Asbestos Trusts / What Are Asbestos Trusts?
How Can Asbestos Cause Injuries?
Asbestos is historically acclaimed as the “miracle mineral” due to its extreme versatility. The term asbestos refers to a group of related silicate minerals, each with slightly different characteristics, but all with the same highly durable and heat-resistant properties.
That’s why asbestos was used in almost every part of the construction and industrial industries; it was found in paint and cement, brake linings and pipe insulation, and even protective clothing like aprons and gloves.
Even a small exposure to asbestos can cause a range of health problems decades later. When asbestos fibers are inhaled or ingested, they stay in the body forever. The fibers are microscopic – thinner than a human hair – but they can become embedded in the lungs, pleural membranes, or mesothelium (the layer of protective tissue that covers the organs in your abdomen and chest) and cause damage.
The illnesses most often developed from asbestos exposure include asbestosis, pleural plaques, lung cancer, mesothelioma, and other cancers. These are also known as asbestos related diseases.
It’s important to note that illnesses from asbestos exposure do not occur overnight, or even over the course of a week, month, or year.
Asbestos related diseases have long latency periods, meaning that they take decades to develop. Most people do not know that they have been injured by asbestos exposure until they begin to experience symptoms of illness. Some people do not know how or when they could have been exposed, but that does not mean that a legal team, like us, cannot help them figure it out.
What Are Asbestos Trusts & Why Do They Exist?
What is an Asbestos Trust?
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.
The asbestos industry is an old industry. Some companies, like notorious Johns-Manville (JM), were founded in the 1800s. This means that there has been a long time (hundreds of years) for a great deal of workers and their families to have been at risk of exposure to asbestos, and a long history of lawsuits and asbestos injury claims being brought against these corporations on behalf of those injured.
Some asbestos companies, like JM, were sued by workers with injury claims as early as the 1930s. For many others, the litigation against them began in the late 1960s and continued to pile on as years passed.
Settling cases and going to trial was very expensive, and many companies determined that they needed to file for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy. Under the laws and regulations regarding Chapter 11 Bankruptcy filings, the companies were ordered by their respective Courts to form Asbestos Bankruptcy Trusts.
The trusts were to be funded by the companies and their insurance providers, often with millions or billions of dollars set aside, with the sole purpose of providing compensation to victims injured by asbestos exposure.
Each asbestos bankruptcy trust has certain criteria that a person must meet to qualify for compensation for their claim. This typically includes providing the trust with information about your work or exposure history, medical history and diagnosis of asbestos related disease, and any other information deemed relevant by the trust.
We have a list of every trust that is still actively paying victims, and we have information on the ones that have already closed, too. We also have one of the largest record databases on bankrupt asbestos companies out there. If you believe you or a loved one suffered an asbestos injury, we can help you figure it out.
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.
Secondary Asbestos Exposure
Spouses and household members of workers may qualify for the Asbestos Bankruptcy Trusts 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, car, or small laundry room breathing it in could have been at risk.
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. These are just some examples of where asbestos would have been found.
Some military jobs, such as mechanics, boilermakers, and pipefitters, to name a few, would cause service members 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 they were 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?