Asbestos Exposure

Reviewing Alabama Drydock Mesothelioma & Lung Cancer Claims

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Asbestos Cancer Lawyers

representing plaintiffs in ADDSCO asbestos exposure, Mesothelioma & Lung Cancer Claims

Alabama Drydock was an institution for many years since it was founded in 1916 after the merging of multiple other dry dock companies. Over the years that followed, the newly formed company offered shipping services, shipbuilding, ship repairs, and other maritime-related services.

ADDSCO employed thousands of workers during both world wars, including welders, electricians, engineers, shipbuilders, and many Navy servicemen. World War II grew the shipyard to new heights, and the post-war era was very profitable. Tens of thousands of men and women worked in the shipbuilding efforts.

Alabama Drydock overlooked the effort to construct twenty Liberty ships, as well as over a hundred oil tankers and over 2,000 combat vessels.

In 1988, the shipyard closed and the remains were sold to numerous companies. A long line of personal injury lawsuits forced ADDSCO into financial peril. Lawsuits targeted the shipyard and other asbestos manufacturers. The shipyard eventually re-opened under BAE Systems, and focused on vessel repairs, construction, and conversion.

Alabama Dry Dock was allegedly filled with toxic materials, including boilers, sleeping quarters, pipes, and insulation that was laden with asbestos.

Alabama Drydock workers later developed aggressive forms of cancer and other related diseases. This particular shipyard was no special case, as shipyard workers all over the country and Navy servicemen were at an extremely high risk of asbestos exposure. In the years before OSHA work safety reform, thousands of workers in the shipbuilding industry were in contact with dangerous levels of toxins, and commonly fell ill with occupational lung cancer and mesothelioma.

An industrial heath safety study, published by the Ulster Medical Society, indicates that those working in a shipyard have an asbestosis mortality rate many times higher than other occupations. 

Former ADDSCO Workers have been diagnosed with asbestos-related illnesses that include the following:

  • Mesothelioma (a cancer of the tissue surrounding the lungs and other organs)
  • Lung cancer
  • Asbestosis (scarring of lungs)
  • Adenocarcinoma
  • Esophageal Cancer
  • Colorectal Cancer
  • Pulmonary Fibrosis

Joe Lyon is an asbestos lawyer representing plaintiffs nationwide in a wide variety of mesothelioma cancer and asbestosis claims.

Alabama Drydock Asbestos Toxic Exposure

Because ships were often built with toxic insulation in boilers, incinerators, and internal piping, workers were at risk. Engineers, maintenance crews, pipefitters and electricians were at serious risk. 

Asbestos dust built up in the ship holds which led to regular exposure. ADDSCO workers may have unknowingly or even knowingly ingested and inhaled the toxins. 

Up until the mid 1970s, the Navy authorized the use of hundreds of toxic products for shipbuilding. Medical experts were eventually able to see the potential toxicity of the materials and recommended safety changes. 


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Joseph Lyon has 17 years of experience representing individuals in complex litigation matters. He has represented individuals in every state against many of the largest companies in the world.

The Firm focuses on single-event civil cases and class actions involving corporate neglect & fraud, toxic exposure, product defects & recalls, medical malpractice, and invasion of privacy.


The Firm offers contingency fees, advancing all costs of the litigation, and accepting the full financial risk, allowing our clients full access to the legal system while reducing the financial stress while they focus on their healthcare and financial needs.

Are ADDSCO Workers at a High Cancer Risk?

It seems like the risk for lung cancer would pass over time, and the toxins would be flushed from the system. However, asbestos fibers became lodged in lungs and other tissue and still present a huge cancer risk. Many workers in the shipbuilding industry or the Navy up to 50 years ago are still diagnosed with cancer. 

Asbestos was used most commonly in boiler rooms, piping and engine rooms. It was used as insulation, pipe covering, and used in the paint that covered ships. 

Exposure to toxic materials at Alabama Drydock was just something that every worker became accustomed to on a daily basis. Even workers loading and unloading materials at Alabama dry docks could have been at risk. The boxes, crates, pallets and packing materials used to carry the products sometimes contained toxins. 

The Dangers of Shipyard Asbestos

It is hard to believe that many companies were unaware of the health risks. But medical research was not what it is today. In a study published by Occupational & Environmental Medicine, which studied the death of 4,700 men and women who worked in shipyards, experts  attributed a large percentage of excess fatalities linked to asbestos exposure.

The Dangers of Shipyard Asbestos

Alabama Shipbuilding Asbestos Exposure

Depending on the shipyard, workers performed tasks on any number and variety of vessels. Researchers suggest the worst exposure occurred in engine rooms, mess halls and on painted decks. Further exposure occurred in shipways and dry docks. The following jobs also put shipyard workers in direct contact with asbestos:

  • Shipfitters
  • Machinists
  • Pipefitters & Plumbers
  • Electricians
  • Boilermakers
  • Painters

Below is a list of tasks that are known to expose shipyard workers to high levels of asbestos:

  • Painting
  • Welding
  • Insulating
  • Regular maintenance, repairs, overhauls and decommissions
  • Off-loading cargo
  • Material delivery
  • Unpacking pallets and crates
  • Boiler and pipe work
  • On-board machining

Shipyard Workers: Welding & Painting

When coupled with asbestos exposure, welding and painting may be the most hazardous jobs of all. During welding operations, hazardous vapors are produced from the heating of base metals.

Other fumes are released from metal coatings, finishes, and welding rods. Dangerous exposures increase greatly if welding is performed in a confined space. Some of the metals welded in shipbuilding operations that may be airborne and cause acute and chronic lung diseases include:

  • Cadmium
  • Iron Oxides
  • Zinc Oxides—from zinc-enriched paints and galvanized steel.
  • Chromium—released when welding stainless steels, or around certain paints.
  • Welding Injuries—in welding rods.
  • Beryllium

Like welding, painting inside a ship’s hull is often performed in confined spaces and tanks, thereby concentrating toxic fumes. The following materials may have been used by shipyard painters:

  • Lead-based paints
  • Anti-fouling paint
  • Anti-rust paint
  • Zinc chloride primer paints
  • Copper-bottom paints
  • Solvents
  • Pigments
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    A Voice for Those who have suffered
    Why are these cases important?

    Many experience asbestos exposure through the workplace. Workplaces may have been filled with toxic materials, and employers may have failed to warn of the serious health risks of the job. Filing a suit helps to raise the awareness of job safety.


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    Questions about Alabama Drydock Asbestos Exposure

    What Shipping Materials Contained Asbestos?

    Asbestos was widely used in piping, insulation, electrical components, paint, packaging, and boilers. 

    Can I File an Asbestos Cancer Lawsuit?

    If you were exposed to asbestos at a shipyard and diagnosed with cancer, you are likely to qualify for compensation for your medical costs and losses.

    Why Did Shipyards Allow Asbestos?

    Asbestos was not always known as a killer. It was cheap, durable and was thought to be a great insulating material before research proved it was extremely hazardous.

    Is it hard to get paid on an asbestos claim?

    We need to prove that occupational exposure is the primary cause of your lung cancer or mesothelioma, though this is the job of our lawyers, and we have experience in reaching large mesothelioma settlements.

    Why Hire the Lyon Firm?

    Experience: Joe Lyon is an experienced  Asbestos Lawyer. The Lyon Firm has 19 years of experience and success representing individuals and plaintiffs in all fifty states. Asbestos lawsuits can be complex and require industry experts to determine the root cause of exposure. Mr. Lyon has worked with experts nationwide to assist individuals understand why an illness occurred and what can be done to improve their lives in the future.

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    The Lyon Firm aggressively, professionally, and passionately advocates for injured individuals and families against companies due to asbestos exposure.


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