American Shipbuilding Asbestos Exposure and Mesothelioma Lung Cancer lawsuits
The American Shipbuilding Company in Lorain, Ohio exposed thousands of former shipyard workers to asbestos. In recent years, many American Shipbuilding employees have developed serious and potentially fatal diseases like mesothelioma and lung cancer due to past exposure.
For the last 75 years, shipyard workers in Ohio and across the nation have had an elevated risk of asbestos exposure. A 2008 study, published by the Ulster Medical Society, concluded shipyard workers have an asbestosis mortality rate 16-times greater than other studied occupations. Authorities estimate that thousands of American shipyard workers have died as a result of severe asbestos exposure.
Joe Lyon is a highly-rated Cincinnati asbestos lawyer and Ohio catastrophic injury attorney representing plaintiffs nationwide in a wide variety of toxic tort and mesothelioma claims.
American Shipyards Filled with Asbestos
Because asbestos is effective at resisting corrosion, fire and high temperatures, it was considered an ideal material for the shipbuilding industry. At one point, the U.S. Navy authorized the use of over 300 asbestos-containing products for ship building.
Asbestos was used almost everywhere, including in boiler rooms, engine rooms and sleeping quarters. It was used as insulation, pipe covering, and used in the paint that covered ships.
As a result, asbestos dust accumulated in the holds of ships, leading to widespread human exposure. This became a concern for workers, whether they built and maintained ships designed for military or civilian use.
Asbestos was used at the American Shipbuilding yards in the following components of the ships and machinery:
• Electrical and plumbing insulation
• Steam pipe
• Welding blankets
• Ship insulation
High Risk of Occupational Exposure
Researchers suggest the most detrimental occupational exposure occurred in engine rooms, dining halls and on painted decks. But even workers loading and unloading materials at ports and docks could have been exposed to crates and packing materials containing asbestos fibers. The following jobs also put shipyard workers in direct contact with asbestos:
Below is a list of tasks that are known to expose workers to high levels of asbestos:
• Welding Injuries
• Regular maintenance, repairs, and overhauls
• Loading and off-loading cargo
• Unpacking pallets and crates
• Boiler and pipefitting work
• On-board machining
Asbestos-Related Illness Symptoms
When inhaled and ingested, asbestos fibers can cause a number of serious medical conditions. Some of these diseases directly caused by asbestos exposure can include:
• Mesothelioma (a cancer affecting the tissue surrounding the lungs)
• Lung cancer
• Cancers in other organs
The signs and symptoms of these conditions may include the following:
• Pain in the side of the chest or lower back
• Shortness of breath
• Excessive sweating
• Weight loss
• Trouble swallowing
There are up to 3,000 malignant mesothelioma cases diagnosed each year in the United States. Because of the delayed symptoms caused by asbestos products, many former shipyard workers in Ohio are still being diagnosed with asbestosis and mesothelioma caused by exposure many years ago.
American Shipbuilding Workers Lawsuits
Many former Ohio workers are treated for mesothelioma, asbestosis, lung cancer, and other respiratory diseases as a result of poor working conditions in the past.
Former American Shipbuilding workers are still at a great risk for developing serious health complications from asbestos exposure. Recently, there have been very large settlements involving victims of asbestos exposure whilst working at American shipyards. Below are a few examples:
• In 2011, a former shipfitter was awarded $25 million in a lawsuit against Exxon Corporation after he developed mesothelioma while working at Newport News Shipbuilding. The suit claimed the worker was exposed to high levels of asbestos, and claimed that Exxon knew of the health risks, but failed to adequately warn shipyard workers.
• In 2014, a California jury ordered John Crane Inc. to pay $70 million after a U.S. Navy machinist developed pleural mesothelioma after handling asbestos-containing products.
If you or a loved one suffered an asbestos-related illness after working at an American Shipbuilding work site, and have questions about the legal remedies available to improve quality of life and medical care in Ohio, contact The Lyon Firm at (800) 513-2403. You will speak directly with Mr. Lyon, and he will help you answer these critical questions.