Asbestos Attorneys Passionate About Veteran Rights
Many military veterans have contracted mesothelioma from service-related
exposures to asbestos. In fact,
approximately one third of Americans diagnosed with mesothelioma were exposed
in the military. Asbestos was used in a variety of capacities in the military, especially
in the navy. If you served in the U.S. Navy prior to the mid-1970s, then
you were likely exposed to asbestos while aboard a ship. The fiber was
used in heating pipes, air vents, and insulation panels. It was in sleeping
compartments, mess halls, passageways, gun mounts, boiler rooms, and more.
Mesothelioma Center of Excellence at the West Los Angeles VA Medical Center
In 2013, we launched a campaign urging our clients and their families to
write their senators and congressmen to get the word out to VA doctors
and vets about the Mesothelioma Center of Excellence at the West LA VA.
What we found was that, while the VA hospital’s mesothelioma center
had the potential to help veterans with mesothelioma cancer, many people
had no idea it existed. The result was a lack of funding,
clinical trials, research, and physician referrals.
The family of Navy Admiral Elmo Zumwalt, who died of mesothelioma in 2000,
has agreed to lend their name to the expanded program. The new center
would be called the “Elmo Zumwalt Mesothelioma Treatment & Research
Center.” Other families have pledged financial support to kick-start
the program, including a pledge of $500,000 from the family of John Johnson,
a Marine infantryman who lost his battle with mesothelioma in 2012. We
petitioned for funding to expand the so that it would have the capacity
to treat greater numbers of vets and conduct research and clinical trials
that will benefit all patients, vets and non-vets.
Opposition to the FAIR Act
The Federal Activities Inventory Reform Act was vehemently opposed by Admiral
Zumwalt’s son and many other victims of military-related
asbestos cancer. The FAIR Act aimed to cap asbestos litigation at $1,100,000 per settlement.
Mesothelioma treatment easily surpasses this limit, often within the first
few months of treatment. Zumwalt’s son and others, including our
attorneys, argue that asbestos cancer is clearly service connected, necessitating
that the Department of Defense and Department of Veterans Affairs create
a mesothelioma treatment program for veterans.
Opposition to the Asbestos Bailout Bill
Worthington & Caron, PC opposed the asbestos bailout bill that aimed
to terminate the legal rights of all current and future asbestos victims
and force them into an untested national trust fund bureaucracy that would
be under-funded by at least $40 billion. The bill would delay financial
relief to veterans and other asbestos victims by up to nine years - time
many dying asbestos victims just don't have.
Under the proposed bill, many veterans with asbestos-related diseases will
not qualify for any compensation at all. With the exception of mesothelioma
victims, very few veterans are likely to meet the five and ten year cumulative
exposure requirements under the bill because they will not have been in
the service long enough to qualify. The bill proposed to bail out the
very asbestos and insurance companies that knowingly exposed veterans
Serving Those Who Served Our Country
Military veterans should be honored for their heroic service, not punished
by capping their recovery and thereby limiting the medical treatment they
badly need. It is a shame that our country does not step up as it should
to help asbestos-exposed veterans who are fighting for their lives because
of lies perpetuated by Navy material and equipment suppliers. While these
parties knew the health risks associated with asbestos, they continued
to use it anyway – never warning the Navy or its sailors about the
risks of inhaling asbestos fibers.
If you are a veteran of the U.S. Navy or military and you were diagnosed
with asbestos cancer, we invite you to contact the lawyers at Worthington
& Caron, PC today to learn how we can help.