This page will give you information about two types of financial compensation for mesothelioma: (1) asbestos trust funds; and (2) civil lawsuits. For complete information about financial compensation, request your free Meso Guide today.
Asbestos Trust Funds
We know that most people have heard about these trust funds, probably from T.V. commercials. But most people do not know the basic information about trust funds, such as how do you qualify for compensation, which companies have set up trust funds, and what factors influence the amount paid to mesothelioma victims.
Many companies that made or used asbestos-containing products filed for bankruptcy protection in federal courts. As a result of these bankruptcy filings, these companies cannot be sued in court. However, that does not mean that money cannot be recovered from these companies. Instead, it means that many of these companies, as part of their bankruptcy reorganization, were required to establish a “trust fund” to pay current and future asbestos victims (including those with mesothelioma, lung cancer and other asbestos diseases) who qualify for compensation based upon a criteria established by the specific bankruptcy trust.
Asbestos “trust fund” claims are submitted through the submission of electronic or paper forms along with certain documentation. Therefore, filing bankruptcy claims with an asbestos trust fund does not involve “going to court”.
There are two main components that will determine whether a person is eligible for compensation from a bankruptcy trust.
- Proof of diagnosis: All bankruptcy trusts require proof that the person (claimant) was actually diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease. For mesothelioma, the most common proof is a pathology report showing that mesothelioma was diagnosed based on a tissue or cytology (fluid) biopsy. If a person dies without a pathologically confirmed diagnosis, an autopsy can be used to prove that the claimant actually had mesothelioma. If a person is dying with what is believed to be mesothelioma but has not had a biopsy performed that has confirmed the mesothelioma diagnosis, then it is important to have an autopsy performed to determine if a mesothelioma diagnosis can be confirmed.
- Proof of exposure: Most bankruptcy trusts also require proof that the person (claimant) either worked with or around (or came in contact with) the company’s asbestos-containing products, or that the claimant worked at job site approved by the bankruptcy trust for payment.
The amount of compensation that particular claimants get from bankruptcy trusts varies based on a variety of case-specific factors. Among the factors that may influence the amount of money that a claimant is paid by a bankruptcy trust are: (1) whether the claimant is living or deceased; (2) age of the claimant; (3) whether the claimant has a spouse and/or dependent children; (4) whether the claimant has suffered a loss of income based on the mesothelioma; and (5) the location where the claimant was exposed to the company’s product.
If you have developed mesothelioma, or another asbestos-related disease, you may have the right to file a lawsuit in a court of law. This is what is called a “civil case” or “civil action”. We describe below some of the basic facts about filing an asbestos case.
To file an asbestos case for mesothelioma, there are 3 main requirements: (1) proof of diagnosis; (2) proof of exposure to the products or activity for which named defendants are responsible; and (3) proof that the defendant committed a “tort” or was at fault.
- Proof of Diagnosis: A civil lawsuit requires a plaintiff with mesothelioma to establish a valid mesothelioma diagnosis. The most common proof is a pathology report showing that mesothelioma was diagnosed based on a tissue or cytology (fluid) biopsy or from an autopsy.
- Exposure to Asbestos Attributable to Defendant: A plaintiff in a civil lawsuit must also have evidence of exposure to the products or activity for which the named defendants are responsible. It is not enough to show that the plaintiff was exposed to asbestos generally. The plaintiff must show a connection between his or her asbestos exposure and the products or activities of the particular defendant.
- Showing a Defendant’s Tortious Conduct or Fault: In most civil cases, the plaintiff must show that the Defendant did something wrong that the civil law recognizes (i.e. a “tort”). There are two common ways this is shown in asbestos cases: (a) showing negligence; or (b) showing that the product was “defective”. In many cases, plaintiffs are able to show that the defendant was negligent in failing to adequately warn about the hazards of asbestos, in light of what the defendant knew or should have known about the dangers of asbestos. A plaintiff can also demonstrate the product was “defective” or “not reasonably safe” or “unreasonably dangerous”.
Most asbestos cases are filed where the plaintiff resides or where some of the asbestos exposure occurred. An asbestos case may also be able to be filed where one or more of the defendants are incorporated or headquartered.
You can get more complete information about financial compensation for mesothelioma by requesting your free Meso Guide today.