Bethlehem Steel owned the Bethlehem Sparrows Point Shipyard at Sparrows Point, Maryland from 1916 to 1997 where it built and repaired ships during WWI and WWII. The company’s 180,000 shipyard workers were exposed to asbestos used in the construction of over 1,000 ships. Bethlehem Steel was sued successfully by workers who developed mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases.
Baltimore Marine acquired the Bethlehem Sparrows Point Shipyard in 1997 and was awarded the contract to dismantle old ships and find ways to dispose of their hazardous wastes safely. Asbestos was one of these wastes. The company also repaired Navy and U.S. Maritime ships employing 700 workers, many claiming that the asbestos safety regulations were not really enforced, and workers were dangerously exposed to a great deal of hazardous waste.
Asbestos was used in so many parts of ships that there was no escaping exposure. Sailors, workers, and longshoremen alike were exposed. Poorly ventilated areas accumulated asbestos fibers that escaped from the insulation around pipes and fittings concentrating them in the air breathed by anyone who entered those areas.
Dismantling these ships and salvaging the metal further exposed people to the uncontained fibers and this was worsened by not making every effort to contain fibers and protect the workers from asbestos exposure by means that were readily available.
If you or a loved one suffers from an asbestos related disease please contact Brown | Kiely, LLP, the experienced asbestos lawyers serving Baltimore, Maryland and Washington, D.C. to learn more about compensation for employer negligence.