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Mesothelioma settlements provide compensation to asbestos-exposure victims through legal agreements. Mesothelioma settlements can help pay for diagnostic and treatment costs, as well as recover lost income. Settlement amounts vary depending on the individual case, with an average payout of $1 million – $1.4 million.


01. Settlement Amounts

Mesothelioma Settlement Amounts

Mesothelioma settlement amounts vary based on several factors. Many patients or loved ones receive settlements of $1 million or more. These settlements can help patients with compensation for their expenses and lost wages.

Average Mesothelioma Settlements

According to the most recent reports from Mealey’s Litigation Report, average mesothelioma settlement amounts are between $1 million – $1.4 million. Settlement amounts vary depending on the individual case.

Reports show compensation amounts have been steadily increasing over the last several decades. In 2000, RAND Corporation estimated the average mesothelioma settlement to be around $900,000. In more recent years, settlement amounts may reach $1 million or more.

To learn about the most recent numbers and what you can expect when trying to pursue mesothelioma compensation, contact an asbestos lawyer.

Mesothelioma Settlement Examples by Occupation

State Disease Occupation / Exposure Age ~ Monies to Date
CA Mesothelioma Plumber / Mechanic 53 ~$13,100,000
IL Mesothelioma Pipefitter / Household 61 ~$11,900,000
CA Mesothelioma Bystander / Army 66 ~$11,750,000
CA Mesothelioma Pipefitter 66 ~$11,700,000
MD Mesothelioma Hairdresser / Household 68 ~$11,450,000
CA Mesothelioma Navy / Dry Wall Sprayer 49 ~$9,500,000
PA Mesothelioma Household / Air Force 53 ~$9,350,000
IL Mesothelioma Coast Guard / Engineer 63 ~$8,800,000
CA Mesothelioma Maintenance / Construction 56 ~$8,650,000
CA Mesothelioma Navy / Maintenance 56 ~$8,570,000
CA Mesothelioma Household 70 ~$7,360,000
CA Mesothelioma Plantworker 59 ~$7,000,000
NY Mesothelioma Navy Worker / Operating Engineer 61 ~$6,900,000
IL Mesothelioma Plantworker 64 ~$6,800,000
CA Mesothelioma Carpenter 63 ~$6,600,000
NY Mesothelioma Navy Worker / Machinist 53 ~$6,400,000
CA Mesothelioma Navy / Plantworker 69 ~$6,000,000
CA Mesothelioma Household / Technician 63 ~$6,000,000
NY Mesothelioma Navy Worker / Plumber 67 ~$5,875,000
IL Mesothelioma Navy 68 ~$5,500,000
TX Mesothelioma Power Plant 71 ~$5,300,000
IL Mesothelioma Household 46 ~$5,300,000
WV Mesothelioma Nurse Aide 49 ~$5,200,000
CA Mesothelioma Lumber Yard Manager 42 ~$5,200,000
TX Mesothelioma Navy / Mechanic 68 ~$5,000,000
CA Mesothelioma Household 67 ~$4,900,000
CA Mesothelioma Carpenter 66 ~$4,900,000
CA Mesothelioma Navy / Mechanic 60 ~$4,800,000
CA Mesothelioma Shipyard 60 ~$4,700,000
IL Mesothelioma JM Plantworker / Shipyard 51 ~$4,600,000
IL Mesothelioma Navy / Mechanic 51 ~$4,300,000
TX Mesothelioma Boilermaker 71 ~$4,300,000
CA Mesothelioma Pipefitter 64 ~$4,300,000
CA Mesothelioma Navy / Teacher 70 ~$4,200,000
CA Mesothelioma Sheetmetal Worker 76 ~$4,200,000
GA Mesothelioma Household 49 ~$4,200,000
TX Mesothelioma Carpenter / Marine Corps 71 ~$4,100,000
IL Mesothelioma Army / Engineer 64 ~$4,100,000
TX Mesothelioma HVAC 66 ~$4,100,000
CA Mesothelioma Plumber 67 ~$4,100,000
TX Mesothelioma Coast Guard US / Shipyard 67 ~$4,050,000
LA Mesothelioma Household / Office Worker 62 ~$4,000,000
IL Mesothelioma Plantworker / Household 59 ~$3,900,000
CA Mesothelioma Navy / Nuclear Plant 62 ~$3,800,000
NY Mesothelioma Carpenter / Trimmer / Mechanic 64 ~$3,750,000
PA Mesothelioma Plumber 79 ~$3,500,000
HI Mesothelioma Plantworker 70 ~$3,500,000
IL Mesothelioma Painter / Merchant Marine 79 ~$3,500,000
NY Mesothelioma Household / Machine Operator 54 ~$3,500,000
SC Mesothelioma Navy / Powerhouse 62 ~$3,400,000
PA Mesothelioma Navy / Boilerman 54 ~$3,400,000
NY Mesothelioma Pipe Organ Builder 71 ~$3,300,000
OH Mesothelioma Maintenance 62 ~$3,200,000
NY Mesothelioma Plantworker / Sales Worker 65 ~$3,100,000
CT Mesothelioma Electrician 56 ~$3,100,000


*Please note that individual cases vary based upon a number of factors, and prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

Factors Affecting Settlement Amounts

Many variables determine a mesothelioma settlement offer. Mesothelioma attorneys can help patients understand which details may impact asbestos settlement amounts. Factors affecting settlement amounts include:

  • Medical expenses and lost wages: Settlement offers often include enough money to cover medical bills and wages lost as a result of a patient’s diagnosis.
  • Company negligence: Companies that knowingly exposed individuals to asbestos can face elevated financial liability. Asbestos companies previously found guilty of negligence may be more likely to settle quickly to avoid an expensive trial verdict.
  • Exposure history: Long-term exposure to asbestos may increase a company’s liability and lead to increased compensation.
  • Diagnosis and health history: Asbestos disease severity and other health factors may impact a settlement offer.
  • Number of defendants: Individuals may be eligible to file a claim against several companies. In the case of multiple defendants, each defendant has the right to settle a case or continue to trial.
  • Jurisdiction: Different states have varying regulations, such as requirements for evidence, a statute of limitations and award caps.

Other factors can impact award amounts. For instance, a 2015 report studied how consolidating multiple asbestos lawsuits in a single court can increase the compensation award. Specifically, the report reviewed the effect of the New York City Asbestos Litigation (NYCAL) court. The report found significantly higher verdict awards were given to consolidated cases than had been previously given to individual cases.

02. Settlement Process

Mesothelioma Settlement Process

Mesothelioma settlements are part of the mesothelioma lawsuit process. The defendant and plaintiff may reach a settlement before or during a trial. However, if a mesothelioma settlement is not reached, the case can continue to trial.

Patients may also gain compensation by filing claims through an asbestos trust fund or reaching a trial verdict.

What Is Needed for a Mesothelioma Lawsuit Settlement?

Mesothelioma lawsuit settlements require a formal offer from the defendant. In order to reach a settlement, patients must first work with a lawyer to file a mesothelioma lawsuit.

After deciding to pursue legal action, your mesothelioma law firm will gather information to build your case.

Necessary Information for Your Mesothelioma Case

  • Medical records, including a diagnosis of mesothelioma
  • Employment history, including any union membership and military service records
  • Receipts and bills for expenses related to your illness, including travel to see specialists to obtain treatment

Once your asbestos attorney has gathered the necessary information and documents, they will work with you to prepare the claim. Before filing a mesothelioma claim, your lawyer will help you determine:

  • Venue: Which state to file in. This can be where you lived, worked or served in the military.
  • Type of claim: The two primary mesothelioma claim types are personal injury and wrongful death. Personal injury pertains to patients filing on their own behalf, while wrongful death pertains to loved ones filing on behalf of a deceased family member.
  • Defendant: A claimant can file a mesothelioma lawsuit against one or multiple defendants. Defendants are the asbestos company or companies responsible for your exposure.

After determining these details, the lawsuit is filed. At any time after the lawsuit is filed, the defendant’s lawyer can present a settlement offer to the plaintiff’s attorney. Your attorney will inform you of the offer and provide advice regarding the advantages and disadvantages of settling. You may then accept or reject the offer.

What Is the Mesothelioma Settlement Time Frame?

The amount of time necessary for a mesothelioma settlement offer varies greatly. Mesothelioma settlements may happen before a case goes to trial, during the trial or during any appeals.

It is common for plaintiffs and their lawyers to go through several rounds of settlement negotiation, which may extend the time frame. However, waiting for the most favorable offer often results in higher compensation amounts.

Are Mesothelioma Settlements Taxable?

Mesothelioma settlements may be taxable, depending on the type of payout.

Mesothelioma awards may cover medical expenses, lost wages or punish the defendants (punitive damages). Asbestos claim payouts for medical expenses are generally not taxable. However, financial compensation received for lost wages may be taxable.

An experienced mesothelioma attorney can help individuals navigate these questions.

03. Settlements vs. Verdicts

Mesothelioma Settlements vs. Verdicts

Mesothelioma settlements and verdicts are two possible outcomes of filing a mesothelioma lawsuit.

The Difference Between Settlements and Verdicts

mesothelioma settlement is a private agreement between two parties, in which one party provides compensation to another to no longer be liable. In most cases, defendants present a low settlement offer at the start of the lawsuit. It’s up to the claimant to reject, accept or counteroffer. Once the settlement is accepted, it is legally binding and must be paid.

A mesothelioma verdict occurs when the case is taken to court and a jury or judge determines whether or not the asbestos company is responsible for the patient’s asbestos exposure. The decision is legally binding, and if found responsible, a separate verdict will determine the amount of compensation.

Verdicts usually result in higher compensation amounts than settlements. In some cases, trial verdicts may include punitive damages. However, it’s possible the defendant will be found not liable, in which case no compensation will be granted.

Settlement offers often come before or during the trial. If the plaintiff and defendant are unable to reach a settlement, the trial will proceed before a court and reach a verdict.

In some cases, a settlement is reached after the verdict. One of the largest verdicts for a mesothelioma case was $250 million, but the claimant settled for less than $50 million afterward.

If the verdict favors the plaintiff, the judge or jury will award compensation. The amount can vary greatly from case to case, but takes various details into account, including expenses, lost income and pain and suffering.

Should You Accept a Settlement?

The plaintiff decides when and if they want to settle. Some individuals choose to reject settlement offers for personal reasons. There are several reasons a patient or family member may choose to accept a mesothelioma lawsuit settlement. These include getting closure for patients and families, avoiding a trial and receiving compensation to cover lost income and medical expenses.

If a mesothelioma settlement is offered, you should consider several factors:

  • Settlements often resolve cases more quickly and avoid drawn-out legal proceedings.
  • It is common for the first settlement offer to be less than what a trial verdict yields. In many cases, the first settlement is rejected.
  • In asbestos cases with multiple defendants, settlement offers may come at different times. Some defendants may settle while others are willing to take the case to trial. Each defendant represents a separate entity, so each settlement offer should be considered individually, rather than as a group.
  • Asbestos companies may have faced mesothelioma lawsuits in the past. If they have lost in trial previously, they may be more willing to quickly settle, rather than risk losing again.

If you choose to reject the settlement, the case will be taken to court and the jury will offer a verdict. Another option is to counteroffer through your attorney, who will negotiate settlement terms with the defendant’s lawyer. The first settlement offer may be lower than what the claimant is entitled to, leading to the first offer being rejected.

Choosing a law firm with experienced mesothelioma attorneys is the best way to maximize your settlement.

Why Would a Defendant Agree to Settle?

Asbestos companies may choose to make a settlement offer for any of the following reasons:

  • Settlement offers may cost less than a trial verdict.
  • Trials can cause negative publicity, which can be avoided by settling out of court.
  • Companies that manufactured hazardous asbestos products often face thousands of asbestos claims. Settlements may resolve these cases more quickly for the company.
  • Once a settlement agreement is reached, plaintiffs are no longer entitled to pursue legal action.

Settlements can be an attractive option for plaintiffs and defendants.

04. Notable Settlements and Verdicts

Notable Mesothelioma Settlements and Verdicts

Mesothelioma settlements and verdicts provide compensation to mesothelioma patients and their families. Compensation can help these individuals navigate a difficult diagnosis or loss of a loved one.

Mesothelioma Settlement Examples

Notable examples of asbestos settlements provide insight into how award amounts can vary from case to case. Some examples include:

  • A 50-year-old plumber and mechanic in California received $13 million in compensation after filing a claim for asbestos exposure while on the job.
  • An Illinois pipefitter received more than $11 million in compensation for being exposed to asbestos.
  • An operating engineer who served in the U.S. Navy filed a claim in New York and received $6.9 million after being exposed to asbestos during his career.

Experienced mesothelioma attorneys can help patients and families negotiate for the highest possible mesothelioma settlement amounts. Individual cases vary based on a number of factors, and prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

Mesothelioma Verdict Examples

Mesothelioma awards are often higher in court than if the plaintiff settles. However, it’s not guaranteed the court will rule in the plaintiff’s favor. Verdicts can also be appealed and overturned, which can result in a much lower payout.

Examples of verdicts in mesothelioma cases include:

  • A 65-year-old construction supervisor was awarded $30.2 million in mesothelioma damages (Fall 2018).
  • A woman won a $25.75 million verdict after exposure to asbestos through frequent use of Johnson & Johnson baby powder (Spring 2018).
  • A woman and her husband received a $75 million mesothelioma verdict. She faced secondary asbestos exposure from her mechanic husband. She was also exposed when helping him with car repairs (Winter 2017).
  • A jury awarded $82 million to a man through a wrongful death lawsuit. His wife died from exposure to asbestos through Napa-brand auto parts (Spring 2017).
  • A Minnesota jury awarded $3.72 million after a man passed away from supposed exposure to asbestos in automobile friction products. He had helped his father with brake jobs as a child. This lawsuit was filed against multiple asbestos companies (Summer 2016).

Mesothelioma victims or loved ones looking to pursue compensation should discuss details of their case with an experienced mesothelioma lawyer. Well-informed attorneys can help claimants fully understand what the best route is to get the compensation they deserve.

05. Common Questions

Common Questions About Mesothelioma Settlements

What is the average settlement for a mesothelioma claim?

The average settlement amount for a mesothelioma claim is between $1 million and $1.4 million, but it varies on a case-by-case basis.

How much are legal fees for a mesothelioma case?

Mesothelioma lawyers typically work on a contingency basis. This means they only require payment if compensation is received, in which case they receive a percentage of the compensation awarded.

Is a mesothelioma settlement taxable?

Mesothelioma compensation for lost wages may be taxable, while compensation for treatment costs typically is not. An asbestos attorney can provide the best insight into what may be taxable for a specific case.

What is the average payout time for a mesothelioma settlement?

The amount of time it takes to receive payment from a mesothelioma claim varies for every case. A settlement payout could happen within months after a claim is filed or it may take one year or more.

Who can receive a mesothelioma settlement?

People who are exposed to asbestos and develop an asbestos-related disease may file a personal injury claim. Surviving family members may also receive compensation from a wrongful death claim.

What’s the difference between a mesothelioma trust fund claim, case, settlement and verdict?

Trust claims are filed through an asbestos trust fund. Mesothelioma cases are part of the legal proceedings surrounding a trial, which may result in either a settlement or a verdict.
Written by

Jennifer Lucarelli Legal Advisor and Contributor

Jennifer Lucarelli is a partner at the law firm of Early, Lucarelli, Sweeney & Meisenkothen, specializing in asbestos litigation.


Full Bio Editorial Guidelines
Reviewed By

Linda Molinari Editor in Chief

Linda Molinari has more than 15 years of experience as a writer and advocate for mesothelioma patients and a ban on asbestos.


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Sources [+]
  • 1

    Ableman PL, Kelso PR, Scarcella MC. The Consolidation Effect: New York City Asbestos Verdicts, Due Process And Judicial Efficiency. Mealey’s Litigation Report: Asbestos. May 6, 2015.

  • 2

    Bates C and Mullin C. Show Me The Money. Mealey’s Litigation Report: Asbestos. December 3, 2007;22(21).

  • 3

    Berenson A. 2 Large Verdicts in New Asbestos CasesThe New York Times. April 1, 2003.

  • 4

    Fisk MC and Booth J. J&J Verdict Reaches Almost $26 Million in Baby Powder Trial. Bloomberg. May 24, 2018.

  • 5

    Inselbuch E and Sackett A. The Continuing Irony Of “Tort Reform.” Mealey’s Litigation Report: Asbestos. September 14, 2016;31(15).

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