USS Bristol (DD-857)
Hull Number: DD-857
Class: Allen M. Sumner
Built: San Pedro, CA
The USS Bristol was an Allen M. Sumner-class Destroyer built by the Bethlehem Steel Corporation at their San Pedro, CA shipyard toward the end of the Second World War. It measured over 376 feet in length, and carried a complement of 336 officers and men. Commissioned by the U.S. Navy in March of 1945, the ship was deployed to Pearl Harbor, and won a single battle star for its service. However, the ship was damaged after a collision with the Ashtabula and spent the rest of the war under repair. After the Allied victory, the ship was assigned to the Atlantic Fleet, where it patrolled along the eastern seaboard and made several cruises to Europe. It then went on to conduct operations in the Korean War, where it earned an additional two battle stars. The Bristol was decommissioned in November of 1969.
Navy veterans who served on the USS Bristol were likely exposed to asbestos during the course of their regular duty. Navy ships built prior to the mid-1970’s, and in some cases beyond, used asbestos in much of the equipment they carried, including boilers, turbines, pumps, valves, and electrical components. Materials such as gaskets and packing were also often made entirely from asbestos. The boiler and engine spaces on Navy ships were especially hazardous for workers, as these were poorly ventilated, confined spaces and held a disproportionately large amount of asbestos equipment. The companies who sold these asbestos products to the Navy typically knew their products could cause mesothelioma and other diseases, but did nothing to warn those who served on the USS Bristol or its contemporaries.
Victims diagnosed with mesothelioma or other asbestos-related illnesses have a right to seek compensation for their illness. Medical expenses can be offset or covered by settlement money, and additional sums may be provided for pain and suffering. The law limits time in which a lawsuit may be filed however, so it is important to seek counsel soon after receiving a mesothelioma diagnosis.