Were you a shipyard worker who became sick from asbestos exposure? Weitz & Luxenberg can assist you.
Are you suffering from an asbestos related disease such as mesothelioma, asbestos lung cancer or asbestosis? If you were a worker in a shipyard in the past, it is likely that your exposure to asbestos is responsible for your current asbestos related illness.
Weitz & Luxenberg has dealt with asbestos related litigation for over two decades and are available when you need us for legal counsel. We have represented clients across the United States and have helped them amass millions of dollars in compensation for the pain and suffering they unnecessarily endured. We are more than willing to assist you.
Shipyards were rife with asbestos
Prior to the stringent regulations on asbestos use issued by the US Government in the 1970s, asbestos was used extensively in ship building. Shipyard workers and other personnel faced inevitable and frequent exposure to asbestos while performing their tasks. Shipyard workers who took part in constructing Navy vessels (which were in particularly high demand during World War I and World War II) inhaled lethal asbestos fibers regularly.
The vessels utilized by the US Navy served a variety of important purposes during some the world’s most historic wars such as World War I, World War II and the Vietnam War. Some models, such as battleships and destroyers, actively participated in battle, others served as maritime hospitals tending to wounded and dying sailors, and still others were responsible for transporting food and equipment to sailors and other persons stranded at sea.
The Demands of Production Outweighed The Health of Shipyard Workers
Like the United States Navy, ship building companies were not oblivious to the dangers of asbestos. However, in the interest of efficient production and performance during wartime, it was hesitant to seriously address the hazards and deal with them accordingly.
Asbestos was valued for its corrosion and fire proof properties and was ubiquitous in virtually every facility in a shipyard from the sleeping quarters, to the engine rooms and, astonishingly, even the mess halls. It was included in and around temperature sensitive areas such as engine and boiler rooms, and was used in the production of gaskets, deck covers, adhesives, felts and meters, among other gadgets and devices.
A Brief List of Asbestos Laden Shipyards
Were you an employee of one of the following shipyards?
Bender Shipbuilding: Bender was established in 1702 in Mobile, Alabama. It was not only ideally located (on the Gulf of Mexico) it also boasted state of the art facilities. The shipyard workers of Bender toiled all hours of the day and night and were known for their efficiency. They likely thought little of the dangers of the asbestos they were inhaling, but began to feel its adverse health effects later in life.
Kaiser Shipyards: The Kaiser Shipyards, located on the west coast of the United States were established in 1939 by Henry J. Kaiser. It had 76,000 employees and over the course of World War II, that figure swelled to about 97,000. The Kaiser Shipyards were highly advanced for their time. In fact, they were one of the few shipyards to have childcare centers. Unfortunately, since the facilities were insulated with asbestos, these unsuspecting children, as well as the employees themselves, were all exposed to asbestos.
The Groton Electric Boat Company: Founding in 1899, Groton Electric boasted two world class facilities, one in Groton, Connecticut, the other in Quonset Point, Rhode Island. The company was known for its submarines; the first submarine to be commissioned into the Navy, the USS Holland, was built there. Those who participated in the construction of the Holland and other vessels certainly inhaled asbestos. In 1982, “more than 300 suits were brought by former employees of the company,” all of them claiming “that their health was harmed by asbestos insulation.” (The New York Times)
Brooklyn Navy Yard:
“My father worked as a welder for the Brooklyn Navy Yard during and just after the war. He’d come home from work, very dusty….full of soot…powder. I would take his clothes to the Laundromat twice a week. I don’t remember how long I did it…I just wanted to help my mother. She knew the stuff was bad, and tried her best to keep it out of our house, but it didn’t matter, really. My father said he literally laid in the asbestos powder and the dust. We both got sick…”
M.K.- Diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2005
The Brooklyn Navy Yard, located in Brooklyn, New York, was one of the most important shipbuilding facilities on the east coast. In an effort to fortify American efforts during World War II, employees were expected to perform a number of potentially life threatening tasks. They were in charge of repairing Navy vessels and constructing new ones. They were also skilled at “electrical work, sandblasting, welding, pipe fitting and insulating.” (The Brooklyn Navy Yard) Most if not all of these activities involved asbestos in some capacity, which meant that the workers were in contact with the deadly fibers on a regular basis.
The New London Submarine Base: Groton, CT
The New London Submarine Base was one of the largest bases of its kind in the world. It oversaw the construction and launch of the USS Nautilus, “the first nuclear powered ship commissioned by the United States Navy.” (USS Nautilus) From World War I onwards, New London served as a naval training and education facility. Unfortunately, many Navy personnel developed mesothelioma, asbestos lung cancer and asbestosis after having served in the Navy. It is estimated that “one third of the people in the United States” (PR Web) who are currently battling an asbestos related disease spent time in the Navy.
The New London Submarine Base was almost closed in August 2005, but was spared after it was found that its closing “would hurt current and future mission capabilities, as well as the readiness of the total U.S military.” (Aviation Week) In spite of the traces of asbestos which remain in some of its facilities, the New London Submarine Base remains in full operation to this day.
Weitz & Luxenberg Can Be Your Legal Advocate
Weitz & Luxenberg understands how widespread the asbestos problem is and the havoc it had caused countless people across the country and around the world. It is unfortunate that even though the dangers of asbestos have been known in the United States since at least the Industrial Revolution, it continued to be used in multiple industries. Such carelessness should not be ignored.
Our firm has a team of skilled attorneys with a wealth of knowledge concerning asbestos-related ailments. To get started, simply fill out the form on this page. A representative from our firm will
get in touch with shortly you for your free legal consultation. There is no cost unless we secure a verdict or settlement for you.
The New York Times: www.nytimes.com/1982/01/19/nyregion/worker-s-suit-over-asbestos-at-groton-shipyard-to-open.html
Brooklyn Navy Yard: www.brooklyn-navy-yard.com/brooklyn-navy-yard-history.html
Aviation Week: www.aviationweek.com/aw/generic/story_generic.jsp?channel=aerospacedaily&id=news/BRAC08255.xml&headline=BRAC%20Commission%20Rejects%20Closure%20Of%20New%20London%20Base
USS Nautilus: www.ussnautilus.org/aboutus.shtml