If you are a worker or consumer who has been affected by asbestos present in products manufactured by the Babcock & Wilcox Company, you may qualify for compensation from this company’s asbestos trust fund. The attorneys at Bailey & Glasser, LLP can help you understand your rights and legal options as a victim of asbestos exposure. We have years of experience handling complicated asbestos trust fund claims and mesothelioma lawsuits.
What Is the Babcock & Wilcox Trust?
Babcock & Wilcox faced thousands of lawsuits brought by victims who were injured due to the presence of asbestos in its products. In 2000, the costs of litigation forced Babcock & Wilcox to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. This filing established a trust fund in 2006 that currently holds $1.85 billion to compensate victims of asbestos exposure. This asbestos trust fund has already received over 200,000 claims to date.
Claimants who are eligible for compensation from the Babcock & Wilcox Trust could receive payments for their related medical expenses, lost wages, out-of-pocket costs, funeral and burial expenses, and more. The value of an asbestos trust fund claim depends on factors such as the victim’s diagnosis and long-term health prognosis. The Babcock & Wilcox Asbestos Trust also has Trust Distribution Procedures that determine how much a claimant receives based on predetermined case values and the current payment percentage.
As of the latest notice given by the company, the payment percentage applicable to claims against the Babcock & Wilcox Trust is 6.3 percent. This means the trust will pay 6.3 percent of a claim’s value. This rule is in place to preserve the funds in the trust and permit future victims of asbestos exposure to recover financial compensation. The trustees of the Babcock & Wilcox Trust have the power to reconsider the payment percentage no more than once every three years, at which time they can choose to increase or decrease the percentage.
How an Attorney Can Help
Filing a claim against the Babcock & Wilcox Trust Fund can be difficult on your own – especially if you are already dealing with a serious illness from asbestos exposure. You may need to hire an asbestos attorney to assist you with the trust fund claims process. A lawyer from Bailey & Glasser, LLP can help you with each phase of the financial recovery legal process. This includes deciding which type of claim is right for you: the expedited review or individual review. One is faster than the other, but the amount of financial compensation that is available may vary. Your lawyer can base your legal strategy on your specific case goals.
What Asbestos Products Did Babcock & Wilcox Manufacture?
Babcock & Wilcox was founded in 1867. It began as a manufacturer of equipment that was designed to withstand extreme temperatures. The equipment created often included asbestos, as this mineral was affordable and used for fireproofing purposes. While Babcock & Wilcox never produced asbestos itself, it used asbestos parts and products that were manufactured by other companies.
Examples of Babcock & Wilcox products that contained asbestos include:
- Boilers (water tube and steam)
- Heat seals
- Insulating firebricks
- Insulation materials
- Power generation equipment
- Refractory equipment
- Rope packing
These products were manufactured under the company names Babcock & Wilcox, Babcock & Wilcox Construction Co., Inc., Diamond Power International, Inc., and Americon, Inc. These companies operated out of Ohio, Indiana, North Carolina, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Georgia and Texas, as well as at international locations. Babcock & Wilcox did not discontinue the use of asbestos in its products and equipment until the 1970s.
The Dangers of Asbestos
Asbestos is a group of six naturally occurring silicate minerals that were heavily mined in the 1800s and 1900s for use in a variety of consumer goods. Asbestos was an especially popular ingredient in construction and building materials due to its durability, resistance to corrosion and flame-retardance. In the 1970s, however, the federal government began regulating the use of asbestos due to its connection to serious illnesses and diseases.
In 1987, the International Agency for Research on Cancer announced that all six types of asbestos can cause cancer. Being exposed to asbestos can cause mesothelioma, which is an aggressive and incurable type of cancer that impacts the mesothelial tissues (the protective lining around the organs). According to the National Library of Medicine, the average life expectancy for a patient who is diagnosed with mesothelioma is 12 to 21 months with treatment.
Another illness associated with exposure to asbestos is asbestosis, a chronic lung condition characterized by a persistent dry cough and respiratory problems. Asbestosis can eventually develop into mesothelioma. Asbestos exposure can also cause lung cancer, as well as cancer of the stomach, ovaries, larynx and colorectum. No amount of asbestos exposure is safe, according to the National Cancer Institute. However, studies show that the health risks often correspond to the amount a victim is exposed to asbestos.
Who Is at Risk of Asbestos Exposure From Babcock & Wilcox Products?
Babcock & Wilcox exposed thousands of people to asbestos through its fireproof and heat-resistant products, boilers and equipment. Anyone who worked at one of Babcock & Wilcox’s operating locations prior to the 1970s was most likely exposed to asbestos on the job. In addition, anyone who worked with materials and products manufactured by Babcock & Wilcox could have been exposed.
Occupations that are viewed as high-risk for asbestos exposure include:
- Boiler insulators
- Construction workers
- Contractors and laborers
- Demolition workers
- Insulation installers
- Military members
- Shipyard workers
In addition to the workers themselves, family members and loved ones who live with workers may develop illnesses due to secondhand asbestos exposure. This is when a worker brings asbestos particles or dust home on his or her clothing, hair, skin or gear. Finally, people who lived or worked in buildings that contained any of Babcock & Wilcox’s asbestos products could be at risk of asbestos exposure.
Contact Bailey & Glasser, LLP for a Free Case Review
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma or another illness related to exposure to asbestos and believe the Babcock & Wilcox Company is responsible, contact us to request a free case consultation with an attorney. We can investigate your case and help you understand your legal options, including your potential eligibility to file a Babcock & Wilcox Trust Fund claim. Call us at (866) 871-7971 today.