People have been filing mesothelioma and asbestos-related claims for more than three decades now. Over the years, asbestos companies that recklessly exposed people to asbestos have been forced to pay plaintiffs huge amounts of money. Because of the huge payouts, some companies started filing for bankruptcy. Generally, companies began filing for bankruptcy to avoid liability. Most of the companies that chose to file for bankruptcy were not able to avoid liability. This is mainly because, as part of the Chapter 11 bankruptcy, companies were required to establish trusts that would fund victims of asbestos exposure. This is where asbestos and mesothelioma trust funds originated from.
What are Asbestos and Mesothelioma Trust Funds?
Asbestos trust funds, asbestos bankruptcy trust funds, or mesothelioma trust funds are trust funds created on behalf of bankrupt asbestos companies with a possibility of having an asbestos suit filed against them. Many companies set up trust funds years ago after going bankrupt. They created the trust funds to pay out compensation to victims who had already filed their claims and any individuals who filed claims in the future. Generally, the purpose of asbestos and mesothelioma trust funds is to put aside money for current and future asbestos claims.
When asbestos companies file for bankruptcy, they can file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy or Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Chapter 7 bankruptcy, also known as liquidation bankruptcy, involves asbestos companies selling their assets. After assets are sold, courts then use the collected money to pay victims. On the other hand, Chapter 11 bankruptcy involves asbestos companies reorganizing themselves and remaining in business. Companies that file Chapter 11 bankruptcy are required to create trust funds.
Who Can File an Asbestos or Mesothelioma Trust Fund Claim?
So, who can file an asbestos or mesothelioma trust fund claim? Different people can file asbestos or mesothelioma trust fund claims. They include, among others, the following;
- Workers exposed to asbestos by their employer
- Household members that have suffered second hand asbestos exposure
- Workers who used asbestos-contaminated products
- People exposed to asbestos environmentally
- Family members who lost a loved one because of asbestos exposure
How Trust Fund Compensation Helps
Trust fund compensation can help a patient or a family with various hardships victims and victims’ families face after a diagnosis or death. For example, trust fund compensation can help pay for medical expenses and travel expenses. Trust fund compensation can also replace lost income when a victim can no longer work and earn an income. Additionally, trust fund compensation can provide financial security for patients and their loved ones.
It is important to note that the amount of compensation a plaintiff receives from a trust fund depends on several factors such as;
- The current payment percentage set for the trust
- The type of asbestos-related illness diagnosed
- The payment schedule the trust initially established.
Usually, asbestos trusts assign claim values to different types of asbestos-related diseases. This is what is called a “schedule.” Payment schedules ensure continued payouts and preserve money for future victims who will be diagnosed months or years from now. Generally, scheduled values are based on how much an asbestos company paid to asbestos plaintiffs before filing for bankruptcy. Payment percentages also preserve money for future victims.
Nationwide Mesothelioma Lawyers
If you or a loved one were diagnosed with mesothelioma, contact our office to speak to one of our experienced nationwide mesothelioma attorneys about your situation. Our office can help investigate your case and determine if compensation can be sought from negligent parties to help you and your family live a more comfortable life.