Mesothelioma & U.S. Marine Corps Veterans

U.S. Marines who served throughout the 20th century may have been exposed to asbestos during their service.

Asbestos was found in military ships, vehicles, aircraft, bases, and more. As a result, veterans are at a higher risk of developing mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases.

U.S. Marines with mesothelioma may be eligible to receive financial compensation through trust funds, lawsuits, and VA benefits.

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Mesothelioma Risk for U.S. Marines

Although the United States Marine Corps (USMC) is the smallest branch of the military, it has over 2 Million brave veterans that played an important role in keeping our nation safe both on land and sea.

Because U.S. Marines could be deployed into many different types of missions, they often worked alongside other branches of the military during wartime.

U.S. MarinesBut for most of the 20th century, U.S. Marines were put at risk of asbestos exposure. Asbestos was used in many products because it resists fire and is a great insulator.

However, if inhaled or ingested, asbestos fibers can irritate the linings of organs and eventually result in deadly illnesses like mesothelioma.

Veterans make up 1 in 3 of all malignant mesothelioma cases.

USMC veterans may have been exposed to asbestos fibers from:

  • U.S. Navy ships
  • U.S. Army vehicles
  • U.S. Air Force planes
  • U.S. Marine bases and barracks

At the time, almost nobody knew the dangers of asbestos — except for many asbestos-related companies. They sold asbestos-containing products even though they knew the associated health risks.

Thankfully, there are avenues of justice for U.S. Marines affected by asbestos-related diseases. If diagnosed, they can file for disability through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

They can also work with an experienced mesothelioma law firm like Sokolove Law to pursue additional compensation.

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How Were U.S. Marines Exposed to Asbestos?

From the 1930s through the 1970s, asbestos was found in equipment, vehicles, and buildings used by U.S. Marines. Asbestos was used in many products because it resists fire and is a great insulator.

However, if these products were disturbed, dangerous asbestos fibers could enter the air. If a U.S. Marine inhaled these fibers, they could eventually develop diseases like lung cancer, mesothelioma, and asbestosis.

Since asbestos-related diseases take 20-50 years to develop, thousands of military veterans have fallen ill decades after their service.

In the early 1980s, the government announced that asbestos was dangerous to human health. As a result, the military began to remove asbestos from its bases. However, USMC members were still at risk throughout the ‘80s, as it took several years for most of the asbestos to be removed.

Even today, some ships and bases contain asbestos products that could pose a threat to human health.

U.S. Marines could have been exposed to asbestos from many military assets, including:

Aircrafts

USMC veterans could have been exposed to asbestos if they flew in or worked on military aircrafts.

Some of these vehicles used asbestos as an insulator and flame retardant, and U.S. Marines were often transported in the cargo holds of these huge aircrafts. If the asbestos was disturbed, large groups of U.S. Marines could have been exposed.

Military transport airplaneUSMC members who helped build or repair aircrafts were also at risk. Brake and clutch systems in aircrafts used asbestos to reduce high levels of heat and friction.

When veterans handled or replaced these products, they could have been exposed to asbestos fibers.

Bases and Buildings

Every U.S. military base used asbestos-containing products in some capacity throughout the 20th century.

USMC barracks were frequently lined with asbestos-containing materials to keep them fireproof. It could also be found in roofing, doors, pipe and heating systems, and shingles.

U.S. Marine Corps bases known to have had asbestos include: 

  • U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point in Havelock, NC
  • U.S. Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, NC
  • U.S. Marines Corps Base Camp Pendleton in Camp Pendleton, CA
  • U.S. Marine Corps Logistics Base Barstow in Barstow, CA
  • U.S. Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island in Parris Island, SC

This is just a partial list of U.S. Marine Corps bases that may have contained asbestos. If you don’t see where you were stationed, you may still be at risk of having been exposed to asbestos.

Ships

Ships built by the military once contained huge amounts of asbestos. The small, confined quarters on ships meant that asbestos fibers were almost inescapable if they were disturbed.

Asbestos could be found in some capacity almost anywhere on military ships. Dining halls, kitchens or galleys, and officer living quarters were all at risk since asbestos was used to make ceiling tiles and floor tiles in these areas. It was especially prevalent in engine rooms or boiler rooms because asbestos helped insulate these high-heat areas.

USMC members stationed on U.S. Navy vessels for extended periods of time had the highest risk of asbestos exposure, as the U.S. Navy used more asbestos-containing materials than any other military branch.

Shipyards

U.S. Marines who worked in shipyards faced the same dangers as those who served on ships — only in higher concentration. Because shipbuilding required raw asbestos-based materials, it was very easy for fibers to enter the air without notice.

Though it was not common for U.S. Marines to work in or around shipyards, some were assigned to work as guards or even on the ships themselves.

Vehicles

U.S. Marines often used vehicles that contained asbestos-based products, like gaskets and brake pads. Jeeps, trucks, and armored carriers could all contain products with asbestos. However, tanks posed the greatest threat of asbestos exposure to USMC members.

M60 Patton Tank
M60 Patton Tank

The M60 Patton tank was frequently used by U.S. Marines (as well as the U.S. Army) in the 1960s. It used asbestos insulation as a fireproofing agent, and if this insulation was damaged or wore out, it would release asbestos fibers.

U.S. Marines who served as vehicle mechanics also ran a high risk of asbestos exposure. When mechanics had to repair or remove vehicle parts made with asbestos, the fibers could be disturbed and inhaled.

Help for U.S. Marines Affected by Asbestos Exposure

If you or a loved one was diagnosed with mesothelioma after serving in the U.S. Marine Corps, there are resources available to provide you with support.

At Sokolove Law, our asbestos and mesothelioma lawyers can help you access much-needed financial compensation for medical treatments and other expenses through legal action and VA benefits.

Billions Recovered Nationwide

At Sokolove Law, we’ve recovered over $5 Billion for thousands of mesothelioma patients and their families nationwide. Let us get you the results you deserve.

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U.S. Marine Corps veterans may be eligible to file for mesothelioma compensation from the companies and manufacturers responsible for their asbestos exposure.

U.S. Marine Corps veterans may receive financial compensation from:

  • Asbestos trust funds: Bankrupt asbestos-related companies established special court-ordered trust funds to compensate current and future asbestos exposure victims and their family members.
  • Mesothelioma lawsuits: Veterans can sue asbestos-related companies that are still in business by filing a personal injury or wrongful death mesothelioma claim. The majority of lawsuits end in a mesothelioma settlement, and clients may start getting paid in as few as 90 days.

Many U.S. Marine Corps veterans with mesothelioma can receive money from asbestos trust funds and mesothelioma lawsuits without ever even having to step foot in court.

$30 Billion

Estimated Amount in Asbestos Trust Funds

It is important to note that taking legal action against these companies will not impact your ability to receive VA benefits. 

In the wake of a mesothelioma diagnosis, it is crucial for veterans to maximize their resources.

Call (800) 647-3434 or fill out our contact form to see if you may be entitled to compensation.

VA Benefits for U.S. Marine Veterans with Mesothelioma

U.S. Marine Corps veterans diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma may also be entitled to benefits provided by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

VA benefits for U.S. Marine Corps veterans with mesothelioma include:

  • Disability compensation
  • Special Monthly Compensation (SMC)
  • VA Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (VA DIC)
  • VA health care

Mesothelioma typically qualifies for 100% coverage on the VA’s disability scale. To qualify for mesothelioma VA benefits, veterans will need to file a claim for disability benefits and provide documentation proving that their cancer developed due to asbestos exposure during their military service.

$3,300+

VA Monthly Payment for Mesothelioma, Plus Free Health Care

Filing a successful VA benefits claim can be a complex process, especially if a veteran’s U.S. Marine asbestos exposure occurred long ago.

Our VA-accredited lawyers will work to ensure claims are filed quickly and properly, so veterans and their loved ones receive the financial support they deserve.

Filing a claim with Sokolove Law can help you cover the costs of your medical care and other expenses. Call (800) 647-3434 or contact us today to get a free case review.

Sokolove Law Supports U.S. Marine Corps Veterans with Mesothelioma

The manufacturers of asbestos-containing products hid the truth from the government and the public for profit. As a result, millions of U.S. Marine Corps veterans were exposed to deadly asbestos while serving their country.

Our mesothelioma law firm has helped recover over $5 Billion for our clients with mesothelioma — which includes thousands of veterans and their families. We’ve also helped thousands of veterans receive health care and financial support by filing VA claims.

We have decades of experience handling asbestos trust fund claims and lawsuits against the companies that manufactured or sold asbestos-containing products — not the U.S. Marine Corps or the government.

See if you can file a mesothelioma legal claim — call (800) 647-3434 or get a free case review today. Our team is standing by to answer your questions 24/7.

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Mesothelioma U.S. Marines FAQs

Why do veterans get mesothelioma?

Retired military personnel are 3 times more likely to develop mesothelioma than the general public. This is because the USMC, in addition to all other U.S. military branches, relied heavily on products that contained asbestos throughout the 20th century.

Military asbestos exposure is the main reason why veterans may develop mesothelioma. Certain military occupations, like mechanics and pipefitters, are at an increased risk of developing mesothelioma due to how closely they likely worked with asbestos on military bases.

Does the military still use asbestos?

The military stopped using asbestos in new products or construction in the 1970s. However, asbestos remained in existing buildings and equipment for many years.

Unfortunately, because mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases can take decades to develop, U.S. Marine Corps veterans that were exposed to asbestos at any point during their service are at risk of becoming ill.

If you were exposed to asbestos in the military, you may be eligible to file a claim and receive financial compensation. Contact our team today for a free case review.

Is mesothelioma a VA disability?

Yes, the VA considers mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases to be disabilities caused by military service if asbestos exposure occurred during your time in the U.S. Marine Corps.

Veterans with mesothelioma are eligible to receive over $3,300+ a month through a VA mesothelioma claim.

How do you prove asbestos exposure in the military?

To be eligible for a VA mesothelioma claim, you must prove that the majority of your exposure to asbestos occurred while you were in the military:

  • First, a doctor must diagnose you with mesothelioma, which can only be caused by the inhalation or ingestion of asbestos fibers.
  • Then, you will need to submit paperwork that documents your work history and asbestos exposure.

Our mesothelioma military lawyers can help you compose all of the information necessary for a successful VA claim.

In addition to this, Sokolove Law has a warehouse of evidence and a database of military asbestos exposure sites to help you determine where and when your asbestos exposure may have occurred.

What is the average mesothelioma settlement?

Mesothelioma case values can vary based on several factors, including what product you were exposed to and the severity of your illness.

However, on average, VA-accredited lawyers with Sokolove Law secure over $1 Million through mesothelioma settlements and, if the case goes to trial, upwards of $5 Million through a mesothelioma verdict.

Will I be suing the U.S. government or the military?

No. A U.S. Marine Corps mesothelioma lawsuit brings a case against the company that produced asbestos-containing products, not the U.S. military or the government.

Author:Sokolove Law Team
Sokolove Law Team

Contributing Authors

The Sokolove Law Content Team is made up of writers, editors, and journalists. We work with case managers and attorneys to keep site information up to date and accurate. Our site has a wealth of resources available for victims of wrongdoing and their families.

Last modified: December 2, 2022

View 4 Sources
  1. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). “Health Consultation: Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Yuma.” Retrieved from: https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/hac/pha/MarineCorpsAirStationYuma/MarineCorpsAirStationYumaHC081408.pdf. Accessed on November 29, 2022.
  2. Department of Navy. “FY2008 Budget: Military Construction and Family Housing Programs: Justification Data.” Retrieved from: https://www.secnav.navy.mil/fmc/fmb/Documents/09pres/MCON_Book.pdf. Accessed on November 29, 2022.
  3. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). “Public Health: Asbestos.” Retrieved from: https://www.publichealth.va.gov/exposures/asbestos/index.asp. Accessed on November 29, 2022.
  4. Navy & Marine Corps Public Health Center. “Asbestos Medical Surveillance Program.” Retrieved from: https://www.med.navy.mil/sites/nmcphc/occupational-and-environmental-medicine/oemd/Pages/asbestos-medical-surveillance-program.aspx. Accessed on November 29, 2022.