Mesothelioma in U.S. Navy Veterans: What You Need to Know
Asbestos is a natural mineral composed of heat-resistant strands. Before the hazards of asbestos were discovered, the mineral was widely used in various consumer products in the United States, particularly in military constructions across every service branch during the second half of the 20th century.
Asbestos products are made up of minute fibers that can be inhaled from the air resulting in deep chronic scar tissue in the lungs, which later develops into lung cancer, asbestosis, or mesothelioma, which is the most serious case and has no cure.
Mesothelioma lawyers for US navy veterans can help you recover the damages you or a loved one is owed. They do so by filing claims with the Veterans Affairs Department and also pursuing the manufacturers who, while aware of the dangers of the mineral, used it anyway to make products that they later supplied to the US military in their capacity as government contractors. Learn more about Mesothelioma lawyer services for US navy veterans here.
Mesothelioma Lawyers Us Navy Veteran
When our nation's young men and women join the military, they do so primarily to keep our country safe and positively impact the world. Whether serving in combat roles or a secondary role in the US military, they are aware that this career could endanger them. Us navy sailors on the high seas know that their lives could be jeopardized at any time.
What previous servicemen did not know, however, was that a deadly adversary was already lurking in their environment. For many years, young Americans in service of the country in various armed forces units were unknowingly poisoned by deadly asbestos fibers used in various naval vessel parts. They also unknowingly carried the fibers in their hair, vehicle seats, and clothing from their duty station to their homes, potentially causing harm to their families. Sadly, this deadly material is still not prohibited in the US; it is only regulated.
Mesothelioma and asbestos lawyers are experts in obtaining compensatory asbestos damages through litigation or claims. Litigation here includes civil suits and settlements, while claims involve filing for compensation from the government through the VA department.
The best mesothelioma attorneys work for well-known national law firms with a track record of success in such litigations. Mesothelioma lawyers for US navy veterans can assist families of US navy veterans whose loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma in seeking compensation for harm suffered and associated costs.
Asbestos is an earth-mined mineral made of pliable fibers resistant to electricity, heat, and corrosion, making it a cheap and useful fire-immune material, particularly in military uses. Asbestos exposure, on the other hand, is extremely quite dangerous. When the mineral fibers are taken into the body, they could become trapped for a long time. Trapped asbestos fibers can cause swelling, scarring, and genetic damage over time.
Surprisingly, makers of products utilized in army barracks, aircraft carriers, submarines, and other applications knew asbestos was a carcinogen as early as the 1930s but continued to supply the military with Asbestos-made products, putting thousands of young military servicemen and women at high risk.
Personnel of the US Military, particularly navy service personnel, were almost continuously exposed to the carcinogen in their service for years prior to government regulation of asbestos.
Why are US Navy veterans more likely to be exposed to asbestos than other Servicemen?
The risk of fire at sea has always been there since the first ship in history took to the waters. But with asbestos having been discovered centuries earlier to contain fire-proofing properties, the material was used in various applications in the US navy to boost fire safety onboard vessels.
The material gained prominence especially during World War II, as the nation was expanding its military forces on land, in the air, and at sea. It was used in the manufacture and insulation of pipes, wire insulations, engine rooms, boiler rooms, and kitchen oven lining, just to mention a few.
Examples of Asbestos-Containing Parts Found on US Naval Vessels
The following US naval vessel items were commonly made with asbestos:
- Floor Tiles
- Grinders for Wires and Cables
- Pipes and pipe linings
- Thermal Heat protection devices
- Machining and Welding Protective Gear
- Metal sheets
Later, as the dangers of Asbestos exposure came to light, manufacturers started phasing out the material in exchange for safer substitutes. But the damage had already been done, and now former navy servicemen are showing serious symptoms of Asbestos exposure.
Who in the US Navy Was at Risk of Exposure to Asbestos?
Asbestos fibers were inhaled by almost everyone on a naval ship or near one. The main reason for this was that once a new ship was completed, it would be taken through sea trials, and the crew would be exposed to unprotected asbestos insulation. Also, during the few weeks at sea, shipbuilders were vigorously cutting chunks of asbestos material, putting themselves and others on board at risk.
While everyone on board was in danger of consuming toxic asbestos fibers and developing malignant mesothelioma, some individuals were in greater danger than even others.
The following are amongst the most dangerous service stations in the Navy, for Asbestos exposure, according to the CDC:
- Damage Controlman
- Electrician's Mate
- Boatswain's Mate
- Technician in charge of fire control
- Machinist's Mate
- Pipe Fitter
The majority of these positions entail maintaining or repairing various ship parts. These jobs frequently manipulate ship components to render repairs and restore them to working order.
Due to secondhand exposure, close relatives of navy servicemen and workers could also be at some kind of risk.
Other people in danger of exposure to the toxin include individuals living near ship-building facilities and Asbestos contaminated shipyards.
Risks of Asbestos Exposure
Although all asbestos exposures are harmful, pronounced effects occur when an individual consumes a high concentration of the toxic fibers at once or in small bits over an extended period.
With each exposure, asbestos builds up in your body and cannot be reversed in any way whatsoever.
Once the toxic fibers are airborne, they can easily be inhaled. For that reason, it's always smart not to disturb an asbestos-containing product. For example, if you live close to asbestos-rich soil, then please don't disturb it even a little bit.
What diseases can be caused by asbestos exposure?
Asbestos exposure can lead to cancer and related health problems. Asbestos exposure is almost always the cause of mesothelioma, a rare but serious form of cancer. The toxic material can also cause asbestosis, a degenerative lung disease. Asbestos is dangerous due to its carcinogenic fibers.
Other diseases linked to asbestos include:
- Cancer of the Ovaries
- Cancer of the Larynx
- Pleural effusions
- Pleural plaques
Cover-Up of Asbestos Harm
Asbestos has a long history, but it was most popular in the United States during the latter half of the 20th century.
Doctors substantiated the toxic effect of the material in diverse medical reports from the onset of the modern asbestos economy. Business executives began quietly researching the issue back in the 1930s and discovered that exposure to the material was indeed quite life-threatening.
Still casting their morals aside for profit, the various federal government contractors would not share this finding but instead continued to supply the military with asbestos products for various military applications during and post-World War II. The asbestos products were mainly used as insulation in the aircraft and ship sectors of the military. Some of these manufacturers even paid shady researchers like J.C. Wagner to assist them in denying any responsibility.
Mesothelioma in US navy Veterans
The advancement of mesothelioma symptoms takes a long time, usually 20 to 50 years. Affected US navy veterans in service from the 1930s to the 1980s only started to experience serious symptoms in the 1990s or after the year 2000. These symptoms are usually traced back to Asbestos contamination at historically male-dominated service stations in the US navy, making the disease common among veterans aged 60 and up.
The malignant cancer results from exposure to toxic asbestos fibers that stick into the internal organs, mainly the protective mesothelium lining causing permanent scarring, inflammation, or genetic damage over time.
Malignant pleural mesothelioma, aka "MPM," as doctors like to call it, is one type of mesothelioma; this one develops in the lungs. It's worth noting, however, that MPM is not the same as a type of other malignant cancer that develops due to smoking.
Malignant pericardial mesothelioma is the other type of mesothelioma; this one develops in the victim's chest cavity.
Then there's the one that develops in the abdominal cavity; doctors call it malignant peritoneal mesothelioma.
In all cases, once malignant mesothelioma develops in one part of your body, there's nothing that'll keep it from spreading elsewhere. Indeed, the way it spreads fast is why it's challenging to combat.
Options for Individual or Family Members Found with Mesothelioma Due to Service in the US Navy
Relatives of navy servicemen who suffer from any of the aforementioned asbestos-related health consequences may qualify for monetary compensation from the Department of Veteran Affairs and the companies that manufactured the products that exposed your loved one to asbestos. Here's how the two options compare:
Us Navy Asbestos Lawsuits and Trust Fund Claims Against Federal Government Contractors
Because asbestos manufacturers covered up evidence of the negative effects of asbestos on humans and kept supplying asbestos products for various military applications to the disadvantage of several servicemen, they can be held responsible for the suffering experienced by these servicemen.
Former military personnel exposed to asbestos in the US navy have sued federal contractors who knowingly supplied this harmful material to the military. Close relatives who develop terminal mesothelioma as a result of secondhand exposure may also pursue legal action.
Defendants in such cases, who are most often federal government contractors, might argue that they are eligible for qualified or derivative or qualified since they were operating under the auspices of the government. This protection could be possible if their project followed federal guidelines, such as those outlined in the 2015 Supreme Court case Campbell-Ewald Co. v. Gomez. However, the court did state that federal contractors do not have blanket immunity and that there are straightforward exceptions.
Some asbestos manufacturers that went bankrupt did establish trust funds to compensate victims of asbestos exposure, who may include navy veterans if the companies supplied products to the military. Navy veteran Asbestos lawsuits deliver much-needed financial compensation to support medical expenses and cover lost wages.
Types of US Navy Veteran Mesothelioma Lawsuits
Mesothelioma lawsuits generally fall into the falling categories:
- Accidental Injuries Lawsuits for Mesothelioma
- Lawsuits for Wrongful Death
- Lawsuits involving a group of servicemen, i.e., Class-Action suits
How much compensation can you get from an Asbestos lawsuit and trust-fund claims?
Compensation for mesothelioma is determined by the circumstances surrounding one's asbestos exposure. Navy veterans with malignant cancer may be entitled to more than a million dollars in compensation.
However, it will benefit your case if you can recall a lot about the specifics of your exposure, like when, how, and where. In some US states, you may be able to file a second lawsuit after a previous asbestos settlement to get additional funds for health problems that may arise later, such as when asbestosis progresses to mesothelioma.
Some examples of recent Mesothelioma trust fund payouts include:
- Armstrong World Industries - $110,000
- Babcock & Wilcox Company - $90,000
- Fibreboard - $135,000
- Owens Corning - $215,000
- United States Gypsum Company - $155,000
Some examples of recent Mesothelioma lawsuit payouts include:
- $4.3 million - Army veteran in Florida
- $3.4 million - Navy veteran in Illinois
- $3.2 million - Army veteran in Texas
- $2.92 million - Air Force veteran in Wisconsin
- $1.66 million - Army veteran in Pennsylvania
- $1.37 million - Marine veteran in Florida
Us Navy Asbestos Claims with the VA Department
You could also submit a claim for compensation from the government. Such claims are filed with the veteran affairs department. To qualify for asbestos exposure compensation from the VA, you must have served in the military and been diagnosed with the terminal cancer to be eligible. The other requirement is an honorable discharge. Above all, you must be able to prove asbestos exposure for your case.
The VA compensation isn't limited to navy veterans only. Personnel who served in the Coast Guard, Air Force, Marine Corps, or Navy may also seek compensation.
Keep in mind that this process can become very complicated, so the best thing you can do is to speak with a mesothelioma lawyer who has experience filing claims for veterans.
How much compensation does the VA award?
The Veteran Affairs Department frequently grants a 100 percent disability rating for asbestos-related cases involving Navy veterans. This means that veterans can sometimes receive upwards of $3,000 per month in addition to VA Health Care, making them eligible for low-cost or no-cost cancer care and treatment from specialists who provide VA Health Care services.
The advocate for California US navy veterans with mesothelioma advises veterans or their close relatives who've recently been identified with malignant cancer to emphasize monetary compensation and work with an attorney with enough experience in taking care of such cases. Keep in mind that in certain states, statutes of limitations may apply; once diagnosed with this cancer, it's always a smart thing to get in touch with a state's advocate for US navy veterans with mesothelioma then retain the services of an attorney to make sure your compensation case is filed in time.
Experienced mesothelioma lawyers for US Navy veterans may be able to provide an obligation-free assessment of how much your compensation claim might bring along with specific details involved in the civil suit process.
As a former serviceman, you will not be denied VA benefits if you file lawsuits or even make asbestos trust fund claims. Mesothelioma lawsuits are not about suing the government or the military; however they are used to hold manufacturers who knowingly kept supplying this toxic product to the military to the detriment of many servicemen.
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