USS Saipan (CV-4) Asbestos Exposure
Hull Number: CVL-48
Type: Light Aircraft Carrier
Built: Camden, NJ
The light Aircraft Carrier USS Saipan was built by the New York Shipbuilding Corporation of Camden, NJ, and was the lead ship of her class. Commissioned by the U.S. Navy in July of 1946, soon after the end of World War II, the Saipan was the first ship with a Carrier-based jet squadron.
It carried a complement of 1,721 officers and enlisted, held over 50 aircraft, and measured 684 feet in length. After serving for nearly 25 years, the USS Saipan was decommissioned in January of 1970.
Veterans who served on the USS Saipan likely encountered asbestos over the course of their normal duty. Much of the equipment on board ships built between the 1930’s and mid-1970’s used asbestos, including boilers, pumps, turbines, valves, and electrical components.
Materials such as packing and gaskets were also often made of asbestos. A high concentration of this asbestos was located in the boiler and engine spaces of the ships, putting Boiler Tenders, Machinist’s Mates, and others who worked in these areas at additional risk.
Many of the companies who provided the Navy with these asbestos products were aware of the dangers, but did nothing to warn those serving on the USS Saipan or other ships from the era. The result of this negligent attitude was the development of mesothelioma and other diseases in Navy veterans at a rate far higher than that of the general population.
Victims of asbestos who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, asbestosis, or lung cancer caused by asbestos have a right to seek compensation. Settlements can offset or cover the costs of battling these incurable diseases, and may provide additional sums for pain and suffering.
The law limits the time in which a lawsuit can be filed however, so it is important to seek legal counsel soon after receiving a diagnosis.