Companies which exposed their workers to asbestos were required to set up asbestos trust funds as a condition for entering bankruptcy protection
The first asbestos trust fund was created in 1988 by the infamous manufacturer Johns Manville. As the company could no longer pay liabilities to former employees injured by occupational asbestos exposure due to the large number of lawsuits, it was forced to seek bankruptcy protection. One requirement to be granted bankruptcy protection was setting up an alternative source of compensation for future victims of exposure. This is how the first asbestos trust fund appeared. Shortly after, numerous other liable companies proceeded to do the same and as a result, there are 60 active asbestos trust funds at the moment in the U.S. with over $37 billion available.
Although established by liable companies, asbestos trust funds are actually managed by a board of trustees who do not have any relationship whatsoever with the company's executives, employees or staff. Trustees operate on behalf of asbestos companies, processing the claims and subsequently deciding the exact financial compensation claimants will receive in accordance with the trust's criteria. Each asbestos trust fund has a specific set of requirements for people who intend to file a claim.
It is important to know that in order to file a claim with a certain asbestos trust fund, you must have been an employee of the company behind it or you must have been frequently exposed to one or more of the asbestos-containing products they manufactured. At the moment, only asbestosis, lung cancer, and mesothelioma victims qualify for compensation from asbestos trust funds.
While asbestos trust funds represent the primary source of compensation for individuals struggling with mesothelioma, compensation can also be recovered by suing a company which does not have a trust fund, while veterans exposed to asbestos while serving in the military can file a VA claim to receive various financial benefits, including disability compensation and indemnity compensation.
If you or a loved one was diagnosed with mesothelioma as a result of occupational asbestos exposure, our highly experienced attorneys can provide you with quality legal representation. We have successfully helped over 25,000 asbestos victims thus far. Please contact us at 205.328.9200 and we will promptly evaluate your case.