Mesothelioma Attorneys Specializing in US Navy Veterans
Veterans of the US armed services are at enhanced risk for mesothelioma and even more so for US Navy veterans due to the extensive use of asbestos on naval watercraft, ships, and submarines for decades. If you or a family member have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, it’s critical to find the best mesothelioma attorney for US Navy veterans that will take your case and fight for your rights.
Roughly one-third of mesothelioma victims are veterans, and, of those, the highest percentage served in the US Navy. Asbestos was widely used on submarines and Navy ships because it’s an excellent insulator and is highly fire resistant.
Navy veterans were routinely exposed to asbestos, particularly those that worked in boiler and machine rooms. In addition to Navy veterans, civilian contractors that worked in shipyards and alongside Navy servicemen and women are also at greater risk for mesothelioma.
Asbestos exposure in the US Navy
The Navy had the highest demand for asbestos among all military branches. On board ships and submarines, fire is a particular concern. When asbestos was contained inside parts and insulation, it posed less of a hazard. But when disturbed, microscopic asbestos particles leach into the air. These can be swallowed or inhaled wreaking havoc within the body and causing cancer and other illness.
Some of the Navy job roles with enhanced risk for asbestos exposure included:
- Shipbuilding, repair, and maintenance
- Hull techs
- Boiler techs
Asbestos helps prevent the outbreak of fires from overheating aboard ships and submarines. But tight quarters and poor ventilation often allowed asbestos fibers to accumulate, and many Navy veterans were exposed to dangerous concentrations of asbestos.
The Navy continued to use asbestos fittings and insulation well into the 1970’s. From floor tiles to pipes, insulation to fire-proofing, asbestos was widely used in all ships and submarines for decades.
Some of the types of vessels that used asbestos included:
Asbestos use was widespread in nautical vessels used by the US Navy, Coast Guard, and Merchant Marines. Coast Guard veterans are at higher risk of mesothelioma similar to US Navy veterans.
Some of the areas of Navy ships where asbestos-laden products could be found include:
- Pumps and valves
- Gaskets and seals
- Engine and boiler rooms
- Berthing and bulkheads
- Decks and flooring
- Pipe lagging and coverings
- Piping and insulation
- Firebrick and acoustic materials
- Cement and mastic’s
- Boiler insulation
- Blocks and panels
- Protective gear
- Aprons, gloves, masks
Studies on Navy veterans and mesothelioma
Navy veterans who served primarily pre-1980 are at the greatest risk of developing mesothelioma. Machinists and those that worked with boilers have the highest incidence of mesothelioma from asbestos exposure.
One study on asbestos by the National Institutes of Health showed that US asbestos use during World War II was 783 million pounds, on average, per year. During the Cold War, when our nation was busy arming itself as a superpower (much of it by constructing submarines and advanced warships), utilization nearly doubled to 1,400 million pounds each year. It finally began dropping in the mid-70’s.
Another study by the NIH, on Norwegian Navy veterans (but whose findings apply to US service members), noted that longer service times resulted in a greater risk for mesothelioma and that engine crew workers had a higher rate of cancer resulting from asbestos exposure during their naval service.
Mesothelioma risks in the US Navy
The moving parts of ships and submarines produce intense heat meaning a greater risk for fire. Asbestos provided heavy-duty insulation and fireproofing to keep ships and sailors safe. Unfortunately, the safety material itself proved unsafe for many service members.
Although its heat-resistant and fireproofing qualities are unrivaled, asbestos poses potentially catastrophic health consequences for those exposed to the invisible fibers. When disturbed and released into the air, fibers can be inhaled or swallowed where they can trigger devastating illness.
Family members also at risk
The risks don’t end with the veterans that served our country. Family members were at risk from secondary exposure. Invisible fibers that clung to the uniforms, hair, and skin of service members could be transferred to loved ones and put them at risk for mesothelioma.
Legal challenges when fighting for the rights of Navy asbestos victims
Mesothelioma has a decades-long gestation period. Symptoms often don’t show until the cancer is in late stages and treatment options are limited. Because of the lag time between asbestos exposure and diagnosis, it can be a challenge to trace the exposure back to its point of origin.
That’s why you need the best mesothelioma lawyer for US Navy veterans that knows common exposure locations including specific Naval shipyards, vessels, and job roles that are linked to asbestos and mesothelioma.
To maximize your compensation claim, your mesothelioma lawyer must present a strong case in court. Using a law firm that routinely handle mesothelioma cases for Navy veterans means they should have the research on hand and experience to get the best results for you.
Some of the challenges are that the ships where you served may have been decommissioned or scrapped or the base, facility, or shipyard where you worked could have been drastically altered or demolished. Records go missing, and chains of evidence are often broken.
The best mesothelioma lawyers for Navy veterans will search out the evidence to support your claim and trace your mesothelioma back to the likely asbestos exposure source. That’s how we hold those accountable that exposed hard-working Navy personnel to dangerous asbestos.
Some of the evidence to be gathered to support your case includes:
- Review your service record to see the shipyards, bases, and ships where you served
- Compare your service record to verifiable instances of asbestos usage and exposure
- Investigate the history of successful claims linked to areas where you served
- Locate veterans and civilians that served in the same facilities and can corroborate exposure
- Link your exposure to specific products, suppliers, vessels, and locations
Experience in researching and organizing this information sets a dedicated mesothelioma lawyer apart from a personal injury lawyer. General practice law firms, even those specializing in injury law, don’t have extensive records, research, and a track record of case wins compared to those focused only on asbestos mesothelioma law.
Better results with a specialized mesothelioma lawyer
Choosing the best mesothelioma lawyer for US Navy veterans diagnosed with mesothelioma is critical to the success of your case. You want someone fighting for your rights that knows the law, the courts, has extensive contacts & resources, and a case history to get you the best results and best possible settlement.
Since our founding in 1995, Bergman Draper Oslund has been dedicated to mesothelioma victims. To date, we’ve won more than $700 million for our clients in court and negotiated settlements.
Our firm only handles mesothelioma cases and we are recognized nationally as an authority in handling mesothelioma claims, and attaining increased record settlements. We pledge to work hard to get you the outcome you deserve, and best settlement possible.
We get to know our clients, their stories, and loved ones. We’re here to support you throughout your journey and can offer resources, the answers you want and need, and the compensation you deserve.
To find out more about how we can help you, contact Bergman Draper Oslund now for a free case evaluation.
Call 206.957.9510 or 888.647.6007 or fill our Free Case Evaluation Form