USS Abbot (DD-184)
|Built:||Newport News, VA|
This Wickes-class Destroyer was built by the Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Company shortly after World War I, and was commissioned by the U.S. Navy in July 1919. Measuring 314 feet in length, the ship carried a complement of 122 officers and men. The Abbot served mainly in the Atlantic, Caribbean, and the Gulf of Mexico during the relatively peaceful years following the war, and was taken out of service in 1922. The vessel did not see active duty for the better part of the following two decades, until the outbreak of the Second World War, when it was placed back into service on June 17, 1940. Its tenure in the U.S. Navy during World War II was short however, as the ship was transferred to Great Britain several months later. It was struck from the Naval Vessel Register in January 1941.
Those who served aboard the USS Abbot were likely exposed to asbestos during the course of their regular duty. From the 1930’s to the mid-1970’s, asbestos was commonly used in equipment on Navy ships, and could be found in boilers, turbines, pumps, valves, and electrical components. Materials such as gaskets and packing were also often made from asbestos. These asbestos products were held in a high concentration in the boiler and engine spaces of these ships, putting Machinist’s Mates, Boiler Tenders, and others who worked in these areas at additional risk. While the companies who provided the Navy with these products were often aware of the health risks, they did nothing to warn those who served on the USS Abbot or other ships of the time. As a result, incidences of mesothelioma amongst Navy veterans are significantly higher than that of the general population.
Veterans who have fell victim to mesothelioma or other asbestos-related illness have a right to seek compensation. The extraordinary costs of medical care can often be covered in part or full by settlements, and victims may be entitled to receive additional sums for pain and suffering. The law limits the time in which a lawsuit may be filed however, so it is important to contact legal counsel soon after receiving a diagnosis.