Are you considering legal action against a former employer who exposed you or a loved one to asbestos and now may be at fault for an asbestos-related illness? Make sure you have right help by your side and know where to best direct your attention in order to successfully get compensation.
Ricky LeBlanc, a managing attorney at Sokolove Law, says that while individuals who are diagnosed with mesothelioma may be able to receive some type of compensation from a company that was negligent and led to the asbestos exposure that caused the disease, the process is a bit more complicated if the company in question has filed for bankruptcy.
“Even companies that have declared bankruptcy may still pay claims from asbestos bankruptcy trusts” LeBlanc said. “Filing a claim against a settlement trust is different from filing a lawsuit against a solvent company, so it’s important to make sure you have the right mesothelioma attorney advocating on your behalf.”
Following the initial waves of lawsuits brought forth by former employees who had been diagnosed with an asbestos-related diseases, many companies filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in order to reorganize and protect their finances.
The financial reorganization of the companies in question included the creation of settlement trusts. These trusts were funded by cash, insurance, or company stock, and took on any pending and future lawsuits that would have formally been filed against the company. In other words, it is important for anyone seeking an asbestos settlement to know if they are dealing with a trust instead of the company itself.
In total, more than $18 billion is available in trusts for former employees who have been victimized by their asbestos exposure and are now sick. Furthermore, an additional $12 billion is awaiting court approval.
If you or a loved one is seeking to file a claim against a trust, LeBlanc warned that different bankruptcy trusts often had unique requirements in their filing processes. Additionally, some trusts may try to deter some filings with warnings that the statute of limitations for an individual’s case has already expired, and they may also provide little to no help during the process, making a filing all the more difficult.
However, LeBlanc added that situations like these could be solved and allow the process to continue, especially if you have experts in the field of asbestos law at your side.
“You may still be eligible to file a claim against a trust even if the statute of limitations has passed for filing a lawsuit,” he said. “Again, the key is to work with an experienced mesothelioma lawyer who can help you avoid errors and ensure your claim is properly filed.”
If you or a loved one has been exposed to asbestos by using certain products or working for certain companies and have subsequently been diagnosed with mesothelioma, there may be legal options worth pursuing to obtain a mesothelioma settlement. Contact a mesothelioma attorney if you have any questions about the details of asbestos law and what is needed to pursue a settlement.