USS Bagley (DD-386)
The USS Bagley, built by the Norfolk Naval Shipyard of Portsmouth, VA, was the lead ship of its class of Destroyers. It was commissioned by the U.S. Navy in June of 1937, during the initial buildup of arms prior to World War II. The vessel measured just over 341 feet bow-to-stern, and carried a complement of 251 officers and enlisted men. Prior to the war, it was stationed out of Pearl Harbor, and operated primarily in local waters. After the December 7th raid on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese, the Bagley became active in the war on the Pacific front, earning twelve battle stars for its service. It was decommissioned shortly after the war’s end, in June 1946.
Sailors who spent time aboard the USS Bagley were likely exposed to asbestos over the course of their normal duty. Navy ships constructed prior to the 1970’s commonly used asbestos in a significant amount of onboard equipment, including boilers, turbines, pumps, valves, and electrical components. Materials used in ship’s propulsion and boiler systems, such as packing and gaskets, were often wholly made of asbestos. Workers stationed in the boiler and engine spaces were especially at risk, due to a high concentration of these asbestos materials and loose fibers in the air. The companies who made these asbestos products were generally aware of the health hazards of asbestos, but never warned those who served on the USS Bagley. As a result, many Navy men fell victim to mesothelioma and other asbestos-caused illnesses.
Navy veterans who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma have a right to seek compensation for their condition. Settlements can often cover the sometimes overwhelming costs of medical care, and may potentially garner additional sums for the pain and suffering of victims and their families. The law limits the time in which a lawsuit may be filed however, making it important to seek legal counsel soon after a mesothelioma diagnosis is made.