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Vigor (formerly Todd) Shipyards, Brooklyn, NY

History of Todd Shipyards, Brooklyn

Todd Shipyards, now Vigor Shipyards, was founded in 1916 when three shipbuilding companies in Brooklyn New York; Hoboken, New Jersey; and Seattle merged to become the William H. Todd Corporation. The Brooklyn shipyard, located in Red Hook, was founded in 1864 as Robins Dry Dock Company.

Todd Shipyards built and maintained military and civilian vessels. It held contracts with the U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard, Royal Australian Navy, and Washington State Ferries. During World War II, it employed nearly 20,000 people to build, repair, and refit Navy ships. In 1965, Todd Shipyards renamed it New York Shipyards.

At that time, the shipyard built:

  • Various names
  • About 100 barges
  • Yachts
  • Minesweepers
  • Tankers
  • Cargo ships
  • Dispatch boats
  • Pilot boats
  • Lighters
  • Ferries
  • Tugboats
  • Navy landing craft
  • Excursion vessels

In 1985, Todd was sold to United States Dredging, which later sold it to IKEA. The site was demolished and is now IKEA’s Red Hook, NY store.

Todd Shipyard and Asbestos

Throughout the late 19th century and 20th century, asbestos was used as a material in and on equipment such as pumps, valves, and boilers throughout the ships, including ships built and repaired at the Todd Shipyards facility in Brooklyn.

Todd Shipyard workers who built and repaired ships were likely exposed to asbestos. Exposure did not necessarily occur through direct contact with asbestos-containing materials. Airborne fibers released through work activities did not respect craft lines or even employment lines, as secondhand exposure may have occurred among the family members of shipyard workers when fibers were brought home on clothing.

Asbestos has been known to cause lung problems since at least the 1930s. Asbestos fibers are breathed in and can cling to the lungs for decades. This can cause:

  • Lung scarring
  • Breathing problems
  • Lung cancer including mesothelioma

What To Can Do If You Were Exposed To Asbestos

It’s not easy to detect asbestos or mesothelioma symptoms. They often feel like minor colds or viruses, but they don’t go away. Contact your physician if you have medical problems like these for more than a few days or a week:

  • Constant coughing, particularly with blood
  • Breathing problems
  • Pain in the chest or abdomen
  • Sweating at night
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Fever
  • Tiredness

Mention if you worked with or near asbestos or think you might have been exposed during building or ship renovations.

Get help from our respected asbestos lawyers at Belluck & Fox, LLP, a nationally recognized, award-winning law firm with experience working with people who have diseases caused by asbestos, including mesothelioma. Visit our locations at The Capital District and New York today. Contact Belluck & Fox, LLP to help you recover income you lost because of your illness and ensure that you get the treatment you need to fight the disease.

Related Case: Asbestos exposure in Philadelphia Naval Shipyard