Over the course of the 40-plus years that asbestos litigation has been going on, some asbestos manufacturers and suppliers have sought protection under federal bankruptcy laws to deal with the number of lawsuits filed by victims (and their families) who were poisoned by the asbestos or asbestos-containing product(s) of that company. A bankruptcy filing by an asbestos manufacturer/supplier puts a stop to any further litigation against that company by asbestos victims. However, it does not necessarily mean that asbestos victims will be left out in the cold with no recourse relative to that company.
Often, the bankruptcy court overseeing the bankruptcy of a particular company ultimately sets up a trust fund designed to compensate asbestos victims and their families. While such a trust often will compensate a victim or his/her family, the amount provided is a far cry from what the company might otherwise have been ordered to pay by a court or jury following a trial. Also, a bankruptcy filing by an asbestos manufacturer/supplier does not mean that the particular company is going out of business such that many employees of that company lose their jobs. More often than not, the company continues to operate during bankruptcy and ultimately emerges from the process with a new, ongoing entity that is effectively immune from asbestos lawsuits by asbestos victims. (In a nonasbestos context, think of Delta Air Lines, which went through a bankruptcy process and is still operating. In an asbestos context, think of Owens-Corning, whose roofing and other lines of building products may be seen daily at stores like Lowes or Home Depot.) Contrary to common belief, filing bankruptcy by an asbestos manufacturer/supplier rarely results in the complete shutdown of the company and a loss of jobs by its employees.
Located in Chattanooga, Summers, Rufolo & Rodgers has a long-standing reputation for providing quality legal representation for people throughout Tennessee. We take a comprehensive approach to representing our clients, regardless of the complexity of a case. We recognize that every legal situation is unique and that every person will have individual needs. You can trust that we will provide personalized attention and be accessible to answer your questions throughout your case.
Asbestos Bankruptcy And Trust Funds
Summers, Rufolo & Rodgers attorneys have extensive experience working with the many trusts to ensure that each trust, where appropriate, is properly accountable to the firm’s clients and to maximize the compensation our clients are due. The start to this process begins by Summers, Rufolo & Rodgers filing a claim with a respective trust. However, just because a claim may be filed with a trust does not mean that the claim will be approved and paid. Each trust is governed by unique and yet fairly common “trust distribution procedures,” that include specific medical and product identification requirements that must be met for an asbestos victim (or survivors) to qualify and receive compensation. Once a claim is approved, the payment from the trust is generally based upon a predetermined percentage of the claim’s settlement value. The percentage payment, and the underlying value of a claim, is set by various factors approved by committees overseeing that trust. We have a complete list of active and inactive trusts on our Asbestos Trusts page.
If you have suffered an injury from exposure to asbestos, such as mesothelioma, our attorneys will explain your legal options. In Tennessee, you have options besides pursuing a lawsuit, which include seeking compensation from asbestos trust funds. This often yields a substantial recovery and can be pursued instead of a lawsuit, or along with a lawsuit.
Contact Our Tennessee Asbestos Lawsuit Attorneys
Please contact Summers, Rufolo & Rodgers today to schedule a free initial consultation. Call 423-933-2738, 888-778-6575 or contact our experienced lawyers online. Consultations can be scheduled at your convenience. We are here to help you explore your legal options.