The earliest minesweepers were rowboats fitted with grappling hooks. Sailors threw the hooks onto undersea mines and pulled them out of the water. That sounds like a pretty dangerous job to us. As the years rolled on, minesweepers became increasingly more sophisticated. To protect battleships and other large vessels from undersea mines, minesweepers used a combination of mechanical sweeps and soundproofing materials.
Fireproofing US Naval Minesweepers with Asbestos
Mostly because of these mechanical requirements, shipbuilders used as much asbestos as possible when they built minesweepers. Asbestos is fireproof, a key necessity on board a ship that deals with some of the strongest explosive devices known to man. Additionally, this material is soundproof. Builders used asbestos minerals to fortify acoustical panels, the same kinds of panels which are common in churches, because they dampen organ sounds.
US Naval Veterans Who Served on Minesweepers Were Exposed to Asbestos
Millions of people breathe toxic tobacco smoke every day, yet most of them never develop lung cancer. Tar must build up in the lungs slowly over time. But a single asbestos fiber could cause asbestosis and other serious chronic illnesses.
Compensation for US Naval Veterans with Asbestos-Related Illnesses from Service on a Minesweeper
VIctims need and deserve compensation for asbestos exposure illnesses, and there are three basic ways for former merchant marine sailors to obtain it.
- VA Disability: The aforementioned 1987 declaration means that merchant mariners are eligible for VA disability benefits. Cash and medical benefits are available if a veteran has a service-related disability. Asbestos poisoning is presumptively disabling under applicable federal laws.
- Defective Products: Almost a century before merchant mariners received service member veteran status, companies that used asbestos knew this mineral was highly toxic. But they kept using it anyway, mostly because it was cheap. Most companies are strictly liable for the injuries their defective products, including toxic products, cause.
- VCF: Also in the 1980s, asbestos companies set up several large victim compensation funds. An injury claim with a Fund Administrator is a little like a VA disability claim. The victim must only prove exposure and cause. All these years later, these trust funds still contain billions of dollars.
Asbestosis and other illnesses have very long latency periods. Most sick victims don’t know they’re sick for about fifty years. Legally, most victims have a limited time to act. But the statute of limitations extends in asbestos exposure cases, so even many years later, victims still have legal options.
AsbestosClaims.law is your comprehensive resource for all things asbestos, including info on health and compensation for Air Force Veterans and other former Service Members. We hope this is helpful and are grateful to all who have given of themselves to defend us all.
If you have any additional questions or concerns related to asbestos, check out our website and YouTube page for videos, infographics and answers to your questions about asbestos, including health and safety, asbestos testing, removing asbestos from your home and building, and legal information about compensation for asbestos injuries.
And if you believe that you were exposed to asbestos, or have been diagnosed with an asbestos illness, you could be entitled to significant compensation—money you could use to cover the costs of asbestos removal services, pay for medical treatment, and preemptively protect your physical well-being.
All without filing a lawsuit.
If you’d like help with filing a claim, please get in touch by email at [email protected], or call or text us at (833) 4-ASBESTOS (427-2378) or (206) 455-9190. We’ll listen to your story and explain your options. And we never charge for anything unless you receive money in your pocket.