The report, “Asbestos Losses Continue to Rise; Environmental Losses Remain Stable,” makes plain that the number of cases reported are not declining, as most people expected and hoped.
Settlements for 2016 stood at $3.2 billion – that’s a 9 percent increase from 2015.
This is important because it signals to the mesothelioma settlement fund, which has set aside some $30 billion to settle cases, will need have to increase their funding to accommodate claims still to come.
Altogether, payouts since 2011 have topped $17.6 billion.
Reasons for the surge in claims
One reason for the surprising spike in claims has been the growth of mass tort cases, such as the ones conducted at Branstetter Stranch & Jennings, seeking compensation for multiple individuals at the same time.
The other reason is that the frequency of asbestos and mesothelioma cases exceed the number industry observers predicted when the compensation fund was set up.
The report suggests that, unless new funds are added to meet the rising number of claims, the fund will go dry in seven years. That is not expected to happen.
Branstetter, Stranch & Jennings, PLLC, of Nashville, represents plaintiffs in a wide array of class action lawsuits and mass torts across Tennessee. Our mission? To protect the rights of people injured by industry negligence.