Mesothelioma Settlements

Quick Summary

Mesothelioma settlements are payouts made by companies facing lawsuits from those with asbestos-related diseases. The average settlement for mesothelioma is between $1 million and $1.4 million. Mesothelioma settlements are often better for veterans and others affected by this cancer, as they award financial compensation faster and are less risky when compared to a trial.

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What Is a Mesothelioma Settlement?

Settlements are the most common outcome of a mesothelioma personal injury lawsuit. Through a mesothelioma settlement, manufacturers of asbestos-based products agree to compensate the victim or their surviving family members. In return, the legal action stops.

Once a client receives their mesothelioma settlement compensation, they can use it to pay for anything. This includes living expenses, medical bills stemming from a mesothelioma diagnosis or treatments, or even vacations.

The mesothelioma settlement process does not impact a veteran’s ability to file for benefits from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). This means veterans can access compensation both from the VA and from a settlement.

An experienced mesothelioma lawyer who knows how to build strong cases can help veterans pursue an asbestos settlement.

Mesothelioma Settlements vs Trial Verdicts

Mesothelioma settlements are often awarded through pretrial negotiations between the plaintiff (the mesothelioma victim) and defendants (asbestos companies) in a lawsuit.

If a settlement cannot be reached, or if the settlement offered is not satisfactory, then the case goes to trial. Compensation through a trial verdict is awarded if a judge or jury finds the asbestos companies guilty.

While mesothelioma trial verdicts may award more compensation if a plaintiff wins, they are very rare due to the high risks associated with them.

More than 95% of mesothelioma lawsuits reach settlements
More than 95% of mesothelioma lawsuits reach settlements.

Why Defendants Want To Reach Mesothelioma Settlements

It’s very unlikely that defendants will want a mesothelioma lawsuit to go to trial.

Compared to mesothelioma verdicts, settlements:

  • Are less expensive
  • Are less stressful
  • Award mesothelioma compensation faster
  • Provide a set amount of compensation

Defendants also don’t have to risk paying punitive damages in a mesothelioma settlement. These are extra payments for the plaintiff awarded to punish the defendants in a trial setting.

For all of these reasons, defendants may agree to settle the case. Most settlements occur before a trial, but some occur mid-trial or after a verdict has been rendered.

Average Mesothelioma Settlement Amounts

The average mesothelioma settlement is usually $1 million to $1.4 million, according to Mealey’s® litigation report.

$1.4 Million Average Settlement
$1.4 Million
Average Settlement
*varies case by case

Plaintiffs may receive more or less than this average depending on the individual factors affecting their claim.

Factors Affecting Mesothelioma Settlement Amounts

A mesothelioma settlement offer may depend on:

  • Diagnosis

    What asbestos-related disease you have can impact how much compensation you receive. Deadly cancers like mesothelioma and lung cancer may award more than non-cancerous illnesses like asbestosis.

  • Expenses

    Through a settlement, your lawyer will try to get compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages if you or your loved ones can’t work, and emotional distress.

  • Number of defendants

    The money from a mesothelioma settlement usually comes from many sources, as you may have been exposed to many asbestos products. Mesothelioma claims are typically filed against dozens of defendants. Having more defendants may increase the overall settlement payout.

  • Statutes of limitations

    These are laws set by each state that limit the amount of time you have to pursue asbestos litigation. If you wait too long, you won’t be able to file a claim or reach any type of settlement. A lawyer can help you file your case before this time frame passes.

Other factors, like location of the claim and proof of company negligence, can also affect settlement amounts. A skilled attorney can help see what factors may impact your case’s value.

Compensation Amounts and Proving Asbestos Exposure

Arguably, the most important factor that affects mesothelioma settlements is your asbestos exposure history. This links your cancer to certain products and the companies that made them, allowing you to pursue legal action against them.

If you don’t remember exactly where and how you were exposed to asbestos, a mesothelioma law firm can help. These firms can look at your military and work history to see when and where your exposure likely occurred.

Get more information about military asbestos exposure and your options with our free veterans packet.

Mesothelioma Veterans GuideGet a FREE Veterans Packet

Get information on:

  • Treatment Options
  • Mesothelioma Specialists
  • Veterans Benefits

Get a Free Veterans Packet

Recent Mesothelioma Settlement Amounts

A lawyer can determine how much money you may receive from a mesothelioma settlement. Connect with a lawyer today.

Process to Reach a Mesothelioma Lawsuit Settlement

Mesothelioma Settlement Process

1. Gather Evidence and Prepare the Claim

An experienced mesothelioma attorney gathers information about the client’s asbestos exposure and their cancer diagnosis.

This may include:

  • Military service records and civilian work history
  • Medical records that confirm the mesothelioma diagnosis
  • Corporate documents from the makers of asbestos-based products

Lawyers will then build a claim that explains that their client got sick from being exposed to asbestos-based products.

If the lawyers discover the plaintiff was harmed by a bankrupt asbestos company, they may recommend filing an asbestos trust fund claim. Bankrupt makers of asbestos-based products were ordered to create these trusts to pay victims.

Unlock Trust Funds

Learn about:

  • Asbestos Trust Funds
  • Access Over $30 Billion
  • Financial Assistance

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2. File the Claim

The next step in the legal process involves filing the asbestos claim in the appropriate court system. The client does not have to file the claim themselves — their legal team will do it on their behalf.

Remember, filing a legal claim does not affect a veteran’s ability to pursue VA benefits.

Once the claim has been filed, the defendants get a chance to review it and can either accept or deny it. Generally, they will try to deny responsibility at first.

3. Discovery Phase

If the defendants deny the claim, another round of evidence collection called discovery starts.

During this process, each side may request additional documents from each other to strengthen their arguments. Depositions (written, in-person, or virtual interviews) may also take place during this stage. A lawyer can help their client prepare for this type of questioning.

It is up to the plaintiff’s attorney to show that their client became sick because of their exposure to asbestos using the evidence they gather. They’ll also need to find proof of corporate negligence, showing that the asbestos companies knowingly put the victim in danger.

4. Settlement Negotiation

If the plaintiff’s case is strong, the defendants will often agree to enter settlement negotiations instead of going to trial.

A good mesothelioma lawyer will then negotiate on their client’s behalf to arrange for the highest possible amount of money. They will use the facts of the case to ensure that a fair settlement is reached.

Mesothelioma lawsuit settlements are almost always reached during this process, but some settlement negotiations may fail. In these cases, the lawsuit may proceed to a trial phase.

Our team can connect you with lawyers who can pursue settlements
on your behalf. Call (877) 450-8973.

Find a Mesothelioma Lawyer Today

To reach a mesothelioma settlement, it’s helpful to work with an experienced lawyer. Asbestos attorneys can make the legal process much easier for you and your family.

attorney shaking hands with client

These lawyers:

  • Build strong cases on your behalf
  • File your claim
  • Negotiate settlements for you

Get a free case review today to see if you can work with a lawyer and pursue a mesothelioma settlement.

Common Questions About Mesothelioma Settlements

Are mesothelioma settlements taxable income?

Some mesothelioma settlements may be subject to state and federal taxes, while others are not. A lawyer can help you determine if a settlement is considered taxable income.

Who gets money in a mesothelioma wrongful death settlement?

In the case of a wrongful death lawsuit, where the victim has passed away, their loved ones usually receive the mesothelioma settlement in their place.

What are mesothelioma class-action settlements?

Class-action lawsuits are filed by large groups of people. In these cases, the settlement amount would be divided between all the individuals named in the suit.

Most mesothelioma lawsuits today are not filed as class-action. Clients can receive more money through an individual mesothelioma settlement than a class-action settlement.

How long does it take to reach a mesothelioma settlement?

A mesothelioma settlement can happen anytime after the claim is filed. In most cases, a mesothelioma settlement is reached in about a year with first payments sometimes arriving in 90 days or fewer.

Other settlements may take longer. Manufacturers may request more information or try to dispute the documents cited in a claim, delaying payment. Some mesothelioma settlements may even be decided during or after a trial.

A lawyer can help clients and their families negotiate strong mesothelioma settlements in the shortest amount of time possible.

Reach out to our team at (877) 450-8973 to start the process.

What is needed to reach a mesothelioma settlement?

To reach a mesothelioma lawsuit settlement, arguably the most important thing you’ll need is a skilled lawyer. Asbestos attorneys who have handled past mesothelioma cases with success can file a lawsuit on your behalf and negotiate strong settlements.

Connect with an asbestos attorney today.

Veterans Support Team
Brian J. Cooke PhotoReviewed by:Brian J. Cooke

Mesothelioma Lawyer and U.S. Marine Corps Veteran

  • Fact-Checked
  • Legal Editor

Brian J. Cooke is a mesothelioma attorney with Simmons Hanly Conroy and veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps. Thanks in part to his military service, Brian is in tune with many of the issues that veterans with mesothelioma face. Brian and his team work tirelessly to secure compensation for those with this rare and deadly cancer.

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 12 Sources
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  2. New York Times. “Study Finds Settling Is Better Than Going to Trial.” Retrieved from: Accessed on September 12th, 2017.
  3. Phoenix Business Journal. “Government Survey Shows 97 Percent of Cases Don’t Go to Trial.” Retrieved from: Accessed on September 12th, 2017.
  4. Rand Institute for Civil Justice. “Asbestos Litigation Costs, Compensation, and Alternatives.” Retrieved from: Accessed on September 9th, 2017.
  5. Feeley, J. (2020, January 07). J&J Said to Pay More Than $2 Million in Rare Talc Settlement. Retrieved June 03, 2020, from
  6. Feeley, J. (2020, May 18). Talc Miner Imerys Strikes Deal to Resolve 14,000 Cancer Lawsuits. Retrieved June 03, 2020, from
  7. Graham, K., & Ruderman, W. (2020, February 27). Philly School District poised to pay $850K to teacher diagnosed with mesothelioma. Retrieved June 03, 2020, from
  8. Hsu, T. (2018, July 12). Johnson & Johnson Told to Pay $4.7 Billion in Baby Powder Lawsuit. Retrieved June 03, 2020, from
  9. Key Statistics About Malignant Mesothelioma. (n.d.). Retrieved June 03, 2020, from
  10. New Attorney's Guide to the Steps in a Lawsuit. (2010, February 19). Retrieved June 03, 2020, from
  11. Owens Corning / Fibreboard Asbestos Trust. (n.d.). Retrieved June 03, 2020, from
  12. Out-of-Court Settlement. (n.d.) West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. (2008). Retrieved June 03 2020, from
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