The military isn’t responsible for veteran asbestos exposure, the fault lies with manufacturers who knew the risks of asbestos. Many of these companies now have asbestos trust funds to compensate their victims.
Asbestos Companies at Fault
It bears repeating that U.S. military veterans make up the largest proportion of mesothelioma patients. Due to the fact that naval vessels require so much insulation, Navy veterans have historically been the most exposed group to asbestos. However, veterans of every military branch faced exposure risks greater than most other groups.
The military is not at fault for veterans with mesothelioma or other asbestos-related diseases. The manufacturers of asbestos products are to blame.
“Asbestos diseases have been known and documented for over 100 years,” according to the Environmental Working Group.
Asbestos manufacturing companies knew for decades that asbestos was a cancer-causing mineral, and the companies willingly hid this information from the public. As WWII approached, manufacturing in the United States skyrocketed. Companies built thousands of vehicles and weapons for the war effort, and these most of these materials contained asbestos.
Many veterans with mesothelioma file lawsuits against asbestos manufacturers. Veterans were often exposed to asbestos in the military and in their civilian lives. The VA offers compensation for mesothelioma sufferers who were exposed in the military while lawsuits and trust funds provide compensation for asbestos exposure in civilian life.
Asbestos companies continued making products that would be used in the military until the 1980s, which is when the military began to make regulations against asbestos products. Unfortunately, the damage had been done.
Millions of veterans had been exposed to deadly asbestos fibers because companies didn’t want to sacrifice their profit margins.
The first large lawsuits against asbestos companies started in the 1980s. The courts ruled overwhelmingly in favor of the mesothelioma patients in these early cases. The evidence against the companies showed they willingly put employees at risk.
With mesothelioma being one of the more aggressive cancer types, the courts awarded large sums that bankrupted many companies.
Asbestos trust funds were established to provide compensation for future claimants. Mesothelioma has a latency period of 20-50 years, which means that paying out a sum that bankrupts a company early on will use up all the funds for victims in the future.
Asbestos companies have to pay into the trust to keep it funded. Every trust has managers who invest the money. These investments create more capital for asbestos victims.
Not every company has an asbestos trust fund. There are both pros and cons to the trust system, the most notable being: speedy payments at the cost of a lower settlement. Trust funds provide compensation much faster than a lawsuit, but lawsuits often lead to settlements near $1 million dollars.
If you have mesothelioma, you’re a victim of corporate neglect. It’s your right to seek compensation and justice. Trust funds and settlements can help pay for treatment or debts. An attorney can help you decide the best course of action. Veterans can also take advantage of VA benefits, which may offer more immediate compensation in many cases.
Top 5 Asbestos Companies
The list is based on the largest, most popular companies that knowingly exposed employees and consumers to asbestos, and all have established asbestos trust funds. The number of claimants against these companies was so high that they were forced into bankruptcy, further affirming how many people the companies exposed to asbestos.
Here are 5 of the biggest asbestos companies:
- WR Grace. This company is linked with one of the worst asbestos disasters in American history. Libby, Montana was the site of this company’s asbestos mining operation, which threatened workers, their family members and the entire Libby community. The EPA declared Libby a superfund cleanup site.
- Johns-Manville. A manufacturer of construction products, Johns-Manville filed one of the first bankruptcy claims due to settlements it paid out. This company established the first asbestos trust fund in 1988.
- Owens Corning Fibreboard. The trust fund for this company has over a billion dollars in assets. They manufactured roofing material and fiberglass products that contained asbestos. Owens has two of the largest asbestos trust funds, totalling over 4 billion dollars.
- United States Gypsum. This simple drywall manufacturer also has one of the largest asbestos trust funds. It has over 4 billion dollars in assets in a single fund.
- Garlock Sealing Technologies.A gasket company, Garlock exposed countless people to asbestos through its products. The company filed bankruptcy in 2010.
A mesothelioma patient’s attorney provided evidence in 1988 that Johns-Manville had “corporate knowledge of the dangers associated with exposure to asbestos dating back to 1934.”
List of Asbestos Companies
There are hundreds of companies who manufactured asbestos products. These companies range from those who directly mined the mineral to those who made household building products. Any products manufactured before the 1980s that functioned as insulation or protection from heat or fire may have contained asbestos.
Some of the most notable asbestos companies include:
- A&I Corporation
- A-Best Products
- API, Inc.
- A.P. Green Industries
- Armstrong World Industries
- ASARCO LLC
- Babcock and Wilcox Company
- Burns and Roe
- C. E. Thurston and Sons
- Combustion Engineering
- Congoleum Corporation
- DII Industries, LLC
- Eagle-Picher Industries
- EJ Bartells Company
- Flintkote Company
- H. K. Porter
- J. T. Thorpe
- Kaiser Aluminum
- Keene Corporation
- Lykes Brothers Steamship Co.
- MacArthur Company
- National Gypsum Company
- North American Refractories Company
- Plibrico Company
- Pittsburgh Corning Corporation
- Porter Hayden
- Quigley Company, Inc.
- Raytech Corporation
- Shook and Fletcher
- Skinner Engine Co.
- Stone and Webster
- Swan Transportation Company
- Synkoloid Company
- Thorpe Insulation Company
- United States Mineral Products Company
- UNR Industries
- Utex Industries, Inc.
- Western Asbestos Company
Over 100 companies have filed for bankruptcy protection due to asbestos lawsuits. There are currently over 40 companies with asbestos trust funds. If you were exposed to products from multiple companies, you may even be eligible for compensation from several trusts.
If you have mesothelioma and worked for one of the companies above, you may have a legal claim. The companies above have been faced with enough mesothelioma lawsuits to file bankruptcy and/or set up an asbestos trust fund.
If you don’t see the company you worked for above, that doesn’t mean that you don’t have a legal claim. There are hundreds of other asbestos companies not listed who may be held accountable for your condition. Find out how you can access these funds.
Trust Fund Compensation and More
Trust funds are a great source of compensation for mesothelioma patients. They are often faster than lawsuits and ensure a guaranteed sum of money. However, it’s still important to speak with a lawyer about the correct course of action based on your case.
Additionally, trust funds are not the only source of compensation for veterans with mesothelioma. The Department of Veterans Affairs offers several benefits and healthcare access to veterans. These benefits range from disability to caregiver compensation.
When looking into companies that may be liable for your asbestos exposure here’s what you need to know:
- These companies willingly put you in harm’s way.
- Trust funds were created to support your treatment costs.
- Veterans have many other avenues of compensation.
If you or a family member worked for an asbestos manufacturing company, you could receive compensation for treatment and other costs. Our VA-accredited claims agent is specially trained to examine all avenues of compensation for veterans. This ranges from legal compensation to VA benefits. It’s important to explore all options available to you,find out more about your options now.