What Companies Have Asbestos Trust Funds?
As of 2020, most of the major manufacturers that made and sold asbestos-containing products have established trust funds. Asbestos trust funds allow these manufacturers to stay in business and avoid lawsuits.Some of the biggest asbestos trust fund companies include:
Garlock Sealing Technologies
In 2010, Garlock filed for bankruptcy amid increasing costs of asbestos-related lawsuits. Garlock’s parent company EnPro announced it would establish a $480 Million asbestos trust in 2016 to settle all asbestos claims.
This construction company became the first to establish an asbestos trust fund in 1988. Its trust fund served as the template for almost every other trust fund that came after it.
Owens Corning Fibreboard
This company established two separate asbestos trust funds in 2006. Today, these funds are valued at nearly $5 Billion when combined.
United States Gypsum
Founded in 1901, this company relied on asbestos to make drywall and other building materials. Its trust fund, established in 2006, contains nearly $4 Billion.
This company controlled or built major assets in the town of Libby, Montana, including an asbestos mine, the town hospital, and several schools. A 2009 report from the Guardian reported that nearly 40% of the town’s population was sick due to asbestos exposure, and over 200 had died from it. This manufacturer’s trust fund is valued at $3 Billion.
Beginning in the 1980s, hundreds of thousands of people have taken legal action against major manufacturers of asbestos-containing products.
These manufacturers knew that asbestos exposure could lead to deadly diseases like mesothelioma, but they hid the facts to keep making money. When the truth finally came out, these manufacturers faced a heavy influx of lawsuits.
According to the RAND Institute for Civil Justice, the manufacturers of asbestos-containing products had only a few options: They could fight the lawsuits in court to reach settlements or favorable trial verdicts, or they could file for bankruptcy to pay their debts.
By declaring bankruptcy, these manufacturers can either dissolve completely or set aside money in special trust funds to pay off as many victims as possible. Many larger companies chose the second option to stay in business. In return, the bankruptcy courts allowed these manufacturers to continue their operations without having to deal with current and future lawsuits.
In total, asbestos trust funds contain over $30 Billion today.
The actual amount a person receives from these trust funds, however, can vary depending on their illness, how much the trust fund pays, and what trust funds a person can receive compensation from.
Why File a Trust Fund Claim?
Simply put, asbestos trust fund claims can award victims and their family members with financial compensation to help cover the expenses that come with asbestos-related illnesses.
Without treatment, many asbestos-related diseases — including mesothelioma — can be fatal in years or even months. In addition, the costs of treating these diseases can drive people into debt, even with insurance.
Trust fund money can help families pay for:
- Medical expenses, such as treatments and therapies
- Lost income if the affected person can no longer work
- Other related expenses, such as an oxygen tank or wheelchair
- Personal injury damages for pain and suffering
- Travel expenses, as only a handful of doctors in the U.S. treat mesothelioma
By filing a trust fund claim, those with asbestos-related diseases can rest easier knowing that many of their medical expenses will be covered.