History of the Todd Pacific Shipyard

The Todd Pacific Shipyard Corporation was established in 1916 through the merger of a number of prominent shipyard companies, including the Seattle Construction and Dry Dock Company. The Todd Pacific Shipyard was located in Seattle, Washington and became the first iron and steel shipbuilding yard on the Pacific Northwest Coast.

During the World War era, the Todd Pacific Shipyard was at its peak of operations. Together with other shipyards owned by the Todd Pacific Shipyard Corporation, the Todd Pacific Shipyard built and serviced over 23,000 ships during wartime. During WWII, the Todd Pacific Shipyard was responsible for the production of 126 different vessels, contributing enormously to the U.S. Navy arsenal.

With the end of the World Wars, the shipyard business experienced a dramatic decline in demand. The decades following the war era brought frequent economic difficulties to the Todd Pacific Shipyard. However, during the 1970s, business at the Todd Pacific Shipyard began to improve. During the 1970s, the Todd Pacific Shipyard was contracted to build a number of ships including:

  • large double-ended ferries for Washington State
  • navy missile destroyers
  • navy frigates
  • tug supply boats

The 1980s brought back economic troubles to the Todd Pacific Shipyard. The ship industry was hit with a major decline in the demand for ships. The Todd Pacific Shipyard filed for bankruptcy in 1986 and experienced major downsizing.

The Todd Pacific Shipyard continues to operate as a modern shipyard at the forefront of the newest technology in the marine industry. It includes 3 large dry-docks and 6 piers for ship services. The Todd Pacific Shipyard works closely with the U.S. Navy and is contracted for both military and commercial ship construction, repair, and maintenance.

Asbestos & the Todd Pacific Shipyard

Unfortunately, the Todd Pacific Shipyard used asbestos extensively in its shipyard operations. The health dangers of asbestos were unknown until the 1980s and unprotected Todd Pacific Shipyard workers were exposed to high levels of asbestos for prolonged periods. Today, many Todd Pacific Shipyard employees have developed serious and potentially fatal diseases due to asbestos exposure. Authorities have estimated that over 100,000 shipyard workers, including some from the Todd Pacific Shipyard, have died from asbestos related diseases.

Asbestos is a fibrous material that was used in ship construction and repair for its ability to retard fire, withstand high temperatures, and resist corrosion. Todd Pacific Shipyard workers regularly used asbestos containing materials that can release a dangerous fibrous dust into the air. When the dust is inhaled, it lodges in the lungs or the protective lining of many of the body’s organs and can cause severe and fatal health problems, such as:

  • Mesothelioma (a cancer affecting the protective lining that covers most of the body’s internal organs, including the lungs)
  • Lung cancer
  • Asbestosis (lung tissue scarring)
  • Cancer in other organs

Todd Pacific Shipyard workers were unaware of the health hazards of asbestos and were unprotected when working around this dangerous substance. Asbestos diseases can take decades to become symptomatic. Many shipyard workers are diagnosed with asbestos diseases each year. Todd Pacific Shipyard workers concerned for their health have sought medical and legal advice about their asbestos exposure. In fact, asbestos injury lawsuits have been successfully litigated around the country with many victims recovering compensation for their injuries.

Asbestos Injuries at the Todd Pacific Shipyard – Washington

If you or a loved one worked at the Todd Pacific Shipyard, you may have been exposed to asbestos. It is important that you alert your health care provider of any asbestos exposure. Next, contact our experienced lawyers to learn about your legal rights and options. 

Published November 17, 2011 by