Caddell Dry Dock is based in New York and is one of the oldest shipyards in the country. As with most shipyards that were built more than a century ago, Caddell Dry Dock was heavily reliant on toxic asbestos for its resistance to fire and heat, as well as its affordability. That is why thousands of shipyard workers at Caddell Dry Dock were put at risk for asbestos-related diseases when they went to work there every day. (mesothelioma.net)
Asbestos Use At Caddell Dry Dock
Throughout its decades of operation, Caddell Dry Dock was known as one of the best ship repair yards in the area. The shipyard was proud of the work it did. However, for many decades, the shipyard relied heavily on asbestos throughout its operations that put its workers and contractors at risk of developing mesothelioma, which is almost always fatal.
In 1936, the shipyard grew after a nearby shipyard was bought, but its greatest increase in business came in the 1940s. It has six drydocks working and shipyard workers fixed more than 300 ships, with the major focus on commercial ships. But during WWII, the dry dock repaired military vessels.
Many products, machinery, and equipment used at the dry dock were full of asbestos. This was common practice at most shipyards at this time. Even though there were warnings from scientists and the government about the dangers of asbestos exposure, profits were put ahead of lives. Most product manufacturers never even admitted the dangers. Most shipyard employers ignored the warnings or pretended to know nothing about them. Their lack of interest in protecting workers has cost lives for decades.
Every Ship Repair Sent Asbestos Into the Air
Every time a damaged ship was fixed, hazardous asbestos fibers were released into the air around the ship and yard. This meant that every day, whether workers were directly working on the vessel or not, they were breathing in toxic fibers. Most asbestos fibers are so small that people have no idea when they are inhaling or ingesting them. Once they are lodged in the lungs or abdomen, they become stuck there for years.
Many dangerous, often fatal diseases are caused by exposure to asbestos, such as malignant mesothelioma, asbestosis, and lung cancer. Once the fibers have gotten stuck in tissue, it is impossible for the body to eliminate all of them. Mesothelioma is especially hazardous because it can take 40 years for the disease to develop, and many are unaware they have it until they are near death.
By the time the ex-worker has any symptoms, people may think it the flu or a cold and do not get medical attention. Some doctors have never seen mesothelioma before and may even misdiagnose the patient, losing valuable time that could have been used for treatment.
Many shipyard workers often worked in small areas with very little ventilation, as well, This made it more likely that workers would breathe in dangerous, toxic fibers. Insulation installers and boiler room workers were especially likely to inhale or ingest large quantities of asbestos.
Strict Regulations Put In Place By EPA in the 1970s
The Environmental Protection Agency enacted tough regulations on asbestos use by businesses in the 1970s. By then, though, thousands of workers had already worked for decades around asbestos and the damage had been done to their bodies. Today, many of those workers either live with the risk of a serious asbestos-related disease or already have one.
These former workers at Caddell Dry Dock, who have an asbestos-related illness, should know that they have the right to file for compensation for their injuries. In most asbestos-related lawsuits, the plaintiffs file lawsuits against the companies that provided asbestos-containing materials to the government-run shipyards.
For instance, former asbestos product manufacturer Johns Manville has been named in hundreds of asbestos lawsuits that it eventually established an asbestos trust fund. It compensates future and pending claimants for their asbestos-related damages and injuries.
The Caddell Dry Dock may have unnecessarily exposed workers and their families to asbestos. If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma and worked at the Caddell Dry Dock, it would be smart to speak to a mesothelioma attorney. Your attorney can review your employment history and medical files and determine if you have a strong case. In most cases, the companies that provided the asbestos-containing materials to the shipyard can be found. If so, you may be able to obtain compensation for your mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease.