Mesothelioma and U.S. Navy Veterans

Members of the United States Navy served on ships they thought were safe. Unfortunately, these ships were made using tons of asbestos-containing construction materials. Asbestos may cause veterans to develop mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer, 20-50 years after they were first exposed. Sokolove Law can help you pursue compensation for your medical expenses and more.

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U.S. Navy Heroes Have the Greatest Risk of Mesothelioma

The sacrifices made by those who served in the U.S. Navy go beyond counting. But the unfortunate reality remains: These sacrifices were even bigger than many thought. Today, thousands of veterans continue to fight for their lives from a threat they could not prepare for: mesothelioma.

Although every branch of the U.S. Armed Forces used asbestos, the U.S. Navy is believed to be the military branch with the highest rate of asbestos use and, as a result, the highest risk of developing an asbestos-related disease like mesothelioma.

In fact, roughly 33% of mesothelioma cancer cases have been linked back to asbestos exposure in U.S. Navy shipyards or ships.

A large number of U.S. Navy service members worked in and around asbestos without even knowing. Many manufacturers used asbestos in construction materials and products that were then used to build the U.S. Navy vessels and military bases our veterans worked on — even though these companies knew the health risks.

Because of this, U.S. Navy veterans who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma may be entitled to financial compensation from legal claims and veterans benefits. Get a free consultation today to learn your legal options.

“The thing that convinced me about carrying on with a lawsuit was when I was informed I wasn’t suing the government, I wasn’t suing the U.S. Navy. I was suing the manufacturer. I got mad then. Because they knew, many years prior, what [asbestos] would do to a human being.”

– Walter Twidwell
Sokolove Law Client & Mesothelioma Victim

Mesothelioma Compensation for U.S. Navy Veterans

By contacting a VA-accredited asbestos attorney, you can get experienced legal help filing a claim for compensation as well as VA benefits.

Any legal claim you file with Sokolove Law will not be against the U.S. Navy or government. Instead, your claims are filed against the company that manufactured the asbestos-containing products and sold them to the U.S. Navy.

Get a free evaluation of your case today to see if we may be able to help you.

Asbestos Trust Funds

Many companies that manufactured asbestos-containing products attempted to avoid making payments to victims of asbestos exposure by declaring bankruptcy instead. As a result, the courts ordered these companies to set aside money in bankruptcy trust funds for current and future victims of mesothelioma.

Your asbestos lawyers can help U.S. Navy veterans with mesothelioma pursue compensation by filing an asbestos claim with any asbestos trust fund you qualify for. You may be eligible to file claims with multiple trusts depending on the extent of your exposure history. This compensation will not affect your eligibility for VA benefits.

Legal Claims

By filing a legal claim, U.S. Navy veterans with mesothelioma can seek financial compensation from the companies that are responsible for their exposure and the asbestos-related disease that it caused.

Mesothelioma lawsuits for U.S. Navy veterans can result in compensation in two ways:

  • Through an asbestos settlement: Rather than having to go to trial, most companies will work with your attorney to come up with a fair amount of compensation or asbestos settlement offer.
  • In a trial verdict by a jury: Some cases do go to trial — usually because the company refuses to pay for your illness or their settlement offer is too small. Though trials don’t guarantee compensation, we’re prepared to fight on your behalf in court if needed.

U.S. Navy Asbestos Settlements and Verdicts

Over the last 40+ years, Sokolove Law has secured over $4.8 Billion total on behalf of mesothelioma patients nationwide. Get a free consultation for your legal case to see if we can help you too.

A few of the results we’ve secured for U.S. Navy veterans with mesothelioma include:

  • $40 Million awarded to a U.S. Navy veteran
  • $10.2 Million awarded to a U.S. Navy veteran and former boiler tender
  • $9.9 Million awarded to a former U.S. Navy boiler tender
  • $9.3 Million settlement for a U.S. Navy veteran in Massachusetts
  • $5.5 Million awarded to a U.S. Navy veteran and mechanic
  • $3.5 Million awarded to a U.S. Navy pipefitter and union insulator
  • $2 Million secured for a U.S Navy officer from Maine
  • $423,000 secured for a U.S. Navy veteran who worked as a heavy equipment operator
  • $419,000 secured for a veteran of the U.S. Navy and boilermaker
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Many people diagnosed with mesothelioma are entitled to compensation.

For over 40 years we have helped families file for mesothelioma compensation with an average settlement of $1 Million. Let us find out how much you’re entitled to by selecting yes on the previous screen or contacting us at (800) 647-3434.

How to File an Asbestos Claim

The easiest way to file an asbestos claim is to get experienced legal guidance from an established mesothelioma law firm like Sokolove Law. When you work with Sokolove Law, we’ll handle every step of the claims process on your behalf, from gathering the evidence in your case to filing your legal claim.

Though every case can be different, below you can find a general outline of the legal process for filing an asbestos exposure claim.

1. Contact Experienced Asbestos Attorneys

Get a free case evaluation today to determine what legal options may be available for you.

2. We’ll Build Your Asbestos Case

The benefit of working with a law firm like Sokolove Law is that we have the resources and reach to build your case. To do this, we utilize a large warehouse of evidence as well as databases of asbestos exposure information, which include lists of known exposure sites and asbestos-containing products.

3. We’ll File Your Asbestos Exposure Claim

After we gather the evidence necessary to prove your case, we’ll get to work filing your claim against the company or companies responsible for your asbestos exposure.

4. We’ll Negotiate a U.S. Navy Asbestos Settlement

Reaching an asbestos settlement occurs when the defendant and plaintiff both agree on a fair amount of compensation for the extent of injuries in your case. Most of our cases result in asbestos settlements, and it allows our clients to start receiving compensation faster.

In fact, many of our U.S. Navy veteran clients begin to receive mesothelioma settlement payments in as few as 90 days.

5. We’ll Fight on Your Behalf for a Verdict in Court

If we’re unable to reach an asbestos settlement in your case, your mesothelioma attorneys are prepared to fight on your behalf in court, where a judge and jury decide the amount of compensation for your case.

Get the Help You Deserve

You may be eligible for compensation. We may be able to help.

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VA Benefits for U.S. Navy Veterans with Mesothelioma

If you’re a U.S. military veteran with mesothelioma, you may be eligible for a variety of different VA benefits programs in addition to potentially filing a legal claim for mesothelioma compensation.

U.S. Navy veterans with mesothelioma can file a VA claim to pursue the following VA benefits:

  • Aid & Attendance
  • Dependency Indemnity Compensation (DIC)
  • Funeral and Burial Reimbursement
  • Housebound Benefits
  • Military Headstone
  • Spouse and Dependent Children Benefits
  • Survivor Pension
  • VA Burial
  • VA Disability
  • VA Funeral Honors
  • VA Health Care
  • VA Pension

Mesothelioma attorneys with Sokolove Law have been accredited by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and are able to help you file VA claims for benefits.

Who Is Eligible for VA Benefits?

To qualify for VA benefits, you need to prove you were:

  • Honorably discharged
  • Diagnosed with mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease
  • Exposed to asbestos during active duty military service

Experienced VA-accredited mesothelioma attorneys can help you gather all of the evidence necessary to file your VA benefits claim as well as any additional legal claims you wish to pursue.

The Dangers of Asbestos Exposure in the U.S. Navy

The same properties that made asbestos good for shipbuilding also made it extremely dangerous to humans. When damaged or disturbed, asbestos breaks into tiny fibers that can be inhaled or ingested.

Your body, however, cannot process asbestos fibers, so they get stuck and irritate your internal tissues for decades, eventually causing cancer to develop.

Because the material was so cheap and effective at fireproofing, asbestos was used in hundreds of different capacities in U.S. Navy ships, including in the following ship parts:

  • Adhesives
  • Bedding compounds
  • Boilers
  • Cables
  • Caulk
  • Floor tiles
  • Gaskets
  • Grinders
  • Insulation
  • Packing
  • Paneling
  • Piping
  • Thermal materials
  • Tubing
  • Valves

Whenever these ship parts were installed, repaired, or removed, asbestos dust was released into the air of tightly enclosed ship areas.

As these components aged, their exteriors wore down, making it harder to avoid disturbing the asbestos and easier to release the dangerous fibers into the air.

Types of U.S. Navy Ships with Asbestos

Asbestos covered the interiors of most U.S. Navy ships, including:

  • Aircraft carriers
  • Amphibious warships
  • Auxiliary vehicles
  • Battleships
  • Cargo ships
  • Cruisers
  • Cutters
  • Destroyers
  • Escorts
  • Frigates
  • Merchant marine ships
  • Minesweepers
  • Patrol boats
  • Submarines
  • Tankers and oilers
  • Tenders and tugs

For specific ships known to have asbestos onboard, you can view our more extensive U.S. Navy ships list.

U.S. Navy Ratings at Risk of Asbestos Exposure

The problem of asbestos exposure in the U.S. Navy was not limited to just one rating (or occupation), location, or type of vessel. Given the poor ventilation on U.S. Navy ships, a majority of those on board were likely exposed to asbestos.

Service members who worked onboard ships or in a shipyard were at the greatest risk of exposure. Some jobs aboard these naval vessels put sailors at an even higher risk.

Naval occupations with a high risk of asbestos exposure include:

  • Boilermakers, boiler operators, boiler tenders, and boiler technicians
  • Deckhands and sailors
  • Electricians
  • Enginemen and engine room mechanics
  • Gas turbine system technicians
  • Hull technicians
  • Machinist’s mates
  • Pipefitters
  • Shipfitters and steamfitters
  • Shipbuilders and shipyard workers like laggers
  • Submarine engineers
  • Water tenders
  • Welders

There are many more ratings in the U.S. Navy that may have been exposed to asbestos. If you served in the U.S. Navy and were later diagnosed with mesothelioma, you may be entitled to compensation that can cover the costs of your medical treatments and more.

Mesothelioma Attorneys for U.S. Navy Veterans

Over the last 40+ years, Sokolove Law has recovered over $4.8 Billion on behalf of our clients with mesothelioma nationwide, including many notable results for U.S. Navy veterans.

If you served in the U.S. Navy and were later diagnosed with mesothelioma, we may be able to help you:

  • Determine how and when your asbestos exposure occurred
  • File claims for VA benefits
  • Pursue mesothelioma compensation through legal claims

Get a free case review today to see if mesothelioma lawyers with Sokolove Law can help you pursue the financial compensation you may be entitled to.

Mesothelioma and U.S. Navy Veterans FAQs

When did the U.S. Navy stop using asbestos?

The U.S. Navy was misled by asbestos companies and continued to use asbestos well into the late 1970s. In the 1980s, the government took significant measures to limit the health hazards associated with asbestos.

Though the military greatly reduced their asbestos use after this, it was too late for the thousands of U.S. Navy personnel that had already been exposed.

During the late ‘80s and ‘90s, the U.S. Navy took drastic steps to remove as much asbestos from U.S. Navy ships as possible, but they were unable to remove all of the asbestos aboard, leaving some ships in active use with asbestos still.

What should I do if I believe I was exposed to asbestos while serving in the U.S. Navy?

The best thing you can do if you believe you were exposed to asbestos during your service is to consult a medical professional with experience diagnosing asbestos-related diseases like mesothelioma, asbestosis, or lung cancer. Be sure to tell your mesothelioma doctor about your asbestos exposure and service history.

If you’re a U.S. Navy veteran who’s been diagnosed with mesothelioma, asbestos attorneys may be able to help you file claims for VA benefits and for financial compensation.

What benefits or compensation are available for U.S. Navy Veterans with mesothelioma?

Veterans of the U.S. Navy who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma have a number of different routes they can take to pursue compensation, including:

  • Submitting a claim with an asbestos trust fund
  • Filing a mesothelioma lawsuit
  • Applying for VA benefits

By working with a nationwide law firm like Sokolove Law, you can get experienced legal assistance with every step of the process — all from the comfort of your own home. Get a case review today to see if we may be able to help you.

Are spouses or family members of U.S. Navy veterans with mesothelioma able to receive compensation?

Yes — if your spouse or loved one is a U.S. Navy veteran and has been diagnosed with an asbestos-related illness (like mesothelioma, asbestosis, or lung cancer), you may qualify for VA benefits, including:

  • Aid and attendance
  • Dependency Indemnity Compensation (DIC)
  • Disability compensation
  • Pensions
  • Survivor benefits
  • VA health care

In addition to pursuing VA benefits, you may also be able to take legal action against the company that manufactured asbestos-containing products on your loved one’s behalf. Fill out the form on this page to learn more about the legal options available to you.

Will I have to sue the U.S. Navy or government to get mesothelioma compensation?

No — in mesothelioma cases, you will not sue any branch of the U.S. military or the government. When you pursue compensation over asbestos exposure, you’re taking legal action against the company or companies that manufactured the asbestos-containing products you were exposed to during your service.

How much are U.S. Navy asbestos settlements worth?

The amount of compensation a veteran of the U.S. Navy can get from an asbestos lawsuit settlement varies based on a number of different factors in each case, including:

  • How severe your asbestos-related disease is
  • The number of products containing asbestos you were exposed to
  • How many companies made these products
  • The duration of your exposure to these products

Get a free legal review today to see if we may be able to help you pursue compensation.

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: June 21, 2021

View 4 Sources
  1. Department of the Navy, Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, “Asbestos Medical Surveillance Program.” Retrieved from https://www.operationalmedicine.org/ed2/GMOManual/Administration/AsbestosPrgm.html. Accessed on January 28, 2020.
  2. Department of Veterans Affairs, “Veterans Asbestos Exposure.” Retrieved from https://www.va.gov/disability/eligibility/hazardous-materials-exposure/asbestos/. Accessed on January 28, 2020.
  3. Government Accountability Office, “Navy's Efforts to Protect Workers From Asbestos Exposure.” Retrieved from https://www.gao.gov/assets/130/127957.pdf. Accessed on January 28, 2020.
  4. Military Medicine, “Navy Asbestos Medical Surveillance Program (1991–1999): Linear Regression Analysis for the Effect of Asbestos Exposure on Pulmonary Function Testing.” Retrieved from https://academic.oup.com/milmed/article-pdf/169/8/620/21977884/milmed.169.8.620.pdf. Accessed on January 28, 2020.