Asbestos Exposure From Navy Ship Machinery

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A Navy ship is a huge floating factory. Giant engines are required to supply not only propulsion but power, lights and air to every part of the vessel. The massive boilers and turbines require full-time attention by many hands.

Engine rooms can be dangerous places — the heat and steam, fires and explosions, the hydraulics and moving parts. Sailors can take precautions against these known hazards, but they had no opportunity to protect themselves from asbestos.

Boilers and Turbines — There Was Asbestos in the Machinery

The Law Offices of Wallace & Graham has represented U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard and Merchant Marine seamen nationwide in lawsuits stemming from asbestos exposure while serving at sea. Our lawyers work quickly to get clients an official diagnosis of mesothelioma, asbestosis or lung cancer so they can start treatment immediately. Then we go after the manufacturers and defense contractors who knew of the harm caused by asbestos.

Our attorneys have represented a wide range of mariners directly and indirectly exposed to high concentrations of asbestos in Navy machinery, namely boilers and turbines:

  • Steelworkers and other shipbuilding workers
  • Engineers, machinists, pipefitters and insulators aboard ships
  • Other engine room/boiler room personnel
  • Power plant personnel at naval bases and shipyards
  • Those who serviced pumps, valves and pipes connecting to boilers and turbines

Boilers — Asbestos was used as the lagging (heat insulation and sound deadening) that encased the unit and the main pipes. Hundreds of men were directly exposed in the construction, placement, operation and maintenance of boilers and associated burners and jackets. Other personnel may have breathed airborne asbestos from such activity.

Turbines — Whether steam-driven, oil-burning or nuclear, the turbines on ships and submarines throw off massive heat from the friction. Large heat blankets woven with asbestos served as a shield from the heat and a fire retardant. Anyone with regular contact probably inhaled heavy amounts of asbestos and carried the toxic fibers home on their clothes.

Asbestos Machinery Litigation

The Law Offices of Wallace & Graham has won substantial damages from the manufacturers of boilers, namely Babcock & Wilcox, Combustion Engineering, Foster Wheeler, Riley Stoker and Cleaver Brooks. We have also successfully sued turbine manufacturers General Electric and Westinghouse. Additionally, major defense contractors are culpable for installing asbestos-laden machinery because they also knew the dangers.

Asbestos was once heavily employed in shipbuilding, particularly those boats made from the 1940s to 1970s. Most of those vessels are retired, but many were still in service in recent years. Regardless, the damage was done decades ago. Symptoms of mesothelioma don't surface until 25 to 40 years later, and asbestosis has a latency of 10 to 30 years.

Reach Out to Us Immediately

Our North Carolina law firm represents Navy veterans and other clients nationwide. Call us toll free at 888-698-9975 or contact us online for a free consultation and case evaluation with experienced asbestos trial lawyers.