Asbestos Exposure on the USS Borie (DD-704)
Hull Number: DD-704
Class: Allen M. Sumner
Built: Kearny, NJ
This Allen M. Sumner-class Destroyer was built during the later years of World War II by the Federal Shipbuilding and Drydock Company at their Kearny, NJ shipyard. Measuring just over 376 feet in length, the ship carried a complement of 336 officers and enlisted.
The ship was commissioned by the U.S. Navy in September of 1944, and joined the Pacific Fleet for its final year fighting the Japanese forces. It earned three battle stars during this war, and assisted with the occupation of Japan after the war ended. It later became involved in the Korean War, where it earned an additional four battle stars, and finally in the Vietnam conflict, during which the ship was decommissioned in July 1972
It is likely that many Navy veterans assigned to the USS Borie were exposed to asbestos during the course of their regular duty. Between the 1930’s and mid-1970’s, asbestos was commonly found on Navy ships, used in equipment such as boilers, turbines, pumps, valves, and electrical components.
Materials such as gaskets and packing were also often made from asbestos. These items were found in an alarming concentration in the boiler and engine spaces on ships, exposing Boiler Tenders, Machinist’s Mates, and others who worked in these areas on a daily basis.
While many of the companies that provided the Navy with asbestos were aware of its inherent dangers, none did anything to warn those who served on the USS Borie and other ships from the era. This led many to become ill with mesothelioma and other asbestos-caused diseases.
Veterans who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma were likely exposed to asbestos during their service, and have a right to seek compensation. Settlements can potentially recoup the costs of medical care, and may provide additional sums for pain and suffering.
The time in which a lawsuit can be filed is limited however, so it is important to speak with a lawyer soon after a mesothelioma diagnosis is made.