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Why Did Asbestos Trust Funds Appear?

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The companies which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection were required by law to set up asbestos trust funds so that former workers injured by occupational asbestos exposure would still be able to receive financial compensation.

answered by Mark L. Rowe

Asbestos trust funds were established with the purpose of providing current and future claimants with financial compensation

Asbestos litigation has been determining numerous liable companies to declare bankruptcy since the late 1980s. Due to the increasing number of lawsuits filed against them, executives could no longer pay asbestos victims. Thereby, former employees who had developed mesothelioma or lung cancer as a consequence of occupational asbestos exposure were at risk of losing their compensation. Asbestos trust funds were created to ensure everyone will be able to recover the financial compensation they deserve. The first asbestos trust fund was set up by Johns Manville in 1988 and numerous other major companies followed shortly after.

While asbestos victims cannot file lawsuits against the companies which are currently under bankruptcy protection, the bankruptcy code allows former workers to file asbestos claims, which is actually a more effective and rapid way of recovering compensation. A lawsuit typically results in financial compensation in 2 or even 3 years, whereas the majority of people who file claims with asbestos trust funds will receive the money they are eligible for within several months from the moment of submission.

There are 60 asbestos trust funds in the U.S. at the moment, each managed by a board of trustees who do not have any connection with the company's executives or staff. The eligibility requirements a person who intends to request compensation has to meet are different for every asbestos trust fund. Similarly, the size of asbestos trust funds, as well as their financial resources, varies. A total of over $37 billion is available for claimants and approximately $18 billion has been paid to individuals who were neglectfully exposed to asbestos in the workplace until now.

It is also noteworthy that people whose injury has been caused by more than one company can request compensation from multiple asbestos trust funds. This will allow asbestos victims to recover the maximum compensation possible. Nevertheless, the requested payment may not come from all the asbestos trust funds, but you will still recover a consiberable sum of money. The size of the asbestos trust fund you file with is one of the factors which might influence the outcome of your case.

TOP 30 ASBESTOS TRUST FUNDS

Pacor Incorporated
$2.5 billion
Johns Manville
$2.5 billion
Western MacArthur
$2 billion
Nicolet Keasbey & Mattison
$2.11 billion
Combustion Engineering
$1.43 billion
Babcock and Wilcox
$1.85 billion
A.P. Green Industries
$901 million
Kaiser Aluminum
$1.2 billion
GAF Corporation
$770 million
Pittsburgh Corning
$825 million
Flexitallic Gasket Company
$635 million
Eagle Picher Industries Inc.
$730 million
Bell Asbestos Mines
$635 million
Federal Mogul Corporation
$635 million
AC$S
$528 million
General Motors
$625 million
Honeywell Heating
$452 million
Garlock
$480 million
Gold Bond
$347 million
National Gypsum
$347 million
Abex Corporation
$307 million
Owens Corning Fiberglass
$323 million
The Flintkote Company
$214 million
Congoleum Corporation
$270 million
J.T. Thorpe Inc.
$153 million
Plibrico Company
$205 million
Unarco
$114 million
Republic Powdered Metals
$140 million
H.K. Porter Inc.
$104 million
Shook and Fletcher
$109 million

If you are struggling with a disease caused by occupational asbestos exposure, you are eligible for financial compensation. We highly encourage you to contact us at (205) 328-9200 and we will quickly evaluate your case. Our highly skilled attorneys have been providing quality legal representation to asbestos victims since 1990, having recovered over $1.4 billion from asbestos trust funds, and are willing to help you as well.

Other Related Questions

Secondary exposure occurs when a person is not in direct contact with a source of asbestos. It is equally dangerous as occupational asbestos exposure and can be either domestic or environmental.

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The statute of limitations refers to the amount of time you have to file an asbestos claim after diagnosis. It varies between one and six years, depending on the state you live in.

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Trust transparency laws have been enforced by some U.S. states to protect the legal system from fraud and abuse. Some argue that these laws make the process of recovering compensation more difficult for asbestos victims.

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While inhaling asbestos fibers from old building materials can be as dangerous as occupational exposure, asbestos trust funds provide compensation mostly to former employees.

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If multiple companies are at fault for your injury, you can file a claim with the asbestos trust funds of those which are under bankruptcy protection, as well as a lawsuit against those which are not.

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No. Companies with asbestos trust funds are under bankruptcy protection, which means they are immune to lawsuits. However, you can recover compensation from their asbestos trust fund.

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As diseases which occur as a result of asbestos exposure take decades to ensue, recalling the exact circumstances is rarely easy. Working with a lawyer specialized in asbestos cases is instrumental.

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Yes. If the company at fault for your asbestos exposure went out of business, you can still take legal action. However, recovering the compensation you deserve might be problematic.

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No. Only the companies which sought bankruptcy protection were required to establish asbestos trust funds as a source of compensation for injured workers and their families.

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Mesothelioma, lung cancer and asbestosis are quite rare even among people with a history of asbestos exposure. However, these diseases claim the lives of over 12,000 people in the U.S. annually.

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