Shipbuilding has a long proud, history of innovation, craftsmanship, and furthering the expansion of the human world. But shipbuilding from the not-so-distant past also leaves another legacy: mesothelioma from asbestos exposure. This is the story of mesothelioma from Bender Shipbuilding and Repair Company.
What you Need to Know About Mesothelioma From Bender Shipbuilding and Repair Company
Bender Shipbuilding and Repair Company began in the early 20th century as a machine shop and blacksmith shop. When it began to specialize in shipbuilding, the company used the materials common of the day. One of those materials was asbestos. Horribly, the exposure to that substance may haunt workers decades later.
The Early Years of Bender Shipbuilding and Repair Company
Bender Welding and Machine Company began as a sole proprietorship in 1919; the company was incorporated in 1923 and moved to a larger facility. While it began as a machine shop and blacksmith shop, in 1952, the company began to focus on building small tugboats and barges as well as top-side and dry dock repairs. The company name, however, did not change to Bender Shipbuilding and Repair Company until 1980. The Bender Welding and Machine Company’s first big job was the construction of Ladd Stadium in 1947.
Bender Shipbuilding in World War II
During World War II, Bender Welding and Machine Company helped construct Liberty ships for the U.S. Navy. The shipyard averaged building one ship every 43 days. Shipyard workers constructed ships for the British fleet even before the United States entered the war.
Bender Shipbuilding Today
The Bender Shipbuilding and Repair Company operates 12 yards with over 7,000 feet of deep water frontage. It also boasts 11 overhead cranes, a 64-ton floating derrick crane, four floating dry docks capable of lifting over 24,000 tons, and over 150,000 square feet of shop and warehouse space.
The Bender shipyard is one of only a few full-fledged shipbuilders in the country, operating around the clock. It is known for new ship construction, repair and conversion, dry dock facilities, and surplus marine equipment sales. Shipyard workers build, service, and repair many types of vessels, including push boats, riverboats, tugboats, shrimp boats, tuna seiners, crabbers, factory trawlers, offshore supply vessels, and passenger vessels. Over 800 Bender-built ships can be found in both private and commercial fleets around the world.
The Danger From Asbestos at Bender Shipyard
Asbestos, a hazardous material known for its fireproofing properties and resistance to corrosion, was commonly used in many shipbuilding components prior to the 1970s, including hot water pipes, steam pipes, boilers, turbines, incinerators, valves, gaskets, between decks and fire doors, and on bulkheads and cabin walls. Shipyard workers suffered asbestos exposure without the benefit of proper respiratory gear or clothing, putting them and their families at risk for contracting serious asbestos-related illnesses.
Asbestos becomes dangerous when the material is disturbed by an impact or breakage, such as during construction or repairs. When a component made of asbestos is so disturbed, asbestos fibers are released into the air. Devastating diseases such as asbestosis, mesothelioma, lung cancer, rectal cancer, colon cancer, stomach cancer, and esophageal cancer are caused when these tiny fibers lodge in the human body.
The risk of asbestos exposure for shipyard workers also extends to their families. Years later, even the families of shipbuilding workers exposed to asbestos at Bender are at risk of developing an asbestos-related disease. Those exposed to asbestos can carry the fibers home on their clothes, skin, and hair. Today, many workers and their families may have developed mesothelioma from Bender Shipbuilding asbestos exposure.
Mesothelioma From Bender Shipbuilding Work: Important Information
Mesothelioma is a fatal form of cancer that attacks the mesothelium in the lungs. Symptoms of mesothelioma do not present until 20 to 50 years after initial asbestos exposure. In fact, when patients are first diagnosed, their symptoms are often mistaken as indicating lung cancer or pneumonia. Doctors often don’t consider a diagnosis of mesothelioma unless they know there is a prior history of asbestos exposure. Once mesothelioma is diagnosed, the prognosis generally gives the patient less than one year to live.
Bender Shipbuilding workers should monitor their health carefully and consult a doctor if they experience any symptoms associated with mesothelioma. Anyone who worked at Bender Shipbuilding in Mobile and is diagnosed with mesothelioma should also consider contacting a lawyer to discuss his or her legal rights.
What to do if You’ve Been Diagnosed With Mesothelioma From Bender Shipbuilding
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma from Bender Shipbuilding, you need to talk to an experienced mesothelioma attorney. At Nemeroff Law Firm, we have years of experience obtaining settlements and judgments for asbestos victims nationwide to help alleviate the financial burdens caused by this devastating disease. Call us at 866-342-1929 or fill out our online contact form for a free case evaluation. At Nemeroff Law Firm, we fight for you.