What Is an Asbestos Trust Fund?
An asbestos trust fund is a portion of money set aside by a company that made and/or sold asbestos products. These trust funds allow those who developed asbestos-related diseases and cancers to receive money for their medical care.
From the 1930s to the early 1980s, hundreds of companies produced asbestos-containing products and made millions in the process. Though these companies knew asbestos could cause lung damage and cancer, they concealed the truth for decades to keep making money.
Once the dangers of the mineral became widely known, companies that made asbestos products faced hundreds of thousands of lawsuits from victims. In response, many companies filed for bankruptcy and created asbestos trust funds.
Asbestos trust funds are managed by a group of trustees who manage how much the fund will pay. These trustees also ensure the fund can continue to operate year after year.
Active Abestos Trust Funds
As of 2020, roughly 60 asbestos trust funds across the United States still award payments.
Families affected by any asbestos-related disease should find out whether they are able to access money through a trust fund.
Asbestos Trust Funds and Mesothelioma
Asbestos exposure can cause many diseases, including mild pleural plaques and deadly cancers such as mesothelioma. Asbestos trust funds award higher amounts of compensation to those with more serious illnesses.
Mesothelioma spreads aggressively, is hard to diagnose, and has no cure. Those diagnosed with this rare form of cancer receive the highest amount of compensation from asbestos trust funds.
Quick Facts About Asbestos Trust Funds
- Asbestos trust funds group claims into two categories: malignant (cancerous) and nonmalignant (non-cancerous). Malignant claims typically pay more than nonmalignant claims.
- According to a 2010 report from the Rand Institute for Civil Justice, asbestos trust funds pay an average of $180,000 for mesothelioma claims. The value can vary greatly depending on the trust fund.
- Both victims and their families can receive financial compensation through asbestos trust funds.
- Asbestos trust funds can award compensation much faster than filing a lawsuit. However, the payout might be lower.