History of the Cascade General Shipyard

The Cascade General Shipyard located in Portland, Oregon, is nationally renowned as the largest ship repair facility on the West Coast of the United States. The site of Cascade General was originally part of the Portland Shipyard established in 1942. In 1987, Cascade General leased the site from the Port of Portland and in 1994 became the sole contractor at the Portland Shipyard.

By 1997, approximately 45% of the Cascade General workload consisted of repairing super oil tankers operating in the Alaskan Trade. In 1999, lower oil prices negatively impacted the Cascade General Shipyard. The Cascade General Shipyard then entered into the ship dismantling business.

Currently, the Cascade General Shipyard is operated by Vigor Industrial, an industrial and marine services provider. The Cascade General Shipyard continues to operate as a modern shipyard at the forefront of the newest technology in the ship industry.

The Cascade General Shipyard Facilities

The 60-acre yard at Cascade General is connected to the Pacific Ocean by the Columbia/Willamette Channel. The Cascade General Shipyard facility provides topside, pier side, dry dock, and anchor repair for a number of vessels including:

  • Cruise ships
  • Oil tankers
  • Factory trawlers
  • Ferries
  • Pilot boats
  • Tugs
  • Barges
  • Dredges
  • Cable laying ships

Cascade General also provides emergency service repairs to the West Coast for any type of vessel. 

Asbestos & the Cascade General Shipyard

Ships manufactured prior to the 1980s contain asbestos and other toxic materials. Prior to the 1980s, the health risks of asbestos were unknown and asbestos was freely used in shipbuilding and repair. Many Cascade General Shipyard workers were exposed to asbestos and are now developing serious and potentially fatal asbestos related diseases.

Shipyard workers, including Cascade General workers, repaired older ships that were rife with asbestos. In 1999, Cascade General contracted to dismantle 200 decommissioned naval ships. Dismantling asbestos-ridden ships is very dangerous because when asbestos is manipulated, a fibrous asbestos dust can be released into the air.  When this dust is inhaled or ingested, it lodges in the body and can cause serious diseases.  This may have exposed the Cascade General Shipyard workers and the surrounding environment to harm. While the Cascade General Shipyard issued precautions to safely dismantle the ships, several Cascade General shipyard workers may have been exposed to asbestos during the operation.

Asbestos exposure can lead to severe diseases including lung cancer, asbestosis, and Mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is a cancer affecting the protective lining that covers most of the body’s internal organs, including the lungs. Authorities have estimated that in the past two decades there have been 862 deaths in Oregon due to asbestos-related diseases. Lawsuits brought by shipyard workers who were injured by asbestos have been successfully litigated around the country, awarding asbestos victims with compensation for their injuries.

Asbestos Injuries at the Cascade General Shipyard – Oregon

If you or a loved worked for the Cascade General Shipyard and developed an asbestos-related disease, you may be entitled to compensation. To arrange a free consultation with an experienced asbestos lawyer who can inform you of your rights and options, contact us today.

Published November 17, 2011 by