Which Bankrupt Defendants Have Asbestos Trust Funds?
Over 60 bankrupt manufacturers of asbestos-containing products have active trust funds.
Notable companies with asbestos trust funds include:
- General Motors
- U.S. Gypsum
- W.R. Grace
- Western MacArthur
Manufacturers with asbestos trust funds would otherwise be key defendants (people or companies being sued) in asbestos lawsuits, as they hid the fact that exposure to the mineral could kill people.
In the early 1980s and onward, manufacturers of asbestos-containing products faced tens of thousands of lawsuits since they hid the deadly truth about the mineral from the public.
Some of these manufacturers filed for bankruptcy to avoid responsibility for exposing millions of people to a potentially lethal substance.
When a defendant files for bankruptcy, all pending lawsuits against them stop. However, to ensure these manufacturers didn’t shirk responsibility, the U.S. Congress changed the bankruptcy code so that they had to establish trust funds and take responsibility for their actions.
An asbestos trust fund allows those with mesothelioma or other asbestos-related diseases to receive financial compensation from these manufacturers, even if the companies declared bankruptcy.
As of 2020, over $30 Billion is available across all active asbestos trust funds.
Today, those with mesothelioma may receive money by filing claims with asbestos trust funds and also by suing the manufacturers of asbestos-containing products that did not file for bankruptcy.
Asbestos Trust Fund Bankrupt Defendants Quick Facts
- Every trust pays a different amount of money to claimants, as payouts depend on how much money is in the trust and how many others need to be paid.
- Generally, trust funds cannot pay every claim in full and also stay active, so they pay only a percentage of a claim’s value.
- Trust funds periodically update how much they will pay, meaning new claims may be valued at higher or lower rates. Those who filed their claim before the update will not have to pay back any money if the percentage decreases, but they will receive more if it increases.
- Mesothelioma claims award the highest amounts from asbestos trusts, according to the RAND Institute for Civil Justice.