Trust Funds

If you have been diagnosed with Mesothelioma or Lung Cancer you could be entitled to significant compensation from both the Asbestos Trust Funds and asbestos product manufactures.

Contact us now for a FREE consultation.

Free Case Review

Trust Funds

If you have been diagnosed with Mesothelioma or Lung Cancer you could be entitled to significant compensation from both the Asbestos Trust Funds and asbestos product manufactures.

Contact us now for a FREE consultation.

Free Case Review

Mesothelioma Trust Funds Explained:
Compensation Assistance

Asbestos and
Related Information

When the asbestos cover-up unraveled in the early 1980s, many asbestos providers took the easy way out and filed bankruptcy rather than take responsibility for the health crisis they created. This pattern continues to this day. In August 2023, a Libby, Montana clinic filed bankruptcy after the federal government ordered it to pay a $6 million fine for submitting false asbestos illness claims.

But this process isn’t exactly an easy way out. Before they close these bankruptcies, federal judges normally order these companies to establish large victim compensation funds. These funds have different rules. However, in general, if a victim submits a prima facie (bare bones) asbestos exposure case to the Fund Administrator, the Fund Administrator usually approves a payout. More on that below.

VCF claims are legally complex, especially
for secondhand
exposure victims

Environmental cancer, like mesothelioma, is very difficult to connect with a certain source. Additionally, these claims are difficult to resolve, unless a victim is willing to take a low-ball offer. So, only the most experienced asbestos exposure lawyer should handle bankruptcy VCF mesothelioma claims. The average attorney-negotiated settlement is over three times higher than other settlements.

Mesothelioma and Other Asbestos Exposure Illnesses

Usually, strong substances have strong side effects. Many times, these side effects are unintended and unexpected. Asbestos is also a very strong, durable substance. It doesn’t conduct heat or electricity, making it an ideal insulator. Furthermore, this fibrous mineral is cheap and plentiful. However, asbestos has some unintended side-effects. This time, the story doesn’t have a happy ending.

Toxic asbestos fibers cause mesothelioma, a rare and aggressive form of cancer. Tumors usually form between the heart and lungs. Occasionally, tumors form in the abdomen. These tumors are difficult to treat, mostly because the latency period is usually more than fifty years. So, by the time doctors detect these tumors, they don’t respond to standard cancer treatments, such as:

There are several approved chemotherapies available to treat mesothelioma. Chemotherapy is the most commonly utilized treatment and is often used to shrink the tumor. If the tumor is dramatically reduced in size then surgery to remove the tumor may become an option as well.

This treatment is usually unavailable in mesothelioma cases as well. Pleural (heart-lung) mesothelioma tumors are in a very delicate position. High-dose radiation causes too much collateral damage. Furthermore, as mentioned, the tumors are so large that low-dose radiation is ineffective.

Advanced cytoreduction with hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) procedures sometimes allow doctors to remove peritoneal mesothelioma tumors. This procedure is risky and results aren’t guaranteed. Furthermore, pleural mesothelioma tumors usually don’t respond to this technique.

This has become an increasingly important therapeutic option. Immunotherapy is thought to be the future of all cancer therapies. The focus of immunotherapy is to enhance the body’s ability to detect and kill the tumor. In recent years, several subtypes of patients have failed traditional therapy but had remarkable success with immunotherapy.

For these reasons, although the overall cancer survival rate has shot up since the 2020s, the mesothelioma five-year survival rate still remains under 10 percent.

Other asbestos exposure illnesses include pleural thickening and asbestosis. Both of these conditions are usually incurable lung diseases.

Asbestos Exposure
Claims and Bankruptcy

Since the 1980s, many asbestos companies and product manufacturers have attempted to declare bankruptcy. Many of these companies had substantial assets at the time of filing, so courts required them to set aside billions of dollars for victim compensation funds. This enabled these companies to avoid lawsuits, and the victims could obtain compensation for their economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering. 

To obtain compensation is almost impossible to do on your own. In most cases, it requires a complex application that takes all asbestos exposure into consideration. Also in some cases, there are special circumstances where individuals can file for more than the average claim. Only an experienced lawyer with knowledge of the process and the bank trustees’ special considerations would be able to get a victim or their family the maximum amount of compensation.

These issues also affect current bankruptcies. As an example, the Grace Mine-related bankruptcy above. W.R. Grace, the mining company that caused this mess in Montana, filed bankruptcy in 2002.

For decades, the Grace Mine produced vermiculite, an asbestos substitute. However, Grace Mine vermiculite was laced with asbestos and sold throughout the country. Such serious cross-contamination issues are the subject of a different blog. The point is that if an asbestos provider tries to file bankruptcy and avoid legal responsibility, an asbestos exposure attorney still has legal options.

A Mesothelioma
Trust Fund List

As of October 2023, roughly two hundred asbestos companies or product manufacturers have filed bankruptcy and contributed to a victim compensation fund. Some bigger names include:

A complete list is available here. If available, a VCF claim enables a victim to bypass the legal system and possibly obtain compensation earlier.

On a related note, asbestos exposure lawyers often set up trust funds for clients. These trust funds usually avoid the expense and headache of probate court, helping to ensure that the money goes to beneficiaries, and not to their lawyers.

Mesothelioma Trust
Fund Claims

Each trust fund sets its own legal claim rules. Generally, mesothelioma trust fund claimants have one of three review options:

Indirect exposure victims often file individual review claims, to reduce the chance of denial. Fund Administrators who take long, hard looks at cases usually approve them, at least in part. The review timeline varies, but it’s normally at least six months.

Direct exposure victims usually file expedited claims to obtain compensation sooner. If the victim’s employment history matches the probable asbestos exposure window (e.g. Tim was a U.S. Gypsum industrial worker at the same time he was exposed to asbestos), these claims are rather straightforward. The amount of compensation is the only issue. However, that’s a pretty big issue.

Early or late stage mesothelioma victims normally apply under extraordinary relief clauses. Early stage mesothelioma victims need money to fight their diseases, and late stage victims usually want to get their affairs in order. Fund administrators usually grant extraordinary relief status if an asbestos-exposure lawyer presents appropriate medical or other evidence.

The cancer misdiagnosis rate is rather high. So, a Board Certified oncologist or other specialist should usually make an evidence-based diagnosis.

Meaningful settlement negotiations cannot begin until an asbestos exposure lawyer provides the courts with the economic losses attributed to the diagnosis, probable future medical expenses, pain and suffering, as well as possible punitive damages.

Prior to any trial, judges often enforce a duty to negotiate in good faith during settlement talks. Defendants cannot make take-it-or-leave-it offers, and, during the talks themselves, they cannot simply go through the motions.

Other Legal Options

If the responsible company filed bankruptcy recently, a proof of claim might be an option. The bankruptcy judge supervises settlement negotiations, meaning that the duty to negotiate in good faith applies. A proof of claim is not an option in stale bankruptcy cases (the judge has closed the bankruptcy), but some alternatives are still available. 

Frequently, an asbestos exposure attorney identifies a solvent defendant at another part of the supply chain. For example, the mining company might be bankrupt, but the manufacturing company might still be in business. Usually, companies are strictly liable for the injuries their defective products cause.

Legal action against a private property owner might be a possibility as well. Landowners could be legally responsible for asbestos exposure injuries even if they didn’t know asbestos was in the building. These claims aren’t as complex as manufacturer lawsuits, but lesser compensation is usually available.

Count on a Dedicated National
Asbestos Cancer Lawyer

Asbestos providers cannot hide behind bankruptcy laws and avoid legal responsibility for the injuries they caused. For a free consultation with an experienced and successful lawyer in your area, please contact us at or Paul Danziger, Esq. We do not charge upfront legal fees in these matters and only get paid if we successfully resolve your asbestos claim.

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