Many men and women in North Carolina who served in the U. S. Navy, Coast Guard or Merchant Marine, or who helped to build the country’s warships, have been denied a comfortable retirement because they were exposed to large amounts of asbestos-containing products during their military service or while they worked in shipyards. This asbestos product exposure has afflicted naval veterans and shipyard workers with many crippling or fatal diseases, such as mesothelioma, other forms of lung cancer and asbestosis.
Asbestos is a very durable material that possesses many desirable characteristics for ships powered by steam. Asbestos is a very effective insulating material, and it can be machined, cut and mixed with cement and similar substances. Given these properties, asbestos was a common material in the building of naval vessels. Asbestos pipe insulation was used to insulate ship boilers, turbines and steam lines. Asbestos was used in valve gaskets and pumps. Asbestos tape was often used to wrap and fireproof electrical wiring.
In 1939, a Navy surgeon issued a report calling attention to the link between asbestos and lung cancer, but Navy officials persisted in using the asbestos without regard to the health risks associated with the material. As a result, thousands of workers, sailors, and longshoremen have contracted diseases caused almost exclusively by asbestos product exposure. In most cases, the diseases caused excruciating pain, ultimately resulting in the patient’s death.
Many remedies are available for persons who have contracted an asbestos-related disease and for the loved ones of persons who have died from one of these illnesses. The lawyers at Wallace & Graham have years of experience in representing persons who have been affected by asbestos exposure. These lawyers have assisted their clients in recovering Veterans’ Administration disability benefits and product liability damages for lost income, medical expenses and pain and suffering.
Anyone who may have suffered asbestos product exposure while working in maritime construction or while serving in the Navy or Coast Guard can obtain quality representation by contacting a lawyer at the firm for advice on the likelihood of recovering government disability insurance or civil damages where the underlying cause has been exposure to asbestos fibers.