Asbestos Litigation and Veteran Rights
Asbestos litigation when it comes to veteran rights can be even more complex and confusing than other types of asbestos litigation. That’s because of the additional layers of government regulations and agencies involved when it comes to veterans of our armed forces. There are approximately 25 million U.S. veterans alive today from both wartime and peacetime duties in all branches of the service. Many were exposed to asbestos during their time in the service and are at risk of developing mesothelioma or another fatal asbestos disease.
While veterans represent 8% of the U.S. population, veterans account for 30% of all known mesothelioma deaths that have occurred in this country!
Ringler Radio Interviews Steven Kazan About Asbestos Litigation
To help clarify the issues surrounding asbestos litigation for veterans, a major leading legal talk radio network, Ringler Radio, presented by Ringler Associates, turned to Steven Kazan.
Steven Kazan, one of the key pioneers in asbestos litigation, is the founding, senior and managing principal of the firm Kazan, McClain, Satterley & Greenwood. A noted international expert on asbestos issues, Steven has successfully represented thousands of asbestos victims. He frequently consults with both court appointed and elected officials and provides guidance to labor organizations on asbestos.
Steven was interviewed by Ringler Radio host Larry Cohen, a principal with Ringler Associates and Manny Valdez Sr., also with Ringler Associates and a Vietnam veteran. Ringler Radio presents analysis of news, information and legislation on structured legal settlements through Legal Talk Network and as podcasts available on iTunes.
Expert Advice on Asbestos Litigation for Veterans
During the interview, Steven explained how veterans were often exposed to asbestos unknowingly during their service because the companies that made the products used by the military issued no warnings about the danger.
“It’s a real problem for veterans because they have had a lot of exposure,” Steven explained. “The primary place where veterans were exposed was the U.S. Navy. It also affects the Army and Coast Guard as well as people who worked in the government shipyards. So it is a very serious problem for anyone who has had military experience.”
When asked about specific cases, Steven highlighted the story of an enlisted soldier in the Army. After serving 22 years helping to maintain army cars and trucks, he developed mesothelioma. Kazan Law was able to push his case forward to trial and win financial justice for him. Another case Mr. Kazan discussed on the air involved a Naval aviator who was a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and became the commander of the entire Pacific carrier fleet. He retired as a Rear Admiral but was soon diagnosed with mesothelioma. Kazan Law also obtained compensation for him and his family.
“In the Navy you’re living on ship 24/7 and the entire ship may get contaminated with asbestos dust in the air,” Steven said. He explained how Kazan Law identifies the source of asbestos exposure, whose asbestos products were involved, and then holds those companies accountable. Although many cases are settled out of court, some cases go to trial. These cases can earn seven figure settlements, with many reaching jury verdicts of over $10 million.
“Our cases that do go to trial tend to produce very good results for our clients in terms of money,” Steven said. Although he maintained that client settlement amounts are confidential he said, “In 40 plus years we have never represented an asbestos victim who did not recover money. We’ve been very successful at getting compensation for veterans as well as others who have had asbestos disease.”
Steven was commended on the air for “fighting the fight for all of us and especially the veterans.”
Justice Through Asbestos Litigation
Asbestos was used in nearly every branch of the U.S. Armed Forces. The most common risks for asbestos exposure resulted from insulation used in ships and vehicles from the 1930s until the 1970s. Symptoms of illness from asbestos exposure, such as mesothelioma, do not emerge for decades after the exposure.
It seems unjust that not only did brave members of the armed forces confront gunfire and bombs from enemy attacks and endure harsh living conditions, but years later they also face death from exposure to asbestos in the very ships and aircraft in which they served our country. This is why asbestos litigation is especially important to achieve justice for veterans.
How Veterans may have been exposed to asbestos
According to the Veterans Administration, veterans who also served in these civilian occupations may have been exposed to asbestos: mining, milling, shipyard work, insulation work, demolition, carpentry and construction, manufacturing and installation of products such as flooring and roofing.
Compensation Benefits for Health Problems
Veterans may file a claim for disability compensation for health problems related to exposure to asbestos during military service. Every veteran also has the right to sue. For a veteran, choosing the best attorney for asbestos litigation is crucial to achieving the highest compensation award possible.