An US Company Pays Compensation To The Family Of A Dead Turkish Admiral
29 Jul 2012 Leave a comment
This was an interesting news of an interesting development which could be turn into something big.
Family compensated after Turkish admiral dies of asbestos on US ship
A U.S. ship-building company has paid compensation to the family of a Turkish admiral who died of cancer after serving for years on a warship containing asbestos.
The Turkish admiral served on the warship Adatepe D 353, which was purchased from the United States in 1971, before he died of cancer, Güngör Karakuş of daily Habertürk reported today.
The admiral’s family, who asked to remain anonymous, sought legal compensation after they learned that the late officer contracted cancer due to the asbestos used in the U.S.-made ship. A court sentenced the company that built the ship to pay an undisclosed amount of money to the family to compensate for the admiral’s death.
The court’s ruling provided a precedent for the families of thousands of other Turkish sailors who have died of, or have suffered from, cancer to seek legal compensation from the company, lawyers Özge Haktan and Özlem Nur Öztürk said, as the Turkish Navy was known to possess a total of 25 warships built using asbestos that were all purchased from, or donated by, the U.S.
The first of the asbestos-laden warships were delivered to Turkey in 1949 as a donation from the U.S., the report said. Turkey continued to acquire ships that contained asbestos through donations and purchases in subsequent years.
Service members who worked on ships containing asbestos previously received compensation in the U.S., Italy and Greece, but the present case is the first time any Turk has received a payment.
As far as I know this is the first case of such compensation. In the Turkish version of this the sister lawyers stated that they were approached by their US colleagues during an international conference about the possibility of collection compensations. I believe this could be a fallout of the class actions of US-based lawyers against asbestos and the shipyards that used this material.
I made a quick research about the destroyers transferred from US navy to Turkish Navy since the end of Second World War and about their constructors The two destroyers escorts TCG Berk and TCG Peyk were not transferred from US Navy. These ships were built in Turkey after the plans of US Navy Claude Jones class ships. It is highly possible that asbestos was used in their construction. This is why I have added them to the list.
All of the ships are long gone, a couple sunk as targets, a few turned into museums, rest scrapped. Of the 7 different shipyards that constructed the ships 4 are still in business.
Federal Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Co: 6 ships transferred from USN were built by this yard. The yard and the company does not exist any more.
Gulf Shipbuilding: 1 destroyer, transferred was build here. The company does not exist any more.
Bath Iron Works: This company is still in business. One of the few shipyards able to produce large warships for the US Navy. 3 ships from this yard was in commission in Turkish Navy.
Bethlehem Steel Corporation: This is the shipyard that produced the ex USS Forrest Royal ex TCG Adatepe and 7 other destroyers used by Turkish Navy. Although the name of the company that paid the compensation was not disclosed in the article it is clear that it was the Bethlehem Steel Company or its current owner.
Consolidated Steel Co: This company is still in business. They have built 4 destroyers used by Turkish navy.
Todd Pacific: This company is still in business and was bought by another. One destroyer used bu Turkish Navy was built by this shipyard.
Gölcük Naval Shipyard: This is the main shipyard of Turkish Navy and is specialized in submarine and frigate production. 2 Berk class ships based on US Claud Jones destroyer escort design, were built here.
I wonder if asbestos was only used in destroyers in US Navy. Turkish Navy received a wast variety of ships, submarines, destroyers, frigates, mine hunters, patrol boats, depot ships just to name a few. Did these ships had also asbestos and if yes aren’t the sailors worked in these vessels eligible to the same compensation?
Time will tell us if this case is going to be the first one of a many similar cases or just one time hit.
Below is a list of the all destroyers Turkish Navy received from US Navy and their service time in Turkish Navy.
|D340||İstanbul||Fletcher||Federal Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Co||1967||1986||19|
|D342||İzmit||Fletcher||Bath Iron Works||1969||1980||11|
|D343||İskenderun||Fletcher||Bethlehem Steel Corporation||1969||1981||12|
|D344||İçel||Fletcher||Bethlehem Steel Corporation||1969||1981||12|
|D344||Gaziantep||Gleaves||Federal Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Co||1950||1973||23|
|D345||Yücetepe||Gearing||Consolidated Steel Co||1974||1998||24|
|D345||Giresun||Gleaves||Federal Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Co||1949||1973||24|
|D346||Alçıtepe||Carpenter||Bath Iron Works||1982||1997||15|
|D346||Gelibolu||Gleaves||Federal Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Co||1949||1976||27|
|D347||Anıttepe||Carpenter||Consolidated Steel Co||1981||1997||16|
|D347||Gemlik||Gleaves||Federal Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Co||1950||1974||24|
|D348||Savaştepe||Gearing||Consolidated Steel Co||1981||1994||13|
|D349||Kılıçalipaşa||Gearing||Consolidated Steel Co||1980||1998||18|
|D350||Piyalepaşa||Gearing||Bath Iron Works||1980||1999||19|
|D351||M Fevzi Çakmak||Gearing||Bethlehem Steel Corporation||1973||1994||21|
|D353||Adatepe||Gearing||Bethlehem Steel Corporation||1971||1993||22|
|D354||Kocatepe||Gearing||Bethlehem Steel Corporation||1971||1974||3|
|D354||Kocatepe (II)||Gearing||Bethlehem Steel Corporation||1974||1993||19|
|D355||Tınaztepe||Gearing||Bethlehem Steel Corporation||1972||1984||12|
|D356||Zafer||Allen M. Sumner||Federal Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Co||1972||1993||21|
|D358||Berk||Berk||Gölcük Naval Yard||1972||1999||27|
|D359||Peyk||Berk||Gölcük Naval Yard||1975||2001||26|
|DM357||Muavenet||Robert H. Smith||Bethlehem Steel Corporation||1971||1992||21|