Mesothelioma is a terrible disease that is caused when asbestos fibers become lodged in the lining of the lungs, thereby leading to cancerous growths. There’s no cure for this condition, which leaves many families struggling to find answers and a path forward.
Mesothelioma and Navy veterans
There are many occupations that left unsuspecting individuals exposed to asbestos. But those who served in the Navy prior to 1980 were especially susceptible. Asbestos was used in the Navy for nearly a century to help fireproof materials aboard ships. As a result, asbestos was also frequently released when constructing and repairing Navy vessels.
Unfortunately, those who worked aboard those ships and constructed and repaired them were unaware and uninformed of the dangers of being exposed to asbestos, which means that they weren’t given proper protection.
Who was most at risk?
The tragic reality is that just about everyone who worked aboard a Navy ship up until 1980 was at some level of risk. This includes the following professionals:
- Medical personnel
This is because asbestos was used in a plethora of materials, including:
- Ventilation ducts
This means that asbestos could be found in many parts of a ship, although some sections, such as boiler rooms, engine rooms, pump rooms, and storage spaces created a higher risk of exposure. Making exposure even more problematic for Navy members is the fact that these individuals often worked in tight quarters with poor ventilation where asbestos fibers could easily be inhaled and transferred to others. Given that asbestos was found in many components of a ship, those who were responsible for building these vessels and repairing them were also at a greater risk of exposure to asbestos.
How common is mesothelioma among Navy veterans?
Sadly, Navy veterans make up almost a third of all mesothelioma cases. It can take decades for mesothelioma to present itself, though, so there may be many Navy veterans out there who are just now learning of their condition or have yet to learn about it, despite their exposure in the 1960s, ‘70s, or ‘80s.
What can be done after a mesothelioma diagnosis?
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, then you might want to think about taking legal action to help offset your medical expenses and cover the emotional pain and suffering felt. A claim in this regard won’t be filed against the Navy or even the government but will instead be levied against the makers of products that contained asbestos.
Although many of these companies have since gone bankrupt, many bankruptcy courts have forced these companies to establish mesothelioma victims’ trust funds. These trusts were specifically created to pay these claims.
However, filing a claim doesn’t automatically give you access to these funds. Instead, you’re still going to have to present legal arguments as to why you’re entitled to a recovery. This may lead to a negotiated settlement, or you may end up having a jury trial.
The power of a legal advocate
A successful mesothelioma claim can give you and your family the resources that you need and deserve. In other words, there’s a lot at stake. Therefore, you should be careful in how you present your claim. In many instances, having an experienced attorney on your side is the best way to persuasively present your case. This means that having a legal advocate in your corner might increase your chances of not only winning your case, but also recovering the compensation that you’re owed.
So, if you’re interested in learning more about what the legal process looks like and how it can help you, consider reaching out to a law firm that has a track record of successfully handling these kinds of cases.