Asbestos Bankruptcy Claims
Asbestos, a set of six naturally occurring silicate minerals, was one of the most widely used products in construction, manufacturing and ship building because the minerals are resistant to heat exposure, electrical damage, fire damage and chemical damage. Unfortunately, despite the wide use of asbestos, the silicate minerals have also proven to be extremely dangerous when inhaled. The asbestos fibers can become lodged in the lungs and can cause complications including lung cancer and a rare cancer called mesothelioma. By 1972 when limits were first imposed on asbestos in the U.S., an estimated 10,000 people were dying annually as a direct result of illnesses caused by breathing in these dangerous asbestos fibers.
As more people became ill and died as a result of asbestos exposure, legal action was taken against asbestos manufacturers. Today, many of those manufacturers have since gone bankrupt or are no longer operational but individuals continue to become ill due to asbestos exposure that occurred decades ago. Asbestos-related illnesses can take as long as 30-40 years to develop and those who were exposed long ago still have a right to compensation. Asbestos victim funds and asbestos compensation trusts have been established and an experienced Boston asbestos lawyer at the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman can help victims to recover the compensation they deserve even if the asbestos company has gone bankrupt.Asbestos Bankruptcy Claims
Many of the asbestos companies declaring bankruptcy file under Chapter 11 of the United States bankruptcy code, which means that the company is required to have a reorganization plan approved by the United States bankruptcy court. When the company is in bankruptcy, actions taken against the company are suspended until the bankruptcy court makes a decision on the reorganization plan.
Some asbestos companies have attempted to use the bankruptcy process to circumvent paying asbestos claims, avoiding responsibility for the harm they caused. Lawsuits failed against these companies have sought the return of assets that were improperly taken from the companies to avoid paying what asbestos victims are due. In many cases, asbestos companies have also been required to establish settlement trusts as part of their bankruptcies.
These settlement trusts provide compensation to victims of asbestos-related illness. The trusts will organize and process claims made by asbestos victims and the victims will make their claims against the settlement trust rather than filing a lawsuit directly against the manufacturer of the asbestos products.
When a claim is made against the trust, there is a specific procedure used to determine how claims are approved and what amount will be paid. The trusts assigned to process claims will generally determine what the settlement value of the case should be and then a payment percentage is applied.
The payment percentage is approved as part of the bankruptcy settlement if there is not enough money or assets to pay the full value of the asbestos claims. Unfortunately, this means that most asbestos trusts pay just five to 15 percent of the settlement value of your claim. Still, recovering this compensation is preferable to obtaining no compensation at all and the money paid from the asbestos trust can help to offset some of the costs and the losses that the asbestos illness caused.Getting Legal Help With Asbestos Bankruptcy Cases
Asbestos bankruptcy cases are difficult as you need to determine if you can make a claim with the bankruptcy court and/or if a settlement trust has been established. Following the proper procedure is essential to make sure you get the money you deserve and an experienced Boston asbestos bankruptcy lawyer at the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman can help you to take the right steps to get the money you need. Give us a call today if you or a loved one has experienced illness or death as a result of asbestos exposure so we can get your case started.