Asbestos in the Defoe Shipyard
In the eve of the XXth century, the Defoe brothers founded a humble business to build fishing boats. However, when engine boats became the rule, they moved into building large engine-run cruisers. Two of them were even sold to the Navy, for use during World War I.
In 1917, the Defoe boatbuilding company was under contract from the government to build 5 torpedo chaser boats. Government assignments continued steadily, and there was need for more facilities, so a large shipyard was built.
In the same manner as many other boatbuilding companies, Defoe was immerse in war ship building during WWII. They built as many as 150 ships during the years between 1939 and 1945. They prospered thanks to their Navy contracts, and they mastered their craft in such a way, that they were at the cutting edge of ship building technologies.
However, with the modernization of the industry, and because the bay where it was located limited the size of ships that could be built, Defoe was shut down in 1976.
During the Second World War, ship building was perceived as a key to success. Thus, there was a need for building the most powerful ships possible. At the time, asbestos was perceived as a kind of invincible (and cheap) material, due to its fire-proof, heat-resisting, and chemical reaction-resisting powers.
As it was later discovered, asbestos poses a dramatic danger to human health. Thousands of people formerly employed in the boatbuilding industry in America have died and suffered the terrible consequences of asbestos-related conditions.
People who were in contact with pipes and boilers, many times located in secluded spaces on ships, are in great danger of having developed mesothelioma, lung cancer or asbestosis. All of these conditions can be fatal.
If you are in such a position, symptoms may take decades to appear. You should seek immediate medical assistance, to establish whether you are in danger. At the same time, it would be wise for you to seek legal counsel, as you may be entitled to substantial compensation. Please contact the experienced Weitz & Luxenberg Asbestos Attorneys for a complimentary case assessment. With over 20 years of experience and a track record of success in asbestos cases, we can surely help you evaluate the possibility of filing a claim.