Were you exposed to asbestos in your work with GMD Shipyard or its products? If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease, you could be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Keep reading to learn more about filing an asbestos claim against GMD Shipyard.
The GMD Shipyard is located in the Brooklyn Navy Yard in New York City. It is the biggest dry dock facility in the city and it employs hundreds of workers today.
GMD Shipyard was instrumental in World War II for the US Navy. Hundreds of ships were built and repaired at GMD Shipyard. In 1966, the Navy decommissioned the shipyard as well as the Brooklyn Navy Yard and sold them to the city. New York City turned the Brooklyn Navy Yard into commercial and industrial properties but kept the GMD Shipyard operating.
The current shipyard has two 1090 by 150 feet graving docks and 1,100 feet of wet berth. The shipyard also has almost every type of crane from 15-ton mobiles to 200-ton gantries (overhead traveling cranes). (GMDShipyard.com)
Today, the GMD Shipyard offers routine maintenance and emergency dry-dock service for New Jersey and New York ports. All services that are provided today at the GMD Shipyard are done according to the American Bureau of Shipping and US Coast Guard standards. The shipyard services ships for many clients, such as cruise lines, oil companies, the NY Dept. of Transportation, and the United States Coast Guard.
Asbestos Exposure at GMD Shipyard
Unfortunately, like most shipyards, GMD Shipyard used asbestos-containing materials for decades at its facilities. Asbestos is a toxic, fibrous mineral that has excellent resistance to heat and fire. But when asbestos is disturbed, billions of invisible fibers are released in the air. They can become permanently stuck in the lungs and eventually cause serious health problems, including mesothelioma.
Asbestos was often used at the GMD Shipyard because it was the perfect material for building ships. Asbestos was used in many parts used at GMD Shipyard, including gaskets, turbines, pumps, and boilers. (Asbestos.net).
Asbestos also was used for fire protection in engine rooms, galleys, and hallways. It was used for thermal insulation around boiler rooms, engines, and sleeping quarters.
The shipyard’s workers did not know about the dangers of asbestos for much of the 20th century. They often worked in areas with poor ventilation and no safety gear. Many GMD Shipyard workers inhaled asbestos fibers for years and became seriously ill.
Shipyard Occupations at GMD Shipyard
The GMD Shipyard is a large facility that still employs hundreds of workers. During the 1940s and 1950s, it employed thousands of workers to produce many types of ships for various purposes, but largely for the US Navy. Most of the shipyard’s workers worked hands-on with asbestos-containing materials. Some of the shipyard workers who faced the most asbestos exposure risk were:
- Electricians and plumbers
- Fabric technicians
- Flor and ceiling tile installers
- Insulators and painters
- Janitorial and cleanup personnel
- Welders and metal fabricators
Studies Show Shipyard Workers Have Higher Rates of Asbestos-Related Health Problems
For instance, a study in 2007 by NIH found that US shipyard workers have much higher rates of diffuse malignant mesothelioma from asbestos exposure from 1950 to 1964. The study authors noted that this was not surprising, given how much asbestos was used in shipyards at that time.
A study of 4,700 men and women who built ships in that period showed they had high rates of death from respiratory cancer and mesothelioma. Those mesothelioma deaths were mostly because of the high amounts of asbestos used at US shipyards. (NIH.gov)
The study also found that occupational health experts in the US knew of asbestos health risks and warned about it as early as the 1940s. But the US government and society failed to understand how dangerous asbestos was and how it does not break down in the human body.
It was not until doctors and scientists found higher levels of asbestos-related diseases in shipyard employees in the UK, US, and Netherlands in the 1960s that GMD Shipyard and others began to take asbestos risks more to heart.
Another clinical study performed by the Ulster Medical Society in 2008 showed that shipyard workers have a higher death rate from asbestosis. The mortality rate is 16 times higher than any other occupation. Many asbestosis deaths found in the study were on the coasts of the US, which is where most shipbuilding and repair is performed. (NIH.gov)
Were you an employee of any type at GMD Shipyard and been diagnosed with mesothelioma or an asbestos-related condition? You may be eligible to file a personal injury lawsuit or wrongful death mesothelioma lawsuit against the shipyard or the companies that provided asbestos-containing products to the shipyard. Some plaintiffs are awarded funds for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Talk to a licensed mesothelioma attorney near you as soon as you get a diagnosis to find out about legal options.
Get Mesothelioma Legal Help
With over $30 billion available for victims through the Asbestos Trust Funds, you could be entitled to financial compensations without ever filing a lawsuit. Mesothelioma & Lung Cancer victims qualify immediately. Complete the form or call us toll free (800) 352-0871