|Built:||Newport News, VA|
This long-hull Essex-class Aircraft Carrier was constructed by the Newport News Shipbuilding Corporation during the Second World War, and was commissioned by the U.S. Navy in October of 1944. Measuring 888 feet in length, the USS Randolph carried a complement of 3,448 officers and men, and held between 90 and 100 aircraft. It conducted operations in the Pacific Theater of WWII, earning three battle stars for its service, and assisted in Operation Magic Carpet, ferrying U.S. troops back to their homeland after the end of the war. After 25 years of service, the USS Randolph was decommissioned in February 1969.
Sailors who served on the USS Randolph were likely exposed to asbestos during their time at sea. Navy ships built between the 1930’s and mid-1970’s carried a large amount of equipment that used asbestos, including boilers, turbines, pumps, valves, and electrical components. Materials such as gaskets and packing were also often made from asbestos. Especially at risk were those veterans who worked in the engine and boiler spaces, as these areas typically held the highest concentrations of asbestos. While the companies that provided the Navy with these asbestos products were often aware of the threat asbestos posed, they did nothing to warn those who served on the USS Randolph and other ships from its era. This resulted in incidences of mesothelioma amongst veterans at a rate well out of proportion from the general population.
Navy veterans who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or other asbestos-related illness have a right to seek compensation. Settlements can offset or even fully cover the costs of medical care, and may also provide additional sums for pain and suffering. The law limits the time victims have to file a lawsuit however, so it is important to seek legal counsel soon after receiving a diagnosis.