Shortly following the close of the Second World War, the U.S. Navy commissioned the USS Antietem, a long-hull variation of Essex-class aircraft carrier with a crew of 3,448 officers and men. Built by the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, the 888 foot vessel was modified in 1952 to become the first true angled-deck aircraft carrier. Though completed too late to see action in WWII, the Antietam spent much of its time in the Pacific, assisting in the post-war occupation of Japan. It was also vital in the Korean War, earning two battle stars for its service.
The use of asbestos was common practice in shipbuilding during the time of the USS Antietam, and much of the most important equipment found in the boiler and engine spaces contained the hazardous mineral. Turbines, electrical components, boilers, valves, gaskets, and packing were either made from or utilized asbestos, leaving those tasked with maintaining and repairing these at great risk. Although the dangers of asbestos were typically known to businesses manufacturing these products, the prevailing attitude at the highest levels was one of secrecy, leaving those who would be most directly affected by asbestos unguarded and unaware of the health risks posed. As a result, thousands have died from the aggressive and preventable cancer mesothelioma, the only known cause of which is exposure to asbestos. Despite action taken to reduce asbestos use following the 1970’s, mesothelioma cases continue to be diagnosed each year due to an unusually long period between exposure and development of symptoms.
If you were a Fireman, Engineman, Boiler Tender, or other Navy veteran who has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, it is likely you were exposed in the line of duty. Victims have the right to pursue legal action, and VA benefits will not be impacted by the process. Settlements can cover the overwhelming costs of medical care, as well as provide compensation for victims and their families for the suffering caused by this tragic affliction. The attorneys at Belluck & Fox are experts in identifying the companies responsible for asbestos exposure, and will fight to get the maximum settlement possible for veterans. With years of experience regarding asbestos and mesothelioma cases, our lawyers have won over $500 million dollars for our clients, including a recent $32 million victory. Contact our office at 1-888-MESOTHELIOMA (1-888-637-6843) or on the web through our contact form. If you would prefer an immediate response to your question or concern, Live Chat is available.