If you or a loved one has suffered from mesothelioma, you are understandably devastated. You’re confused, you’re angry, you’re unsure how this could happen to you. Especially since the vast majority of mesothelioma causes occurred on job sites run by other people – people who were supposed to protect you and yours – it is a very freighted condition indeed.
The good news is, you do have options. If you yourself have been diagnosed and are wondering how to pay for medical bills or what will happen to your family afterward, it’s important to explore what those options are.
Equally important, though, is that you understand the history and precedents of mesothelioma. If you worked or served in the presence of asbestos, you need to know it. That means knowing everything you can about environments that contained asbestos. Once you have that information, you’ll not only understand your own history – helping you process what’s been done to you – but you’ll have a better chance of winning your case.
Here we’ll discuss the USS Charles R. Ware, and what it means for mesothelioma victims and surviving family members.
What Is the USS Charles R. Ware?
The USS Charles R. Ware was a Gearing-class destroyer, in service in the United States Navy from of the 1945 to 1974. After it was decommissioned, it was sunk for target practice in 1981.
During the time of its service, however – nearly 30 years – it ferried military personnel across the Atlantic, to Europe and the Mediterranean Sea, numerous times. She took a break from service in 1961 and 1962, at which time she was overhauled and refit in a shipyard in New York. Afterward, she was put back into service in Vietnam, and thereafter used in the Middle East and again in the Mediterranean, among other destinations.
Why Is the Ship Historically Important?
The USS Charles R. Ware, like many ships of its generation, used asbestos heavily. This mineral – mined around the world, from New Zealand to Finland, South Africa to Kazakhstan – provides excellent insulating capabilities, necessary for ships moving through icy cold Atlantic waters. It was also employed as electrical insulation and for its resistance to fire. Because both are critical on ships, which have few options in the case of fire, it was employed in large amounts.
It wasn’t only service members who were exposed to asbestos. In fact, while living and working around it certainly poses significant health risks, those risks are even greater for those who helped in its construction and retrofitting. In those situations, the exposure was much higher, with asbestos particles getting released and floating through the air, where they got inhaled into lungs of workers. The same goes for its demolition.
Because of this, the USS Charles R. Ware is a common origin point for malignant mesothelioma, one of the most dangerous and pernicious forms of cancer.
What Happened to Those Who Worked on the Ship?
As a result of all that asbestos exposure, many workers and service members breathed in asbestos particles. These microscopic mineral rods entered the body through the lungs, where they caused genetic changes that led to cancer.
Because this disease typically manifests decades later, it wasn’t immediately apparent that there was a link between asbestos and mesothelioma, though that link became clear in the late 1970s. Bans were imposed in the 70s and 80s, but by that time, hundreds of thousands of people had been exposed to the mineral, many of whom would later get cancer due to that exposure.
What is mesothelioma, though? That’s the next question to ask if you have received a diagnosis or recently lost a loved one due to the disease.
So What Exactly Is Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is a cancer that arises in the lining of your internal organs, called the mesothelium. In piercing this sensitive membrane, asbestos can cause genetic mutations that lead to cancer. The most common spot for such mutations to occur is the lining of the lungs, called the pleura. However, it can also occur in the lining around the heart, stomach, testicles and others. Any of these forms of mesothelioma can be deadly.
In a relatively short period of time, the mesothelioma will spread from the original site to the lymph nodes, then to other organs, then to the entire body. There is no known cure for this aggressive cancer, and most people have a prognosis of less than 5 years. There are, however, long-term survivors, which makes important to get as much financial help fighting the disease as possible.
What Options Do Mesothelioma Victims and Their Families Have?
It’s important to note that asbestos is the only known risk factor for mesothelioma. That means, if you or a loved one has or had the disease, you or they were certainly exposed to it at some point. That in turn means that someone was responsible. In the case of the USS Charles R. Ware, the responsible party is the United States government.
Luckily, you have options, including:
- Joining a class action lawsuit along with other people who worked in the same setting and have suffered the same disease
- Bringing a suit yourself against the government, shipyard or employer who was directly responsible for you working or serving in that setting
- Settling with the defendant out of court for a sum of money that will help you pay for medical or funeral expenses and compensate you for mental and emotional damages
- Going to trial, where a judge or jury might award you a certain amount
Depending on your case, your attorney will help you determine which action is best for you. Note that if you did not work on the USS Charles R. Ware or another warship containing asbestos, but would still like to know your options regarding the disease, there is help waiting.
Schedule a Legal Consultation Today
If you are seeking legal compensation due to death or illness from mesothelioma, it’s time to book a consultation with an attorney today. The knowledgeable lawyers at our firm are happy to help you out. When you schedule a consultation, we will:
- Listen to your story
- Review your case for free
- Make a plan to gather evidence
- Create a case
- Support you through the entire process
When you work with us, you need never pay a dollar unless we win your case. Instead, we will help you through the entire preparation and trial (if necessary) until you get what you deserve. It’s time you were compensated for the sadness and hardship you’ve endured, so don’t wait. Get in touch with our team today, and let’s get started.
- USS Charles R. Ware History. (No date). Retrieved from http://www.cityofathenstn.com/ware-dd865/history.html
- Destroyers. (2017). Retrieved from https://mesothelioma.net/destroyers/
- Where Is Asbestos Commonly Found in the Home, When and How Should It be Removed? (2016). Accessed from http://www.ehso.com/cssasbestos/asbestosfoundwhere.htm
- Mesothelioma Overview. (2019). https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/mesothelioma/symptoms-causes/syc-2037502