There are billions of dollars left in the asbestos trust fund due in part to the Fairness in Asbestos Injury Resolution Act (FAIR).
However, the money that’s left in the asbestos trust fund is spread across dozens of trusts set up by more than 60 companies. Many of the money left in the asbestos trust funds are being paid by a percentage of the total claim value to victims to ensure assets remain to cover future claims.
Understanding the History of the Money Left in the Asbestos Trust Funds
The first legal cases based on toxic asbestos exposure first made their way through the judicial systems in the 1970s, and by the 1980s, there were hundreds of thousands of cases pending. The financial pressure of paying out so many claims was hard on many companies that manufactured asbestos products. By 1988, several of these companies filed for bankruptcy.
Still, current and future victims would need to be able to recover compensation for their conditions. To this end, construction supply company Johns Manville created the first asbestos trust fund in 1988 as part of their bankruptcy agreement.
Assets Held by Asbestos Trust Funds
Thirty of the largest asbestos trust funds have left around $30 billion in assets for victims who suffer from malignant or non-malignant conditions caused by asbestos exposure. Since 1988, there have been over 60 trust funds and $37 billion in assets between them.
A U.S. Government Accountability Office report that focuses on asbestos injury compensation shows that since 1988, companies have established 60 trusts to pay asbestos claims with about $37 billion in total assets.
According to an overview of asbestos bankruptcy trusts prepared by Rand Corporation, the initial estimates of 8 of the 9 proposed trusts for which data is publicly available totaled $14.5 billion. This included:
- United States Gypsum Co. trust (USG Co. filed for bankruptcy in 2001), $3.96 billion in assets
- Owens Corning trust, $3.42 billion in assets
- Pittsburgh Corning trust, $3.41 billion in assets
As you can imagine, the money left in the asbestos trust funds varies widely. Some are still robust and continue to pay claimants at the full value of their award or claim. Others, however, pay only a percentage of the full value of each claim. This is a necessary procedure to ration the remaining assets for pending cases and future claims.
For a free legal consultation, call (800) 794-0444
Building a Case to File a Trust Fund Claim or Lawsuit
To claim money left in an asbestos trust fund or from a surviving asbestos products manufacturer, you will need to have a solid case to show:
- You have a confirmed diagnosis of an asbestos-related disease such as mesothelioma, asbestosis, asbestos-related lung cancer, or other conditions
- The source, location, and method of your asbestos exposure
- The name of the company whose products led to your illness or who otherwise caused your exposure
- The expenses and losses you suffered as a result of your medical condition
Many victims partner with an attorney who regularly handles asbestos claims and lawsuits to help them pursue an award or settlement in this type of case. An attorney will help you collect the necessary evidence and prove your case while you focus on your treatment and spending time with your loved ones.
Attorneys who regularly take on asbestos cases know the types of evidence necessary to prove your claims, including:
- Medical records
- Employment records
- Documentation of your exposure
- Medical expert witnesses
- Industry experts
- Bills, receipts, and other documentation of your damages
They can also explain the time limits on this type of claim. A legal expert can help explain how your state’s statute of limitations may apply to your case.
Talk to an Asbestos Lawyer About Pursuing Compensation in Your Case
At Pintas & Mullins Law Firm, our team of asbestos attorneys believes the companies who profited from your work should pay for your treatment and other expenses. We want to help you recover the award or settlement you deserve, and we will not shy away from tough cases. When you let us take on your case, you pay nothing up front. We only get paid when we recover a settlement or award for you. You pay nothing out of pocket.
Reach out to us today to discuss the facts about your case and learn more about your rights. Call (800) 794-0444 for your complimentary case review.