|Built:||Newport News, VA|
One of the U.S. Navy’s earliest “supercarriers,” the USS Forrestal was the lead ship of four Forrestal-class Aircraft Carriers constructed in the 1950’s. It was built by the Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Company, and commissioned by the Navy in October of 1955. Measuring 1,067 feet in overall length, the Forrestal was the first Aircraft Carrier to be built with an angled flight deck, steam catapult, and an optical landing system, rather than having these features added during modernization. The vessel remained in active service for almost a full four decades, until being decommissioned in 1993.
Many who served aboard the USS Forrestal were exposed to asbestos during the course of their regular duty. Ships built for the Navy between the 1930’s and 1970’s used asbestos in much of the equipment they carried, including pumps, valves, turbines, boilers, and electrical components. Asbestos was also used to make materials such as gaskets and packing. These items were found in a high concentration in the boiler and engine spaces, placing veterans who worked in these areas at an elevated risk. While the companies who sold asbestos to the Navy were often aware of its dangers, they did nothing to warn those who served on the USS Forrestal and its contemporaries. As a result, many Navy veterans became afflicted with mesothelioma later in life.
Victims of asbestos who served on the USS Forrestal or other ships from this era were likely exposed in the line of duty, and have a right to seek compensation. Settlements can potentially cover the costs of medical bills, and often provide additional sums for the pain and suffering that come with battling asbestos-related illnesses such as mesothelioma and lung cancer. The law places limits on the time a lawsuit can be filed, so it is important to seek legal counsel as soon as possible following a diagnosis.