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Investigating American Shipbuilding Workers’ Mesothelioma & Lung Cancer Claims

The American Shipbuilding Company in Lorain, Ohio exposed thousands of former shipyard workers to asbestos. In recent years, many American Shipbuilding employees have developed serious and potentially fatal diseases like mesothelioma and lung cancer due to past exposure.

For the last 75 years, shipyard workers in Ohio and across the nation have had an elevated risk of asbestos exposure. A 2008 study, published by the Ulster Medical Society, concluded shipyard workers have an asbestosis mortality rate 16-times greater than other studied occupations. Authorities estimate that thousands of American shipyard workers have died as a result of severe asbestos exposure.

Joe Lyon is a highly-rated Ohio asbestos lawyer investigating mesothelioma and lung cancer claims for former American Shipbuilding workers.  The Firm is capable of representing plaintiffs nationwide and offers full contingency fees to relieve the families of any financial risk in the litigation. 

American Shipbuilding Asbestos Risks

Because asbestos is effective at resisting corrosion, fire and high temperatures, it was considered an ideal material for the shipbuilding industry. At one point, the U.S. Navy authorized the use of over 300 asbestos-containing products for ship building.

Asbestos was used almost everywhere, including in boiler rooms, engine rooms and sleeping quarters. It was used as insulation, pipe covering, and used in the paint that covered ships.

As a result, asbestos dust accumulated in the holds of ships, leading to widespread human exposure. This became a concern for workers, whether they built and maintained ships designed for military or civilian use. Asbestos was used at the American Shipbuilding yards in the following components of the ships and machinery:

•    Boilers
•    Turbines
•    Electrical and plumbing insulation
•    Pumps
•    Steam pipe
•    Incinerators
•    Gaskets
•    Valves
•    Welding blankets
•    Ship insulation

Shipyard Asbestos Exposure

Researchers suggest the most detrimental occupational exposure occurred in engine rooms, dining halls and on painted decks. But even workers loading and unloading materials at ports and docks could have been exposed to crates and packing materials containing asbestos fibers. 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 Injuries
•    Insulating
•    Regular maintenance, repairs, and overhauls
•    Loading and off-loading cargo
•    Unpacking pallets and crates
•    Boiler and pipefitting work
•    On-board machining

Asbestos-Related Illness Symptoms

When inhaled and ingested, asbestos fibers can cause a number of serious medical conditions. Some of these diseases directly caused by asbestos exposure can include:

•    Mesothelioma (a cancer affecting the tissue surrounding the lungs)
•    Lung cancer
•    Asbestosis
•    Cancers in other organs

The signs and symptoms of these conditions may include the following:

•    Pain in the side of the chest or lower back
•    Shortness of breath
•    Cough
•    Fever
•    Excessive sweating
•    Fatigue
•    Weight loss
•    Trouble swallowing

There are up to 3,000 malignant mesothelioma cases diagnosed each year in the United States. Because of the delayed symptoms caused by asbestos products, many former shipyard workers in Ohio are still being diagnosed with asbestosis and mesothelioma caused by exposure many years ago.

American Shipbuilding Workers Lawsuits

Many former Ohio workers are treated for mesothelioma, asbestosis, lung cancer, and other respiratory diseases as a result of poor working conditions in the past.

Former American Shipbuilding workers are still at a great risk for developing serious health complications from asbestos exposure. Recently, there have been very large settlements involving victims of asbestos exposure whilst working at American shipyards. Below are a few examples:

•    In 2011, a former shipfitter was awarded $25 million in a lawsuit against Exxon Corporation after he developed mesothelioma while working at Newport News Shipbuilding. The suit claimed the worker was exposed to high levels of asbestos, and claimed that Exxon knew of the health risks, but failed to adequately warn shipyard workers.
•    In 2014, a California jury ordered John Crane Inc. to pay $70 million after a U.S. Navy machinist developed pleural mesothelioma after handling asbestos-containing products.


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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.

Questions about American Shipbuilding & Asbestos Exposure

What is Asbestos?

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that was first utilized in the early 1900s for its insulating abilities, fireproof properties, and versatility. It has been estimated that over 30 million tons of asbestos was used in the American economy in industrial yards, homes, schools, shipyards, and other workplaces.

The natural breakdown of asbestos products and subsequent sawing or cutting of the asbestos creates dust and fibers that are inhaled and can lead to mesothelioma and other severe forms of lung cancer.

Why is Asbestos Toxic?

When asbestos breaks down over time or with use, the fibers of the material can become airborne, presenting a risk of inhaling or ingesting the toxin. Asbestos is a cancer-causing agent, and those heavily exposed can develop scarring in the lungs and later develop lug cancer and mesothelioma.

What Materials Contain Asbestos?

Asbestos was widely used in piping, insulation, electrical components, machine parts, packaging, flooring, ceiling tiles, roofing, and in many building materials.

Can I File a Mesothelioma Lawsuit?

If you were exposed to asbestos at your workplace, and have developed cancer or a related illness, you are likely to qualify for compensation.

Why Did Companies Use Asbestos?

Asbestos was cheap, durable, fire-resistant and light, and was though to be the perfect insulating material before research showed it was extremely hazardous tot he health.

Is it hard to win an asbestos case?

The success rates of settlements regarding asbestos exposure injury are quite high. It may be necessary to prove that occupational exposure is the primary cause of lung cancer or mesothelioma, though this is the job of The Lyon Firm, and we have experience in reaching large mesothelioma settlements.

Why Hire the Lyon Firm

Our Firm will help you find the answers. The Firm has the experience, resources and dedication to take on difficult and emotional cases and help our clients obtain the justice for the wrong they have suffered. 

 Experience:  Joe Lyon is an experienced Cincinnati Asbestos Lawyer. The Lyon Firm has 17 years of experience and success representing individuals and plaintiffs in all fifty states, and in a variety of complex civil litigation matters. Asbestos lawsuits can be complex and require industry experts to determine the root cause of an accident or injury. Mr. Lyon has worked with experts nationwide to assist individuals understand why an injury occurred and what can be done to improve their lives in the future. Some cases may go to a jury trial, though many others can be settled out of court.

Resources/Dedication: Mr. Lyon has worked with experts in the fields of accident reconstruction, biomechanics, epidemiology, metallurgy, pharmacology, toxicology, human factors, workplace safety, life care planning, economics, and virtually every medical discipline in successfully representing Plaintiffs across numerous areas of law. The Lyon Firm is dedicated to building the strongest cases possible for clients and their critical interests.

Results:  Mr. Lyon has obtained numerous seven and six figure results.

Our Asbestos Victories

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


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