Asbestos Trust Fund
If you or someone you know has recently been diagnoses with mesothelioma or another asbestos related disease, then you may be curious to know about the Asbestos Trust Fund. Exactly what is this so-called trust fund, and what does it mean for those who are suffering from asbestos related afflictions?
Asbestos Trust Fund
As the name implies, the Asbestos Trust Fund has everything to do with money. As you may know, liability claims regarding asbestos are fairly common. There are many, many lawsuits relating to asbestos every year, and this has resulted in literally dozens upon dozens of companies going bankrupt trying to pay these damages.
The ultimate purpose of the fund is to provide a way for those whose lives have been affected by asbestos exposure to be compensated without bankrupting companies.
What Can You Expect?
As of 2013, there is an estimated 30+ billion dollars set aside in trust funds for mesothelioma patients. About 27.5 million people were exposed to asbestos while working. Of those 27.5 million, only 730,000, or 2.5%, have contacted an attorney and filed for compensation. From the years 1980-2002 there was a $70 billion dollar pay out to victims of asbestos-related illnesses.
Asbestos Trust Fund Purpose
Effectively, the fund would put a dead stop to asbestos related litigation. People would no longer be able to take companies or other institutions to court and try to win damages due to mesothelioma cancer or other illnesses caused by asbestos.
Instead, the person would receive compensation from a proposed $140B trust fund that is dedicated solely to asbestos victims.
Mesothelioma Trust Fund
While the Asbestos Trust Fund probably sounds like a good idea in theory, it has faced heavy criticism since it was first proposed in 2005. Congress is still working out the details of the proposed bill, but many have pointed out some flaws in the system. According to one notable doctor, this fund would actually exclude a lot of people who have legitimate asbestos-related claims.
Since the fund is financed by an additional tax on businesses, there's also a concern that such a huge amount of money would lead to too painful of a tax for smaller businesses. Some other medical and labor-related groups have also voiced concerns about the flaws of this plan.
However, it is believed that without a fund, constant lawsuits will continue and a lot more businesses will be out of business. The truth is that a lot of asbestos claims are without a real basis, which is what has led to the current crisis. An experienced mesothelioma attorney can guide you through the claim process.
Asbestos Trust Fund Critics
Critics of the trust fund have suggested some alternatives, such as requiring those making claims to meet very specific medical criteria. The future of the Asbestos Trust Fund is still very much up in the air, but the effects of this program for asbestos victims could be huge.