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Asbestos Exposure on the USS Ticonderoga

USS Ticonderoga

Hull Number: CV-14
Type: Aircraft Carrier
Class: Essex
Built: Newport News, VA

The USS Ticonderoga was the sixth Essex-class Aircraft Carrier built during World War II.  It differed from previous Essex models with its “long hull” design, which was adopted by all Essex-class ships that followed. The ship was commissioned by the U.S. Navy in May 1944, and began conducting operations in the Pacific Theater immediately thereafter.

The Ticonderoga measured 888 feet in length, carried 3,448 officers and enlisted, and held between 90 and 100 aircraft. It won five battle stars for its service in the Second World War, but it was especially active in the Vietnam conflict, where it earned twelve additional battle stars, three Navy Unit Commendations, and a Meritorious Unit Commendation. The vessel was decommissioned in September 1973.

Unfortunately for veterans of the USS Ticonderoga, it is likely that they were exposed to some level of asbestos over the course of their regular duty. Asbestos was an extremely common shipbuilding material between the 1930s and 1970s, and could be found in equipment such as boilers, turbines, pumps, valves, and electrical components. Materials including valves and gaskets were also often made from asbestos.

Sailors who served in the ship’s engine and boiler spaces were especially at risk, as these areas contained a particularly high concentration of asbestos. More often than not, the companies who provided the Navy with these asbestos products were aware of the harmful effects asbestos has on the human body, and yet never warned those serving aboard the USS Ticonderoga and other ships of the era.

Victims of asbestos, including those diagnosed with mesothelioma, asbestosis, or lung cancer caused by asbestos exposure, have a right to pursue compensation. Settlements can offset or cover costly medical care, and may provide additional sums for pain and suffering.

It is important to contact legal representation soon after a diagnosis is made however, as the law places limits on the time in which a lawsuit may be filed.

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