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Jonathan Rosenfeld
J.D

March 2, 2023

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asbestos-claim-mesothelioma-trust-fund

Mesothelioma victims and their families deserve compensation from asbestos companies that filed for bankruptcy. Fortunately, many negligent asbestos companies established trust funds while going bankrupt to pay out current and future claims.

Did your doctor diagnose you with mesothelioma, likely due to asbestos exposure? Are you seeking financial compensation through an asbestos personal injury settlement from an asbestos trust fund?

Our Chicago-based personal injury lawyers are legal advocates for individuals who develop mesothelioma, asbestosis, lung cancer, or other diseases due to asbestos exposure. Contact our mesothelioma attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free) or use the contact form today to schedule a free consultation.

All confidential or sensitive information you share with our legal team remains private through an attorney-client relationship.

What Is Mesothelioma?

According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) [1], mesothelioma is a rare cancer that affects the thin cells lining the chest, abdomen, and lungs and is due to asbestos exposure.

Workers employed in many industries were exposed to asbestos or asbestos-containing products and worked on sites, such as:

  • Power plants
  • Shipyards
  • Construction sites
  • Factories
  • Mills
  • Oil refineries
  • Automotive facilities
  • Chemical plants
  • Fire departments
  • Military ships and installations

Diagnosing Mesothelioma

The best diagnostic tools can accurately identify mesothelioma, asbestosis, or other asbestos-related diseases. Unfortunately, the diagnosis is often confirmed in late life, decades after the victim has been exposed to asbestos products and materials.

A doctor can diagnose four main mesothelioma types – pleural, peritoneal, pericardial, and testicular cancers:

  • Pleural mesothelioma is the most common form affecting the lining of the lungs or chest cavity
  • Peritoneal mesothelioma impacts the intestines or stomach lining
  • Pericardial mesothelioma affects the lining of the heart
  • Testicular mesothelioma affects lining of the testes

Doctors use diagnostic tools to identify mesothelioma, an asbestos-related disease, including:

  • Biopsy
  • CT scan (computed tomography)
  • MRI (magnetic resonance imaging)
  • PET scan (positron emission tomography)
  • X-ray

If you or a family member are mesothelioma victims, contact our legal team for a free consultation regarding trust fund claims for compensation for loss and damages.

Asbestos Trust Fund Claims

Due to government pressure, asbestos companies have established funds to compensate current and future claimants. More than 100 companies have established their own asbestos bankruptcy trusts for mesothelioma victims.

Qualifying for asbestos claims requires claimants to have asbestos-related diseases and to file against a bankrupt asbestos company trust fund.

Each trust fund has its set payment percentage. Trust payouts depend on the companies you file against, the payment percentage, the claimant’s diagnosis, and other factors. The reasoning behind payment percentages is to ensure trust funds have money to pay future claimants.

If you are diagnosed with any asbestos-related illness [2] or mesothelioma, file an asbestos trust claim for asbestos trust fund compensation.

Unlike personal injury lawsuits, victims filing asbestos claims against these medical trusts do not need to prove negligence or monetary responsibility by an asbestos company.

Major Asbestos Trust Funds

There are four major trust funds available to mesothelioma patients or victims to file an asbestos trust fund claim, including:

  • Asbestos Claims Facility (ACF)
  • Manville Personal Injury Settlement Trust (MPIST)
  • National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh v. Garlock Sealing Technologies, LLC Trust (NUFIP)
  • W.R. Grace & Company Asbestos Personal Injury Settlement Trust (W.R. Grace)

The ACF is a trust set up by Johns-Manville, who established the first asbestos trust fund in 1987. However, W.R. Grace, other companies, and asbestos manufacturers, such as Cement Div., Incorporated, found the MPIST to compensate victims of asbestos exposure or mesothelioma diagnosed after 1988.

NUFIP operates similarly to the MPIST, providing funds for victims of asbestos exposure diagnosed between 1952 and 1986. This asbestos trust funds aim to compensate future and current victims of mesothelioma and their families. Federal-Mogul Asbestos Personal Injury Trust is another asbestos trust fund with 500 000 claims.

In the past, companies established most trust funds with a deadline to apply for compensation. In recent years, most asbestos bankruptcy trusts [3] have been re-opened due to government pressure, allowing people diagnosed with mesothelioma to file a trust fund claim for compensation, even if their diagnosis occurred years ago.

Asbestos Trust Fund Payouts

Administrators typically determine which people diagnosed with mesothelioma or other asbestos-related diseases are eligible for compensation based on their connection to asbestos materials, products, or companies that have gone bankrupt.

Any direct exposure to asbestos products throughout employment qualifies for compensation. The exposure can result from personal use, such as smoking cigarettes with asbestos filters or washing clothes contaminated with asbestos fibers.

Employees carrying out tasks with multiple sources of asbestos exposure may also qualify for asbestos trust fund payouts or settlements, administered by asbestos companies responsible for their medical condition.

The following companies may provide further information about asbestos trust funds (mesothelioma trust funds) that help compensate mesothelioma victims with asbestos trust fund payouts:

  • Asbestos Claims Facility (ACF): 1-866-714-4265
  • Manville Personal Injury Settlement Trust (MPIST): 1-800-698-3054
  • National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh v. Garlock Sealing Technologies, LLC (NUFIP): 1-877-648-3114
  • R. Grace & Company Asbestos Personal Injury Settlement Trust (W.R. Grace): 1-800-638-3927

If you are diagnosed with mesothelioma, you can file an asbestos trust fund claim for compensation from the trust fund of the asbestos company responsible for your illness.

Chapter 11 – Bankruptcy Code

The federal government provides legal remedies for asbestos companies filing for bankruptcy under Chapter 11 [4]. The bankruptcy code allows asbestos companies to restructure their debt and asbestos liabilities while proceeding with ongoing lawsuits against them.

Chapter 7 – Liquidation Trust Funds

After an asbestos company files for bankruptcy under Chapter 7 [5], its assets are liquidated and used to repay creditors. As a result, people filing claims against these trusts typically receive little or no compensation as most available funds go towards repaying investors and debt holders.

In 1972, the federal government passed the Clean Air Act to regulate emissions from factories and other sources of air pollution. In 1976, Congress amended the law to include strict guidelines for managing asbestos-containing products as hazardous material subject to inspection and disposal protocols.

How Mesothelioma Trust Funds Are Litigated

Most asbestos trust funds were created for current and future victims diagnosed with mesothelioma or other asbestos-related diseases, yet victims still often have to go to court for compensation.

Mesothelioma trust funds will hire a trusted mesothelioma attorney to represent their interests in court. An experienced law firm will be needed to ensure fair compensation in a mesothelioma trust fund claim for any injuries related to asbestos exposure.

During litigation, both parties will present their cases to a judge and jury in the hopes of winning. The verdict is final and cannot be appealed or changed by either party.

Loss of Consortium Claims in Asbestos Trust Funds

A consortium claim or an alienation of affection lawsuit, allows family members to receive financial compensation from asbestos trust funds.

Unlike a mesothelioma lawsuit, the claim does not require a cancer diagnosis or other illness. Instead, you must show that the disease damaged your loved one’s relationship.

In addition to legal claims due to the loss of consortium compensation, surviving family members can seek other damages, including:

  • Special damages, which cover medical costs and loss of financial support
  • General damages, which include pain and suffering during the diagnosis and after death
  • Punitive damages, awarded by the court if gross negligence is found on the part of a company

Furthering Asbestos Claim Transparency Act

Under federal law, the Furthering Asbestos Claim Transparency (FACT) Act was enacted to govern trust funds. However, some injured victims and their legal representatives have criticized the Act while drawing support from defendants and their attorneys.

Injured parties often realize that the FACT [6] Act does not provide necessary protection because it does not guarantee confidentiality. It imposes additional burdens on future victims who have been exposed to asbestos.

Additionally, the law forces every asbestos attorney to reveal each claimant’s name, address, telephone number, and the amount of compensation sought.

The Act is an attempt by defendants to reduce their potential liabilities. However, it does not protect all parties involved in the litigation process. With the law in effect, victims who file claims now have less privacy than before.

Benefits of Filing an Asbestos Trust Fund Claim

Filing an asbestos trust fund claim provides victims with four distinct benefits, as follows:

  • Victims are eligible for compensation without having to present verifiable evidence of exposure
  • Because of that, victims have less work involved during the litigation process since there is no need to prove exposure
  • It is easier for victims of mesothelioma to receive compensation, even if they were exposed to asbestos years ago
  • Victims do not have to wait until defendants are found guilty or settle their claims

To learn more about filing an asbestos trust fund claim, do not hesitate to contact our law office toll-free at (888) 424-5757 or complete the contact form on the site.

What is a Special Master in Asbestos Trust Funds?

Special masters are court officers who manage multi-district litigation cases. They work with the parties involved to agree on reallocating settlement funds, finding therapeutic split-off programs, and making other arrangements.

The Special Master acts as a liaison between the parties involved in the case. The court appoints a special master to help settle disputes and develop an equitable solution that benefits all parties.

FACT Act and Mesothelioma Trust Funds

Before the passage of the FACT Act, trust funds were allowed to negotiate confidentially with defendants without exposing claimants or their attorneys to federal lawsuits. Unfortunately, the ability has been stripped away by the law.

Currently, the Act places trust funds in a precarious position, forcing claimants to agree to appear quarterly and file extensive reports every 90 days. The rule makes it difficult for trust funds to function effectively since they must focus on compliance rather than generating claims.

The FACT Act is controversial because it strips away the confidentiality of asbestos trusts and forces attorneys to expose their clients’ names, addresses, and other personal information.

Additionally, the Act opens trust funds to federal lawsuits even if claimants are not involved in wrongdoing.

The FACT Act Helping Trust Funds

When trust funds follow strict guidelines set out by the FACT Act, they can help asbestos victims receive compensation more quickly.

The Act includes the following provisions for asbestos trust funds:

  • Trust funds must make quarterly reports detailing how many claims they have reviewed and whether they approve or deny them
  • Trust funds are required to disclose report responses to defendants
  • Trust funds must answer questions posed by defendants and other parties about their claims
  • Trust funds must maintain all files regarding claimants’ exposure for at least ten years or until the statute of limitations expires, whichever is longer
  • Trust funds may not enter into confidentiality agreements with any defendant without prior approval from the court

To learn more about how the FACT Act can help, please contact our asbestos attorneys at our law firm.

Filing a Claim When Too Sick

Many people are diagnosed with mesothelioma yearly, and most are too sick to file mesothelioma trust fund claims for compensation from negligent companies. Asbestos bankruptcy trusts can set aside money for future claims, but they only pay out if enough money is in the asbestos bankruptcy trust fund.

Most funds have already run dry because of large settlements in asbestos bankruptcy claims paid out in recent years. As a result, there aren’t enough resources available to help current claimants who are sick.

However, the problem might change as more bankrupt companies establish new trust funds and more money becomes available for victims’ family members to claim compensation benefits through these trusts.

The problem is that many of these trusts are not protected from creditors or lawsuits. Instead, it’s a legal loophole that allows attorneys to take money away from mesothelioma victims who deserve compensation for injuries caused by asbestos exposure.

Trust fund protection laws must change so companies cannot take money away from those most deserving. Our legal team has fought for mesothelioma trust fund changes for years after learning about the problems mesothelioma patients experience.

Personal Injury Settlement Trust

Under federal law, a Personal Injury Settlement Trust is a legal agreement set up when someone receives compensation for pain and suffering or lost wages when they cannot immediately collect the asbestos trust fund payout.

Asbestos Personal Injury Trust Protecting Settlements

An Asbestos Personal Injury Trust helps claimants oversee their financial future by protecting their settlements from creditors and judgments. Under current law, assets in an Asbestos Personal Injury Trust is protected even if victims file for bankruptcy after receiving their settlement.

Benefits of Trust Funds

Most people in legal battles for compensation demand that trust funds be set up to protect their money from creditors, judgment creditors, and attorneys. The solution will enable them to continue receiving financial support while resolving asbestos trust fund settlements or waiting for compensation from mesothelioma claims.

The financial assistance from an asbestos trust fund payout can benefit those fighting mesothelioma and asbestos-related diseases in many ways:

  • Limit the number of cases: Asbestos attorneys will be more likely to offer out-of-court settlements when claimants have a Personal Injury Settlement Trust instead of filing lawsuits.
  • Protect assets: If an attorney has access to settlement money while the claim is still open, they can take it away from clients and use it for other purposes, such as paying themselves or their other clients.
  • Less time in court: Filing a Personal Injury Settlement Trust makes the case significantly shorter, saving claimants time and money.
  • End creditor problems: Having creditors after settlement money causes problems for many claimants when they need financial support the most. A Personal Injury Settlement Trust could end creditor issues if set up properly by an experienced attorney. Speak to our lawyers to learn more about protecting your settlement funds with a Personal Injury Settlement Trust.
  • Receive more money: Having creditors after deals reduce the compensation future asbestos victims receive, which means more money for medical bills, lost wages, pain, and suffering, or rehabilitation expenses.
  • Protect future earnings: Mesothelioma treatment costs are extremely expensive, which means people living with an asbestos-related disease, lung cancer, or asbestosis need every cent they earn to pay bills. Having creditors after settlement money could also affect future earnings if claimants cannot continue working.

Trust funds protect your right to financial support while fighting for your legal claim against negligent companies that exposed you or a loved one to dangerous asbestos materials on the job. These workers include carpenters, repair workers, construction workers, oil workers, electricians, and others exposed to asbestos.

Asbestos Trust Funds FAQs

Our experienced mesothelioma law firm understands many families have unanswered questions about asbestos-related illness claims, asbestos lawsuits, and multiple asbestos trust funds for compensation after losing a loved one. A mesothelioma injury attorney has answered some of those questions below.

Contact an experienced mesothelioma attorney at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free) or use the contact form today for additional information.

Can I file a claim with asbestos trust funds?

If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you may qualify for a financial settlement from an asbestos trust fund. These are usually established by companies that have declared bankruptcy after being sued for injuries caused by exposure to asbestos.

The amount available from the asbestos litigation depends on how much money is left over after all expenses have been paid. Mesothelioma lawsuits are typically based on asbestos bankruptcy trust funds and the injured party’s health risks.

Does the trust fund cover medical expenses?

No, asbestos trust funds compensate for pain and suffering[7] caused by exposure to asbestos. The money does not cover medical costs associated with mesothelioma or your current bills.

Injured parties can file an asbestos trust fund lawsuit or mesothelioma trust fund claim after receiving a diagnosis of an asbestos-related illness. A claim can be resolved promptly, especially if the injured party has a poor prognosis based on professional medical advice.

Will I have to pay taxes on trust fund payments from asbestos trust funds?

You must pay taxes on all trust fund payments from an asbestos trust fund because funds are considered taxable income by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) [8].

For specific information on how asbestos trust fund claims could be a deduction, please consult your tax advisor or speak to a mesothelioma lawyer from our law firm for additional information.

If I am rejected from a bankruptcy trust fund, can I be considered for a regular asbestos lawsuit?

You may be able to file a traditional asbestos lawsuit against a company responsible for your illness. In addition, if mesothelioma patients file a claim against a company that did not declare bankruptcy, they will be eligible to receive compensation from any available insurance coverage.

Specializing in asbestos lawsuits can ensure victims receive a maximum asbestos personal injury settlement or compensation through an asbestos personal injury trust. The asbestos trust fund compensation usually provides sufficient monetary recovery for victims with a mesothelioma diagnosis.

What are some common reasons I might be rejected from a trust fund?

A trust fund administrator will usually reject asbestos trust fund claims for the following reasons:

  • You filed too late to qualify for compensation
  • You were aware of possible asbestos exposure and did not file an asbestos personal injury settlement claim before the statute of limitations ran out

What is important to include in an asbestos trust fund claim?

Once claimants have filed a claim against asbestos bankruptcy trusts, there are steps they can take to increase their chances of success in an asbestos personal injury trust claim:

  • Be thorough when listing all exposure sites
  • Include copies of any relevant medical records and documents confirming asbestos-related disease diagnosis of mesothelioma, asbestosis [9], or lung cancer
  • Include any documents you think might support your claim

To learn more about filing an asbestos trust fund claim, do not hesitate to contact a mesothelioma lawyer toll-free at (888) 424-5757 or through the contact form on the site.

Want an Asbestos Personal Injury Settlement or Compensation? Hire Personal Injury Attorneys Specializing in Asbestos Exposure Cases

Our mesothelioma attorneys have represented many victims harmed by asbestos exposure. In addition, we serve as legal advocates to ensure our clients receive adequate mesothelioma trust fund payouts or compensation or an asbestos personal injury settlement from multiple trust funds.

Contact a qualified mesothelioma lawyer at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free) or use the contact form today to schedule a free consultation.

We accept every asbestos trust fund claim and wrongful death lawsuit on a contingency fee basis. This promise ensures you pay nothing until your case is resolved successfully.

Resources: [1] CDC, [2] PubMed, [3] GAO, [4] USCourts, [5] USCourts, [6] FACT, [7] rid.uscourts.gov, [8] IRS, [9] NIH 

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