Navy Veterans Mesothelioma Claims
Are you a U.S. Navy veteran or work in a naval shipyard and received a mesothelioma diagnosis? Were you exposed to asbestos materials, fibers, or dust while in service to the United States?
At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, our personal injury attorneys represent service members and navy veterans with mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease to ensure they receive all their V.A. benefits and compensation through third parties. Contact our law firm at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone call) or use the contact form today to schedule a free consultation.
Military veterans make up the highest percentage of mesothelioma patients in the United States, of all population groups. The disease is caused due to asbestos exposure, which results from the mineral's presence in every U.S. navy ship constructed before the 1980s.
Asbestos finds its way into the linings of the affectee's lungs before traveling to the abdomen. Since asbestos fibers and dust can be swallowed, it is not easy to safeguard against exposure to the mineral if it is present in your surroundings.
Along with causing mesothelioma, asbestos exposure also leads to respiratory illnesses and lung cancer. Although any U.S. navy personnel could be exposed to the mineral, the highest risk was posed to people working on maintenance and repair tasks close to the pumps and pipes on the ship.
Which Navy Jobs Increased Asbestos Exposure?
Not all navy veterans suffer from mesothelioma since some jobholders are more susceptible to asbestos exposure than others. However, some U.S. navy service members were highly exposed to asbestos and other health hazards, including:
- Damage Control Worker: These service members and shipyard workers perform emergency repairs and firefighting after U.S. navy vessels contact the enemy. These workers used to wear specific gloves, slippers, and suits to protect themselves from asbestos exposure.
- Boatswain's Mate: The Boatswain's Mate does maintenance tasks on navy ships and directs other activities. These workers were highly exposed to the mineral since they sanded paint containing asbestos and repaired asbestos-filled tiles and other asbestos products.
- Electrician's Mate: The U.S. navy veterans also did repair tasks on naval vessels, especially the electrical components, wires, and machinery. Additionally, they operated electrical systems and were exposed to asbestos-containing products, including wiring and insulation.
- Boiler Technician: These technicians work in boiler rooms repairing and operating steam boilers on U.S. naval vessels. Since these navy veterans were exposed to asbestos-containing materials in insulation, valves, and gaskets, they may suffer from mesothelioma today.
- Fire Control Technician: These navy service members are responsible for maintaining and operating submarines' weapon systems. They wore gloves and hoods fabricated with asbestos materials to keep themselves safe from flames, explosions, and burns.
- Lagger: Laggers are among the U.S. navy veterans with the highest number of asbestos-related diseases since they maintained and repaired asbestos products, including wiring, pipes, boilers, and asbestos insulation.
- Hull Maintenance Technician: These navy service members install, repair, maintain, and fabricate all-metal structures on a U.S. navy ship. Since they come in contact with plumbing containing asbestos, they are at high risk of acquiring an asbestos-related disease.
- Gunner's Mate: A gunner's mate takes care of the vessel's armament. Additionally, these workers are responsible for operating weapon systems and protective clothing when working with asbestos-containing material.
- Water Tenders: On U.S. navy ships, water tenders control and operate water level-maintaining pumps and boilers. These boilers contained asbestos fibers and exposed the workers to this mineral.
- Pipefitter: A pipefitter is responsible for maintaining and building pipe systems on ships. These workers also directly contact asbestos while working with loose seals, insulation, and gaskets containing asbestos and are at high risk of developing mesothelioma, especially pleural mesothelioma.
Unfortunately, navy veterans exposed themselves to asbestos and put their families at risk when they came home with asbestos particles and dust on their skin and clothes. In addition, many family members related to mesothelioma veterans have suffered from military asbestos exposure when their loved one tracked asbestos dust and fibers into the home.
Along with navy veterans, civilians who work in the shipyards are also exposed to asbestos since they take the U.S. navy vessels apart and contact asbestos-containing material.
Vessels With Significant Exposure to Asbestos
People working on the following vessels had a high asbestos exposure risk of developing mesothelioma.
- Auxiliary ships
- Aircraft carriers
Are you a U.S. navy veteran suffering from mesothelioma? Did you serve on a naval vessel and were likely exposed to asbestos dust and fibers? If so, you should get a medical history report from your doctor and receive Veterans Affairs health benefits (V.A. benefits) through a V.A. claim.
List of Asbestos Related Diseases
While mesothelioma is a commonly known ailment, many other asbestos diseases are also caused by asbestos exposure.
Some malignant diseases caused by asbestos exposure include:
- Laryngeal cancer
- Ovarian cancer
- Pleural mesothelioma
- Peritoneal mesothelioma
- Lung cancer
- Colon cancer
- Stomach cancer
Here's a list of non-malignant asbestos-related illnesses and diseases:
- Pleural effusion
- Pleural thickening
- Hyaline pleural plaques
- Pericardial effusion
Benefits for U.S. Navy Veterans
Today, the United States Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense are fully aware of the harmful aspects of mesothelioma on navy veterans. As a result, Veterans Affairs has made accommodations for mesothelioma patients in recent years, meaning navy veterans with mesothelioma are entitled to several benefits, including disability compensation and healthcare.
To claim these V.A. benefits through a V.A. claim, the U.S. navy veteran must:
- Have faced asbestos exposure during their service
- Have been honorably discharged from the United States military
- Suffer from mesothelioma disease or any other asbestos-related ailment
The type of V.A. benefits these navy veterans get depends on their medical conditions and their diagnosed disease. The veteran is obligated to submit a V.A. benefits application form that, once accepted, will provide the following kinds of compensation through Veterans Affairs:
- VA DIC: The VA Dependency and Indemnity Compensation is given to the dependants in the veteran's family or their spouse after the veteran personnel has passed away due to an asbestos-caused disease
- Disability Compensation: Monthly disability compensation is given to navy veterans who suffer from mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease
- Special Circumstances: The United States military has made funds available for navy veterans who might have developed other conditions or may need additional financial compensation.
- Special Monthly Compensation: The military has made additional funds available to navy veterans with additional needs or requirements to treat mesothelioma or other asbestos-related diseases.
V.A. Health Care for Asbestos Exposure
After years of serving our country decades ago and exposing themselves to asbestos-containing materials, many veterans are shocked to get a mesothelioma diagnosis after developing asbestos-related diseases. Some mesothelioma navy veterans believe that the diagnosis is a death sentence, dramatically shortening their life expectancy.
However, there are effective treatments that can help alleviate many of the symptoms of asbestos illnesses. Navy veterans with mesothelioma have access to V.A. Health Care, which provides low-cost treatment through V.A. benefits from two of the most qualified doctors in the field working for the V.A. Health Care System.
- Robert Cameron is a thoracic surgeon who specializes in treating patients suffering from pleural mesothelioma.
- Avi Lebenthal is another pleural mesothelioma oncologist who is highly experienced at his job and specializes in performing minimally invasive surgeries.
Along with these two renowned doctors, the V.A. also has other cancer centers in the country where navy veterans with mesothelioma can receive low-cost treatment. These include:
- Michael A DeBakey VA Medical Center in Houston, TX
- Fayetteville VA Medical Center in Fayetteville, NC
- Veteran's Affairs Puget Sound Health Care System (VAPSHCS) in Seattle, WA
How Can Navy Veterans Apply for Mesothelioma Benefits?
Veterans suffering from mesothelioma can apply for benefits in one of the following ways:
- Consulting a mesothelioma lawyer
- Sending correspondence mail to the address provided by the V.A.
- Filing a claim in the V.A.'s office
- Filling the online application for V.A. health benefits
Navy veterans who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or some other asbestos disease should seek professional medical advice immediately and file a lawsuit or apply for V.A. benefits through Veterans Affairs. The sooner you apply, the more chances you have of getting instant compensation and health benefits.
How Much Compensation Do You Get for Mesothelioma?
On average, many mesothelioma navy veterans have received negotiated settlement payments of $1 million to $1.4 million when they file a lawsuit for veterans' asbestos exposure.
In most cases, the navy asbestos settlements are paid to mesothelioma victims and other veterans with an asbestos-related illness in monthly installments (structured settlements). These mesothelioma settlements cover the cost of treatment sufficiently.
Mesothelioma Lawsuit Duration
A mesothelioma lawsuit can take anywhere from ten months to a year to resolve. In this period, the sufferer can get compensation from settlements and trust funds.
Meanwhile, trial verdicts can take years to resolve in the applicant receiving compensation. Typically, a personal injury attorney working on behalf of many navy veterans with mesothelioma will build their case against asbestos companies that failed to warn the military of the dangers of using asbestos products, especially asbestos insulation.
Many of these companies that produced asbestos products went bankrupt. However, the court system required establishing asbestos trust funds to protect victims who developed mesothelioma or other lung issues and asbestos-related illnesses.
These asbestos trust funds provide financial compensation over and above a V.A. claim to ensure that the victim can receive mesothelioma treatment. To receive the financial compensation, injured service members, shipyard workers, and veterans must file asbestos trust fund claims, preferably with a V.A. accredited claims agent or mesothelioma lawyers.
Which Navy Products Contained Asbestos?
Asbestos was commonly used in different materials in U.S. navy ships before the 1980s. However, once its hazards were widely known, the Navy undertook a campaign to eradicate the use of this mineral on navy ships and keep asbestos-containing products like asbestos insulation out of navy shipyards.
However, before the 1980s, the following things contained asbestos on ships and submarines:
- Adhesives: The Navy used these to make repairs and seal different things on the ship.
- Boiler Insulation: Marine boilers were insulated using asbestos jackets and wrap insulation.
- Gaskets: Since amosite asbestos protects the ship and components against salt corrosion, asbestos space materials were used in making marine gaskets.
- Cables: The Navy used asbestos to make cables since the mineral could withstand salt exposure.
- Packing Supplies: The Navy used asbestos packing material for equipment, valves, and pumps. These supplies were either in the form of rope packing or loose asbestos.
- Paint: Asbestos adds strength and longevity to the paint, giving a particular texture that withstands salt corrosion, leading to its wide use in making paint for ships.
- Textiles: Asbestos was also present in ship sails. The civilians in the shipyards also used asbestos blankets to prevent burns.
- Paneling: Asbestos paneling was standard in U.S. navy ships until just a few decades ago.
Mesothelioma in the Navy Today
Navy veterans can be diagnosed with mesothelioma even today, decades after exposure to asbestos since the disease takes years to progress and show itself.
However, asbestos is no longer used on navy ships. Meanwhile, the OSHA-regulated medical surveillance program ensures all departments across the country prevent their employees' exposure to hazardous toxins and chemicals.
OSHA Asbestos Medical Surveillance Program
As for OSHA Standard 29 CFR 1910.1001, employers around the country are required to conduct an asbestos medical surveillance program for any of their workers that have an asbestos exposure higher than permissible.
The excursion limit or permissible exposure limit is the measure for this program by OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration). A licensed physician performs the OSHA asbestos physical. The physical exam includes the following:
- Pulmonary Function Test (PFT) with Blood Pressure
- OSHA Respirator Medical Questionnaire
- Medical Exam
- Chest X-Ray with B Reader
- Medical History Review
More importantly, employers must keep records of their employees' navy asbestos exposure measurement for up to thirty years minimum.
Partial Asbestos Bans in the United States
For years, asbestos has been banned for use because of its carcinogenic properties. However, many Navy veterans suffering from asbestos exposure die from malignant mesothelioma, asbestos cancer, and asbestosis.
According to OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) and the Environmental Protection Agency, most Navy personnel serving honorably aboard ships have been exposed to harmful asbestos used as insulating material around boilers, pumps, and pipes.
Asbestos was used liberally for many decades before its harmful properties were discovered. As a naturally occurring mineral, asbestos has exceptional properties that resist fire and heat.
By the early 1980s, its use was curtailed when it became evident that exposure to the harmful toxic material causes significant injuries and death. Unfortunately, for many Navy veterans, the damage caused by exposure and inhalation had already begun.
Since then, many service members exposed to released asbestos fibers, particulates, and dust and developed mesothelioma or other asbestos-related illness have filed legal claims to file mesothelioma lawsuits seeking monetary compensation for damages.
Asbestos-Laced Products Used in Construction of Military Vessels
Before the early 1980s, asbestos was used extensively to construct Navy warships in various components and products used onboard.
In addition to insulating boilers, asbestos was also widely used in gaskets, cables, paneling, adhesive, grinders, hydraulic assemblies, and pipe fittings. Unfortunately, the use of harmful material extended far beyond our nation's warships.
Many military vehicles used by the Navy are also equipped with brakes, clutches, and gaskets containing asbestos, as are the flooring materials and plumbing systems used in Navy port facilities.
The use of asbestos peaked during World War II as a vast majority of U.S. citizens fought abroad and on the open seas. However, many of the warships, shipyards, and portside facilities laden with toxic material remained in use through the Korean and Vietnam Wars, exposing untold naval and non-military personnel.
Since the United States began limiting nearly every commercial use of the toxic material, the Navy has initiated cleanup programs to limit the exposure of military personnel on older vessels still in commission.
Mesothelioma and Navy Veterans
Mesothelioma is one of the leading causes of injuries and death among Navy veterans exposed to asbestos. Unfortunately, many Navy personnel and shipyard workers were unprotected from inhaling asbestos fibers.
Even minimal exposure allows the inhaled fibers to take refuge in the lungs and eventually become embedded in pleural mesothelium layers surrounding the lungs.
The persistent and prolonged exposure to the harmful material lodged in the lungs produces numerous asbestos-related respiratory diseases, including mesothelioma cancer and tumor growth. Unfortunately, airborne and released asbestos fibers can also be ingested and cause other types of cancer as well.
The irritation caused by asbestos in and around organs can damage the cell's DNA and cause significant inflammation. Over time, the formation of tumors can develop in the peritoneum (abdominal cavity) and pleura (lungs).
In some cases, Navy veterans with mesothelioma or other asbestos-related diseases have suffered damage to the testicles and heart from exposure to the insulation material.
U.S. Navy Veteran Legal Rights Following a Diagnosis of Mesothelioma
Currently, there is no cure available for any injury caused by the toxic material. However, Armed Forces personnel, including Navy veterans with mesothelioma, have legal rights to receive compensation if injured or killed by asbestos exposure.
People entitled to receive compensation include those that have served honorably on land or sea, including on aircraft carriers, amphibious warships, battleships, cruisers, destroyers, escorts, frigates, minesweepers, submarines, and marine merchant ships.
While Navy veterans with mesothelioma or other asbestos-related illnesses can apply for benefits through the V.A. for any asbestos-related disease, additional compensation may also be available through third parties who might also be at fault.
Liable third parties can include shipbuilders, equipment manufacturers, and duty-bound others to provide a safe product. For example, companies in the asbestos manufacturing industry had known before World War II that exposure to toxic fibers in asbestos materials was dangerous.
However, even with that knowledge, they chose profits over the safety of others. Because of that, they can be held legally liable to provide compensation to victims.
Pursuing an Asbestos Lawsuit for Military Families
Have you suffered severe injuries after spending years in the military and now receive mesothelioma treatment to care for your medical illness? Do you want to file an asbestos claim for recovery to hold the military and the asbestos industry financially accountable?
At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, our attorneys can file your legal claim on your behalf to ensure that you and your family receive the compensation you will need to maintain your quality of life in the years ahead.
Our personal injury attorneys specialize in toxic chemical exposure cases and fight aggressively for our clients. We will protect your rights while pursuing the monetary recovery you rightly deserve for your injury caused by the negligent disregard for your health.
Call our law firm at (888) 424-5757 or use the contact form to schedule your no-obligation consultation. We accept all personal injury lawsuits and wrongful death cases through contingency fee agreements, meaning that no upfront fees are paid until we have resolved your case through an asbestos settlement or jury verdict.
Many U.S. Navy service members and veterans have already resolved their million-dollar Navy veterans' mesothelioma claims, and you can be compensated too. Call our offices today at (888) 424-5757 to schedule your free case evaluation to ensure you receive the funds you and your family deserve.