A Wisconsin Navy veteran contacted me several years ago. This Naval veteran had served on the USS Tattnall as a boiler technician. He was suffering with mesothelioma that was caused by years of asbestos exposure while serving in our U.S. Navy. This exposure to asbestos fibers took place while he worked in the boilerrooms surrounded by asbestos covered pipes on the U.S. Tattnall. He had been diagnosed by asbestos doctors at the Veteran’s Administration. Sadly, he passed away as a result of the mesothelioma.
Boiler insulation is a very common culprit in asbestos mesothelioma cases, including those involving U.S. Naval Veterans who worked on ships. The removal of this thermal insulation from boilers, pipes, tanks and ducts, which was common in all boilerrooms, caused the asbestos fibers to be released into the air. When repairs or maintenance was required, whether in ships or industrial applications, the insulation was a friable form of asbestos that could easily emit fibers easily into the air. Similarly, fibrous fluffy sprayed-on asbestos products used for fireproofing, insulation, or sound proofing were quite friable and could readily release airborne asbestos fibers. The potential for asbestos products to release breathable fibers was extremely hazardous to all those working in industrial occupations, especially with respect to boiler insulation.
We were able to successfully help this man’s family as we have many Navy veterans and veterans who served in other branches of the U.S. armed forces. We have also helped numerous boilermakers, plumbers and others exposed to asbestos in similar occupations. To date, we have helped the families of these mesothelioma victims living in Milwaukee, and other areas of Wisconsin, to recover more than $25,000,000.00. That we know of, no other local asbestos law firm has had this type of success. In fact, even so-called “national firms” have had limited success in Wisconsin.
That asbestos lawsuit reminded me a of client I represented who was a former employee of Sprinkmann Sons in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Sadly, he died of mesothelioma related to his asbestos exposure after working decades for Sprinkmann Sons in Wisconsin. After a pleural biopsy, his oncologist diagnosed mesothelial hyperplasia showing malignant messothelial cells and epithelioid malignant mesothelioma. His mesothelioma was the result of working for many years in industrial locations around Milwaukee, such as the Pabst Brewery. The company was a contractor and distributor of insulation, cold storage facilities and interiors and worked in places like that processed cold and frozen foods, chemical plants, nuclear power plants, electric stations, and of course, breweries. He worked as an installer and contractor with all the hundreds of products that were laced with asbestos fibers, including blankets, boilers, expansion joints, HVAC systems, insulation, pipes, plumbing, tanks, turbines, valves, and industrial equipment. Though every asbestos and mesothelioma lawsuit is different, the recovery I was able to help obtain for this man’s family exceeded $1.5 million.
Wisconsin asbestos removal instructions are being offered by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services for free from 1-5pm Tuesday at Northcentral Technical College in Wausau. The sessions are meant to help contractors and property managers and owners address changes to the Wisconsin administrative code that relate to asbestos abatement. In older properties, asbestos maybe found in flooring, caulks, mastics, fireproofing materials, ceiling tiles and sidings as well as other building materials. During the asbestos abatement process, these materials are dealt with carefully so as not to release asbestos dust into the air.
Mesothelioma caused by asbestos is a typical case handled by my Wisconsin personal injury law firm. So for my first post, I thought I’d describe one to give readers a general idea of what type of case I handle involving asbestos.
We will call the client Mr. Smith. Mr. Smith lived in Wisconsin and was diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma. It was discovered via biopsy and he had other medical tests including a PET Scan and lung tap. Mr. Smith was 65 years old. Out of high school, he joined the U.S. Navy where he served as an auxiliaryman working with asbestos in HVAC and mechanical systems. While in the Navy Reserves, he also worked with asbestos in various shipyards. Ships he remembers serving on included submarines and a destroyer and the shipyards he worked in included Baimbridge, Charleston, Portsmith, Norfolk, Philadelphia, and Groton. After serving in the Navy, Mr. Smith worked at a Wisconsin Electric Power Plant in a boiler room, another area replete with asbestos. He then worked at a large medical center in Wisconsin doing mechanical work. He was frequently in areas with pipes, boilers, and insulation all replete with asbestos.
When I met him, Mr. Smith was suffering with breathing difficulties caused by his mesothelioma. He was somewhat angry with asbestos companies, but was more scared and worried about his family. Mr. Smith died within nine months of hiring me to help and though it’s of little consolation to his family, we worked to obtain more than $1,500,000.00 for them. Every case is handled based on the facts, and the facts in his tragic case warranted this. Though I could not do anything for Mr. Smith’s fear and anger, I take comfort in knowing that his family is being helped by my efforts.