Because asbestos companies knew about the dangers of asbestos for decades prior to it becoming public knowledge — and still promoted its use — they can be held accountable. When the dangers of asbestos became known to the public in the 1970s, many asbestos companies were flooded with lawsuits that forced them to eventually declare bankruptcy.
However, before they were allowed to reorganize their finances, many of these companies were forced to set up trust funds to compensate future victims. Today, there are still billions of dollars available to mesothelioma victims and their families. Alternatively, mesothelioma victims can file a lawsuit (if they are not eligible for compensation from a trust), file a claim with U.S. Social Security Administration, or if they are a veteran, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.