When we think of workplaces where mesothelioma is a risk, shipyards immediately come to mind. We picture welders and steelworkers and others who handle asbestos-contaminated materials and think of them as likely victims. But asbestos is a material that breaks down easily into microscopic fibers, and once those fibers become airborne they can be inhaled by anybody in the vicinity, whether they are physically working with it or not. That is exactly how former mailman Robert Bourgeois II believes he contracted the fatal disease. He has filed a lawsuit against his former employer, the Avondale shipyard, accusing them of negligence in having allowed him to be exposed to the toxic material.
Asbestos in Navy Shipyards Blamed for Many Mesothelioma Cases
Mr. Bourgeois is far from the first person to be diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma after working in a Navy shipyard. Because the military believed that asbestos would protect service men and women from fire and heat, they specified that the material be used in the fabrication of Navy ships for decades. Those serving on those ships were exposed to that asbestos, and so were those who helped to build them in Navy shipyards. Mr. Bourgeois’ case is unusual because he was exposed in the course of delivering mail to the various areas within the shipyard.
Mr. Bourgeois was diagnosed with malignant pleural mesothelioma in February of 2019, and he dates his exposure back to when he worked for Avondale as a mail carrier and was stationed at the company’s main yard between May of 1973 and January of 1974. At that time he would travel around the yard to deliver mail to the shops and warehouses that were preparing parts that would be used on the Navy ships. Though he never boarded any of the Navy vessels being built in the yard where he worked, he remembered that the shops were extremely dusty, and that he frequently breathed that dust in. He is seeking compensation from the company for the damages that he has suffered.
Page Reviewed and Edited by Mesothelioma Attorney Paul Danziger
Paul Danziger grew up in Houston, Texas and earned a law degree from Northwestern University School of Law in Chicago. For over 25 years years he has focused on representing mesothelioma cancer victims and others hurt by asbestos exposure. Paul and his law firm have represented thousands of people diagnosed with mesothelioma, asbestosis, and lung cancer, recovering significant compensation for injured clients. Every client is extremely important to Paul and he will take every call from clients who want to speak with him. Paul and his law firm handle mesothelioma cases throughout the United States.