In many cases, asbestos exposure is the fault of the company for which a mesothelioma patient worked. In order to file a successful mesothelioma claim, an individual must prove that he or she was exposed to asbestos from a certain source, and that said source knowingly failed to educate or warn the individual of the potential hazard. In other words, a company knew working with asbestos could lead to illness but did not inform their workers of this risk. Some companies may even have neglected to notify their workers that they were working with asbestos or a product containing asbestos altogether. Also, current legislature mandates that if a company does not correctly label a product containing asbestos, they may also be at fault.
It is, however, also possible to receive monetary compensation for no-fault asbestos exposure. This can occur when an individual’s place of work is in close proximity to an area that is high-risk for asbestos exposure (for example, working near another company that uses asbestos, or near an environment that contains asbestos).
In 2003, the Fairness in Asbestos Injury Resolution Act (FAIR Act) was introduced in the Senate. The bill created publicly administered fund of over $100 billion financed by insurance and private companies to provide resources for an asbestos injury claims resolution program. This bill creates a no-fault, governmental compensation arrangement for asbestos claims that would replace civil litigation in the state and federal courts. In order to establish eligibility for compensation, an individual would go through a claims process through the United States Court of Federal Claims. Although the FAIR act would resolve lengthy delays in the court system for mesothelioma cases, some worry that adequate compensation would not be available through the fund or that the fund will become exhausted before those currently exposed to asbestos develop any illness.