Were you exposed to asbestos in your work with Houston Shipyards 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 Houston Shipyards.
Todd Shipyards Corp., which operated the Houston Shipyards among others, is one of the oldest surviving shipbuilding companies in the US. Its origins go back to 1916, and at one time, it operated shipyards in Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Brooklyn, New Orleans, Houston, and Galveston.
The company left the Houston Shipyards in 1989. The reason for the cost reduction was mostly because shipbuilding projects had slowed, and Todd Shipyards was facing increasing asbestos exposure lawsuits from former employees. (asbestos.com)
Asbestos Exposure and Houston Shipyards
Former employees worked on parts of Houston Shipyards were there were high levels of asbestos. Construction workers, welders and other employees were exposed to asbestos throughout the shipyards as the toxic substance was often used to build and repair ships in much of the 20th century.
Until the 1970s, asbestos was often used across the US at shipyards, including Houston Shipyards. Asbestos-containing materials were used to insulate pipes and electrical equipment to protect systems and equipment from overheating and fire damage. Gaskets and epoxies also were used to bind important components that contained asbestos fibers as a major ingredient.
Todd Shipyards, Houston Shipyards, and Asbestos Lawsuits
In 2010, Todd Shipyards stated in its annual report that it was dealing with more than 490 asbestos lawsuits some after death from 565 plaintiffs. It also noted it was defending 10 claims for lung cancer, mesothelioma, and several for asbestosis.
The company also was defending several claims filed by former workers who said their illnesses were due to asbestos exposure at the Brooklyn Yard. The company did an assessment of claims as they were filed. They were subdivided into different categories based on how severe an illness the plaintiff had. Diseases such as mesothelioma, lung cancer and asbestosis were termed ‘malignant’ claims. Lawsuits that involved cases that were less medically serious were called ‘non-malignant.’
The LA location of Todd Shipyards was one of the facilities where workers claimed there were high levels of asbestos. Former worker Sid Osmundsen filed a mesothelioma lawsuit against Todd in 1981, which eventually went to the US Court of Appeals before he prevailed. Others did the same, and Todd Shipyards stated that it had more than $3 million in a fund to pay off the claims.
The exposure that workers had at Todd Shipyards, including Houston Shipyards, included minimal, moderate and high levels of asbestos.
A 2017 study that was published in the Archives of Environmental and Occupational Health stated that shipyard workers exposed to moderate levels of asbestos were four times more likely to die from asbestos cancer. Workers who were exposed to higher levels were at least seven times more likely to get mesothelioma.
Studies Show Shipyard Employees Have Higher Asbestos Cancer Risks
One study in 2007 by NIH found that US shipyard workers have higher rates of diffuse malignant mesothelioma from asbestos exposure from 1950 to 1964. The study researchers noted that this was expected, given how much asbestos was used in shipyards in the 1950s and 1960s.
A study of 4,700 men and women who built ships in the 50s and 60s showed they had high rates of death from respiratory cancer and mesothelioma. Those deaths were mostly because of the high amounts of asbestos is use at most shipyards including Houston Shipyards. (NIH.gov)
The study also found that occupational health experts in the United States knew of asbestos health risks and warned about it many decades ago. But the US government and society failed to understand how hazardous asbestos is; once the tiny shards of asbestos lodge in the lungs, they usually are stuck there for life.
It was not until doctors and scientists found higher levels of asbestos-related diseases in shipyard employees in the UK, US, and the Netherlands in the 1960s that Houston Shipyards and others began to take the risks of the toxic mineral more seriously.
Another clinical study performed by the Ulster Medical Society in 2008 indicated that shipyard workers have a higher death rate from asbestosis. The mortality rate is 16 times higher than any other job. Many asbestosis deaths found in the study were on the US coasts, which are where most shipbuilding and repair is performed. (NIH.gov)
Were you an employee at Houston Shipyards and possibly exposed to asbestos? If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or an asbestos-related condition, you could be entitled to compensation from the shipyard or the company that supplied asbestos-containing products to the shipyard.
Some plaintiffs get funds for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Talk to a licensed mesothelioma attorney near you as soon as you get an asbestos-related condition diagnosis to learn about legal options.
Get Mesothelioma Legal Help Immediately
With over $30 billion available for victims through the Asbestos Trust Funds, did you know 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