Mesothelioma Lawyers for Veterans

Over 30% of all mesothelioma patients were former service members in the U.S. Armed Forces. Simmons Hanly Conroy exists to help veterans with mesothelioma pursue benefits from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and file for legal compensation.

If you or someone you love was exposed to asbestos in the U.S. military, and if you are experiencing symptoms of an asbestos-related disease, such as mesothelioma, you may be eligible to file a legal claim.

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Asbestos Exposure by Military Branch

From the 1930s to the late 1970s, asbestos was used extensively in military vehicles, equipment and buildings. No matter the branch of the military you served in, you may have been at risk for asbestos exposure.

U.S. Army

In the 20th century, the U.S. Army used asbestos to ensure the durability of its jeeps, trucks and tanks. At the time, it was believed that asbestos could safely insulate these vehicles and reduce friction in brakes.

However, as asbestos-based products broke down over time, they released microscopic fibers into the air. Army mechanics who handled these auto parts could inhale the fibers and eventually develop asbestos-related illnesses.

Dangerous asbestos products used in Army vehicles included:

  • Brake pads
  • Clutches
  • Gaskets
  • Resins

The Army also used asbestos-containing construction materials like cement sheet and insulation to build bases and barracks. This put engineers, carpenters and others who worked on these buildings in danger of exposure.

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U.S. Navy

U.S. Navy veterans have the highest risk of mesothelioma today.

Due to a government mandate, asbestos products were used on almost all Navy ships until the early 1980s. The heat-resistant and durable properties of asbestos made it a key building material for Navy ships, since it reduced the risks of fires.

Asbestos-containing products on Navy ships included:

  • Adhesives
  • Fireproof doors
  • Gaskets
  • Insulation
  • Packing material
  • Ropes

Asbestos exposure aboard Navy ships was almost impossible to avoid. Every part of the ship, including the engine room, boiler rooms and machinery spaces, may have exposed Navy service members to asbestos.

Additionally, these ships were often cramped and poorly ventilated, allowing stray asbestos fibers to linger in the air and eventually be inhaled by Navy personnel.

Navy shipyard workers ran a higher risk of mesothelioma as well, since they installed, repaired and removed asbestos-containing products from ships.

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U.S. Air Force

Asbestos was widely used in U.S. Air Force planes because of its heat-resistant properties.

Air Force planes contained the following asbestos products:

  • Brakes
  • Cockpit heating systems
  • Gaskets
  • Heat shields for engines
  • Jet exhaust and wiring insulation

Air Force aviation mechanics and jet engine inspectors could inhale asbestos fibers as they worked on engines, motor parts and other products.

Asbestos was also used in the construction of many Air Force bases and barracks. Air Force plumbers, pipefitters and carpenters all may have been exposed to asbestos while they worked on these buildings.

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U.S. Coast Guard

Like the Navy, the U.S. Coast Guard relied on fire-resistant asbestos to build its ships.

The following asbestos-based products were used on Coast Guard ships:

  • Gaskets
  • Pumps
  • Valves
  • Insulation
  • Turbines to pipes
  • Ropes

Because the threat of fire aboard seagoing vessels was of great concern, the heat resistant and durable properties of asbestos made it a top-choice building material for most Coast Guard vessels. The Coast Guard also used asbestos to build its bases, vehicles and planes.

U.S. Marine Corps

Former members of the U.S. Marine Corps who served on naval vessels or in shipyards were at an especially high risk of asbestos exposure. In fact, actor and former Marine Steve McQueen developed mesothelioma in the late 1970s after working in a shipyard decades earlier.

Asbestos products such as pumps, valves, boiler insulation, ropes and fireproofing materials were used throughout the ships, providing numerous opportunities for Marines to be exposed to the dangerous toxin.

The Marine Corps also relied on asbestos to build its bases, which put mechanics, construction workers and engineers at high risk.

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Veterans and Asbestos: Other Risks

Secondhand Asbestos Exposure in Military Families

Service members’ loved ones who lived on military bases may have unknowingly inhaled asbestos fibers through secondhand exposure.

Modern-Day Military Asbestos Exposure

Active-duty service members deployed overseas may be at risk of exposure, as older buildings in these areas often have asbestos.

Asbestos Exposure After the Military

Veterans who used asbestos products in their Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) often performed a similar occupation after their service.

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Support for Mesothelioma Veterans

Finding medical support and care is crucial after a mesothelioma diagnosis. Our medical department, led by Registered Nurse Amy Fair, can help connect mesothelioma patients to the best treatment options available.

Our medical team can provide more information about:

  • Mesothelioma treatments like surgery
  • Hospitals that treat mesothelioma patients
  • Top mesothelioma doctors

Amy and the team are also available to answer questions as a patient seeks treatment. Contact our team now to learn more.

“When I began work at Simmons, I quickly realized how very rare and complex mesothelioma is, not only for the patient, but for their entire family. Answering patient questions, explaining options and sometimes just listening to a patient and their loved one is the number one reason why I’m here.”

– Amy Fair, Registered Nurse with Simmons Hanly Conroy

Veterans Compensation for Mesothelioma

If you are a veteran battling mesothelioma, our experienced mesothelioma lawyers can help you uncover how you were exposed to asbestos and who should be held accountable.

We hope you will give us the opportunity to file a mesothelioma claim on your behalf so you can get the financial compensation you deserve.

Mesothelioma compensation can be used to pay for:

  • Treatments and hospital visits
  • Medications
  • Travel costs for treatment
  • Non-treatment expenses (like mortgages and grocery bills)
  • Much-deserved vacations
  • Nearly anything else

Below, learn more about how veterans with mesothelioma can access compensation.

Mesothelioma Lawsuits

A mesothelioma lawsuit seeks compensation from manufacturers of asbestos-based products. These corporations knew that asbestos could cause deadly illnesses but concealed the facts for decades.

Simmons Hanly Conroy is one of the top law firms handling mesothelioma lawsuits today. The firm has recovered over $8 Billion for asbestos clients since 1999.

The mesothelioma lawyers and staff members at Simmons Hanly Conroy treat clients as people first. When you work with us, you connect with a team that cares about your well-being and happiness.

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Asbestos Trust Funds

Some manufacturers of asbestos-based products declared bankruptcy to avoid mesothelioma lawsuits. Since bankrupt companies cannot be sued, the U.S. court system forced these companies to set aside money in trust funds to pay those with asbestos-related diseases.

Over $30 Billion is available in asbestos trust funds as of 2020.

Simmons Hanly Conroy attorneys can file asbestos trust fund claims so patients can access a portion of this money.

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"I served in the Navy for 20 years. I always knew that there was asbestos. What convinced me about a lawsuit was that I wasn't suing the government, I wasn't suing the U.S. Navy. I was suing the manufacturer because they knew many years prior what it would do to the human being. If I hear of anybody that's been diagnosed, I'm going to direct them to Simmons."

- Walter Twidwell, Mesothelioma Victim and U.S. Navy Veteran

VA Benefits

Mesothelioma veterans can also access medical and financial benefits through the VA.  Simmons Hanly Conroy has VA-accredited mesothelioma lawyers on staff to help veterans file VA claims and access the benefits they are entitled to.

  • VA Disability Compensation: Veterans with mesothelioma who qualify for disability compensation receive over $3,000 each month from the VA.
  • VA Health Care: The VA Health Care system employs two top mesothelioma specialists, Dr. Robert Cameron and Dr. Avi Lebenthal.
  • VA Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (VA DIC): Family members can access VA DIC if they lose a loved one due to mesothelioma.
  • VA Pension: This benefit provides monthly payments to veterans who are disabled and/or over the age of 65.
  • Special Monthly Compensation (SMC): Veterans can access SMC if they have severe disabilities or require more round-the-clock care.
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Simmons Hanly Conroy: Veteran-Founded Mesothelioma Law Firm

The Simmons Hanly Conroy team deeply understands the sacrifices made by veterans and their families. Chairman and founder John Simmons is a proud veteran of the U.S. Army, serving two tours as a combat engineer.

“My grandmother died of mesothelioma, so I understand what it does to a family, how it affects a family.”

– John Simmons, Chairman and Founder of Simmons Hanly Conroy

The mesothelioma attorneys at Simmons Hanly Conroy have dedicated their careers to helping veterans and civilians with mesothelioma access the compensation they’re rightfully owed.

It costs nothing upfront to work with our team and most of our clients start to receive compensation in three months or less.

Simmons Hanly Conroy Gives Back to Veterans’ Organizations

We are thankful for the sacrifices veterans made while defending our country, whether they died in the line of duty or now suffer from mesothelioma.

The Simmons Hanly Conroy team is honored to represent some of these veterans in the courtroom — but the firm’s assistance to military veterans goes beyond helping them file mesothelioma lawsuits.

Our attorneys and staff members frequently donate their time and money to veterans’ organizations at the local and national levels.

Simmons Hanly Conroy has contributed to:

  • Disabled American Veterans
  • Joshua Chamberlain Society in St. Louis
  • Wounded Warrior Project
  • Stand Down, St. Louis
  • Madison County Veterans’ Treatment Court

Veterans who work with Simmons Hanly Conroy can expect the highest-quality legal services available. Get a free legal consultation to learn more.

Simmons Support Team
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Editorial Team

The Simmons Hanly Conroy Editorial Team consists of journalists, writers and editors who strive to deliver accurate and useful information to families needing legal help. Our team works alongside the firm's attorneys and shareholders, as well as with medical professionals and other specialists, to keep all information relevant and helpful.

View 8 Sources
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  4. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. (2020, May 28). 2020 Veterans disability compensation rates. Retrieved July 22, 2020, from
  5. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. (2020, July 7). 2020 VA special monthly compensation rates. Retrieved July 22, 2020, from
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  8. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. (2020, April 30). Veterans asbestos exposure. Retrieved July 22, 2020, from