Navy Veteran’s Mesothelioma Lawsuit Highlights Ubiquitous Use of Asbestos

It is well known that America’s military veterans, particularly those who served in the Navy before 1980, are at significant risk following constant exposure to asbestos. A recently filed suit accusing over a dozen asbestos companies of negligence highlights the sheer number of asbestos-containing materials a single service member encountered on a day-to-day basis.

Navy vessels

Veteran’s Mesothelioma Blamed on Asbestos Exposure on Navy Vessels and in Shipyards

The U.S. District Court of the Northern District of California recently weighed in on the mesothelioma lawsuit filed by Michael and Victoria Marcus in November 2022. The couple accuses multiple companies that supplied equipment to the Navy of negligence in having exposed him to asbestos-containing products or equipment during the years he worked aboard Navy vessels and in Navy shipyards. Mr. Marcus served onboard various vessels as a boiler technician and boiler repairman between 1966 and 1986. 

In his detailed mesothelioma claim, Mr. Marcus cites various ships and periods, as well as multiple parts and manufacturers whose equipment he worked with. The issues addressed by the court in its recent decision included the testimony of various expert witnesses, the applicability of punitive damages in claims that involved maritime law, and whether various aspects of the case should be dismissed.

Judge Hands Down Multiple Decisions on Mesothelioma Claim

In a detailed analysis of the many issues raised, U.S. District Judge Haywood S. Gilliam, Jr. allowed some of the expert witnesses offered by the mesothelioma victim, disallowed some testimony offered by the defendants, and weighed in on the various objections filed by the asbestos companies named in the claim. What was remarkably clear from court documents was that the absence of equipment on military documents was not indicative that the equipment was not actually in place, or enough to see a defendant removed from the claim.

The also notable aspect of the mesothelioma case was the number of asbestos-containing pumps, gaskets, and valves that the victim was exposed to throughout his 17-year career, a quantity that he described as “too many to count.”  While the defendants argued that this would contribute to the use of an ‘every exposure’ claim in the lawsuit, the judge noted Mr. Marcus’ presentation of the type of work he performed on the various products, evidence that the products contained asbestos, and estimates about the amount of asbestos exposure caused by the work he performed substantially contributed to his development of mesothelioma.

If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma, the Patient Advocates at are here to help. Contact us today at 1-800-692-8608 to learn more.

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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