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Navy Questions & Answers

Mesothelioma Awareness Day

When did the Navy stop using asbestos?

The Department of the Navy adopted a policy of no asbestos in 1975. However, asbestos was used as thermal insulation on some ships already under construction through the late 1970s and early 1980s. Any veteran who served on a military or merchant marine ship with a keel laid prior to 1983 may have been exposed to asbestos. In addition, many older ships containing asbestos insulation and lagging remained in use long after the naval shipyards stopped using asbestos in new construction. Navy veterans who served in the 1950s through 1980s may have been exposed to asbestos.

How Do Navy Veterans Get Asbestos-Exposure Testing?

There is no specific testing to determine if you were exposed to asbestos. However, if you were in the Navy, you should have a yearly chest X-ray or CT scan to check for asbestos-related diseases such as mesothelioma or lung cancer. If you are experiencing any shortness of breath, see your doctor immediately and advise your doctor that you served in the Navy.

We can assist you in finding the right screening facility for you and your current situation. If you worked in the Navy, there is a high possibility that you were heavily exposed to asbestos. Please take the time to contact us for a free evaluation of your case so we can help you get on the right track to being tested, treated, and compensated for your injuries.

We have helped dozens of clients receive hundreds of thousands of dollars or even millions of dollars in compensation to help them live a full life and provide for their families. If you cannot visit our offices, we will make arrangements to come to you. We are advocates for Navy workers exposed to asbestos, and we are dedicated to ensuring that our veterans receive the proper care and financial compensation deserved for exposure to a deadly toxin commonly used in the Navy and other branches of the armed forces.

What if my loved one passes away in the middle of pursuing a claim?

If your loved one dies before a claim is settled or won, family members may be able to take over as plaintiffs in the claim. When you meet with our compassionate mesothelioma attorneys, we will explain how the process works and what you can expect. Contact our firm today to schedule a free consultation on your case.

Will my mesothelioma lawsuit hurt the Navy?

No, we do not file mesothelioma claims against the Navy. Federal rules generally prevent people who are injured from military service from suing the federal government. Instead, we identify the manufacturers that supplied asbestos products and equipment to the Navy. It was exposure to asbestos in these products that harmed your health.

We file a claim against these responsible manufacturers, suppliers, and other companies that recklessly endangered the health of others by failing to warn of the hazards of asbestos. A mesothelioma claim against an asbestos manufacturer will not harm the Navy or affect any veterans’ disability benefits that you currently receive.

 In navigating these complicated claims, it is extremely important to have a knowledgeable and experienced mesothelioma law firm on your side. At Belluck & Fox, LLP, we have recovered more than $800 million in compensation for mesothelioma patients and their families. Contact us today for a free evaluation of your case. We are always available to take your call and can schedule an immediate appointment.

Can I file a lawsuit if my loved one passed away from mesothelioma?

A family member may be able to file a wrongful death claim to recover compensation for:

  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Health care expenses for your loved one
  • Lost wages and benefits from the time your loved one got sick to the time of death
  • Value of lost support and services your loved one had provided
  • Inheritance lost by children
  • Loss of nurturing, guidance, and care felt by the children

You may also be able to recover compensation for the pain and suffering your loved one faced before death. And in cases of extreme misconduct, you may be awarded punitive damages.

Why am I just now being diagnosed with mesothelioma if I was exposed to asbestos years ago?

Asbestos fibers can be lodged in the tissue lining the chest cavity, the lungs or the abdomen for years before mesothelioma develops. In fact, a mesothelioma diagnosis can come 15 to 60 years after a veteran was initially exposed to asbestos.

I served in the Navy, but I do not know how I was exposed to asbestos. Can you still help?

Yes, we commonly deal with Navy veterans who are uncertain of how they were exposed to asbestos. We obtain and analyze blueprints of the Navy ship or ships on which you served to determine where asbestos products were used on the vessel.  We also interview your former shipmates who may remember asbestos being used aboard a ship.

To build a strong mesothelioma claim, we identify the products that caused your disease and the asbestos manufacturers that made them. Typically, the longer sailors or shipyard workers were exposed to asbestos or the heavier the exposure, the more likely they are to develop mesothelioma.

Do Navy veterans who held certain jobs have a greater risk of exposure to asbestos?

Yes, exposure to asbestos was probable or highly probable for veterans who held certain jobs. Those jobs include:

  • Aviation aircraft handler
  • Aviation antisubmarine warfare operator
  • Aviation boatswain’s mate
  • Aviation chief metalsmith
  • Aviation electrician’s mate
  • Aviation electronic technician
  • Aviation fire control technician (highly probable)
  • Aviation machinist’s mate
  • Aviation radioman
  • Aviation structural mechanic
  • Aviation structural mechanic – hydraulics
  • Aviation support equipment technician
  • Boilermaker (highly probable)
  • Boiler technician (highly probable)
  • Builder
  • Construction driver
  • Construction worker
  • Electrician
  • Electrician’s mate
  • Electronics technician
  • Engineman
  • Fire control man (highly probable)
  • Fire control technician (highly probable)
  • Fireman (highly probable)
  • Gas turbine system technician
  • Hull maintenance technician (highly probable)
  • Instrument man (highly probable)
  • Interior communication technician
  • Machinist’s mate
  • Missile technician
  • Molder
  • Motor machinist’s mate
  • Painter
  • Sonarman (highly probable)
  • Sonar technician (highly probable)
  • Sonar technician – submarine (highly probable)
  • Sonar technician – surface (highly probable)
  • Sound man (highly probable)
  • Steelworker
  • Torpedoman’s mate
  • Water tender (highly probable)

Are there VA benefits available to surviving family members?

Our compassionate mesothelioma attorneys frequently help surviving spouses and children file for Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) from the Department of Veterans Affairs. This is a tax-free benefit for survivors of those who died from diseases connected to their military service.

How long will it take to resolve a mesothelioma claim related to my Navy service?

From our experience handling numerous mesothelioma claims, we already have extensive documents related to asbestos products. That gives our firm a leg up on resolving your claim as quickly as possible. In New York, there is a statute that provides for expedited handling of a case for anyone who has a life-threatening disease. If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or lung cancer, we petition the courts to resolve your case within one year. Many cases are settled within eight months to one year from the time we receive them.

Will I be suing my former commanding officer or ship captain?

We respect the service that veterans provided our nation, whatever their rank. We do not sue any Navy officers or name them in the lawsuit. A mesothelioma lawsuit is brought against companies that profited from making and selling dangerous asbestos products that caused your disease.

How Can I Sue The U.S. Navy For Mesothelioma?

In mesothelioma lawsuits, the United States government is protected from lawsuits by the Feres Doctrine and the Federal Tort Claims Act. When pursuing compensation for mesothelioma contracted from duty in the U.S. Navy, the Navy itself will not be the target of the suit. Instead, the parties who are typically sued for financial compensation are the manufacturers, designers, suppliers and other parties involved with the asbestos. The U.S. government itself is not liable in torts for those who were exposed to asbestos while serving in the Navy and who worked in close proximity to the substance.

It is extremely important to have a knowledgeable and experienced mesothelioma law firm on your side.

At Belluck & Fox, LLP, we have recovered millions of dollars in financial compensation for our mesothelioma clients. Contact us today for a free evaluation of your case. We are always available to take your call and can schedule an immediate appointment.

Where Was Asbestos on Navy Ships?

The products and systems that used asbestos on Navy ships include:

  • Boilers
  • Turbines
  • Pumps
  • Valves
  • Electrical components
  • Engines
  • Insulation

Anyone who worked directly with or around these products or systems were at risk of asbestos exposure.

Can Navy veterans get asbestos-exposure testing?

There is no specific testing to determine whether you were exposed to asbestos. However, if you were in the Navy, you should have a yearly chest X-ray or CT scan to check for asbestos-related diseases such as mesothelioma or lung cancer. If you are experiencing any shortness of breath, see your doctor immediately and advise your doctor that you served in the Navy.

We can assist you in finding the right screening facility for you and your current situation. Please take the time to contact us for a free evaluation of your case so we can help you get on the right track to being tested, getting treated, and seeking compensation.

Will I need to travel as part of a mesothelioma lawsuit?

We understand that mesothelioma patients need to focus on their health first and foremost, so we make filing a claim as easy as possible. When you schedule your initial consultation, our dedicated attorneys will meet you anywhere in the United States that is convenient for you and your family, including in your home or a health care facility.

In addition, our attorneys will do all the legwork in your case, including taking your statement without you having to travel for a court appearance.

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It contains a wealth of information and resources to help you better understand the condition, choose (and afford) appropriate treatment, and exercise your legal right to compensation.

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The information provided by Mesothelioma Help is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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