USS John F. Kennedy
|Class:||John F. Kennedy|
|Built:||Newport News, VA|
The USS John F. Kennedy is the only Aircraft Carrier in its class, modified heavily from the earlier Kitty Hawk class of carriers. It is the last Aircraft Carrier to be built using conventional steam propulsion, and was commissioned by the U.S. Navy in September 1968. It measures 1,052 feet bow-to-stern, and holds over 80 aircraft and a complement of 3,297 officers and enlisted. It spent most of its career conducting operations in the Mediteranian, Middle East, and the Indian Ocean, and was decommissioned in August 2007.
Asbestos was a common material on Navy ships built between the 1930’s and 1970’s. Therefore, it is likely that many who served on the USS John F. Kennedy were exposed during the course of their regular duty. Equipment such as boilers, pumps, valves, turbines, and electrical components used asbestos, and materials such as gaskets and packing were often made of asbestos. A high concentration of these components and materials were located in the engine and boiler spaces, putting Machinist’s Mates, Boiler Tenders, Firemen, and others who worked in these areas at elevated risk. The companies who provided the Navy with these asbestos products often knew of the threat they posed, but did nothing to warn veterans. This led to thousands falling victim to mesothelioma, the only known cause of which is asbestos exposure.
Veterans diagnosed with mesothelioma and other asbestos-caused diseases have a right to seek compensation. Settlements can offset or cover the costs of medical care, and can often provide additional sums for the suffering of victims and their families. The law limits the time in which a lawsuit can be filed however, so it is important to seek legal counsel soon after a diagnosis is made.