After several decades of litigation, asbestos victims are still coming forward every day with symptoms of mesothelioma and other conditions. While these victims are still entitled to compensation, the landscape has become much more complicated after years of asbestos-related toxic tort litigation. According to a new investigation by the Wall Street Journal, future victims may not have any source of compensation if current trends continue.
The reason for this is that the massive trusts established to compensate asbestos victims are gradually headed towards depletion as new cases continue to develop. Combined with the fact that most asbestos manufacturers are now either bankrupt or immune to further litigation, it is important for asbestos victims to bring claims sooner rather than later.
Given the scope of the Wall Street Journal's new research, this post will introduce a brief series on the current status of asbestos litigation and the implications for new victims.
While "asbestos" is a commonly known household name, many if not most Americans know few facts about it or the potential toxic consequences of exposure. Our next post will present some background on asbestos, mesothelioma and the wave of litigation that surrounded asbestos manufacturers in the late 1900s.
A third post will dig deeper into the Wall Street Journal's reporting on where these cases currently stand. Check back in the next few days for these entries.
Source: The Wall Street Journal, "As Asbestos Claims Rise, So Do Worries About Fraud," Dionne Searcey and Rob Barry, Mar. 11, 2013