Due to the long latency period associated with asbestos exposure, many individuals who were exposed 20, 30 or even 50 years ago have only now been diagnosed with mesothelioma and may be eligible to apply for compensation from the established asbestos bankruptcy trust system. Several asbestos companies, starting in the 1970s and through today, faced a significant amount of lawsuits from current and future asbestos victims and decided to file for bankruptcy protection as a result. As part of the bankruptcy process, the courts required each company to establish trust funds to compensate future victims of asbestos-related diseases.
Asbestos trust funds are established as separate organizations from the companies that originally used asbestos. Whether they be companies that mined asbestos, produced asbestos-containing products, or used asbestos materials in their operations, the asbestos trust is managed by its own board of trustees that is autonomous from the original company.
Simmons Hanly Conroy’s Asbestos Bankruptcy Department, led by Shareholder Perry Browder as the Chair of the Asbestos group and Shareholders Chris Guinn and Matt Petersen as department supervisors, is a highly skilled legal team that focuses solely on investigating and filing asbestos trust claims. Perry and Chris have overseen some of the largest verdicts and settlements in the history of asbestos litigation. Matt has more than 10 years of legal experience encompassing bankruptcy, estate and trust law. He also worked in the trust department at one of the largest banks in the United States.
Simmons Hanly Conroy’s bankruptcy department team has filed thousands of claims on behalf of eligible individuals and their families. In addition, firm attorneys have successfully arbitrated several cases against some of the largest bankruptcy trusts. As leaders in the asbestos legal industry, Simmons Hanly Conroy attorneys serve on several Trust Advisory Committees. This means our team is uniquely qualified to help patients and families impacted by mesothelioma navigate the asbestos bankruptcy trust system.
Your attorney will develop a legal strategy that includes bankruptcy claims and all solvent sources of recovery. Below is an overview of what the process for filing a mesothelioma claim against an asbestos trust may resemble. However, this process will vary based on your own circumstances. For information specific to your potential claim, contact a mesothelioma attorney who has experience in filing bankruptcy cases.
It is important to speak with an experienced asbestos attorney because bankruptcy claims can be confusing. Contact a Simmons Hanly Conroy attorney today to learn more about your options regarding filing a mesothelioma bankruptcy claim.
Asbestos trusts have established asbestos exposure and medical criteria that must be met in order to apply for compensation. Your lawyer is familiar with the criterial for different trusts and can review them with you.
The following are examples of trust fund criteria for submitting a mesothelioma claim:
Since each trust sets its own eligibility criteria, it is best to work with a mesothelioma attorney who can help you to understand the requirements and determine your legal options.
If you meet the trust fund criteria, your lawyer will begin gathering evidence to support your claim. The following are examples of evidence that your lawyer might include:
After the evidence and other necessary materials are gathered, your attorney will file your trust claim. Every trust has different criteria and will require the information to be submitted in a specific manner. This is information your attorney will know.
Upon receiving all your claim documents, the trust fundadministrators will begin the review process. There are two main methods for review: expedited review and individual review.
If you or your loved one meet all of the trust fund’s established criteria, your claim will be eligible for expedited review. If the trust fund administrators find the evidence you submit to be sufficient, then then your claim will be approved to be paid.
Expedited reviews settle claims quickly because there is a scheduled value, or fixed amount, for the compensation. The scheduled value is usually different for the different types of asbestos-related diseases, with more severe diseases, like mesothelioma, typically assigned a higher value. This means that mesothelioma, as a more serious asbestos-related disease, is then eligible for higher compensation than diseases like asbestosis or pleural plaques.
If you or your loved one do not meet the requirements for expedited review, your claim will be reviewed individually. While this process can be slower, it may result in higher compensation because your medical condition and work history with asbestos are given individual consideration.
Once your claim has been validated through review, your claim will be liquidated, or assigned a monetary value. Factors affecting the amount may include, but are not limited to:
In order to ensure that compensation will be available for future victims, every asbestos trust only pays out a limited percent on the dollar. This percentage varies by trust. An experienced mesothelioma lawyer can navigate the asbestos trust system and help you secure the most compensation possible.
Several companies who mined asbestos, produced asbestos products, or used asbestos materials in production processes have filed for bankruptcy protection through Chapter 11. The courts have required these asbestos companies to set up trust funds to compensate current and future individuals with valid asbestos personal injury claims. The following is just a partial list of asbestos companies with established trust funds.