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Shipyards and Asbestos Exposure

Among the many industries whose workers have been impacted by exposure to asbestos, shipbuilding ranks very high. Shipyard workers were integral to the U.S. war effort from World War I through the Korean War, and as the owners of the yards and the manufacturers that supplied materials got rich, their workers were exposed to asbestos on a daily basis. Shipyard workers make up a large percentage of mesothelioma patients, as well as those diagnosed with asbestosis and asbestos-related cancers.

If you or someone you love served in the Navy and has been diagnosed with mesothelioma or any other asbestos-related disease, you may be entitled to compensation from the asbestos companies. No matter what your mesothelioma stage, this compensation can come from filing a mesothelioma lawsuit or from filing a claim with the $30 billion asbestos trust funds. For more information on your rights and the reimbursement you may be able to receive, contact us today. We will send you a free Financial Compensation Packet, or put you in touch with one of our compassionate and experienced mesothelioma attorneys.

The History of Asbestos Exposure in U.S. Shipyards

Through much of the 20th century, U.S. shipyards led the world in shipbuilding productivity and excellence. Those shipyards, located in a variety of regions, employed millions of Americans between the 1920s and 1980s, and as these workers supplied the Navy with the vessels that helped win American wars, they were being exposed to carcinogenic asbestos fibers that they ingested and inhaled. The productivity of American shipyards was astonishing during the years before and during World War II, when as many as 1.7 million workers were responsible for the production of dozens of new ships every day. Those ships were constructed with over 200 different products that contained either amiosite asbestos, chrysotile asbestos and crocidolite asbestos in insulation, gaskets, and other essential elements of the ships’ construction. Even after World War II was won, shipyards continued to be major employers in the United States, employing approximately 200,000 workers who continued to be exposed to the deadly toxin.  

The scope of the damage that was done to these workers did not begin to be realized until decades later when mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases began to be diagnosed in these workers: asbestos diseases tend to have extremely long latency periods, and it was not until the 1970s that its dangers were fully realized and its use was severely curtailed. Today, those shipyard workers continue to be diagnosed with illnesses, and so do family members that were exposed to asbestos on their spouses’, parents’, or family members’ hair, skin or clothing. Many of the asbestos trust funds that have been established over the years have been from companies that supplied these shipyards, and who have been subjected to mesothelioma lawsuits for the damage that they have done.

U.S. Shipyards with a History of Asbestos Use

  • Alabama Dry Dock
  • Albina Shipyard
  • Barbours Cut Docks
  • Bethlehem Steel Shipyard
  • Bremerton Naval Shipyard
  • Brooklyn Navy Yard
  • Brown Shipbuilding
  • Caddell Dry Dock
  • Charleston Naval Shipyard
  • Consolidated Steel Shipyards
  • Curtis Bay Coast Guard Yard
  • Defoe Shipbuilding Company
  • Duwamish Shipyard
  • Ingalls Shipbuilding
  • Kaiser Shipyards
  • Lockheed Shipbuilding and Construction Company
  • Mare Island Naval Shipyard (California Naval Shipyard)
  • Moore Dry Dock Company
  • New London Naval Submarine Base (Groton Naval Base)
  • New York Shipbuilding Corporation
  • Newport News Shipyard
  • Orange Shipbuilding
  • Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard
  • Portsmouth Naval Shipyard (PNS)
  • San Diego Naval Shipyard
  • San Francisco Drydock
  • San Francisco Naval Shipyard at Hunters Point
  • Seward Ship’s Drydock
  • Sun Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Company
  • Tacoma Drydocks
  • The Kane Shipbuilding Company
  • Todd Shipyards
  • Washington Navy Yard
  • Willamette Iron and Steel Works

 Companies That Supplied Asbestos to U. S. Shipyards

  • Foster Wheeler Corporation
  • GAF Corporation
  • John Crane, Inc.
  • Johns Manville
  • McCormick Asbestos Company
  • National Gypsum
  • Owens-Illinois Glass
  • Syd Carpenter Marine Contractor
  • Willman Asbestos

Legal Responsibility for Veterans’ Asbestos Exposure in Shipyards

Many of the shipyard workers who were so tragically exposed to asbestos were in the military during the time of their exposure. This begs the question of whether they are able to sue the U.S. government for their damages. The answer is no – service men and women are not permitted to file suit against the United States. They are, however, eligible to receive military disability benefits and healthcare through the Department of Veterans’ Affairs.  More importantly, they are also able to file lawsuits against the various contractors that supplied the asbestos containing materials to the government for use in the shipyards for the construction of U.S. Navy vessels. This includes the companies and shipyard owners that are included in the list provided above, as well as many other manufacturers and suppliers that may have been negligent in exposing shipyard workers to this deadly carcinogen.

Legal Help

People who served in the Navy and who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma are not able to file lawsuits against the government, but they may be eligible to receive VA disability benefits and medical care. Additionally, you may be able to hold the companies that provided the asbestos-contaminated materials to the shipyards responsible for the harm that they have suffered. For information about the steps needed to get compensation from the $30 billion asbestos trust funds, or to file a mesothelioma lawsuit against the asbestos companies that negligently exposed them to asbestos, you need the assistance of a law firm that specializes in asbestos lawsuits. If you or someone you love has an asbestos-related condition like mesothelioma, asbestosis, or asbestos lung cancer, contact our office today at 1-800-706-5606. We will put you in touch with one of our experienced mesothelioma attorneys or send you a free Financial Compensation Packet that will provide you with helpful information about the compensation that you may be eligible to receive.