This Gearing-class Destroyer was constructed by the Consolidated Steel Corporation at their Orange, TX facility near the end of the Second World War. It was commissioned by the U.S. Navy in June of 1945, two months before the surrender of Japanese forces at the hands of the Allies. The ship was involved in the post-war occupation of Japan until March of 1946, when it was reassigned to the Atlantic, patrolling the Eastern Seaboard of the United States and the Caribbean, with occasional operations in Mediterranean waters. The ship went on to serve for over three full decades, and was decommissioned in February because of damage from a collision with the Aircraft Carrier, USS John F. Kennedy.
Many, if not all, of the Navy veterans who served aboard the USS Bordelon were likely exposed to asbestos during the course of their normal duty. Asbestos was commonly found in much of the equipment found on Navy ships built between the 1930’s and mid-1970’s, and was used in such items as boilers, turbines, pumps, valves, and electrical components. Materials such as gaskets and packing were also often made wholly from asbestos. Sailors who worked in the boiler and engine spaces were especially prone to regular asbestos exposure, as these areas were poorly ventilated and held the highest concentration of asbestos. Many of the companies who provided the Navy with these asbestos products were aware of the devastating effects asbestos has on the human body, but did nothing to warn those serving on the USS Bordelon or other ships from the era. As a direct result, many veterans developed mesothelioma and other asbestos-caused diseases.
Victims of the blatant negligence of these asbestos companies have a right to pursue compensation. Settlements can help reduce medical bills or cover them entirely, and may provide additional sums for pain and suffering. However, there are statutes of limitation on the time in which a lawsuit may be filed, so it is important to seek legal counsel soon after receiving a mesothelioma diagnosis.