Asbestos Trust Funds
$30 billion available for victims
Lawsuits may not be a compensation option for all victims of asbestos exposure. However, there is an additional compensation method: asbestos trust funds.
Asbestos trust funds are used for mesothelioma claims when companies at fault have filed for bankruptcy.
If you are a victim of asbestos exposure, we at BCBH Law can explain how asbestos trust fund claims can help you. Our legal team has decades of experience filing claims against asbestos trusts and can do the same for you and your family.
History of Asbestos Trust Funds
Many companies involved in manufacturing or selling asbestos were the subject of numerous lawsuits. Previous court cases found these businesses responsible for people developing mesothelioma and asbestos-caused lung cancer.
To avoid legal battles and having to pay millions of dollars to victims, some companies filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy. This form of bankruptcy allows the company to continue operations and shift its debt around as needed, while protecting itself from lawsuits.
However, mesothelioma can take up to 50 years to manifest itself in the body. Many victims could develop the disease well after the companies responsible for their exposure went bankrupt. Similarly, asbestos-caused lung cancer can take up to 30 years to form in the body.
of Asbestos Trust Funds
As a way of protecting future victims of mesothelioma and other asbestos-caused diseases, these corporations were ordered to establish asbestos trust funds.
An estimated $30 billion total was in multiple different funds as recently as 2008. While the number has fluctuated, billions of dollars remain in these accounts for you and others afflicted by exposure to this dangerous dust.
How to File an Asbestos Trust Fund Claim
Asbestos trust fund claims are not lawsuits. The main difference is that lawsuits are used when the defending company has not filed for bankruptcy. Asbestos trust fund claims are an option when the company has filed for bankruptcy protection against asbestos lawsuits.
The liable companies have already deposited money into the funds, which are readily available to deserving victims of asbestos exposure. Therefore, as the victim of mesothelioma, you will not need to go to court to secure compensation. Oftentimes you’ll also receive compensation much quicker than if you must file a lawsuit — because there is no appeals process or drawn-out legal proceedings.
What to Remember
You will NOT have to appear in court if you file a trust fund claim.
You can file multiple claims, one against each trust fund associated with a responsible party.
Some claims are processed within a few months.
Our law firm works on a contigency basis, meaning we are paid a pertentage of the money you receive and do not charge patients up front.
Money received from a trust fund payment generally is not taxed.
Steps of Filing an Asbestos Trust Fund Claim
Filing an asbestos trust fund claim involves a multi-step procedure. An experienced lawyer will know how to navigate each stage and insulate you from stress or concern.
For that reason, your first action should be contacting an experienced attorney who works at a national mesothelioma law firm. The legal experts at BCBH Law will know which companies were involved in asbestos manufacturing and which are responsible for your mesothelioma or lung cancer.
We at BCBH Law are the perfect legal match to handle your case and file asbestos trust fund claims. Join the others who have trusted our team, and we’ll handle the steps of the process for you.
Determining Your Exposure History
Your lawyer at BCBH Law will look into your occupational, residential and familial histories to determine if you worked or lived in or near any dangerous exposure sites. Afterward, they will uncover which companies are responsible for your exposure and link that to your disease.
After compiling all evidence associated with your case, your lawyer will file the asbestos trust fund claims.
Reviewing Your Asbestos Trust Fund Claims
Once filed, each claim goes through a review process. There are two separate procedures for reviewing an asbestos trust fund claim:
Expedited Reviews — This process for a review is the quicker of the two options but involves a fixed value for payouts to you, the victim. Your lawyer will use this action when you potentially meet a specific set of criteria established by the trust — usually medical and occupational evidence. If the claim is approved, then it moves to the liquidation phase.
Individual Reviews — Individual reviews are for when your evidence possibly exceeds the criteria set by the trust. Some claims are considered extraordinary claims, which are unique circumstances. Payouts for individually reviewed claims may be greater than the fixed value, and the review process usually takes longer. If the claim is approved under an individual review process, your lawyer and the trustee may negotiate a payout amount.
The criteria for extraordinary claims usually includes a victim of specific employment circumstances, such as working for or at the bankrupt company for 30 years, a loss-of-income claim or having minor children, among other unique factors.
Liquidation of the Asbestos Trust Fund Claim
Liquidation is the monetary value given to the asbestos trust fund claim. Approved claims filed under an expedited review process have a fixed value, which usually cannot be adjusted for individual circumstances. When your claim is approved under an individual review process, liquidation may involve a negotiation between your lawyer and the trustee.
Asbestos Trust Fund Claim Payment
If your claim is approved under an expedited review process, your payment is predetermined and you should receive compensation quickly. If your claim involves an individual review, then there is a negotiation. You should receive payment soon after your lawyer and the trustee agree on an amount.
This is the final step of the asbestos trust fund process. Just remember, though, you shouldn’t have to do much, or any, of the work involved. The lawyers at BCBH Law will handle your case, move your trust fund claim through each step and obtain your compensation.
National Asbestos Trust Funds
According to a report by RAND Institute for Civil Justice, around $3.3 billion was paid out from asbestos trust funds in 2008.
In 1987, Johns Manville became the first asbestos-producing company to file for bankruptcy and create a trust fund. Since then, around 60 other asbestos trust funds have been formed, each with its own payment amount. We list 43 national trusts below with their scheduled payment amount. In addition to these 43, several are currently being set up or are regional trusts that victims may qualify for depending on where they worked.
These values, which are updated as of July 2, 2019, are subject to change.
$147 (feedwater heater claim)
$1,250 (construction and maintenance)
$21,800 (Pfizer derivative)
How Our Firm Works With Clients
The lawyers at BCBH Law provide a unique personal touch when handling mesothelioma claims. The members of our legal team dedicate time to get to know the clients and their families, and they’ll do the same for you.
We will travel to meet you wherever you live and take as much time as needed to understand the specifics of your case. We’ll help determine if you should file a lawsuit or an asbestos trust fund claim, or both.
No matter which option you choose, we will help you and your family receive the maximum amount of compensation. Contact one of our lawyers today to learn your legal options and start your mesothelioma case process.
Chapter 11 - Bankruptcy Basics. United tates Courts. Retrieved from: https://www.uscourts.gov/services-forms/bankruptcy/bankruptcy-basics/chapter-11-bankruptcy-basics. Accessed: 03/26/19.
Asbestos Bankruptcy Trusts: An Overview of Trust Structure and Activity with Detailed Reports on the Largest Trusts. RAND Institute for Civil Justice. Retrieved from: https://www.rand.org/pubs/technical_reports/TR872.html. Accessed: 10/30/18.
Asbestos Bankruptcy Trusts and Tort Compensation. RAND Institute for Civil Justice. Retrieved from: https://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/monographs/2011/RAND_MG1104.pdf. Accessed: 10/23/2019.
Asbestos: Think Again: Industry Hid Danders for Decades. Environmental Working Group. Retrieved from: https://www.ewg.org/research/asbestos-think-again/industry-hid-dangers-decades. Accessed: 10/24/2019.