Mesothelioma Settlements

Quick Summary

The average settlement for mesothelioma is between $1 Million and $1.4 Million. This is an average, and actual compensation numbers will vary on a case by case basis. It is rare that defendants in a mesothelioma lawsuit don’t settle out of court.

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What Is a Mesothelioma Settlement?

Through a mesothelioma settlement, manufacturers of asbestos-containing products agree to compensate the asbestos exposure victim or their surviving family members. In return, the victim gives up any claim to further legal action.

Settlements are one potential outcome of a mesothelioma personal injury lawsuit. The two opposing sides in a personal injury case are the plaintiff and the defendants. In a mesothelioma lawsuit, the plaintiff is the mesothelioma victim, and the defendants are the asbestos companies.

Working with an experienced mesothelioma lawyer who knows how to build a strong asbestos case can help victims get the financial compensation they deserve.

Connect with a lawyer who can help with a mesothelioma settlement.

Mesothelioma Settlements vs Trial Verdicts

Mesothelioma settlement compensation is typically awarded through pretrial negotiations between the plaintiff and the defendants. Compensation through a trial verdict is awarded when a judge or jury finds the asbestos companies (defendants) guilty.

Manufacturers of asbestos products often choose to settle out of court because they don’t want to risk having to pay punitive damages in a mesothelioma trial.

Fortunately, settlements are usually the most advantageous legal option for both the defendants and the mesothelioma patient.

Compared to mesothelioma verdicts, settlements:

  • Award mesothelioma compensation faster
  • Are less expensive
  • Are less stressful
  • Provide guaranteed compensation

If the settlement offer is not satisfactory, or if the manufacturer denies the claim, the victim still has the option to take the case to trial. However, by considering settlement before going to trial, victims put themselves in the best position to get the compensation they deserve.

Average Mesothelioma Settlement Amounts

The average mesothelioma settlement is usually $1 Million to $1.4 Million.

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

Factors Affecting Mesothelioma Settlement Amounts

A mesothelioma settlement offer may depend on:

  • Extent of asbestos exposure
  • Living and medical expenses
  • Emotional distress
  • Proof of company negligence
  • Lost wages and earning potential
  • Medical history
  • Location of the claim
  • Number of defendants

The money from a mesothelioma settlement usually comes from many sources. The supply chains of the asbestos industry were complex, and multiple companies could be involved in the creation of a single asbestos-containing product.

For some claimants who were exposed to multiple products, this could mean dozens of possible defendants.

On average, a mesothelioma claim names about 50 defendants, and payment is received from 20-30 of them in varying amounts.

The more manufacturers named in the asbestos lawsuit, the larger the total settlement.

Compensation Amounts & Proving Asbestos Exposure

The most important factor determining a patient’s settlement amount is their asbestos exposure history.

If you don’t remember your exact exposure history, a successful mesothelioma law firm has the resources to determine how you may have been exposed on the job.

These firms can look at your work history and use their extensive databases of asbestos-related information to determine your exposure based on where you worked, who you worked for, and the types of materials the company used.

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

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Recent Mesothelioma Settlement Amounts

Recent Settlements
2.35 MillionU.S. Navy Veteran
2.53 MillionMaintenance Worker
2.19 MillionVeteran/Bricklayer

Other recent settlements include: 

  • In 2018, a $1.5 Million settlement was awarded to a woman who claimed her mesothelioma was caused by using Johnson & Johnson’s talcum powder.
  • A mesothelioma victim and talcum powder user received $2 Million from Johnson & Johnson in 2020 — double the value of an average settlement.
  • Also in 2020, a teacher with mesothelioma was awarded an $850,000 settlement after working in a school built with asbestos-containing products.

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

Mesothelioma Settlement Process

Mesothelioma Settlement Process

1. Gather Evidence and Prepare the Claim

An experienced mesothelioma attorney will help their clients gather documentation about when and how the victim was exposed, including military service records and job history.

This lawyer will request corporate documents showing that the company knew the victim’s asbestos exposure was dangerous. Exposure history and proper medical records regarding the nature and severity of the asbestos-related disease will also be included.

In general, more evidence against a company can increase the amount of compensation awarded.

2. File the Claim

The next step in the legal process involves filing the asbestos claim, often to multiple defendants as indicated by the victim’s personal history.

The defendants get a chance to review the claim 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 starts, this time with both parties collecting documentation.

This may mean interviews in which the victim is asked either in person or in writing to detail their personal history of asbestos exposure. A lawyer can help their client prepare for this type of questioning.

In every case, it is up to the plaintiff’s attorney to show that their client became sick because of their exposure to asbestos. The lawyer’s goal is to find overwhelming proof of corporate negligence, meaning the asbestos company knowingly put the victim in danger.

4. Settlement Negotiation

If the victim’s case is strong, the companies will often offer a settlement instead of going to trial, which is riskier for both parties.

A good mesothelioma lawyer will then negotiate on their client’s behalf to arrange for the highest possible amount of money, using their knowledge of both current trends and past payment amounts to ensure that a fair settlement is reached.

If a settlement cannot be reached, or if the settlement offered is not satisfactory, then the case goes to trial. Occasionally, a settlement offer will be made mid-trial if the defendant feels that doing so is in their best interest.

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Common Questions About Mesothelioma Settlements

Are mesothelioma settlements taxable income?

Some settlements may be subject to state and federal taxes, while others are not. A mesothelioma lawyer can help their clients 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, the family usually receives the 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 would be divided between all the individuals named in the suit. Most mesothelioma lawsuits today are not filed as class-action.

How long does it take to reach a mesothelioma settlement?

A settlement can happen anytime between when the claim is filed and just before the case goes to trial. 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. The manufacturers responsible may request more documentation or try to dispute the documentation already cited in a claim, delaying payment.

A mesothelioma lawyer can help victims and their families navigate these issues, taking on the burden of the paperwork and handling the sometimes lengthy back-and-forth between the plaintiff and defendant.

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Find a Mesothelioma Lawyer

Navigating the complex legal process of filing a mesothelioma claim without help can be exhausting and disappointing.

An experienced lawyer can ease your burden and boost the chances of a successful outcome by building your mesothelioma case, filing your claim, and negotiating a high payout on your behalf.

Don’t wait, contact us today.

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 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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