Merchant Marine Over A Billion Recovered Nationwide

Asbestos Exposure and the Merchant Marines

The Merchant Marine is a civilian fleet that carries imports and exports during peacetime, but it becomes an auxiliary branch of the Navy during wartime, delivering troops, munitions and supplies. During World War II, the U.S. Government determined what cargo was carried as well as the fleet’s destinations.

The Government contracted with private companies to operate the ships, but it armed them with guns and put Navy personnel on board. It also trained the civilian men on board these ships to assist in manning the guns.

The Jobs Aboard Ship were Broken Down into Different Departments

The civilian personnel aboard these ships were employed in jobs belonging to one of the following categories:

  • Deck — navigation or cargo management
  • Engineering — propulsion or maintenance of equipment
  • Steward/hotel — food services and sleeping quarters
  • All of these men were exposed to asbestos as part of their normal routine.

The Tight Confines of These Ships Increased the Rate of Asbestos Exposure

Asbestos could be found in boards, pipes, decks, ducts, insulation, paint, oils, lubricants, gaskets, and cords used throughout the ship as well as in the heating and communication systems. Asbestos was even contained in the blankets used in the sleeping quarters. This meant that not only was everyone exposed to asbestos, but the health risks from exposure were intensified because of the lack of space and the poor ventilation.

The most obvious route for exposure was during repair activities when workers were exposed at a higher rate because cutting, breaking, sanding, and scraping disturbed the asbestos fibers and released them into the air. The dust that resulted from repair work was directly inhaled by these workers.

The most susceptible of the maintenance and repair workers were those in the boiler room because boilers contained a high percentage of asbestos until the mid-1970s. Even now, boiler room personnel aboard Merchant Marine vessels can potentially be exposed to asbestos. That’s because most boilers remain operational for at least 30 years or more, so today’s maintenance workers may be repairing old equipment with asbestos-containing materials.

The Merchant Marine’s Role in Cargo Transportation also Increased the Crew’s Asbestos Exposure

One of the primary responsibilities of this fleet during both peacetime and war is the transporting of goods. During World War II, the Liberty ships of the Merchant Marine carried 75 percent of all of the cargo used by the armed forces. Approximately 3,000 of these ships were built during the war, and most of the wartime Merchant Marine personnel sailed on them.

The cargo that these ships carried included asbestos-containing materials used by the military in the war effort. The loading and unloading of these supplies was another way that the crew members aboard these ships were exposed to asbestos.

Being Outfitted for Wartime Service Brought with it Another Form of Asbestos Exposure

President Roosevelt said that the members of the Merchant Marine were “fighting side by side with our Army and Navy.” These men were at the front starting from the time they left port; and their vessels were vulnerable to attack by submarines, bombers, and land-based artillery. That’s why it was necessary to outfit them with guns. And just like the crew members aboard Navy ships, when these guns were fired the vibrations caused huge amounts of asbestos fibers to be released into the air. These fibers spread all over the ship and could be inhaled by everyone on board.

We Take Our Clients' Cases Personal

Helping Victims of Mesothelioma Is Why We Do What We Do
  • Your firm has made this stressful process easy and comfortable for me.

    “In this difficult time for me, everyone in your office has been helpful and supportive in ensuring that not only are our objectives with my case met but also that my personal needs are accommodated.”

    - Stephen
  • I couldn’t have done it without you.

    “My case was complex, but you untangled the details of my asbestos exposure so that they were clear in court.”

    - Sam
  • The professionals at Shrader & Associates did the work, hassle free, and ensured I was able to leave a legacy for my family.

    “I hesitated to file suit because I thought going to trial would be a hassle. The professionals at Shrader & Associates did the work, hassle-free, and ensured I was able to leave a legacy for my family ...”

    - Raymond
  • Your team stood by me throughout the entire process.

    “The future looks a bit brighter for my family now.”

    - Frank
  • Thanks to you, the grief of my loss would have been almost unbearable otherwise.

    “The wonderful things you have done for us, the things you have made possible for my family, the doors you have opened – I will always be grateful.”

    - Brian
/

Experience You Can Count On

Our Awards & Accolades

  • HTLA
  • NADC Top 1%
  • America's Top 100
  • American Association for Justice Leaders Forum
  • Million Dollar Advocates Forum
  • American Association for Justice
  • AV Peer Reviewed Rated
  • Top 40 Under 40
  • Super Lawyers Rising Stars
  • Super Lawyers
  • Mesopthelioma Applied Research Foundation
  • Illionois Trial Lawyers Assocation
  • MTLA
  • Texas Trial Lawyers Association
  • American Association for Justice Leaders Forum 2021

Choosing the Right Law Firm is an Important & Personal Decision

Why Shrader & Associates?
  • AWARD-WINNING

    Our skilled approach to the practice of law has resulted in top ratings & awards from renowned legal organizations.

  • RESPECTED

    Our attorneys have been invited into some of the most prestigious and recognized professional associations in the U.S.

  • RECOGNIZED

    We’ve been featured on local and national news programs for our legal knowledge and winning results.

  • PROVEN

    To date, we’ve secured countless million-dollar results for clients located throughout the country.

The Right Team 
Makes a Difference

Mesothelioma cases require technical knowledge and an understanding of complex laws. An attorney with experience trying these claims and substantial resources to leverage on your behalf is your best bet to having a strong case. We are nationally recognized for providing quality representation to mesothelioma patients and their families.