Frequently Asked Questions

Because asbestos is composed of microscopic fibers that could have been brought home on their uniforms, veterans are not the only ones who were exposed to this deadly mineral. Family members were also in danger of inhaling the asbestos dust from their clothes. 

In 1975, the Department of the Navy adopted a policy against using asbestos in manufacturing products for shipbuilding. However, this mineral was still used on the ships that were under construction in that period even up until the 80s. This leads to the veterans being exposed to asbestos if the keel of the ship they were working on was laid prior to 1983. 

You could find asbestos mostly on pumps, boilers, valves, gaskets, turbines and on every electrical system on a ship that could present a risk of heating up and bursting into flames. The engine rooms, the air conditioning and refrigeration rooms, the electrical equipment rooms and boiler rooms were the spaces where asbestos was mostly present. 

Asbestos is a mineral that releases fibers into thin air which are easily inhaled. When a veteran was working in a poor ventilated room, without a mask, the risk of inhaling the asbestos fibers was increased. Once they are inhaled, they easily reach the lung area where they can have a latency period for many decades. It’s possible that many veterans who worked on the US Navy ships in the 60s to notice symptoms of mesothelioma or other asbestos-related diseases now. 

We don’t know the exact number, but according to the statistics, millions of workers only in the naval shipyards during the World War II and the years after that were daily exposed to asbestos without even knowing. 

Normally, the captain’s cabin doesn’t contain asbestos, but a captain’s responsibilities are not fulfilled only in that room. A captain must climb down to the boiler rooms, the turbine room, must assess the stuff on that ship, so he is basically everywhere on the ship

If you served your country in the period 1920-1980, then you were most likely exposed to asbestos. Check the list below to see what trades were at risk of asbestos exposure during that period:

Of course you will need a lawyer and you should hire one that has experience in the field because they are experts in such cases. Once you found a lawyer, make sure that you feel comfortable with him/her because you are in a delicate situation and you need support, professionalism and help.


Yes, you can still file a claim even though you don’t know for sure who is responsible for your exposure. This is why it’s important to have an experienced lawyer, because he/she will track down your exposure and will discover which companies are responsible for this. 

You don’t sue the military for your asbestos exposure. Lawsuits are filed against companies that provided asbestos-contaminated materials, but, most of the times you won't even sue the company, so, filing a claim is the best solution for you. The government, the military or the US Navy have nothing to do with your condition. 

The factors that determine compensation for this condition are your expenses with the medical treatment, your pain and suffering, the inability to work and amount of time while you were sick. Of course, each case is different and there is no guarantee that you will receive compensation. This is why you have to GO AND GET TESTED so that you will have a confirmed diagnosis. Then, you should speak with an experienced lawyer who can evaluate your case.

Yes. The country you choose may impact your outcome. You will not have to travel if you file a claim in another country. Your lawyer will take care of everything. He/she will interview you, will gather information, documentation and will go to court on your behalf. 

Yes, it is. It is different from state to state, but you should know that a patient’s life expectancy is extremely important on how a lawyer will attack the case. In order to still be able to file a claim, it is wise to consult a lawyer after you have a confirmed diagnosis as soon as possible. 

It is different from case to case, but, if you are in an advanced stage of cancer, your lawyer can put some pressure and can expedite your case. 

If you die before your case is over, your estate will act in your place and, if you are entitled to any compensation, the people who survive you will benefit from this. 

Yes, many cases don’t go to trial because the companies that are responsible for the asbestos exposure have already set an amount of money for this type of compensation, so you'll only file a claim. 

It also depends from case to case. It is true that some cases resulted in multimillion-dollar awards, but some cases receive only 100000 dollars, while others receive 600000 dollars. It depends on the factors listed at Question 4. 

Mesothelioma lawyers usually work on a contingency fee basis. They only receive money if you receive your compensation and their payment depends on how you establish the percentage when you hire him/her. 

You don’t have to focus on the lawsuit or claim, because your lawyer will do everything on your behalf. Your health is the most important thing and you don’t have to worry about anything else.

Yes. You can still do this in order to receive compensation for:

  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Expenses with the treatment
  • Lost wages from the period when your loved one could have been actively working, but never did because of his/her condition
  • Inheritance lost by children
  • Loss of nurturing, guidance and care felt by the children

No. US Navy has nothing to do with your exposure, even though you worked for it, neither your captain, nor your commanding officer. As we stated in a previous answer, only the companies that provided asbestos-contaminated products are liable for this situation, not the government or any other components of the US Army.

Because every asbestos-related disease shows its symptoms when the disease is very advanced, you need to see a doctor as soon as possible. First, you’ll need the physical exam, so that the doctor will listen to your lungs. If they are affected, he will notice a dry and crackling sound while you’re breathing. The next step is the Pulmonary Function Test which determines how well your lungs are functioning. It basically tests your lungs’ air capacity and damaged is the air flow that passes through your lungs. If the results to this test show an impaired lung capacity, the next step is having an X-ray, where the doctor is able to see if the lung tissue is scarred and how the disease has developed. 

If you worked on a US Navy ship and now you have a persistent cough, it is best to see a doctor to have a physical exam. According to the results, the doctor will decide if it’s important to have the Pulmonary Function Test which will show him your lungs’ air capacity. If he notices something abnormal, the next step is having an X-ray to see if there’s a presence of asbestos inside your lungs. If so, the doctor will notice a scarred lung tissue on the X-ray. The best thing to do here is to go to multiple specialized doctors, especially if they have a B-read, because an asbestos-related disease is many times misdiagnosed. 

If the cough is persistent, if you have difficulty breathing and you also get tired really fast, then your condition is more serious than you think. If the doctor recommends you a biopsy, then you should follow his advice because, sometimes, the biopsy is the only one who can tell you 100 percent what is in your lungs, what type of cancer or tumor you have, what is the stage, the evolution of cells, but, most importantly, it will tell you how much asbestos fibers concentration is in your lungs.