After spending 30 years in the Navy working as a boiler tender and fireman, one man developed mesothelioma. He filed a lawsuit for his substantial pain and suffering that resulted from the disease, and was recently awarded $32 million.
Unfortunately, people who served in the Navy were very likely the victims of asbestos exposure. At times, many of the very people who were responsible for keeping our Navy ships running were sleeping near asbestos-coated pipes or working with equipment that was manufactured with asbestos. This unique level of high exposure put many of them at risk for developing serious lung cancers associated with handling the toxic substance.
According to the lawsuit, it was determined that asbestos was present in the fire and boiler rooms where the man worked. He also repaired valves that contained asbestos in the gaskets, packing and pads. He experienced additional exposure while working in deaerating feed tanks.
The judge in this case determined that the man should be awarded $16 million for previous pain, suffering and medical costs. He also awarded $16 million for future bills and pain he will likely suffer as he continues to battle the cancer.
Veterans of the Navy may be entitled to financial compensation for the dangers they faced during their time in the service. Members of the military worked with many materials that were made using asbestos. The fiber was commonly used prior to the dangers of exposure were discovered. Asbestos is resistant to fire and inexpensive, so it was frequently used in construction materials, industrial plants and manufacturing.
Now that the dangers of asbestos are no longer disputed, the substance is banned for most uses. People who were exposed and developed asbestosis, mesothelioma or other lung cancers associated with asbestos may have the right to seek compensation.
Source: Seedol, “Navy Vet Wins $32 Million Asbestos Settlement In New York,” Feb. 1, 2012