What Is a Mesothelioma Trust Fund?
When asbestos manufacturers file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, they create asbestos trust funds. These are sometimes referred to as “mesothelioma trust funds,” and they provide future compensation for mesothelioma victims and others injured by exposure to asbestos.
Key Facts About Mesothelioma Trust Funds:
- Money to compensate future claims is set aside in these trust funds created in bankruptcy court.
- Mesothelioma patients may be able to file claims with more than one trust fund. In addition to mesothelioma, trust funds may be available to help people with a variety of other asbestos-related diseases. It’s important to find an experienced asbestos lawyer who is well versed in the asbestos trust fund claims process.
- A mesothelioma lawyer can help you gather evidence to prove that exposure from asbestos products was responsible for your cancer to help you document your eligibility to file a successful trust fund claim.
It’s important to find an experienced asbestos lawyer who is well versed in the asbestos trust fund claims process. A mesothelioma lawyer can help you gather evidence to prove that exposure from asbestos products was responsible for your cancer to help you document your eligibility to file a successful trust fund claim.
Who Is Eligible to File an Asbestos Trust Fund Claim?
Those exposed to asbestos who developed mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease generally are eligible to file a claim.
People eligible to submit a trust fund claim include workers exposed to asbestos by their employer, workers who used asbestos-containing products, household members exposed secondhand, people exposed environmentally and family members who lost a loved one from asbestos exposure.
List of Asbestos Trust Funds
Dozens of asbestos companies set up trust funds including Johns Manville, W.R. Grace and United States Gypsum. There are billions of dollars in these funds to compensate future asbestos victims.
The following chart shows some of the largest asbestos trust funds available in the U.S. to mesothelioma patients and their families.
Compensation from Mesothelioma Trust Funds
The scheduled value for mesothelioma claims across all trusts range from $7,000 to $1.2 million, with a median value of $180,000.
Mesothelioma trust fund claims often pay six figures, according to a 2016 Mealey’s Asbestos Bankruptcy report. The amount of compensation a claimant can receive from an asbestos trust depends on several factors.
Each asbestos trust assigns claim values to various types of asbestos-related diseases. This is called a “schedule.” The scheduled values are based on various factors such as how much compensation the company paid to asbestos claimants before filing for bankruptcy.
In addition to filing trust fund claims, mesothelioma claimants should consider more options for compensation, including asbestos lawsuits, Social Security Disability Insurance, personal insurance and veterans benefits.
How Much Money Is Left in Asbestos Trust Funds?
There are approximately 60 active asbestos trust funds with an estimated $30 billion available for future claimants.
These trusts have paid claimants about $20 billion since the late 1980s. This figure includes an estimated $15 billion paid between 2006 and 2012.
Given the long latency period of asbestos-related diseases, new claims are expected to emerge for several decades.
Trusts are established after rigorous estimation proceedings. These proceedings determine how much money should be set aside for current and future asbestos claims. Management procedures are established to ensure the funds last long enough to compensate future claimants.
To make sure enough money is available for future claims, claimants typically receive a percentage of what their claim is worth. This prevents funds from depleting too soon, but it also means that most victims get less than they might otherwise receive.
How Do Trust Fund Payment Percentages Work?
Trust funds offer a set payment percentage of a claim’s value to preserve money for future victims who will be diagnosed years from now.
For example, using the median value of $180,000 for mesothelioma claims, if the trust’s payment percentage is 25%, the payout would be $45,000. That compensation may be substantial enough to help cover medical bills and lost wages.
Filing an Asbestos Trust Fund Claim
There are several steps involved in filing a trust fund claim, including meeting the fund’s criteria and gathering evidence before filing the claim. A mesothelioma attorney will guide you through these steps to give you peace of mind and let you focus on your recovery.