Asbestos Trust Funds

Quick Summary

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-caused illness.

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What Is an Asbestos Trust Fund?

Asbestos and mesothelioma trust funds were created by asbestos companies that filed for bankruptcy.

These special trusts are designed to have enough money to compensate all of a company’s current and future asbestos exposure victims. See our asbestos trust fund list below.

Victims may be able to receive compensation for:

  • Mesothelioma
  • Asbestosis
  • Lung cancer
  • Other asbestos-caused cancers

Mesothelioma is the most serious of these asbestos-related diseases because of its low survival rate. Due to its severity, patients with this cancer often receive the highest compensation amount possible from asbestos trust funds.

For immediate help accessing trust funds, reach out to our team of Patient Advocates today at (877) 450-8973.

How Much Trust Fund Money Can I Receive?

The median amount paid by trusts per mesothelioma claim is $41,000 according to the RAND Institute for Civil Justice, but this amount varies on a case-by-case basis.

Many mesothelioma victims qualify for compensation from multiple trusts.

Accessing Multiple Trust Funds

Most companies that made and sold asbestos products did not do so alone. They were part of complex supply chains that included multiple companies.

This means more than one company may be responsible for a victim’s asbestos-related illness. If this is the case, the victim might be able to file claims against multiple trusts, all of whom bear part of the responsibility.

The more trusts a victim is able to make claims on, the higher the total amount of mesothelioma compensation.

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Asbestos Trust Fund Payment Percentages

By their very nature, asbestos trust funds were established to provide compensation for future claims. They deal with a limited amount of money that was set aside when the trusts were established.

Mesothelioma has a latency period of 20-50 years. This means that paying out a sum that bankrupts a company early on will use up all the funds for victims in the future.

To make sure that the trusts remain operational and future claimants have options for compensation, payment percentages were created. These 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

This variation in payment amount makes filing a claim as soon as possible very important. The payment percentage is subject to change and be reduced, so it is best to file an asbestos trust claim as soon as possible.

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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 conditions like asbestosis.

Some examples of review 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 amount before payment percentages have been applied.

Asbestos Trust Fund List

CompanyInitial FundingYear Established
Armstrong World Industries$2.06 billion2006
ASARCO LLC$830 million2009
Babcock & Wilcox Company$1.84 billion2006
Celotex$1.25 billion1997
Combustion Engineering$1.24 billion2006
Congoleum Corporation$270 million2010
DII Industries, LLC$2.51 billion2005
Eagle-Picher Industries$730 million1996
Federal Mogul U.S. T&N Subfund$635 million2007
Federal Mogul U.S., FMP Subfund$55 million2007
Kaiser Aluminum$1.22 billion2006
Johns-Manville$2.5 billion1988
National Gypsum Company (NGC)$446 million1993
Owens Corning$3.42 billion2006
Owens Corning, Fibreboard Subfund$1.56 billion2006
Pittsburgh Corning Corporation$825 million2013
Porter Hayden Company$40 million2006
Quigley Co. Inc.$569 million2013
Raytech Corporation$52 million2000
United States Gypsum$3.96 billion2006
Western Asbestos$2 billion2004
W.R. Grace$3 billion2014

Need help finding out if you qualify for trust funds? Chat now with one of our trusted advocates.

If you have mesothelioma and worked for one (or more) of these companies, you may be able to file claims with these asbestos trust funds.

If you don’t see the company you worked for, that does not mean you don’t have a claim. There are hundreds of other asbestos companies not listed who may be held accountable for your cancer.

Find out how you can access asbestos trust funds.

Steps To File an Asbestos Trust Fund Claim

1. Identify Asbestos Trust Funds

You first have to find out which asbestos 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 exposed you 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 trust funds.

Your attorney will handle the paperwork in your trust fund claim so you can focus on your loved ones.

2. Build a Claim

Each asbestos trust fund outlines who is eligible to file a claim in their trust distribution procedures (TDPs). You will likely need to provide documents that show you qualify to access money from each asbestos trust fund.

Asbestos trust funds may require that you present:

  • Work and asbestos exposure history
  • A diagnosis of mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease
  • Medical documents/statements that link your illness to asbestos exposure

A mesothelioma lawyer can help you gather all of the needed information to properly present your case.

3. Filing a Claim & Review Process

After building your claim, your attorney can file it with the asbestos trust fund. You won’t have to file the claim yourself.

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. The review determines if you have a valid case, which is crucial to awarding compensation.

Expedited Review

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.

Individual Review

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.

4. Receiving Payment

Once your claim has been reviewed, asbestos trust funds begin a process known as liquidation. Liquidation will confirm how much your claim is worth. You can then accept the compensation offered by the trust funds.

Which review process is chosen can impact how much compensation you receive. While individual review settlements can vary widely even within a single trust, expedited review settlement amounts do not vary.

Expedited reviews use pre-set values to determine your claim’s worth. Individual reviews assign a unique value to the claim, and may award you with more or less compensation based on what the trust finds.

Learn more about accessing compensation from asbestos trust funds in our free veterans packet.

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Asbestos Trust Fund Claims vs. Mesothelioma Lawsuits

Asbestos trust fund claims are not the same as filing a lawsuit. Mesothelioma 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 Trust Fund Claim

Who can file a trust fund claim, how long they have to file, and where they can file it are all subject to state and national laws.

State Laws

Every state has laws and regulations governing asbestos claims.

States can decide on details like:

  • Minimal medical criteria: How sick an asbestos victim has to be before filing a claim
  • 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
  • Statute of limitations: The deadline for filing a trust fund claim
Time to file a Trust Fund Claim is limited
Time to file a Trust Fund Claim is limited

Connect with us today to find out the statute of limitations in your state.

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State laws can be complicated. Working with an experienced mesothelioma law firm can help ensure that a victim’s compensation isn’t negatively 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 need to be aware of how the two processes can affect each other.

Compensation Disclosure Laws

Some states have laws about information sharing, which require plaintiffs involved in a lawsuit to disclose if they have already received compensation from a trust for the injuries or illness they are suing over.

This can allow defendants to shift blame for the injury to the now-bankrupt company that established the trust, even if they may also be partially responsible.

Setoffs

Other states allow setoffs, which can affect the total amount of compensation a defendant is required to pay if they lose at trial. Setoffs reduce the verdict amount based on compensation 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.

How Were Asbestos Trust Funds Created?

When asbestos litigation first gained momentum in the late 1970s, many of the companies responsible for producing asbestos-containing products were unprepared to face the consequences.

In turn, they started to file for bankruptcy to look for protection from mesothelioma lawsuits.

To prevent these companies from shirking responsibility, the courts ordered them to create asbestos trust funds. Regulated by the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, asbestos trust funds allowed victims of asbestos exposure to pursue compensation without suing the companies at fault.

Asbestos Trust Fund Creation Process

Today, when a company involved in asbestos litigation petitions for bankruptcy, they are required to follow certain trust fund establishment procedures in order to compensate current and future victims.

  1. Bankruptcy Court: First, the company petitions the bankruptcy court for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and reorganization. If granted, all lawsuits against the company are stopped immediately.
  2. Estimates for Asbestos: Once bankruptcy has been declared, the company has to enter into negotiations with its creditors. This includes the plaintiffs suing them for asbestos-related illnesses and their legal counsel.Together, they develop a reorganization plan for funding and managing the asbestos trust fund. Money for the trust comes from selling the company’s assets.
  3. 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

The Johns-Manville Corporation

The Johns-Manville Corporation first filed for bankruptcy protection against asbestos lawsuits in 1982. At the time, this company was the largest producer of asbestos-related products in the United States.

It took 6 years, but in 1988, the Manville Personal Injury Settlement Trust was created, and all asbestos-related litigation against the company shifted to the trust.

As time went on, and the rate at which claims were filed did not decrease, the trust became unable to pay victims 100% of the value of their claims. The personal injury trust was forced to reorganize.

New policies, like paying more to claimants with more serious illnesses and payment percentages, have kept the trust stable for decades, ensuring it will be there to provide compensation for future victims and their family members.

Asbestos Trust Fund Legislation

Although asbestos trust funds are an established part of the asbestos exposure compensation process, 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, in an attempt to 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 have mesothelioma.

It also requires victims to provide more specific information when seeking compensation from a trust. This information must be reported quarterly by the trusts in their public bankruptcy dockets.

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 an efficient and effective way for asbestos exposure victims to seek compensation. However, going at it alone can be difficult.

An experienced mesothelioma lawyer can do more than help with filing the paperwork and negotiating the claim amount. They 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.

See if you qualify for asbestos trust fund compensation now.

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 get sick later on, can pursue compensation if they qualify.

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 the victim’s behalf.

However, there are time limits on how long you have to file an asbestos trust fund claim after your diagnosis. If these limits pass, you might not be able to pursue any money. Speak with an asbestos attorney to see if and when you can file an asbestos trust fund claim.

How much compensation can I access from asbestos trust funds?

After payment percentages are applied, the average value of an asbestos trust fund claim is $41,000 for a mesothelioma patient.

However, the number of trusts you qualify for, variations in payment percentages, and other factors can impact how much compensation you may actually receive.

Mesothelioma attorneys can see how much compensation may be available from asbestos trust funds in your case.

Does filing an asbestos trust fund claim affect my 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. You can also pursue other forms of legal compensation with no impact on your ability to receive VA benefits.

For immediate help on starting a trust fund claim, reach out to our team of Patient Advocates today at (877) 450-8973.

Veterans Support Team
Christopher Dryfoos PhotoWritten by:

Contributing Author

Christopher Dryfoos is a journalist and member of the American Medical Writers Association (AMWA). As the grandson of the U.S. Navy’s first forensic pathologist, he aims to help veterans with mesothelioma access needed care.

View 11 Sources
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