Posted by Andrew S. Wainwright, Sep 24, 2013 1:15:00 PM

As a result of the widespread use of their deadly products, many of the manufacturers of asbestos-containing products have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. After filing for bankruptcy, our laws protect asbestos companies from further individual lawsuits filed by people with mesothelioma or other asbestos-related disease. But before an asbestos company can reorganize and emerge from bankruptcy, courts require them to pay compensation for those injured by the company’s products and conduct.

Part of the bankruptcy process, therefore, involves the company setting aside a specific amount of funds in order to pay the claims of all injured individuals. The sum of money set aside by the company, under court supervision, is referred to as a “bankruptcy trust.” Once the trust is established, it is the only way for victims injured by that company’s products to receive compensation from that company. The company can no longer be sued. This is true for those suffering from mesothelioma, lung cancer, asbestosis, and other diseases as well. If an injured person, or his or her family, can prove that the bankrupt company was responsible for his or her asbestos exposure and injury, the bankruptcy trust will pay compensation. In general, the proof required includes medical documentation of the asbestos-related injury and identification of specific exposure to that particular manufacturer’s products.

The first asbestos bankruptcy was filed by Johns-Manville in 1982. Since then, almost all asbestos manufacturers have gone through bankruptcy reorganization and are currently processing and settling bankruptcy trust claims. There are, however, some companies that have not yet finalized their reorganization plans and for whom plan approval and claim processing has not yet occurred. The following asbestos companies have not yet finalized their bankruptcy reorganization plans; until they do, we cannot process claims for our clients:

Pittsburgh Corning

W.R. Grace





Rapid American

Thornton Law Firm is actively involved in monitoring the progress of the reorganization of the trusts and have taken all measures necessary to prepare our clients for filing once the plans are approved. It is important to consider now, though, the things that you will need to file a proper claim with a bankruptcy trust.

Top 5 most important elements of a bankruptcy trust claim

If you are eligible for a particular manufacturer’s bankruptcy trust, your claim must include the following elements:

  1. A complete list of places where the asbestos exposure occurred.
  2. A list of all co-workers.
  3. Medical records meeting the specific medical criteria required by the trust.
  4. Timely filing of the claim within the bankruptcy trust deadline. Your attorney should calculate the due date for you.
  5. If the injured person dies from an asbestos-related disease it may start a new trust claim with new deadlines. Call your attorney immediately.

Thornton Law Firm has represented victims of mesothelioma and asbestos exposure for 40 years. Our trial attorneys have handled thousands of asbestos and mesothelioma cases for injured individuals in Massachusetts, New England, and across the United States. Thornton Law Firm is New England’s largest plaintiff-only law firm. If you have questions about mesothelioma or asbestos exposure, call us at 888-631-0108. A Thornton Law Firm attorney will be happy to speak with you and answer any questions you may have.