The New York Shipbuilding Company of Camden, New Jersey built this Wickes-class Destroyer toward the final days of the First World War. It was commissioned by the U.S. Navy after the war ended, in May of 1919, but was decommissioned after only three years of service. After lying dormant for over seven years, the ship was recommissioned in 1930, where it sailed as part of both the Battle Force and Scouting Force in the Pacific. Three years later, the ship returned to the Atlantic. When the United States became involved in World War II, the vessel served as a convoy escort in the Atlantic, the Caribbean, and Africa. The Badger was decommissioned shortly after the end of the war, in July 1945.
Tragically, it is likely that veterans who served aboard the USS Badger were exposed to asbestos over the course of their regular duty. Until the mid-1970’s, asbestos was a common material used in shipbuilding, especially amongst Navy ships. Asbestos could be found in equipment such as boilers, turbines, valves, pumps, and electrical components, while materials including gaskets and packing were also often made from asbestos. These items were found in an especially high concentration in the boiler and engine spaces, putting sailors who worked in those areas at additional risk. The companies who provided the Navy with this asbestos equipment were often aware of the health risks of asbestos, but did nothing to warn those serving on board the USS Badger or its contemporaries. This negligence led to many veterans developing mesothelioma years after their Navy careers had ended.
Navy veterans who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma were likely exposed to asbestos during their time in the Navy, and have a right to seek compensation. Settlements can offset or cover the often overwhelming costs of medical care, and may provide additional sums for pain and suffering endured. It is important to seek legal counsel soon after a mesothelioma diagnosis is made however, as the law limits the time during which a lawsuit can be filed.