Articles Posted in Veterans & Mesothelioma

Asbestos was used across all the branches of the U.S. military in building materials, machine parts, insulation, and more. This mineral was popular in the military because of its desirable qualities. Asbestos has heat, chemical, and fire-resistant qualities. This mineral has good insulating properties and is durable. However, when asbestos fibers are inhaled, these particles can cause internal damage. Asbestos exposure can result in the development of several asbestos-related illnesses, such as mesothelioma, lung cancer, and asbestosis. Research suggests that mesothelioma is the most common result of asbestos exposure in the military. Mesothelioma is an aggressive form of cancer that mainly affects the tissue layer lining the lungs. Mesothelioma has a long latency period. It can take 20 to 60 years or more for mesothelioma to develop. This means that up to 60 years or more after asbestos exposure, veterans can still develop mesothelioma.

People with veterans in their life with mesothelioma often wonder how they can support them. There are several ways to support a veteran who has been diagnosed with mesothelioma. The following are some of the ways to support a veteran with mesothelioma;

  1. Researching Treatment Options

Among the people at high risk of developing asbestos-related illnesses are veterans. This is because of the widespread use of asbestos in the military. Fortunately, veterans who later develop mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases may be eligible to recover VA benefits by filing a VA claim. In this article, we discuss the meaning of a VA claim, the eligibility criteria for VA benefits, and how to file a VA claim.

What Is a VA Claim?

A VA claim is a type of claim that veterans who develop an illness or disability as a result of their service in the military file. A VA claim enables sick or disabled veterans to recover monetary compensation. Veterans who develop health issues due to asbestos exposure during their military service can file a VA asbestos claim. VA claims are filed with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). After a veteran files their claim, the claim is subjected to a rating system that assesses disease type, exposure history, and disease severity. This rating scale is used to determine compensation amounts.

For purposes of this article, the defendant, in this case, will be referred to as A.O.H.

Veterans are at a high risk of developing asbestos-related illnesses like mesothelioma. This is especially true for people who served in the military between 1935 and 1975. According to research, it was at this period that asbestos use in the military was at its highest. The military favored using asbestos-contaminated products because this material is fire-resistant and highly durable. In particular, navy vessels, such as submarines, had many asbestos products. As a result, thousands of veterans who worked on navy vessels have developed asbestos-related diseases like mesothelioma. Mr. A.O.H is just one example of the many U.S. veterans who have developed mesothelioma after exposure to asbestos while serving in the U.S. Navy aboard nuclear submarines.

Mr. A.O.H. was diagnosed with mesothelioma three years ago. After his diagnosis, he and his spouse filed a lawsuit against Armstrong Pumps. Mr. H blames Armstrong Pumps for his asbestos exposure while he was part of the U.S. Navy aboard nuclear submarines. Specifically, A.O.H. blames his mesothelioma on the Armstrong pumps he worked with. The pumps were located close to where Mr. H used to work, and his work included supervising the maintenance of the pumps.

According to research, veterans account for over 30% of all mesothelioma cases in America. Fortunately, veterans with mesothelioma can recover compensation through the Veterans Affairs (VA) Office. Veterans with mesothelioma can receive state-of-the-art treatment through the VA. Additionally, the VA allows surviving loved ones to apply for compensation. If you are a veteran with mesothelioma or a surviving loved one of a veteran who died after developing mesothelioma, read on to learn about, among other things, the types of VA benefits available to veterans with mesothelioma and surviving loved ones.

How Did Veterans Get Exposed to Asbestos?

All military branches used asbestos-contaminated products, including the navy, army, air force, marine corps, and coast guard. Military personnel who served in these branches were at risk of asbestos exposure. Asbestos in the military was used in vehicles, ships, and aircraft. This mesothelioma-causing substance was used anywhere at risk of fire. Unfortunately, because of the large volume of asbestos produced for the military, a generation of veterans got exposed to asbestos, thus resulting in a significant number of veterans developing mesothelioma.

The U.S. Supreme Court recently handed down a significant ruling in a mesothelioma lawsuit in which it held that companies may be held liable when third party components necessary for a product’s operation cause injury.  The case was originally brought by two Navy veterans and their wives against Air & Liquid Systems Corp. and four other manufacturers of equipment used on Navy ships that required asbestos parts to function as intended.

According to the mesothelioma cancer lawsuit, the plaintiffs developed their illnesses due to years of asbestos exposure aboard Navy ships. The victims blamed the exposure on components manufactured by third parties designed to fit equipment made by the defendants. The plaintiffs argued that since the defendants knew their equipment required products manufactured with asbestos by third parties, they should have provided warnings and are therefore liable for the exposure.

In their defense, Air & Liquid Systems Corp. and the other defendants relied on what is known as a “bare metal” defense, arguing that they delivered their products to the Navy without any asbestos and did not manufacture the carcinogenic parts. However, the Supreme Court did not accept the defendants’ arguments, instead relying on established maritime law that extends special protections to Navy veterans.

The U.S. Supreme Court will soon take up arguments in an asbestos cancer lawsuit that could set an important precedent not only for other mesothelioma lawsuit plaintiffs but other innocent people harmed by the negligence of companies that failed to prevent foreseeable injuries. The case was brought by two surviving relatives of a man who developed mesothelioma while working aboard Navy ships, coming in contact with industrial gaskets made with deadly asbestos fibers as part of his job duties.

According to the mesothelioma cancer lawsuit, entitled Air and Liquid Systems Corp. v. Devries, the defendants in the case manufactured equipment for Navy ships that did not contain asbestos themselves, but required replaceable parts manufactured by third parties that used asbestos in the construction. The plaintiffs have asked the court to hold Air and Liquid Systems liable for the victim’s passing because they claim the company knew that its products would need integrated parts manufactured with asbestos gaskets and seals by third parties.

Specifically, the plaintiffs asked the justices hearing the case to apply the “foreseeability” standard of negligence commonly used in maritime injury cases which holds that Air and Liquid Systems could reasonably foresee that aftermarket parts containing deadly chemicals could cause harm. On the other hand, the defense has asked the judges to apply a more simplified standard in tort law, holding that the duty of the party to warn rests with that party that is in the best position to control or avoid the harm, in this case, the gasket maker.

Our nation’s military personnel – those of the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, and Coast Guard – sacrifice much for the country. They endure rigorous training, months away from family, deployment to active combat zones, exposure to the elements, physical pain, exhaustion and more to safeguard our freedoms and keep us safe.

Even after their immediate service ends, some veterans continue to pay the price for the decision to join the military: they were exposed to asbestos while enlisted, and are now dealing with long-term health impact. Asbestos-related illnesses have been seen in vets who served many decades ago (during the Korean War or the Vietnam Conflict), and for those who fought in the more recent campaigns of Operation Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom.

How were servicemembers exposed?

Military Asbestos Attorney - Asbestos Exposure at public facilities and military bases.jpgA group of military families recently filed a class action lawsuit against several residential entities associated with on-base housing for dependants at Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) in Beaufort, South Carolina. Attorneys for the eleven named families in the lawsuit claim that the plaintiffs and potentially tens of thousands of others suffered exposure to several toxic and potentially carcinogenic substances, including asbestos, while living in military housing.

The lawsuit, filed in the Court of Common Pleas Fourteenth Judicial Circuit for Beaufort County, claims that the defendants knew for decades about the seriously hazardous conditions many families lived in while acting as property and real estate managers for the military. The claim even goes so far as to state that the defendants “knowingly and intentionally” placed victims in harm’s way by refusing to alert residents to the dangers they faced.

The named plaintiffs allege that the presence of toxic substances, including cancer-causing pesticides, lead paint, and asbestos, was the direct and proximate cause of their cancer diagnosis and other serious health conditions. Specifically, the complaint alleges exposure to toxic pesticides from storage tanks built from the 1950s to the 1970s that were left near tennant housing. Those allegations first came to light many months ago when one of the lead plaintiffs posted a video on Youtube.

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