The Bath Iron Works of Bath, Maine constructed this Gearing-class Destroyer in 1945, just following the end of World War II. It was commissioned by the U.S. Navy in February of 1946, and was assigned to the Pacific Fleet after its initial shakedown cruise. The ship measured just over 390 feet in length, and carried a complement of 336 officers and enlisted men. It served in both the Korean War and the Vietnam War, the latter of which earned the vessel nine battle stars. The Bausell remained in active service for over three decades, until it was finally decommissioned in May of 1978.
Navy veterans who served aboard the USS Basusell 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 into situations where they were unable to avoid asbestos on a daily basis. While the companies that provided the Navy with these products were often aware of the health risks, they did nothing to warn those who served on the USS Bausell or other ships of the time. As a result, incidences of mesothelioma amongst Navy veterans are significantly higher than that of the general population.
Victims of mesothelioma or other asbestos-related illness have a right to seek compensation from the companies responsible for their illnesses. Settlements can often cover the high costs of medical treatment, 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 immediately following a mesothelioma diagnosis.