USS Abbot (DD-629)
The U.S. Navy commissioned this Fletcher-class Destroyer in April 1943, soon after its completion by the Bath Iron Works of Bath, Maine. It measured 376 feet in length, holding a complement of 329 officers and men. During World War II, the ship conducted operations in the Pacific, earning eight battle stars over the course of the war. After several years in reserve following World War II, the vessel was returned to service when conflict broke out on the Korean peninsula. It continued its official service until being decommissioned in March 1965, and was struck from the Naval Vessel Registry in 1974.
For veterans of the USS Abbot, it is likely that they were exposed to asbestos over the course of their regular duty. Asbestos was an extremely common shipbuilding material between the 1930’s and 1970’s, and could be found in equipment such as boilers, turbines, pumps, valves, and electrical components. Materials including valves and gaskets were also often made from asbestos. Sailors who served in the ship’s engine and boiler spaces were especially at risk, as these areas contained a particularly high concentration of asbestos. More often than not, the companies who provided the Navy with these asbestos products were aware of the harmful effects asbestos has on the human body, and yet never warned those serving aboard the USS Abbot and other ships of the era.
Victims of asbestos, including those diagnosed with mesothelioma, asbestosis, or lung cancer caused by asbestos exposure, have a right to pursue compensation. Settlements can offset or cover costly medical care, and may provide additional sums for pain and suffering. It is important to contact legal representation soon after a diagnosis is made however, as the law places limits on the time in which a lawsuit may be filed.