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Asbestos Settlements Go to Heirs

Estate administration generally involves working to ensure that assets of an estate are allocated according to the wishes of the deceased. In some cases, administration of an estate can involve more complex duties, such as when a business or charity is involved. In one case in another state, administrators are dealing with the settlement of lawsuits related to asbestos injuries.

The lawsuits related to the case date back to the 80s, when numerous laborers reportedly experienced illnesses after working with or around asbestos. The injured parties worked in several industries, including the auto industry, and many of them have passed away since the lawsuits were filed.

According to reports, a settlement was reached that impacted over 1,300 claims that were filed. Hundreds of claims were consolidated into one case at the appellate level, where a court ruled that Travelers Cos. insurance must pay damages to the injured parties. The insurance company subsequently set up a fund worth $80 million for that purpose.

A third-party administrator has been appointed to work with attorneys and others to disburse the claims appropriately. Reports indicate that payouts will be between $2,100 and $23,000. The amount paid out related to each claim depends on the type and severity of injury suffered.

Because many of the individuals related to these cases are deceased, the money will go to the heirs of the original injured party. It’s even possible that some of the claims were filed by the injured party’s estate if the asbestos injury caused a death. This settlement illustrates how estate administration can be a complex duty that requires long-term commitment, making third-party assistance helpful.

Source: The Columbus Dispatch, “Heirs of workers exposed to asbestos file claims,” June 28, 2015

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