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Navy veteran dies from asbestos-related illness

We often discuss the unique risks that members of the U.S. Navy were, and continue to be, exposed to during their time in the service in regards to asbestos. Veterans and shipyard workers are particularly susceptible to asbestos-related illnesses because of long, concentrated exposure to the toxic material that was commonly used in naval vessels. They may have slept near pipes coated with asbestos or worked in engine rooms where asbestos dust was kicked up when valves, pumps and gaskets were being replaced.

In cases when Navy veterans develop an illness caused by exposure to asbestos, they or their families may choose to file a lawsuit against negligent companies that contributed to their exposure. Not only can taking legal action increase awareness of this ongoing issue, but it can also result in an award of compensation for victims and their families. 

Recently, for example, the family of a man who worked at the Philadelphia Navy Yard filed a lawsuit against nine companies that manufactured asbestos products that were used in the warships he worked on. His employment began in the 1960s, but it was not until 2010 that he was diagnosed with mesothelioma. He passed away only six months after being diagnosed.

Like so many others who worked on Navy vessels, the man was exposed to asbestos that was used in pipes, insulation, packing, gaskets, turbines, motors and wires. Initially, the family received an offer of $2,500 to settle the case before trial. However, they declined the settlement and were recently awarded $7.25 million by a jury for the man's wrongful death. 

This case is a good reminder to our readers in North Carolina that holding a negligent party accountable for their actions can result in significant financial compensation for those who have been devastated by an asbestos-related illness. Money cannot undo their recklessness or bring a loved one back, but it can serve as a way to punish the appropriate parties and get victims and their families the money they deserve.

Source: The Intelligencer, "Jury awards $7.25M in Langhorne man's asbestos lawsuit," March 13, 2014

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