Most asbestos and mesothelioma trust funds were created during the 1970s, after mesothelioma and other asbestos illness cases began to proliferate across the country. Because there were so many lawsuits a more streamlined and efficient way of compensating victims had to be created. Asbestos trusts ensure that all qualified victims of asbestos-related injuries are compensated without the hassle of going to trial. They also help limit the number of cases cluttering up the court system.
If you or a loved have mesothelioma, asbestos-related lung cancer, or asbestosis, you may be eligible for a large amount of compensation. We invite you to fill out our form today for a free Financial Compensation Packet, filled with information about top mesothelioma lawyers in your area, how to get paid in 90 days, how to file an asbestos trust fund claim, and much more.
About Mesothelioma and Asbestos Trusts
In 1971, the Johns-Manville Sales Corporation was sued for product liability by the widow of Louisiana man who developed cancer from one of the company’s products. A federal court upheld the lawsuit, and the plaintiff won. Shortly after, courts across the nation were flooded with asbestos-related lawsuits.
This led to a lot of companies filing for bankruptcy However, as a condition for filing these companies were required to set up trusts that would compensate victims of asbestos-related illnesses. In the 1980s, Johns-Manville set up the first trust.
There are now hundreds of asbestos trusts and an estimated $30 billion that has been set aside for victims. If you’ve developed an illness due to exposure of asbestos, now is the time to reach out and find out if there is a trust that can compensate you. Many people who were victims of exposure qualify for substantial compensation.
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“When diagnosed with mesothelioma it was like falling into a dark hole but the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma Lawyer Center told us “Don’t worry, this is what you do, this is how we will help you.” They gave us recommendations and have been there all along the way. Not everyone you talk to in law firms understand how critical this is but Mesothelioma Lawyer Center does.”~ Mr. and Mrs. Evans
Companies with Asbestos Trusts:
- ABB Lummus Global
- A&I Corporation
- API Inc.
- A.P. Green Industries
- Armstrong Cork Company
- Armstrong World Industries
- ARTRA (Synkoloid)
- ASARCO LLC
- Babcock & Wilcox Corporation
- Brauer Supply Company
- Burns and Roe Enterprises
- C.E. Thurston & Sons
- Celotex Corporation
- Combustion Engineering
- Congoleum Corporation
- Dana Corporation
- DII Industries
- EaglePicher Industries Inc.
- Federal-Mogul Corporation
- The Flintkote Company
- Forty-Eight Insulations Inc.
- Fuller-Austin Inc.
- G-1 Holdings Inc.
- General Aniline and Film (GAF) Corporation
- General Motors (GM)
- H.K. Porter Company
- Hercules Chemical Company
- J.T. Thorpe and Son, Inc.
- Kaiser Aluminum
- Keene Creditors
- Lykes Bros. Steamship
- Mid Valley Inc.
- National Gypsum Company
- North American Refractories Company (NARCO)
- Owens Corning
- Pittsburgh Corning
- Porter-Hayden Company
- Quigley Fire Company
- Rutland Fire Clay Company
- Shook & Fletcher Insulation Company
- Swan and Silica
- Skinner Engine
- T H Agriculture and Nutrition
- Thorpe Insulation
- Utex Industries
- United States Lines
- W.R. Grace & Co.
- Wallace & Gale
- Western MacArthur
What is the Process for Filing an Asbestos Trust Fund Claim?
Filing a trust claim is similar to filing a lawsuit, but it typically takes less time as there are no testimonies or trials. As with filing an asbestos lawsuit, you’ll need to show proof of your medical condition and evidence of when and how you were exposed to asbestos. You can only file a claim against a company that exposed you to asbestos or the manufacturer of a product that exposed you to asbestos. In other words, you cannot file a claim against a company or manufacturer unless the entities are responsible for the exposure to asbestos that led to your illness.
Of course there may be several companies involved in providing asbestos to your workplace, and each of those companies may be responsible for damages. Sometimes it’s difficult to determine which manufacturer is responsible if you developed mesothelioma from a product, and it may be extremely difficult for you to pin down all of the companies and manufacturers that provided asbestos or asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) to your workplace. An experienced mesothelioma attorney will be able to assist you with this process.
In addition, you’ll need to make sure you’re qualified according to the statute of limitations in your state and the rules of the trust you’re filing against.
You can potentially qualify for compensation from an asbestos trust if you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or asbestosis. You may also qualify if you have any other type of pleural disease, whether malignant or not.
Family members who were affected through secondhand-exposure may also qualify. For example, if someone who works around asbestos without protective clothing comes home with work clothes on, asbestos fibers can become airborne and affect anyone in the household.
Medical requirements will vary according to each trust. Some may require you to provide an in-depth medical and work history while other trusts may be more lenient in proof requirements. Regardless, it’s up to you to make sure you provide all of the necessary requirements, such as your health records, work history, statements from physicians, and proof of future health problems. Even if the trust doesn’t require it, it’s always a good idea to have your proof and documents ready and available.
Expedited vs. Individual Reviews
The next step is determining if your case will be an expedited or an individual review. An individual review is filed when you don’t meet the mandated medical requirements of an expedited, or quick, review. An individual review requires a deeper look at your personal information and medical history in order to determine a compensation amount.
An expedited review has a fixed compensation amount and victims are usually paid more quickly when compared to an individual review. Each expedited review case has a set value amount according to the severity of the disease, which is standardized in eight levels. Because individual reviews don’t have set value amounts, they require more evidence from the victim, including in-depth work and medical history, in order to be processed.
Once the claims go through the review process liquidation begins for qualified plaintiffs. The trust provides the plaintiff with a financial offer. Expedited review cases are typically always the same amount for each person, according to the severity level of the disease, while individual cases can vary.
At this point, a plaintiff can accept or deny the offer amount. If you accept, your claim will go into a payment queue for payment setup, and if you deny the offer, your claim will be entered into alternate dispute resolution (ADR) until an acceptable amount can be agreed upon.
In some cases, extremely large amounts awarded from the trust will be broken up into payments. Many trusts operate under the percentage value, meaning that claimants will get a certain percentage of the total compensation amount.
For example, if the total amount happens to be $1.5 million and the company is offering 25 percent of the total amount, then the claimant can expect to receive $375,000. Keep in mind, however, that these percentages can change according to the trust you’ve filed and your individual circumstances. There is a chance that the trust payout will be higher than 25 percent, but rarely does compensation fall below 25 percent.
Unfortunately, most companies don’t have enough funds to pay the full amount, and as a result, the aforementioned percentage values are offered. According to the United States Government Accountability Office (GAO), if companies paid the full amount of the claim, funds may not be available for future cases. From 1998 to 2010, according to GAO, 3.3 million trust cases have been paid, totaling about $17.5 billion.
Filing Both a Lawsuit and a Trust Claim
It’s possible to file both a mesothelioma lawsuit and a trust claim at the same time. Keep in mind though, that if you receive trust compensation it may affect the amount you receive in a lawsuit. State laws vary when it comes to the amount of compensation you can receive in a lawsuit if you also file a claim for trust fund compensation.
If there are several companies named in your lawsuit, some of these companies may have already set up a trust while others may not have. Since all companies responsible for asbestos exposure are also responsible for damages, you may be able to get compensation from some through a trust and from others through a lawsuit. To learn more about your state laws and the details of filing both a lawsuit and a trust claim, speak with an experienced mesothelioma attorney who will be able to explain your options in detail.
Will Trust Amounts Dissipate?
A common yet understandable concern of mesothelioma victims is the fear of trust money dissipating before their case gets resolved. With more and more victims coming forward and filing claims against the responsible parties, this is a valid concern. However, with a current amount of over $30 billion in trusts and strict management to ensure that the funds are allocated fairly, there is no reason to worry.
Notable Companies with Large Asbestos Trusts:
A high demand for building products after World War II led to a surge in residential fiberglass and insulation production across the United States. The Owens Corning Corporation quickly became a leader in the industry, but it used asbestos heavily in its products from the 1930s through the 1980s. Additionally, the company bought the Fibreboard Corporation in 1997. Fibreboard also relied on asbestos for its products.
Shortly after the acquisition Owens Corning set up a trust in anticipation of asbestos lawsuits against both companies. They created another trust after filing for bankruptcy, as a result of over 200,000 lawsuits.
Known as the Owens Corning Fibreboard Asbestos Personal Injury Trust of 2006, close to $7 billion was placed into the fund. More than $360 million had been paid out to asbestos victims by 2008.
According to court documents from early lawsuits Owens Corning used asbestos in the following products:
- Equipment, duct, and pipe insulation
- Roof tile insulation
- Finishing cement
- Laminated panels
- One Cote Cement
Armstrong World Industries
Armstrong World Industries has been around since 1860 and still remains one of the leading worldwide manufacturers of cabinets, ceilings, and floors. Armstrong faced a string of lawsuits that began in 1970 when Clarence Borel, an industrial insulation worker, filed a lawsuit against Armstrong and ten asbestos manufacturers after developing mesothelioma.
He won his case, and it marked milestone for asbestos victims. It succeeded in holding manufacturers of asbestos materials responsible for warning workers about the dangers being around and handling asbestos.
Thousands of cases against Armstrong followed Borel’s. After paying millions out to former workers who developed asbestos-related diseases, Armstrong filed bankruptcy in 2000. In 2006, however, as a condition of their redevelopment after bankruptcy, the company created the Armstrong World Industries Asbestos Trust. In the first two years alone, the Armstrong World Industries Asbestos Trust had over 200,000 cases. An estimated $2.062 million is currently in the trust.
Armstrong once used asbestos in a variety of products, including:
- Floor tile
- Asbestos paper
- Asphalt tiles
- Cork coverings
- Floor felt
Established in 1925, National Gypsum (NGC) produces wallboard products under the trademark name, Gold Bond. Many of the company’s products contained asbestos, and there were multiple lawsuits brought by former employees who developed related illnesses. NGC declared bankruptcy in 1990 after facing so many lawsuits.
Three years later the company reinvented itself, claiming a new and improved company. As part of this process NGC created a trust to help handle more than 40,000 pending lawsuits.
NGC had paid out over $200 million by 2010. Currently, the NGC trust is at an estimated to have $347 million.
The three primary products that NGC made with asbestos were:
- Gold Bond Gypsum Board
- PermaBase Cement Board
- Proform Dyrwall Finishing Products
Harbison-Walker Refractories Co. DII Industries, LLC
Harrbison-Walker Refractories Co. started out in 1874 as a manufacturer of products that could withstand extremely high temperatures, such as fireproof bricks. During the 1960s, the company acquired the Halliburton subsidiary, Dresser Industries, Inc. As with Harbison-Walker, Dresser Industries also manufactured fireproof products that were created with asbestos.
By the 1990s, the company faced a slew of asbestos-related lawsuits from people who used products from both Dressers Industries and Harbison-Walker. Shortly after, Dresser Industries merged completely with Halliburton, leaving Harbison-Walker responsible for Halliburton’s string of asbestos lawsuits as well.
In 1999, Harbison-Walker was bought out but still left responsible for all of the pending asbestos lawsuits, which included over 200,000 cases. In 2001, a total of five plaintiffs were awarded verdicts amounting to $40 million after a jury found the company negligent in failing to warn people of the dangers of asbestos.
A year later, Harbison-Walker and Dresser Industries entered a unique trust deal in which claims were settled for 100 cents on the dollar. Known as the DII Industries, LLC Asbestos PI Trust, the trust started out with $4 billion, and the majority of the funds were set aside for those diagnosed with asbestos-related cancer.
Products that Harbison-Walker, Halliburton, and Dresser Industries manufactured with asbestos include:
- Fireproof bricks
- Refractory cement
- Vacuum pumps
- Drilling mud
Combustion Engineering (CE) was a manufacturer of boilers that included a number of asbestos-containing materials. The company was started in 1912, and it was bought in 1990 by Asea Brown Boveri (ABB Group). Even though CE had stopped using asbestos in its products before it was acquired, ABB Group was still responsible for the pending asbestos lawsuits.
By 2002 CE still had close to 111,000 pending lawsuits, which ABB successfully reduced to 94,000. Since the amount of asbestos cases were extremely high, ABB established a trust several years later, which covered any unsettled asbestos lawsuits as well as any future claims. Currently, over $900 million has been paid out via the trust. The estimated total amount in the Combustion Engineering Asbestos PI Trust is around $1.43 billion.
Products that CE and ABB manufactured with asbestos include:
- Block sticks
- Joint material
- Protective and weather coating
ASARCO LLC is still one of the country’s leading manufacturers of metals, coppers, alloys, and minerals, but prior to the 1980s, most of their products included asbestos. In 2005, the company filed for bankruptcy after an influx of asbestos-related lawsuits.
Most of ASARCO’s asbestos use was tied to subsidiaries, including CAPCO Pipe Company, Inc., Lac d’Amiante du Quebec Ltd., LAQ Canada, Ltd., and others. Asbestos was used in a variety of their products, but the heaviest use was in cement pipes that were manufactured by their subsidiary, Cement Asbestos Products Company.
In 2009, only four years after ASARCO declared bankruptcy, they created an asbestos trust to handle the overwhelming number of cases against them. The company paid $750 million into the fund, to help handle over 900,000 pending cases.
The Johns Manville trust is the largest asbestos trust fund created in the U.S. with an estimated $2.5 billion. The trust was established in 1988 after thousands of people began developing diseases after being exposed to asbestos in the company’s products.
Johns Manville was established in 1858 as a construction and insulation company that provided a myriad of asbestos-containing products for the construction of both residential and commercial buildings. In 1927, the company also began manufacturing products for the military. Many of these went into U.S. Navy ships that required significant insulation and fireproofing.
As early as 1929, Johns Manville faced its first lawsuit after employees laid health-related charges against the company. Numerous asbestos claims followed, resulting in the establishment of the 1988 trust.
A large number of workers in a variety of industries were potentially affected by Johns Manville asbestos products:
- Construction workers
- Factory workers
- Military veterans
- Insulation installers
- HVAC installers and repair workers
Products containing asbestos, provided by Johns Manville, included:
- Siding sheets
- Roofing materials
- Caulking putty
- Roof shingles
- Protective clothing
- Transite sheets
- Fireproof sheets
Where Can I Get Legal Assistance with Asbestos Trust Funds?
Remember, if you’ve been diagnosed with mesothelioma, asbestos-related lung cancer, or asbestosis, you may qualify for significant compensation. Don’t forget to fill out our form to get our free Financial Compensation Packet, filled with information on the leading asbestos and mesothelioma attorneys in your area. If you need additional assistance, contact us toll-free at 800-793-4540.