Asbestos In The Military
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Asbestos in the Military

Once praised for its heat resistant and fire-proof qualities, asbestos was used extensively within all branches of the United States military. Today, military veterans account for one third mesothelioma deaths in the U.S. Anyone who served in the United States military anytime between 1920 and 2000 is at high risk for developing an asbestos-related disease.

Not only was asbestos exposure common for military personnel in the past, asbestos products are still being removed from Naval ship and military bases today, putting workers and soldiers at risk for fatal, future diagnoses. It can usually take decades before your doctor diagnoses you with an asbestos-related disease. If you are a military veteran, alert your doctor to the possibility of past asbestos exposure so they can monitor your health accurately. No matter which branch you served in, exposure to asbestos was a serious risk.

Asbestos Exposure in the Navy

Naval shipyard workers and sailors are some of those most at risk for developing asbestos-related diseases, as the construction, demolition, and repair of Navy ships all involved close contact with asbestos materials. Asbestos products were used in navel vessels from bow to stern, even within sleeping quarters.

Asbestos Exposure in the Army

Asbestos was used within Army barracks in cement, insulation, and other materials, putting Army veterans at high-risk for developing asbestosis, mesothelioma, or another asbestos-related disease.

Asbestos Exposure in the Air Force

Air Force veterans were exposed to asbestos in a number of ways. Asbestos was used in cargo bays, cooling systems, brakes, and aircraft engines. Pilots, as well as aircraft mechanics, are at risk for a mesothelioma or other asbestos-related diagnosis today.

Asbestos Exposure in Other Branches of the U.S. Military

Marine Corps and Coast Guard veterans are also at high risk for developing fatal diseases like mesothelioma as the result of asbestos exposure during their time of service. Vehicles and vessels that transported soldiers were likely to contain asbestos, while buildings on bases were constructed with the substance. In all branches of the military, those that worked to repair or manufacture ships and vehicles were those with the highest risk for asbestos exposure.


If you are a military veteran or the family member of a veteran suffering from an asbestos-related disease, do not hesitate to contact our offices today. Our experienced mesothelioma attorneys have worked with veterans and their families all over the country to gain compensation in personal injury and wrongful death cases from the asbestos manufacturers and companies responsible for their illnesses. Call us at 1-800-598-0314, or use our simple contact form to set up a free consultation to discuss your situation.

In 2014, Brayton Purcell L.L.P. secured a $70,861,113 verdict for a retired Navy Machinist Mate and Nuclear Inspector. See more of our verdicts for veterans on our Court Successes page.

VA Claims

Mesothelioma is most often associated with asbestos exposure, but many veterans have suffered from other illnesses stemming from asbestos. There are several conditions and symptoms that the VA recognizes as being caused, at least in part, by asbestos. These are the conditions that veterans may claim if filing for compensation and other benefits:
• All types of mesothelioma: pleural, peritoneal, pericardial, scrotal
• Lung cancer
• Cancer of the bronchus, larynx, or pharynx
• Cancer of the gastrointestinal tract
• Asbestosis
• Fibrosis in the lungs
• Pleural plaques
• Pleural effusion

Types of Compensation Available to Veterans
In filing a claim for service-related and asbestos-related illnesses, veterans have several different types of compensation they can seek. For those ill with these terrible conditions, coverage for health care is of primary importance.
• Disability Compensation: This is a common benefit for veterans to seek for service-related illnesses. The VA views cancers caused by asbestos as completely disabling and eligible for full disability compensation. For non-cancerous illnesses like asbestosis and pleural plaques, tests are done to rate the degree of disability and to determine how much a veteran is owed in compensation.

• Special Monthly Compensation: SMC is a type of disability compensation that is typically awarded to veterans who are homebound or bed-ridden. They are disabled to the extent that they cannot take care of themselves and require assistance, either in the home or by living in a facility. Family members who care for these veterans may claim special monthly compensation.

• Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC): Surviving spouses of veterans who died because of a service-related disability like mesothelioma can also file a claim for DIC, which provides a monthly form of compensation. Spouses are eligible for DIC whether or not the veteran had already been receiving disability compensation. If the veteran was not, the spouse must make the case for the veteran dying of a service-and asbestos-related illness.

Filing a Claim
As a veteran of the U.S. Military or an active service member, you have rights to compensation if that service caused a disability or serious illness. Exposure to asbestos has the potential to cause particularly debilitating illnesses and too many veterans have suffered from these because of their service to the country. In additional to a potential third-party lawsuit against various entities such as manufacturers and contractors, we can assist you with filing a V.A. claim for compensation. Please contact Hugh Cook today at (415) 493-3592 or [email protected]