For numerous decades, the Defoe Shipbuilding Company relied on toxic asbestos minerals for its affordability, ease of use, and resistance to heat and fire. The shipyards’ asbestos use led to workers developing life-threatening diseases.
If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, asbestos-related lung cancer, or asbestosis, you may be eligible for substantial compensation. There is currently over $30 billion in asbestos trust funds, set up for those who are victims of asbestos-related diseases. Fill out our form to receive our free Financial Compensation Packet. Our packet is loaded with information on experienced mesothelioma attorneys in your area, how to file a claim for asbestos trust funds, how to get paid in 90 days, and more.
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Defoe Shipbuilding Company History
Established in 1905 between a partnership by two brothers and a brother in law, Defoe Shipbuilding Company started out under the name Defoe Boat and Motor Works.
The shipyard focused on building and repairing gasoline-fueled and knock-down vessels. The shipyard was conveniently located along the Saginaw River.
By 1917, Defoe Shipbuilding Company expanded after given a contract by the United States Navy to build five Spent Tornado Chasers.
A year later, the shipbuilding company built eight Tumor Mine Planters for the Navy.
Throughout the next numerous years, until 1939, Defoe Shipbuilding Company built a variety of commercial and government vessels, as well as private yachts.
When World War II began, most of the shipbuilding company’s focus was primarily devoted to the war effort. The shipbuilding company created a total of 11 destroyer transports, 13 destroyer escorts, four Auk-class minesweepers, over 150 ships, a patrol craft, and a multitude of landing crafts.
Defoe Shipbuilding Company continued to build vessels after World War II, including two large Great Lakes bulk carriers. It also continued with vessel repairs, re-powering, and conversions.
The shipyard closed in December 1976, after the Navy contracts expired and due to dwindling business. The shipyard’s site is now used as a scrapyard.
Asbestos Use at Defoe Shipbuilding
As early as 1944, the dangers of asbestos to health were reported by the U.S. Maritime Commission.
The danger of workers developing asbestosis was a concern in particular, especially for those who worked on and/or installed pipes and for those who worked in and around vessels.
The U.S. Maritime Commission created a report in order to warn shipbuilding companies of its dangers and to recommend that workers use protective gear while working.
Many shipyards, in a rush, overlooked the dangers of asbestos due to the strict deadlines in getting vessels built.
Numerous asbestos subcontractors installed asbestos-containing products at Defoe, as well as most other shipyards prior to the late 1970s. These subcontractors installed, in part, asbestos-containing insulation, pipes, and pipe coverings.
Breathing in Asbestos Fibers
Employees and contractors at Defoe Shipbuilding Company worked daily around these products and were not provided proper ventilation. They were constantly breathing in dust and asbestos fibers.
Employees, contractors, and subcontractors, in turn, began developing life-threatening illnesses, including malignant mesothelioma, asbestosis, and asbestos-related lung cancer.
A number of these workers who developed these diseases filed asbestos-related claims and mesothelioma lawsuits against the asbestos manufacturers that provided the asbestos-containing products to the Defoe Shipbuilding Company.
Additional Resources and Information for Asbestos
If you’ve been injured by mesothelioma, asbestos-related lung cancer, or asbestosis, keep in mind that there is a good chance that you’ll qualify for considerable compensation. Remember to fill out our form to get your free Financial Compensation Packet, with information on experienced asbestos and mesothelioma lawyers in your area. If you have questions or need additional assistance, contact us at 800-793-4540.
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.