Asbestos trust funds were established by bankrupt manufacturers of asbestos-containing products in order to compensate those with mesothelioma and related diseases. A mesothelioma attorney can help victims pursue trust fund compensation if they have developed an asbestos-related disease.
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What Is an Asbestos Trust Fund?
Asbestos trust funds were created by asbestos companies that filed for bankruptcy.
These special trusts compensate those who developed asbestos-related diseases like mesothelioma — or those who could get sick later in life — after being exposed to the company’s asbestos-based products. See our asbestos trust fund list below.
Victims may be able to receive compensation for:
- Lung cancer
- Other asbestos-caused cancers
Video Summary: VA-accredited attorney Eric Hall explains how veterans with mesothelioma can get financial compensation. With a 100% disability rating, the VA pays $3500 or more to veterans with mesothelioma. There are other ways for veterans to get even more financial compensation as well. Call (877) 450-8973 to get started. View Transcript
Any veteran who has mesothelioma as a result of their exposure to asbestos while serving in the military is entitled to VA compensation. Veterans who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma as a result of their service in the military are likely to receive a benefit of $3,500 of monthly income, tax-free to the veteran. In addition to VA benefits, there are other types of compensation that are available to veterans who have been exposed to asbestos and developed mesothelioma. We encourage veterans to call and find out how we can help them.
Mesothelioma is the most serious asbestos-related disease because of its poor prognosis. Due to this, patients with this cancer often receive the highest amount of compensation possible from mesothelioma trusts.
How Much Mesothelioma Trust Fund Money Can I Receive?
This depends on which asbestos-based products you are exposed to and if the companies that manufactured them set up mesothelioma trust funds.
Many mesothelioma patients can file claims with multiple trusts as more than one company may be responsible for a victim’s asbestos-related illness. The more trusts you qualify for, the more compensation you can pursue.
On average, mesothelioma victims receive $1 million in total from asbestos trust funds and other forms of legal action.
For best results, reach out to skilled attorneys who can help determine which asbestos and mesothelioma trust funds you can access.
Who Is Eligible to File an Asbestos Trust Fund Claim?
Anyone with an asbestos-related disease — such as retired workers or U.S. veterans — may be able to file a trust fund claim. Family members or other relatives may also be able to file trust claims on a patient’s behalf.
However, there are time limits on how long you have to file an asbestos trust fund claim after your mesothelioma diagnosis. If these limits pass, you may not be able to pursue any money. It’s important to explore your options as soon as possible to avoid missing out on compensation.
Need help finding out if you qualify for trust funds? Get connected with our patient advocates to find out how you can access asbestos trust funds.
Recent Asbestos Trust Fund Settlements
Because mesothelioma is so aggressive, claimants with this cancer tend to recover more compensation than those suffering from other asbestos-related illnesses like asbestosis.
Some examples of recent payouts include:
- Armstrong World Industries: $110,000
- Babcock & Wilcox Company: $90,000
- Fibreboard: $135,000
- Owens Corning: $215,000
- United States Gypsum Company: $155,000
These numbers represent the settlement amounts before rates called payment percentages were applied. Trusts may only pay out a percent of the total claim’s value so they don’t run out of money for future victims.
Remember, you might receive compensation from multiple trusts. Chat now with our veterans advocates to learn more and get started.
Find Asbestos Trust Funds
If you have mesothelioma and worked for one (or more) of the companies listed below, you may be able to file claims with their mesothelioma trust funds.
- Armstrong World Industries
- ASARCO LLC
- Babcock & Wilcox Company
- Combustion Engineering
- Congoleum Corporation
- DII Industries, LLC
- Eagle-Picher Industries
- Federal Mogul U.S. T&N Subfund
- Federal Mogul U.S., FMP Subfund
- Kaiser Aluminum
- National Gypsum Company (NGC)
- Owens Corning
- Owens Corning, Fibreboard Subfund
- Pittsburgh Corning Corporation
- Porter Hayden Company
- Quigley Co. Inc.
- Raytech Corporation
- United States Gypsum
- Western Asbestos
- W.R. Grace
Initial Funding $2.06 billion
Established in 2006
Initial Funding $830 million
Established in 2009
Initial Funding $1.84 billion
Established in 2006
Initial Funding $1.25 billion
Established in 1997
Initial Funding $1.24 billion
Established in 2006
Initial Funding $270 million
Established in 2010
Initial Funding $2.51 billion
Established in 2005
Initial Funding $730 million
Established in 1996
Initial Funding $635 million
Established in 2007
Initial Funding $55 million
Established in 2007
Initial Funding $1.22 billion
Established in 2006
Initial Funding $2.5 billion
Established in 1988
Initial Funding $446 million
Established in 1993
Initial Funding $3.42 billion
Established in 2006
Initial Funding $1.56 billion
Established in 2006
Initial Funding $825 million
Established in 2013
Initial Funding $40 million
Established in 2006
Initial Funding $569 million
Established in 2013
Initial Funding $52 million
Established in 2000
Initial Funding $3.96 billion
Established in 2006
Initial Funding $2 billion
Established in 2004
Initial Funding $3 billion
Established in 2014
You still may be able to file a claim if you don’t see the company you worked for. There are hundreds of other asbestos companies not listed that may have trust funds. In total, an estimated $30 billion is available in asbestos trust funds today.
Steps to File an Asbestos Trust Fund Claim
1. Identify Asbestos Trust Funds
You first have to find out which mesothelioma trust funds you can file a claim with. For help with this process, work with a mesothelioma lawyer.
A mesothelioma attorney can determine when, where, and how you were exposed to asbestos. They can also identify the companies that made the products you were exposed to and see if they established trust funds or not.
Based on your legal team’s findings, you may qualify to file claims with multiple asbestos and mesothelioma trust funds. Your former employers will not be sued as part of this process.
Your attorney will handle the paperwork that comes with filing mesothelioma trust fund claims so you can focus on getting treated and spending time with loved ones.
2. Build a Claim
All asbestos and mesothelioma funds outline who can file a claim in their trust distribution procedures (TDPs). You will likely need to provide documents that explain why you deserve compensation from each fund.
Asbestos funds may require that you present:
- Work history and asbestos exposure history
- A diagnosis of mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease
- Medical records/statements that link your illness to asbestos exposure
A mesothelioma lawyer can help you gather all of the needed information to present your case.
3. File a Mesothelioma Trust Fund Claim
After building your claim, your attorney can file it with the asbestos trust fund(s) you qualify for. You won’t have to file the claim yourself.
Once the mesothelioma trust fund claim has been filed, your legal team will keep you updated as the case moves forward. They’ll notify you as the claim is being reviewed and when payment is ready.
4. Asbestos Trust Fund Claim Review & Payment
When a claim is filed, you and your legal team can choose to have your claim reviewed in one of two ways by a trust.
Through an expedited review, the trust will process your claim based on criteria they have established, such as what type of asbestos-related disease you have. If it meets the criteria, the claim will be accepted as valid and you’ll get paid a fixed amount of money as outlined by the asbestos trust.
In an individual review, the trust will take a more detailed view of your claim and the evidence presented. As a result, the individual review process typically takes longer. Individual reviews assign a unique value to the claim, and may award you with more or less compensation based on what the trust finds.
Once your claim has been reviewed, the asbestos trust fund will begin a process known as liquidation. Liquidation will confirm how much your claim is worth. You can then accept the compensation offered by the asbestos trust funds.
Learn more about accessing compensation from asbestos and mesothelioma trust funds in our free veterans packet.
Asbestos Trust Fund Claims vs. Mesothelioma Lawsuits
Asbestos trust fund claims are not the same as mesothelioma lawsuits. Lawsuits are typically filed against manufacturers of asbestos-based products that did not file for bankruptcy and thus do not have trust funds.
Many mesothelioma lawsuits have awarded millions of dollars in financial compensation.
You may be able to file a mesothelioma lawsuit alongside a trust fund claim, depending on the companies that made the asbestos products you were exposed to. An asbestos attorney can help determine your legal options.
Limitations on Filing a Mesothelioma Trust Fund Claim
Who can file a trust fund claim and how long they have to file are both affected by state and national laws.
Every state has laws and regulations governing asbestos claims.
States can decide on details like:
- Filing multiple claims for different diseases: Whether a victim who filed a claim for a less-severe asbestos disease, like asbestosis, can file again if they later develop a more severe condition, like mesothelioma
- Minimal medical criteria: How sick an asbestos victim has to be before filing a claim
- Statute of limitations: How long the victim has to file their trust fund claim
State laws can be complicated. Working with an experienced mesothelioma law firm can help ensure that a victim’s compensation isn’t affected by unexpected rules and regulations.
Filing Other Claims and Lawsuits
Victims who intend to seek compensation both from asbestos bankruptcy trusts and from lawsuits against active companies must be aware of how the two processes can affect each other.
Compensation Disclosure Laws
Some states have laws about information sharing, which require the individuals suing (plaintiffs) to disclose if they have already received compensation from another trust for their asbestos-related injuries or illness.
This can allow the companies being sued (defendants) to shift blame for the injury to the now-bankrupt company that established the trust, even if they may also be partially responsible.
Some states also allow setoffs, which can affect the total amount of compensation a defendant is required to pay if they lose at trial. Setoffs reduce this payout based on the amount of compensation the plaintiff already received.
For example, in a state with setoffs, a victim who is awarded $500,000 in a trial but has already received $100,000 from a trust may find that the defendant is required to pay them only $400,000.
Mesothelioma attorneys can help you navigate any limits that may affect your ability to get financial compensation from a trust fund.
How Were Mesothelioma Trust Funds Created?
When asbestos litigation first gained momentum in the late 1970s, many manufacturers of asbestos-containing products were unprepared to face the consequences.
In turn, they started to file for bankruptcy to look for protection from mesothelioma lawsuits. Filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy allowed these companies to get a clean slate — and stopped all lawsuits against them as bankrupt companies can’t be sued.
To prevent these companies from shirking responsibility, the courts ordered them to create asbestos and mesothelioma trust funds.
Regulated by the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, asbestos funds allowed victims of asbestos exposure to pursue financial assistance without suing the companies at fault.
Asbestos Trust Fund Creation Process
If a manufacturer of asbestos-based products wants to file for bankruptcy, they must create an asbestos trust based in line with the U.S. courts system’s rules.
- Bankruptcy Court: The company petitions the bankruptcy court for bankruptcy and reorganization. If granted, all lawsuits against the company are stopped immediately.
- Estimates for Asbestos: Once the company declares bankruptcy, it must enter into negotiations with those it owed money to. This includes the plaintiffs suing them for asbestos-related illnesses and their legal teams. Together, they develop a reorganization plan for funding and managing the mesothelioma trust fund. Money for the trust comes from selling the company’s assets.
- Reorganization Approval: The reorganization plan is submitted to the courts. If it is approved, the asbestos trust fund is established and can begin settling claims.
“The trust system was created as the by-product of asbestos bankruptcies. Major asbestos defendants faced crushing and often-unpredictable liabilities for the harms caused by asbestos. Bankruptcy was one option for coping with these liabilities.”
– RAND Institute for Civil Justice
Asbestos Trust Fund Payment Percentages
Mesothelioma takes 20-50 years to develop, so asbestos trust funds need to have enough money set aside to pay people who are currently sick and those who may get diagnosed in the future.
To make sure the trusts have funds to pay future claimants, payment percentages were created. Payment percentages can range from 1-100% of the claim’s full value and can change over time as the financial status of the trust fluctuates.
For example, in a trust where the full claim amount is $100,000:
- 1% payment percentage = $1,000
- 50% payment percentage = $50,000
- 90% payment percentage = $90,000
Payment percentages are subject to change, so it is best to file an asbestos trust claim as soon as possible. If you wait, the payment percentage could go down and you could get less money.
Asbestos Trust Fund Legislation
Although asbestos bankruptcy trust funds have been around since the 1980s, new laws governing who can access the funds (and how) continue to be a topic of disagreement among lawmakers.
Fairness in Class-Action Litigation (FACT) Act
The FACT Act does two main things to asbestos litigation to try and protect the trusts from those looking to take advantage of the system.
First, it requires that all members of a class-action lawsuit have the same extent of injuries. This means that some members of the suit cannot have a less serious condition like pleural plaques while others are diagnosed with mesothelioma.
It also requires victims to provide more specific information when seeking compensation from a trust. Trusts must then report relevant information they receive in their public bankruptcy dockets, which are released four times a year.
The DOJ and Asbestos Trust Funds
The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has also taken aim at asbestos trust funds in recent years.
The DOJ has criticized the trusts’ lack of fraud safeguards and their habit of working with attorneys during reorganization and formation who will later benefit from filing claims against them, citing a conflict of interest.
Get Help Filing an Asbestos Trust Fund Claim
Filing an asbestos trust fund claim can be a great way for you and your family to seek compensation. However, going at it alone can be difficult.
An experienced mesothelioma law firm can do more than help with filing the paperwork and negotiating the claim amount. The firm can help victims navigate laws that could complicate their claim and decrease their compensation amounts.
If you or a loved one have been affected by mesothelioma and you want to explore possible compensation options, don’t hesitate.
Asbestos Trust Funds: Common Questions
How much money is left in asbestos trust funds?
An estimated $30 billion is currently available across all active asbestos trust funds today.
This means that those currently suffering from mesothelioma, as well as those who might become ill later on, can pursue compensation if they qualify.
How much compensation can I access from asbestos trust funds?
The average value of an asbestos trust fund claim is $41,000 for a mesothelioma patient after payment percentages are applied, according to the RAND Institute for Civil Justice.
However, the number of trusts you qualify for, variations in payment percentages, and other factors can impact how much compensation you actually receive.
Mesothelioma patients usually secure $1 million or more through legal claims and asbestos trust fund payouts.
Attorneys can see how much mesothelioma compensation may be available from asbestos trust funds in your case.
Does filing an asbestos trust fund claim prevent me from getting VA benefits?
No. You can file for benefits from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in addition to filing claims with asbestos trust funds. Pursuing legal compensation also won’t prevent you from filing for VA benefits.
Are mesothelioma trust fund payments taxable?
Mesothelioma and asbestos trust fund payments aren’t usually subject to taxes. That said, each case is different. A mesothelioma lawyer can see if the compensation you get from asbestos trust funds will be taxed or not.
What was the first asbestos trust fund?
The Johns-Manville Corporation was the first company to create an asbestos personal injury settlement trust.
The company filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 1982 and after years of litigation, the Manville Personal Injury Settlement Trust was established in 1988. All asbestos-related litigation against the company shifted to the trust.