CJAC: Civil Justice Association of California

Oct 8, 2010

RAND Study Examines Asbestos Bankruptcy Trusts

Over time, many companies with significant asbestos-related liabilities have filed for bankruptcy, and payments by trusts set up by bankruptcy courts have played an increasingly important role in the compensation of asbestos-related injuries. While the role of trusts in providing compensation to asbestos claimants has grown, information about the operating procedures and activities of these trusts is not readily available in a convenient form.

This report, Asbestos Bankruptcy Trusts : An Overview of Trust Structure and Activity with Detailed Reports on the Largest Trusts, provides an overview of asbestos personal-injury (PI) trusts. It describes how they are created, how they are organized and governed, and how they operate. It also compiles publicly available information on the assets, outlays, claim-approval criteria, and governing boards of the leading trusts.

This report should be of interest to federal and state policymakers, lawyers, judges, and litigants concerned about the compensation of people injured by exposure to asbestos, the performance of the asbestos compensation system, and the economic impact of asbestos litigation on both defendants and the legal community. It is part of a larger research project on asbestos bankruptcy trusts. A second report will examine how trust compensation or the potential for such compensation is addressed by state liability laws and taken into consideration during court proceedings and settlement negotiations.

The research was supported by a coalition of asbestos defendants and insurers and by the RAND Institute for Civil Justice. The views in the report are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the research sponsors.

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