About Mesothelioma Trust Funds
Many of the companies hit by asbestos lawsuits responded to the litigation by seeking bankruptcy protection under Chapter 11. As part of the bankruptcy process, the companies were required to set up asbestos trust funds as a means of compensating workers and others diagnosed with asbestos-related conditions like mesothelioma. At least 56 asbestos bankruptcy trusts were established from the mid-1970s, when the first asbestos lawsuits were going to trial, to 2011, and by 2017, at least 100 large companies had declared bankruptcy due at least in part to liability related to asbestos. The asbestos bankruptcy trusts work like this: workers exposed to asbestos on the job submit a claim to the mesothelioma trust belonging to the company responsible for their asbestos exposure. Generally, claimants must be able to prove that they were exposed to asbestos at a particular worksite or that their exposure occurred because of a particular asbestos product. If the claim is successful, the trust pays the claim based on a percentage of what the claimant is actually entitled to, which could be as low as 30% or even 10%.