Skip to main content

Asbestos Exposure

Mesothelioma & Lung Cancer

Nationwide Success

Asbestos Cancer Attorneys

representing plaintiffs in Seward Ships Drydock Mesothelioma & Lung Cancer Claims

Shipyard workers have been among those in the U.S. workforce with an elevated risk of asbestos exposure. Particularly before 1980, it is likely that Seward Drydock workers were in contact with dangerous levels of asbestos, increasing their chances of developing diseases like lung cancer and mesothelioma.

A 2008 study, published by the Ulster Medical Society, indicated shipyard workers have an asbestosis mortality rate 16-times greater than other studied occupations. Authorities have estimated that thousands of shipyard workers—many in Alaska—have died as a result of excess shipyard asbestos exposure.

Former Seward Ships Drydock Workers have been diagnosed with mesothelioma cancer, and other asbestos-related illnesses. 

Joe Lyon is a highly-rated asbestos lawyer representing plaintiffs nationwide in a wide variety of toxic tort and mesothelioma claims.

Seward Ships Asbestos Toxic Exposure

Before the toxicity of asbestos became well known, ships were often teeming with the dangerous products. Because asbestos is effective at resisting corrosion and high temperatures, it was seen as an ideal material for the industry. It was used to insulate boilers, incinerators, and various internal pipes.

Over time, asbestos dust built up in the many holds of ships which led to widespread human exposure. When asbestos fibers are disturbed, they become more dangerous. Seward Ships workers unknowingly inhaled the fibers, and became embedded in the tissue surrounding the lungs.

Up until the 1970s, the U.S. Navy authorized the use of over 300 asbestos-containing products for ship building. As the use of these hazardous products increased, health professionals monitoring workers were able to recognize the potential toxicity of the materials.

This is a concern for all shipyard workers, whether they built and maintained ships designed for military or civilian use. For many years, asbestos has been in the process of being removed from ships, but the material remains on many vessels, and the problem persists.


Please complete the form below for a FREE consultation.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.


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.

Seward Drydock Workers at a Heightened Risk?

In theory, almost anybody in the shipbuilding industry in the 20th century could be at risk. The vast tons of material insulated with asbestos in enclosed spaces on ships served as a particularly insidious hazard to workers and servicemen.

Asbestos was used almost everywhere, including heavily in boiler rooms, engine rooms and sleeping quarters. It was used as insulation, pipe covering, and used in the paint that covered ships. It is estimated that in some years about 1 in 500 shipyard workers were handling and installing asbestos insulation on a daily basis.

Exposure to asbestos at Seward Ships is not limited to spending great amounts of time on ships. Even those workers loading and unloading materials at ports and drydocks could have been heavily exposed. The boxes, crates, pallets and packing materials used to carry the products sometimes contained asbestos fibers.

The Dangers of Shipyard Asbestos

The potential dangers of asbestos inhalation have been known for several decades now, though the full extent of the damage to the lives and families of former workers has yet to be seen. Many former Alaskan workers are treated for mesothelioma, asbestosis, lung cancer, and other respiratory diseases as a result of poor working conditions in the past.

Because of the delayed symptoms, and long latency period of diseases caused by asbestos products, many former shipyard workers in Alaska are still being diagnosed with illnesses caused by exposure many years ago. It can take up to 50 years after exposure for symptoms of mesothelioma or asbestosis to present themselves.

In a 2007 study published by Occupational & Environmental Medicine, which studied the death of 4,700 men and women who built and maintained ships, researchers observed “excess deaths” from mesothelioma and respiratory cancer, which they attributed to asbestos fibers at shipyards.

The Dangers of Shipyard Asbestos

Shipyard Workers 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 drydocks. 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

Asbestos-Related Illnesses & Symptoms

The hazardous dust of asbestos fibers can cause a number of serious diseases. Some of these diseases directly caused by asbestos exposure can include:

  • Mesothelioma (a cancer of the tissue surrounding the lungs and other organs)
  • Lung cancer
  • Asbestosis (scarring of lungs)
  • Possible 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
photo of attorney Joe Lyon
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.


  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Questions about Seward Ships Drydock 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 lung 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 to the 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  Asbestos Lawyer. The Lyon Firm has 19 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: 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 asbestos settlements.

Your Right to Safety
The Statute of Limitations for Asbestos Cases

Asbestos can be found in factories, warehouses, hospitals, schools, homes built before 1980, construction sites, and in many military installations. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), there are 75 different jobs that can expose workers to asbestos, with those jobs primarily involving construction and manufacturing. Thousands of American workers are still exposed to asbestos each year. 

Mesothelioma is a serious illness that has been linked to asbestos exposure in medical literature. It is estimated that there will be thousands of new cases due to the latency period of 20-50 years after being first exposed to asbestos.

Our Victories

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


Asbestos (Mesothelioma)


Asbestos (Mesothelioma)