Documents can be accessed by clicking on the link located on the home page of the Trust’s Web site.
The compensation is set forth in the Trust Agreement (Sections 4.5 for the Trustees, 5.5 for the Futures Representative, and 6.6 for the TAC). The amount of compensation is disclosed in the Annual Report each year and subsequently approved by the Bankruptcy Court.
Article 7 (section 7.2) of the Trust Agreement discusses when the Trust may be terminated. Essentially, when all claims filed have been paid or disallowed and all appeals exhausted, and there are no more claims likely to be filed and 12 consecutive months have elapsed where no new claims have been filed, the Trustees may, in their discretion, terminate the Trust. It is unknown exactly when that will happen, but the initial projections utilized when the Trust was established were based on an anticipated Trust life of 40 years. Thus, while it is impossible to determine exactly when the Trust will cease to operate, it will be some time in the distant future.
No less than once every three years, or if the Trustees deem reconsideration appropriate, or upon request by the Futures Representative or TAC (Section 4.2 of the TDP). To date, the Payment Percentage has been reviewed more frequently than every three years. This review involves looking at the forecasts of estimated future claims to actual claims filed and paid, as well as the Trust’s investments and expenses. At this time, the Trust believes that there will not be sufficient funds to pay 100% of the claim amounts.
The Trust is required to pay the legal fees of the lawyers for the Trustees, Futures Representative, TAC and for the ongoing legal operations of the Trust. These legal fees are necessary to protect the interests of all claimants and beneficiaries, the Trust and the Trust Representatives. The Trust also must pay to defend actions against both the Trust and the claimants of the Trust. All vendors who are paid more than $100,000 in a calendar year are listed in the Annual Report as a significant vendor.
The maximum attorney’s fee allowed is 25% of the net recovery. This means that costs are deducted prior to the calculation of the attorney’s fee (Section 8.4 of the TDP).
The Trust Documents do not set forth a maximum for costs. However, the costs must be deducted from the gross amount paid before computation of fees (Section 8.4 of the TDP).
A Matrix Claim is a claim that meets all the requirements set forth in the Case Valuation Matrix.
An Individual Review Claim is a claim that does not meet the medical or exposure criteria, but would be cognizable and valid in the tort system (Section VIII of the Matrix). These claims are evaluated by the Trust.
An Extraordinary Claim is a claim where Thorpe exposure constituted over 80% of the injured person’s asbestos exposure or where the claimant has exceptionally large special damages (Section IX of the Matrix). Special damages may include medical and funeral expenses, wage and pension loss, loss of home services, and other economic losses.
Yes, there is a $250 filing fee for each claim submitted to the Trust (Section 6.5 of the TDP).
The filing fee is refunded if the claim is allowed and paid (Section 6.5 of the TDP).
The requirements are listed on the Web site. First, click on “Claims” and then click on “Claim Filing Instructions”. In general, the Trust requires a claim form, supporting documents, and a filing fee to be submitted to the Trust. The supporting documents should include but are not limited to; signed signature page (Section 16 of the claim form), interrogatories, medical records, death certificate, if applicable; economic and/or medical loss report, if applicable; litigation documents. The Trust may require additional documents to support the claim, such as, deposition testimony, social security records, military records and additional documents supporting claimed medical and/or economic loss.
Yes, claims are processed on a first-in-first-out (FIFO) basis (Section 5.3(a)(1) of the TDP), except Hardship Claims (Section 5.5 of the TDP).
The time to process a claim varies greatly with the information provided when the claim is filed. Claims with inadequate information are deemed deficient and sent back to the firm or claimant with the deficiencies noted in a letter. Claims with no deficiencies generally receive an offer letter within six to eight weeks.
Yes, offers are valid for six months from the date of the offer letter. The offer may be extended an additional six months for good cause.
Yes, claims can be placed on hold for six months and then, upon showing of good cause, the Trust may extend the time for an additional six months. Claims can also be placed on Inactive Claim Status for up to two years and continued upon request for good cause (Section 6.4 of the TDP).
The Trust usually sends out payments on approved new claims every six to eight weeks.
Does the Trust allow claims by persons who were exposed through another occupationally exposed person?
Yes, the Trust does allow for secondary (derivative) exposure (Section VII(e) 2 of the Matrix).
The Trust increases or decreases the base case value (listed on page 1 of the Matrix) based on the specific factors (multipliers) set forth in the Matrix under each disease category.
A claim can be withdrawn any time prior to payment. The request must be in writing to the Trust and the filing fee will be retained by the Trust, except if a site has been removed from the site list after the claim was filed. If the claim is resubmitted, a new filing fee must be paid.
The Trust has adopted arbitration procedures to resolve disputes regarding the Trust’s outright rejection or denial of a claim, or concerning the claimant’s medical condition or exposure (Section 5.9(a) of the TDP). The claimant can never receive an award worth more than the amount set forth in the Matrix (Section 5.9(c) of the TDP).
If you are represented by counsel, you need to call your attorney. If you are not represented by counsel, then you should call the main Trust number, (775) 324-5511. If you have a question about the functioning of the Trust, your attorney (unless you represent yourself) should first contact the TAC through its chairman, Alan Brayton, (415) 898-1555. As the claimants’ representative, he will then work with the Trust to determine the answer to your question.