California Naval Shipyard, also known as Mare Naval Shipyard, was a United States Naval shipyard that repaired and built a multitude of vessel during World War I and World War II. It was spread out over 5,ooo acres in Vallejo, California and played an important role in both world wars. However, as with most other shipyards in the past, Mare Island Naval Shipyard used excessive amounts of asbestos in its products, leading to a multitude of workers developing life-threatening illnesses, including malignant mesothelioma and asbestos-related lung cancer.
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 to asbestos-related diseases. We invite you to fill out our form today for a free Financial Compensation Packet, filled with information about top mesothelioma lawyers in your area, how to get paid in 90 days, how to file an asbestos trust fund claim, and much more.
Mare Island Naval Shipyard History
Established in 1854, Mare Island Naval Shipyard was the first Naval base to become established along the West Coast of the United States. The shipyard’s name is derived from General Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo, a calvary commando from Mexico who founded that area in the 1700s.
During the mid 1800s, the first dry dock and the first Unites States warship were built at the Mare Island Naval shipyard, along with the USS Ward destroyer, which was built in only 17.5 days during World War I.
When World War II began, Mare Island Naval Shipyard built a plethora of new destroyers, ships, warships, and submarines. In fact, once the war ended, the shipyard had created a total of 4 submarine tenders, 17 submarines, 31 destroyer escorts, 33 small craft vessels, and an astounding 300 landing crafts ships.
In addition to building vessels, a hospital was later added to the shipyard, which was later converted into a training facility for the military.
As with most other shipyard during the war, Mare Island Naval Shipyard relied on excessive amounts of asbestos when building vessels and repairing ship parts, which resulted in a multitude of employers and contractors asbestos-related illnesses, including malignant mesothelioma, asbestos-related lung cancer, and asbestosis. From pipes to insulation, boilers, ship parts and more, Mare Island was permeated with asbestos throughout its massive acres.
Numerous building at Mare Island housed pipe shops, duplexes, ammunition depots, churches, and and more. Officers, junior grade officers, and a multitude of workers spent their days in these buildings, which were constructed with numerous asbestos-containing materials (ACMs).
Mare Island Naval Shipyard and Asbestos
As mentioned earlier, asbestos permeated through many areas of Mare Island Naval Shipyard, including 230 miles of landfill that contained more that 60,000 tons of toxic waste materials, including asbestos. Other locations that had exorbitant amounts of asbestos include:
- The Northwest Dump Road Subarea
- The West Subarea
- Boiler rooms
- Engine rooms
In addition, pipe-fitters, mechanics, insulators, maintenance workers, and a myriad of other employees and contractors were exposed to asbestos daily while doing routine work activities. Most workers were never given protective gear, which heightened the risk of developing asbestos-related diseases. They were also exposed to other dangerous materials, including pesticides, lead-based paint, and petroleum fuels.
Numerous asbestos-related lawsuits followed after workers became ill. The plaintiffs, mostly retired Naval workers, generally filed their claims against the asbestos manufacturers and companies that provided asbestos-containing products to the shipyard. Many of these lawsuits are still pending at Alameda County, California’s San Francisco Superior Court.
Mare Island Naval Shipyard Closure
In 1993, due to excessive amounts of asbestos and other toxic wastes, the Department of Defense (DoD) Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Commission requested that the shipyard close down. Three years, the shipyard officially shut down all Naval operations on April 1, 1996.
Mare Island Naval Shipyard Today
Currently, the shipyard is being used and leased out by commercial and industrial businesses, including the California Conservation Corps and numerous other prominent organizations. Additionally, the U.S. Navy developed the “economic development conveyance” on the shipyard, in an attempt to convert the BRAC into civilian communities. It also transferred many of the shipyard’s properties to multiple government agencies.
The shipyard’s island buildings were also used as a set for a several Hollywood movies, including Jack, Metro, Sphere, and Flubber.
Additional Resources and Help for Asbestos Victims
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. Don’t forget to fill out our form to get our free Financial Compensation Packet, filled with information on the leading asbestos and mesothelioma attorneys. If you have questions or need additional assistance, contact us at 800-793-4540.