corporations prioritized profit over safety and exposed millions of innocent people to the toxic and carcinogenic fibers.
With the widespread use of asbestos, the health implications rapidly became too hard to ignore. As a result of this increase in awareness, the first asbestos lawsuits were brought against companies responsible.
These companies were quickly overwhelmed by the claims brought against them and looked for ways to protect themselves. Many of these companies filed for bankruptcy under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code.
Chapter 11 allows the companies at fault (the debtor) to create a proposal for reorganization that would allow them to pay asbestos victims (their creditors) at a much lower cost. It also grants the same companies immunity from lawsuits and prevents them from being sued.
In cases like these, the companies were required to set aside money from assets and insurance for compensation to be paid to asbestos victims.
First Asbestos Bankruptcy Trust Fund
In 1982, Johns-Manville, one of the biggest producers of asbestos products, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. This was one of the first high-profile cases and led to asbestos trust funds becoming standard procedure.
Johns-Manville was able to recover from Chapter 11 in 1988 after their liabilities (debts) became the responsibility of the Manville Personal Injury Settlement Trust.
The intent was that the Manville Personal Injury Settlement Trust would pay claimants the same amount of money they would have received from a lawsuit. However, they greatly underestimated the number of claims that would be made. As a result, the trust was insolvent (unable to pay debts) by 1992.
Three years later, in 1995, the Manville Trust was recreated as part of another settlement. This new trust prioritized claims from claimants with serious illnesses like mesothelioma. The payouts are most often significantly lower than what someone would have received from a lawsuit.
Within the first decade of the trust’s formation more than $2.5 Billion in compensation was paid to claimants.
Determining Eligibility for Asbestos Trust Funds
To be eligible for compensation from an asbestos trust fund, you have to prove the company’s involvement in you or your loved one’s exposure to asbestos and any resulting illnesses. If you were exposed using a specific product, you will have to prove this too.
Many of the asbestos trust funds limit compensation to claimants who meet very specific criteria. The criteria are related to your health and the circumstances of your exposure.
It’s crucial that you file a claim as soon as possible after being diagnosed with mesothelioma. Understandably, you will want to focus on your health and treatment, but the time in which you file your claim could decide whether or not you receive compensation.
Every state has its own statute of limitations, which limits the time frame for filing a claim after you’ve been diagnosed.
A qualified mesothelioma lawyer can assist you in understanding the rules of your state. Your mesothelioma attorney can also help you assess your eligibility for an asbestos trust fund and help you gather the information you need to prove it.
How to File an Asbestos Trust Claim
Once you are aware of what asbestos trust funds are, you should understand the general process that goes into filing a claim.
The amount of information you have regarding your exposure to asbestos will determine how straightforward or how complex your case will be. A good mesothelioma lawyer can assist you each step of the way and ease many of the tougher aspects of filing a claim.
No matter what trust fund you file a claim with, an official mesothelioma diagnosis from your doctor is critical.
Your mesothelioma diagnosis will need to be confirmed through medical examinations that include imaging scans, biopsies, and blood work. Your doctor will need to describe how asbestos exposure contributed to your illness and provide an in-depth overview of the extent of your illness.
Selecting a Lawyer
An essential part of filing your claim is choosing the right law firm and lawyer to help you.
When choosing your mesothelioma lawyer, make sure to take advantage of free consultations. This gives you the opportunity to research the firm’s record and experience in asbestos litigation as well as clear up any questions you may have about the process.
Selecting a law firm is a personal choice, but we recommend lawyers based on their extensive expertise and specialization in mesothelioma. With our network of mesothelioma lawyers, we can connect you with a law office.
Your first consultation with a mesothelioma lawyer might be overwhelming. A good attorney will help you feel at ease and confident in their abilities. They will answer any questions you have and address all of your concerns in a clear and open manner.
For your attorney to do their best, you’ll need to provide as much information as possible. This might include personal details related to your work and medical history. Your age, diagnosis, military involvement, and details of your asbestos exposure will all play a role in how your case is processed.
Giving your lawyer the maximum amount of accurate information gives you the best chance at receiving the compensation you’re entitled to.
Once your mesothelioma lawyer has all the information they need, they will file your claim.
The legal process can take some time, partially because trust funds usually have an annual maximum amount of money they can pay out.
Your lawyer can provide you with a general estimate of the time it will take, but the exact timeline will depend on the number of claims being processed and the details of your case.
The amount of money paid will depend on the type of illness you have and what your attorney is able to negotiate. Asbestos trust funds will liquidate all claims they determine to be valid.
If your claim is settled, the defendant will pay the amount of money that you are entitled to.
List of Companies with Asbestos Trust Funds
A-Best Products Company
A.B.B. Global, Inc.
A, C & S Inc.
A.P. Green Industries, Inc.
A.P.I. Group, Inc.
Armstrong World Industries, Inc.
A.R.T.R.A. Group, Inc.
Asbestos Claims Management Corp.
Babcock & Wilcox Company
Burns & Roe Enterprises, Inc.
C.E. Thurston & Sons, Inc.
Celotex Corporation/Carey Canada, Inc.
The Christy Refractories Company
Combustion Engineering, Inc.
DII Industries, LLC (Dresser Industries)
Eagle-Picher Industries, Inc.
Federal Mogul Corp.
Ferodo America, Inc.
Fibreboard Corporation (subsidy of Owens Corning)
Flintkote Co./Flintkote Mines Ltd.
G-I Holdings, Inc.
General Motors Corporation
Harbison-Walker Refractories Company
Hercules Chemical Company, Inc.
J.T. Thorpe, Inc.
Johns-Manville Corp./Philadelphia Asbestos Corp.
Kaiser Aluminum & Chemical Corporation
Leslie Controls, Inc.
MacArthur Co. (also known as Western Asbestos Company)
North American Refractories Co.
Plant Insulation Company
Quigley Company, Inc.
Raymark Industries, Inc.
Shook & Fletcher Insulation
Swan Transportation Company
T H Agriculture & Nutrition, L.L.C.
Thorpe Insulation Company
United States Gypsum Company
United States Mineral Products Company
W.R. Grace & Co.
Contact Mesothelioma Hope if you need a qualified mesothelioma lawyer who can provide you with accurate information about asbestos trust funds.
Our legal experts can give you a highly informed overview of your options for compensation. The attorneys associated with Mesothelioma Hope have your best interests in mind.
If you have any questions about our legal resources, call us at (866) 608-8933.