How Lung Cancer Cases Might Qualify For Asbestos Claims Compensation (And Why Smoking Does Not Serve To Disqualify)

It is not widely known the smoking lung cancer claims can get legal compensation payments from many asbestos bankruptcy trust funds if certain criteria are satisfied by the facts.

This article will discuss how a person with lung cancer who has had some asbestos exposure in the past could possibly obtain payments by one or more of the asbestos bankruptcy trusts despite having a smoking history.

As background, many companies have been forced into bankruptcy as a result of significant asbestos litigation costs and have reorganized under Section 524(g) of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. These corporate reorganizations under 524(g) often involve the creation of personal injury trusts intended to make payments to individuals with qualifying asbestos-related claims, including people with lung cancer who had asbestos exposure and who smoked, also.

These 524(g) asbestos bankruptcy trusts typically provide two processes under which a claim can be qualified and paid. The first process is often referred to as “Expedited Review”. The second process offered by many asbestos trusts in an “Individual Review” option.

The Expedited Review payment criteria for lung cancer claims for most asbestos bankruptcy trusts can be reduced to the following four points:

(1) Primary lung cancer plus underlying bilateral asbestos-related non-malignant disease, which can be: asbestosis (interstitial fibrosis caused by asbestos); pleural plaques; pleural thickening; or, pleural calcification.

(2) Six months of asbestos-containing product exposure, which can range from working with or around: thermal insulation such as pipe covering; industrial / institutional boilers; and, finishing cement or joint compound.

(3) Five years of “Significant Occupational Exposure”, the definition of which may include 20 industries as well as nearly 2,000 combinations of industries and occupations where asbestos exposure was likely.

(4) A medical causation statement by a treating doctor or an expert retained by a lawyer.

Notably, for an Expedited Review lung cancer claim there is no smoking history disclosure requirement.

Moving to the Individual Review process — which allows for a higher payment to the claimant — for the lung cancer category the claimant is considered to be a “non-smoker” if the person has at least 12-years of smoking cessation prior to the lung cancer diagnosis date.

In summary, a person with lung cancer who has a minimum of bilateral pleural thickening plus five-years occupational exposure in one of the 2,000 industries – occupations combinations could possibly qualify for a legal claim payment from an asbestos bankruptcy trust fund.

To the extent that you or someone you know has a possible smoking lung cancer asbestos case that might fit the bankruptcy claims criteria set forth above, we encourage you to contact us or some other experienced asbestos law firm for a free evaluation of the matter.


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Law Offices of Thomas J. Lamb, P.A.
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Wilmington, NC 28403
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