What is a Mesothelioma Trust Fund and Why Should You Care?

Image of a key and a keyhole, representing the money securely held in mesothelioma trust funds for victims of asbestos exposure.

Mesothelioma trust funds offer security to victims of asbestos exposure. Often, when symptoms of mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases appear, years have passed since the time the victim worked for the company where the exposure occurred. What happens if that company has gone bankrupt? Is there still a possibility for a settlement to ease their financial burden? No one should be diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease and then have to worry that they cannot find relief.

Mesothelioma Trust Funds Provide Security

Trust funds established for mesothelioma and asbestosis victims make it possible to receive compensation from the company caused asbestos exposure even if the company files—or has filed—bankruptcy. How? A legal agreement is made so that a certain amount of money is guaranteed for victims of asbestos exposure while maintaining the company’s ability to pay its debts and/or remain in business. These monetary set-asides are known as mesothelioma or asbestos trust funds.

How Mesothelioma Trust Funds Came to Be

In the 1960s, almost a century of heavy asbestos use caught up with employers when its health impact became scientific knowledge and victims started seeking financial compensation for their asbestos-related diseases. By 1982, Johns Manville had become so inundated with lawsuits that it filed for bankruptcy under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code Chapter 11. Because of these bankruptcy court proceedings, Johns Manville established the first mesothelioma trust fund to protect both the company and its victims.

Today, many companies open and maintain mesothelioma trust funds. In fact, Section 524(g) of U.S. Bankruptcy Code Chapter 11 encourages companies to open one sooner, before lawsuits pile up, to ensure the fund is established when the company has more assets to put into it.

How Mesothelioma Trust Funds Work

Unfortunately, to make a finite amount of money stretch to benefit all victims, individual payments from asbestos-related trust funds must often be reduced. Some trust funds pay 100%, but many do not. In the latter instances, while a case may warrant a larger payout, a claim to a trust fund will not be granted that amount.

The positive aspect of filing a claim to a trust fund rather than the alternative is the simplified process. When dealing with a company that hasn’t established a trust fund, one is forced to file a lawsuit. A trust fund designates victims as beneficiaries, so the victims file a claim that often takes less time, documentation, and work than a traditional lawsuit.  These claims usually require supporting documents for a victim’s diagnosis and proof of a work history with the company.

Get Legal Help With Your Mesothelioma Claim

It is possible for victims to file claims for mesothelioma trust fund recoveries themselves, but the process is simpler and quicker when aided by an experienced asbestos lawyer, and this peace of mind is particularly precious when dealing with a diagnosis of an asbestos-related disease. An experienced lawyer can also help ensure victims are not shortchanged when dealing with big companies and insurers and instead receives all the financial compensation victims deserve. Contact Nemeroff Law Firm by phone at 866-342-1929 or use our convenient contact form to get started with your claim.

Asbestos-related trust funds ensure that victims always get the financial compensation they deserve, even if the company they worked for goes bankrupt. We at Nemeroff Law Firm can make receiving that compensation as quick and easy as possible so you can focus on what’s most important, your health and your family’s well-being.

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