The first asbestos trust fund was established in 1988 by the Johns Manville Corporation, an insulation and roofing manufacturer that was the first company to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy because of asbestos-related claims. Since 1988, more than one-hundred (100) additional asbestos companies have turned to Chapter 11 bankruptcy to address financial problems associated with thousands of asbestos claims.
The sheer number of trust funds demonstrates just how harmful asbestos exposure is, especially when mesothelioma victims are facing mounting medical bills in addition to pain and suffering. Many victims of asbestos exposure were employees of companies like Johns Manville Corporation that used asbestos in their products in addition to service jobs such as the military and more specifically the Navy. As such, there was no way to deny the link between asbestos exposure and the development of mesothelioma once the lawsuits started flooding in.
It often takes decades for a person to develop mesothelioma after being exposed to asbestos therefore individuals filing lawsuits in the 1980s were likely exposed to asbestos in the forties, fifties, or sixties. As manufacturers continue to face lawsuits going forward, it will not be surprising to see additional asbestos trusts established in years to come. While asbestos is rarely used anymore, past exposure can stay with a person for the rest of his or her life, since most asbestos fibers will stick to the lining of a person’s lungs. Victims will likely be filing claims against trust funds for mesothelioma, asbestosis, and asbestos related diseases in the coming decades.
If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, it is important to discuss your legal options with an attorney as soon as possible.