Asbestos Exposure on the USS Beatty (DD-756)
Hull Number: DD-756
Class: Allen M. Sumner
Built: Staten Island, NY
The USS Beatty was an Allen M. Sumner-class Destroyer built by the Bethlehem Steel Company at its Staten Island, NY shipyard. It was commissioned by the U.S. Navy in March of 1945, just prior to the end of World War II. The ship measured just over 376 feet in length, and carried a complement of 336 officers and men.
Its earliest tours of duty took place after the Allied victory in the war, with initial cruises to the Mediterranean, the Middle East, and the Caribbean. After the outbreak of the Korean War, the Beatty was assigned to operations in Korean waters, and earned two battle stars for its service in the conflict.
It returned to the Atlantic Fleet following its time in Korea, and spent the remainder of its nearly thirty-year service mainly in Atlantic waters until being decommissioned in July of 1972.
Many who served aboard the USS Beatty were likely exposed to asbestos on a regular basis during the course of their normal duty. Asbestos was a common shipbuilding material from the 1930’s to the mid-1970’s, and could be found in equipment including boilers, turbines, pumps, valves, and electrical components.
Additionally, materials such as gaskets and packing were generally made entirely from asbestos. Sailors who worked in the boiler and engine spaces were especially prone to developing asbestos illnesses, as these areas had the highest concentration of asbestos products.
The companies who provided the Navy with these asbestos products were typically aware of asbestos’ tendency to cause mesothelioma and other afflictions, but did nothing to warn those serving on the USS Beatty or other ships from the era. As a result, mesothelioma develops amongst Navy veterans at a significantly higher rate than in the general population.
Navy veterans who have been victimized by asbestos companies have a right to pursue compensation. Settlements can help reduce medical bills or cover them entirely, and may provide additional sums for pain and suffering. However, statutes of limitation have been imposed on filing lawsuits, making it important to seek legal counsel soon after receiving a mesothelioma diagnosis.