Asbestos Trust Claims: Compensation is Available Without Filing a Lawsuit
Asbestos companies and their insurers placed close to $30 Billion dollars into trust funds to pay people who were injured by asbestos.
But nearly 40% of the funds have still gone unclaimed by the victims. You may be entitled to a portion of these funds.
Applying for asbestos trust fund compensation is not getting into a fight.
This money was set aside in a trust account for those who were injured.
Applying for a payment from these trusts is not affecting any company or coming out of anyone’s pocket. This is insurance money specifically to help people hurt by asbestos.
The court ordered the funds because the asbestos industry could no longer hide its secret: asbestos is very dangerous to breathe.
USG Asbestos Trust
USG Asbestos Trust
|Core Businesses||manufacture of sheetrock and construction materials|
|Bankruptcy||District of Delaware (2001)|
|Year Trust was Founded||2007|
|Assets at Founding||~ $3,900,000,000|
|Assets as of 2021||$1,052,871,040|
|Payment Percentage||Nineteen point two percent (19.2%)|
|Amount of Money Paid To Date||$3,855,000,000|
|Number of Claims Paid||357,137|
United States Gypsum Corporation, formerly United States Gypsum Company (USG), has been in business for 120 years. Founded in 1901 from the merger of 30 different plaster and gypsum companies, USG is a leading manufacturer of construction materials like wallboard and joint compound. Gypsum is a sulfate mineral that is mined and frequently used in different types of plaster, chalk, and drywall.
- In 1909, USG acquired the Sacket Plaster Board Company.
- In 1916, the company invented a product which they called Sheetrock – sheetrock is still a commonly used term (and product) in the construction industry regardless of which brand is being used.
- The company started using asbestos in its products in the early 1920s and continued for about 50 years. Joint compound, tape, and plaster products were among the most well-known and bestselling of the company’s selection.
- Though the company stopped including asbestos in its products in 1978, it did not escape asbestos injury litigation.
Workers Generally Eligible for the USG Asbestos Trust:
Workers who may have been at risk of exposure to asbestos from USG products include:
|Construction / Demo workers||Electricians||Pipefitters|
|HVAC workers||Plumbers||Shipyard workers|
USG’s 40+ asbestos containing products reached both commercial and industrial building industries, and therefore, more people who were potentially exposed to asbestos. Occupations that would have been exposed to USG products include construction workers, shipyard workers, electricians, pipefitters, HVAC workers, plumbers, roofers, and contractors.
Like so many asbestos corporations, USG did not disclose knowledge that asbestos was dangerous to its employees and consumers. It reportedly hired a laboratory to research the hazards of dust in industrial settings in the 1930s but did not make the findings of this research known.
Secondary Asbestos Exposure
Spouses and household members of workers may qualify for the USG Asbestos Trust as well.
People who brought home asbestos on their work clothes may have also been exposed in their homes and vehicles. This especially includes anyone who regularly laundered asbestos-tainted work clothes. Asbestos is dusty and durable, and anyone who spent time in a garage or small laundry room breathing it in could have been at risk.
USG Asbestos Trust History
The company faced a reported 45,000 claims from USG workers (or family members) alone in the early 1990s. After paying millions of dollars in settlements and jury verdicts, USG filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on June 25, 2001.
Six years later, The United States Gypsum Asbestos Trust was established and began accepting claims on February 19, 2007.
In 2007, USG created the USG Asbestos Trust under its Chapter 11 Joint Plan of Reorganization. The current payment percentage is 19.2%.
The Trust states that it was “organized to provide fair, equitable and substantially similar treatment for all personal injury claims that may presently exist or arise in the future.” The payment percentage helps to ensure that funds will remain available for future claimants.
The USG Asbestos Trust has established forms and procedures to apply and collect compensation from the trust. You can learn more on their website.
In 2021, 14,531 claims were filed with the USG Trust, according to its annual financial report.
The report also details that $105,403,000 was paid out in claims in 2021, adding to a total of $3,855,000,000 that the Trust has paid since it was established.
Important Facts About Asbestos Trust Compensation for People with Asbestos Illnesses
The Vast Majority of Our Clients Qualify for Payments from Multiple Asbestos Trusts.
Depending on where you worked, or how you were exposed to asbestos, you may qualify to file claims with more than one asbestos trust. Different occupations worked with different types of asbestos products. The location of the work – the actual job site – also impacts which claims may be filed. Every case is unique, and thousands of clients have been able to receive compensation from multiple asbestos trusts.
Asbestos Trust Claims Are Not Lawsuits and Do Not Affect a Person’s Employer or Benefits.
Filing claims with asbestos trusts is a separate act than filing a lawsuit against certain companies. It is possible, however, to file a lawsuit and additionally file claims with asbestos trusts. This determination is made on a case-by-case basis depending on each client’s work and/or exposure history. Companies that are not bankrupt are eligible to be sued in a lawsuit, while bankrupt companies are those that were ordered to establish asbestos bankruptcy trusts.
The asbestos trusts exist for the purpose of awarding compensation to qualifying claimants. The courts designated that money be specifically set aside to provide payment to those individuals injured by asbestos. You do not have to be retired to file a claim, and the claim does not affect your current or previous employer(s), or any benefits you may already receive. If you worked with products or at a job site that was owned by a company that has established an asbestos trust, you may meet the criteria for compensation.
Veterans Injured By Asbestos Exposure During Service Can Claim Asbestos Trust Compensation and Veterans Benefits
Asbestos use was extremely common in the U.S. military for decades. Navy ships were built using asbestos insulation to ensure they were fireproof. The boiler rooms on the ships were full of asbestos insulation, gaskets, and valves used on the various types of equipment. Military tanks and vehicles used asbestos containing brake parts as well as gaskets and valves.
Some military jobs, such as mechanics, boilermakers, and pipefitters, to name a few, would cause servicemembers to be directly exposed to asbestos. Other jobs required that work be done near those using or working with asbestos, which still put those workers at risk. A military veteran’s benefits will not be affected by filing asbestos trust claims; this is true even if you already receive disability benefits from the VA.
Cigarette Smokers Are Absolutely Eligible to File Asbestos Trust Claims.
One of the common misconceptions surrounding asbestos trust claims is that people who smoked are not eligible to file for compensation.
That’s absolutely false.
Our Office has Recovered Many Trust Settlements on Behalf of Smokers.
Asbestos exposure makes it five times more likely you’ll develop lung cancer. Smoking makes it ten times more likely you’ll develop lung cancer. But being a smoker with asbestos exposure makes it fifty times more likely you’ll develop lung cancer.
And that’s why asbestos companies will pay compensation to industrial workers or others exposed to asbestos, even if they were lifelong smokers.
I know this, because many of them are my clients.
Your rights can be lost if you wait.
Although asbestos trust claims are not lawsuits, they are subject to the same time limitations that lawsuits are.
These laws are called Statutes of Limitation.
Statutes of limitation specify how much time a person has to file a lawsuit.
If a person waits too long, they lose the right to file a lawsuit.
Every state puts limits on how long individuals have to file lawsuits on their own behalf or on behalf of a deceased loved one. These laws are called Statutes of Limitation, and if you miss one, you will not be able to file any asbestos claims.
The exact same thing applies with asbestos trusts:
If you wait too long to file an asbestos trust claim, you’ll lose the right to do so. Statutes of Limitation can be complicated in asbestos cases because a person typically doesn’t develop an asbestos-related illness until many years after he or she was exposed.
Statutes of Limitations are often not very straightforward in asbestos cases because there are questions about when the statute should start:
- Does “the clock” start when a person is diagnosed with an asbestos-related illness, or does it start when they find out their illness could have been caused by asbestos?
- If they worked in Texas but now live in Missouri, which statute applies?
These are the sorts of questions that are best posed to an asbestos attorney, and we’re happy to answer them for you.
If you believe you are entitled to compensation for your asbestos-related illness, call, text or email our law firm so we can tell you how long you have to make the decision to file a trust claim or to seek asbestos compensation through an asbestos lawsuit.
It won’t cost you anything to call us, but it could cost you everything if you wait too long to file a claim.
Justinian C. Lane, Esq. – AsbestosClaims.Law
My grandfather, grandmother and father were all exposed to asbestos in their work, and all three died of respiratory-related cancers.
I found out too late about the health effects of asbestos to help them.
But my firm has helped many other people receive compensation for health problems they developed from exposure to asbestos.
Call, text or email us for a completely free consultation with no obligation. I will listen to the details of your story, and explain your options. We only work on contingency, so we only get paid if you do.
Every case is different, but the Law Offices of Justinian C. Lane, Esq. has obtained large settlements for thousands of people harmed by asbestos. This compensation has helped ease our clients’ financial burdens, and offers a legacy to leave for their loved ones.
At AsbestosClaims.Law, we’ve helped thousands of people who were exposed to asbestos in their job, car or at home.
Can we help you?