Asbestos trust funds exist as a result of companies filing for reorganization under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. During the 1980s as people were increasingly being diagnosed with mesothelioma, the number of lawsuits being brought against many corporations increased. Filing for bankruptcy allowed these corporations to establish trust funds to finance legal settlements while preserving their assets and continuing to operate. Johns-Manville was among the first corporations to establish an asbestos trust fund.
Mesothelioma victims can now file claims against these trust funds to receive compensation from the companies who exposed them to asbestos. If the company responsible for a mesothelioma victim’s asbestos exposure has filed for bankruptcy, claims must be filed against the trust fund established by that company, which operate as a separate entity. Current bankruptcy codes allow mesothelioma victims to file claims against multiple trust funds, and oftentimes claimants can receive compensation from many different asbestos trust funds if they can show they were exposed to asbestos by several different companies’ products or facilities.
The bankruptcy code does not limit the amount of money that a victim can claim. The amount that a claimant may receive can vary depending on the funding available in the trust, the payment schedule established by the trust, and other factors.
It may be possible for some mesothelioma victims in California to file claims against a mesothelioma compensation fund in addition to filing an asbestos lawsuit. An experienced mesothelioma attorney should help you determine the best course of action to receive the compensation you deserve as filing a claim against trust funds can affect compensation received in a mesothelioma lawsuit.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma and would like to consult a California mesothelioma lawyer about your legal rights to compensation, CLICK HERE.