Asbestos Legal: Korean War Veterans
We connect you with experienced Korean War Veterans Mesothelioma Asbestos lawyers. If have been diagnosed with Mesothelioma or an Asbestos related illness we can help you file a claim.
Korean War Veterans diagnosed with Mesothelioma and other Asbestos related diseases have legal options and may seek compensation through Mesothelioma litigation.
Filing a claim against the companies that are responsible for your asbestos exposure will help you gain compensation for medical costs and pain and suffering associated with asbestos-related illnesses. A Mesothelioma lawyer can help you pursue compensation for the following things:
- Lost income
- Medical bills
- Group support for yourself and loved ones
- End-of-life expenses
We help patients and their families make educated, informed decisions about how to proceed with filing Mesothelioma, Asbestosis and other asbestos-related cancer claims.
We will walk you through the entire process of connecting with an experienced Korean War Veterans Mesothelioma Lawyer and also help you find a qualified Mesothelioma doctor.
Korean War – Asbestos Exposure – Asbestos and Veterans
Asbestos exposure is frightening
Over the past few months I’ve been devoting most of the space given to me to a look at Veterans Service Organizations, the Veterans Administration and a brief look at state services for veterans. In this month’s column I would like to digress somewhat and talk about death.
Yesterday afternoon I received a call from an attorney inIllinois. He was calling me in regards to my service onboard the USS Fiske (DDR-842) during the early 1960s. Specifically, he wanted to talk about that period of time that the Fiske spent in the Naval Shipyard atCharleston,South Carolina in the late winter and early spring of 1962.
Now, the Fiske was one of the hundreds of destroyers built just before and during World War II. [For those of you born after 1950 that was the period of time that theUSA, with the help of the British Empire (England,Australia,Canada,New Zealand andIndia)were fighting the forces of fascism (led byGermany andJapan with the occasional and reluctant help ofItaly and much ofFrance)]. That means that in 1962 the Fiske was over 16 years past that day in November 1945 when she became a commissioned part of our Navy. She saw no action during the period of hostilities but made significant contributions to the ‘clean-up’ after the treaties were signed. She cleared mines from theharbor ofVenice in 1946 and 1947. She also aided the Greek government in its overcoming the threat of a communist takeover orchestrated byYugoslavia and the Kremlin.
The Fiske received two Battle Stars for her service during theKorean Conflict and completed her first ‘Around the World’ cruise during that period. In other words she was well-seasoned and needed a bevy of long overdue repairs and updates when she entered the shipyard early in 1961. Most of her previous times spent in shipyards were for conversions and updates to weapons and electronics. This time she would receive much needed maintenance on her engineering spaces.
It is a long held tradition in the Navy that the most junior crewmen do the most menial and dirtiest jobs regardless of the individual’s training. So, when it came time to strip the insulation off all of the steam lines in the engineering spaces each department and division was required to send at least two people to participate in this effort. I was one of those ‘shanghaied’ into this task. We were formed into ‘Tiger Teams’ of five or six and given a section of piping to strip, bag and cart off to dumpsters placed on the fantail. These dumpsters held about two to three cubic yards and were replaced frequently. It was hot, dirty work and the air was filled with dust all the time. It is the composition and quantity of this dust that is important and very germane to the subject at hand—death.
It is a well known fact that man-children in their late teens and early 20s are immortal and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. We worked in our normal work dungarees—often shirtless and, most importantly, without dust masks. “Dust masks! We don’t needno stinking dust masks.” In fact I don’t recall they were ever even offered to us. The EPA—if it had existed in 1961—would have had a cow upon seeing this Dante’s Inferno of sweat and swirling dust being worked in without any breathing protection in sight. Those steam pipes had been wrapped in the best insulation known in the 1940s—asbestos—and sheathed with coarse canvas held in place with galvanized wire and huge staples.
The routine was this: Remove the wire and staples; unwrap the canvas (no easy task as much lead based paint had been applied over the course of 15 years); separate the molded sections of asbestos off the pipes; and place in bags for transport to the dumpsters. We followed this routine for about six or seven hours a day for a least a week. Most of us did wear cotton work gloves but none to the best of my memory ever wore a mask of any kind other than maybe a handkerchief over nose and mouth. That kerchief did cut down on the coughing from breathing that dust. We never gave a thought to the possible long term consequences of that job at the time. It took a phone call from a lawyer to get me to thinking about that period of time spent in the bowels of a ship that had been built to save the world for democracy.
The word he said that really got my attention was “Mesothelioma.” Now, everybody who has a TV set has probably heard that word spoken by some ambulance chasing lawyer trying to drum up business but when it was used in connection to the death of a shipmate of mine from that period in the early 1960s it got my attention. When I hung up the phone I ‘googled’mesothelioma and what I found was scary. Whereas lung cancer has long been associated with years ofsmokingmesothelioma is associated with exposure to asbestos dust. Even a relatively brief exposure to asbestos dust can—years later—lead to a particularly virulent, fast-moving cancer. The truly insidious thing aboutmesothelioma is that there are almost no early symptoms. There may be a small, dry hacking cough that produces little phlegm but that usually occurs later on in the course of the disease.
It can lay dormant for years and suddenly explode. There seems to be only one course of action to pursue if you feel that you may have been exposed to asbestos dust. That course is to have regular—annually if possible—chest x-rays and/or lung-function tests. Hopefully you can convince your doctor that these are necessary actions and—even more importantly—your health insurer covers the cost. With early detection there is hope. Unless detected early the survival rates are poorer than those of lung cancer associated with smoking—and we all know that is not very good.
More information on this subject can be found at the following links:www.asbestos.com/veterans/veterans-at-risk.php andwww.asbestos.com/veterans/other-branches.php
Now that it is almost 40 years past that these events occurred I am fully aware of the fact that I am most assuredly not immortal and am currently unable to leap tall buildings in a single bound. Not even with a running start. We need to do the prudent things but not obsess over the things over which we have no control. To quote the great contemporary philosopher James Dean (1931-1955): Dream as if you’ll live forever. Live as if you’ll die today.
This column is dedicated to the memory of Robert Chaffee, BT2, USS FISKE (DDR 842).Fair winds and following seas, shipmate.
Korean War Veterans – Asbestos Exposure –$35.1 Million Mesothelioma Verdict
Jury Awards $35.1 Million to RetiredU.S. Navy
Boiler Tender Exposed to Asbestos
Verdict Is One of LA County’s Largest Ever in an Asbestos Case;
LOS ANGELES — October 17, 2007 — A Los Angeles County jury late last week handed down a$35.1 million verdict to a 74-year-old retired U.S. Navy boiler tender, validating that his exposure to asbestos in pump, valve and pipe parts more than five decades ago is the direct cause of thedeadlymesothelioma he suffers with today.
The verdict is among one of the largest-ever awards inLos AngelesCounty for a plaintiff in a Navy asbestos exposure case. The verdict includes $100,000 for economic damages; $25 million to the victim for pain and suffering; and $10 million to the victim’s wife for loss of consortium. Leslie Controls and Warren Pumps were each assessed 7.1 percent liability. The judge disallowed consideration of punitive damages.
The plaintiff, John R. "Jack" Davis, was diagnosed with pleuralmesothelioma in January 2007. A native ofIdaho,Davis served as a fireman and boiler tender aboard the U.S.S.DeHaven for 4 years during theKorean War. Following his honorable discharge in 1955, he worked for American Pipe and Steel, and Sound Control Company, before being hired by Shell Oil in 1956. He worked at Shell refineries in Dominguez andWilmington,California., until 1963.
In 1964,Davis returned toIdaho, where he worked for Philip Petroleum and successive contractors at the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory (INEEL) while studying college-level electronics and computers. He retired from INEEL in 1995. Until hismesothelioma diagnosis earlier this year, he and his wife, Janette, enjoyed an active retirement that revolved around family, sports and outdoor activities with his two children, five grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
In his testimony, the soft-spoken and affable plaintiff described his work as a boiler tender in the aft engine room of the U.S.S.DeHaven. He explained that he had volunteered for the assignment — considered to be one of the least desirable aboard ship in cramped, hot and dirty quarters.
He also asserted that he would have protected himself had he known the danger of being exposed to the asbestos in the myriad small pump and valve components that he handled daily, both as a boiler tender in the Navy, and for a short period after as a pipefitter and instrument man in the private sector.
Davis clearly identified the products he handled as manufactured and branded by Leslie Controls and Warren Pumps.
The defense argued that responsibility forDavis’ illness lie with the U.S. Navy and subsequent employers, not the manufacturers. The defense also attempted to argue thatDavis’ radiation exposure while employed at INEEL was a cause or contributing factor to hismesothelioma diagnosis. The judge disallowed the argument due to a lack of medical and scientific evidence.
The defense, in its closing argument, challenged the jury to "knock a zero off" whatever award they might consider for the plaintiff. The jury was asked to consider what amount of money would really be necessary to allow theDavises to live comfortably given their age and life expectancy.
MikeArmitage, managing partner of WK’sLos Angeles office commented, "The defense’s closing argument was brazen. Here is a good man, a hard-working man, a loving husband, and a model father. He served his country loyally and honorably without question,then spent a lifetime bettering himself to support his family.His reward? It’s essentially a death sentence that was totally avoidable had the manufacturers only made the effort to warn workers to protect themselves."
"No, this case wasn’t about living comfortably," said Gary M. Paul, a WK partner and lead attorney on the case. "It was about justice."
An appeal filed by Leslie Controls and Warren Pumps is currently pending.
Full story -- http://www.forbes.com/feeds/ap/2007/10/18/ap4235335.html
Postal Worker – Asbestos Trades - $2 Million Asbestos Verdict
$2 million awarded in local asbestos case
Former city man blames cancer on products used in odd jobs
By CHRIS DETTRO
THE STATE JOURNAL-REGISTER
Posted Aug 17, 2009 @ 11:29 PM
Last update Aug 18, 2009 @ 12:40 AM
ASangamonCounty jury last week awarded a formerSpringfieldpostal worker and part-time handyman $2 million at the conclusion of an asbestos-exposure trial.
William Willis, who lived most of his life in the Williamsville area and onSpringfield’s north end, was a night-shiftU.S. Postal Service employee from 1966 until retiring in 1992. He testified during the 3 /2-week trial before Circuit Judge Pete Cavanagh that he did various odd jobs during the day, including truck and bus driving and home construction and repair in the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s.
Willis alleged in his suit that he had used asbestos-containing pipe manufactured by CertainTeed Corp. and asbestos-containing joint compound made by Bondex International Inc. and Georgia-Pacific Corp., among others. Asbestos was phased out of the products in 1977.
Willis, now 69 and living inArkansas, alleged that he had developed incurable pleural mesothelioma, a cancer of the lung lining, as a result of exposure to the asbestos. He said in his suit that the products contained no warnings concerning the asbestos content, and if there were warnings, they were inadequate.
The jury found Bondex International alone liable and awarded Willis $1.5 million in damages and his wife, Sharon Willis, $500,000 for loss of consortium. It found CertainTeed and Georgia-Pacific not to be negligent.
The defendants argued that Willis had used their products decades ago and was mistaken about which products he actually used. Their attorneys also argued that the amount of asbestos in the defendants’ products wasn’t enough to harm, and that there was no known cause for Willis’ mesothelioma.
Other defendants either settled with Willis or were dismissed from the case prior to the verdict.
Stephen Kaufmann of theSpringfield office of HeplerBroom LLC, along with other HeplerBroom colleagues, represented Georgia-Pacific, one of the three defendants who remained through trial.
“I think the jury heard a very complex case and returned a verdict that was supported by the evidence and brought justice to Mr. And Mrs. Willis,” said Jack Davis of Davis Law Offices LLC inSpringfield, a member of Willis’ legal team.
Davis also praised the way Cavanagh handled the trial.
“The courtroom can be a very tough atmosphere, and when you have a level-headed, even-tempered judge who is fair to both sides, it makes the lawyers’ jobs so much easier,” he said.
Willis’ pretrial motion asking to add a claim for punitive damages was denied.
The jury award is subject to a reduction of $1.4 million due to prior settlement amounts.
Chris Dettro can be reached at 788-1510.
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