Naval Reservist’s Mesothelioma Death Blamed on Asbestos Gaskets

Arthur Hammell died of malignant mesothelioma more than fifty years after he enlisted in the Naval Reserves. Back in 1960, he’d known that military service involved risks, but he never dreamed his death would be the result of exposure to boilers installed on the vessels in which he served. Now his widow is seeking justice from the asbestos companies she blames for his illness.

Mesothelioma Lawsuit Names Westinghouse and Foster Wheeler

Linda Hammell’s lawsuit is seeking damages against both Westinghouse and Foster Wheeler for her late husband’s mesothelioma death. He had served onboard the U.S.S. Charles H. Roan while the vessel was undergoing rehabilitation and overhaul at the Brooklyn Navy Yard and while the vessel was at sea.

According to Mr. Hammell’s deposition testimony, while aboard the Roan he had served in the vessel’s fire room, where there was no ventilation. He was responsible for the maintenance of boilers, forced draft blowers and other equipment that relied upon parts fabricated with asbestos. He pointed to asbestos fibers released during while maintaining the equipment as the cause of his terminal illness.

Asbestos Companies Deny Liability for Mesothelioma Death

Though Mrs. Hammell points to the asbestos-contaminated parts in each company’s equipment as her proof of their responsibility for her husband’s malignant mesothelioma, the companies defended themselves by saying that the Navy had other alternatives to asbestos parts, and that they had no duty to warn for injuries caused by asbestos manufactured and furnished by third parties. They also argued against Mr. Hammell’s assertion that he would not have worked with the parts had he known of their dangers, pointing to his lifetime smoking habit.

In hearing the asbestos companies’ motion to dismiss the charges against them, the judges of the United States District Court of New Jersey denied the manufacturers’ request, ruling that there were genuine disputes of material facts that needed to be reviewed by a jury. The case will move forward.

Victims of asbestos exposure are at risk for malignant mesothelioma, and once diagnosed they face several challenges and decisions. For assistance in accessing the resources that you need, contact the Patient Advocates at today at 1-800-692-8608.

Terri Heimann Oppenheimer

Terri Oppenheimer

Terri Heimann Oppenheimer is the head writer of our news blog. She graduated from the College of William and Mary with a degree in English. Terri believes that knowledge is power and she is committed to sharing news about the impact of mesothelioma, the latest research and medical breakthroughs, and victims’ stories.

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