Mesothelioma Trust Funds
There are generally three ways to approach a mesothelioma lawsuit: bankruptcy trusts, settlements, and litigation.
In most cases we use all three avenues.
Bankruptcy Trusts Bankruptcy trusts are often discussed because they are heavily advertised. However, the TV ads do not really explain how these trusts work.
Here’s how they do work.
More than twenty years ago, Congress amended the Federal Bankruptcy Code to provide special treatment for corporations that were historically involved in the manufacture of asbestos-containing products. If and when those corporations seek to reorganize their business under the Bankruptcy Code, the statutory scheme that Congress designed requires the creation of a trust that is then charged with paying both present and future asbestos claims. However, the amount of money available to pay claims is fixed at the time of the bankruptcy filing. In almost every occasion, the amount of money set aside to pay claims is inadequate to pay the full value of each claim. As a result, present and future claimants must accept a small fraction of the scheduled payment. The creation of the trust provides the post-bankrupt company with complete immunity from all present and future asbestos liability.
While the trusts are inadequate to fully compensate an asbestos victim, the trusts are important because, without them, the manufacturers who went into bankruptcy would walk away without paying a dime to the people they injured. As it is, the bankruptcy trusts often end up paying victim’s families pennies on the dollar.
Mesothelioma Settlements & Winning Mesothelioma Verdicts — This is where we shine. It’s the kind of work you actually expect from a lawyer: going to court and fighting on your behalf to help get you the best possible verdict or settlement.
We also have a strong record of winning mesothelioma verdicts, as indicated on our Client Successes page.
The Trust Fund Claims Process
If the company that is responsible for you or your loved one's injuries has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and the reorganization has been approved by the court, claims must be submitted to the bankruptcy trust fund administrator for review. Each trust fund has different criteria for accepting or rejecting claims, so it is important that a thorough investigation is undertaken, that you or your loved one's claim is accepted by the trust fund administrator, and that all responsible parties are identified. Further, since the trust funds are designed to pay out existing and future claims from a limited pool of money, claim administrators will want to pay only a small percentage of the value of a claim and the claim process can become very contentious. Occasionally, if settlement cannot be reached, a lawsuit must be filed. It is important to consult an attorney to ensure that the claims process goes smoothly and the claimant promptly receives the best settlement possible. The first step in the claim process is the gathering of evidence to support the claim including employment history, medical records, military service records, union records, witness affidavits, and documents that establish the company in question was responsible for the asbestos exposure.
The criteria for accepting claims is transparent and most trust fund administrators make the information available for review by the public on their websites. You and your attorney will need to carefully review the evidence and criteria to insure that the claims process goes smoothly and you promptly obtain the best settlement possible.
For over twenty-five years, the Robins Cloud’s attorneys have been handling significant litigation for people harmed by corporate wrongdoing across the country. Our practice is focused on serious and catastrophic injury and wrongful death cases. These include: Mesothelioma from asbestos exposure, NFL concussions, major trucking accidents, defective product litigation, food poisoning and food illness claims, and injuries sustained from harmful pharmaceuticals and medical implants.