The Camp Lejeune Contaminated Water Lawsuit is one of the most significant military contamination lawsuits in U.S. history. Many people have joined the Camp Lejeune toxic water lawsuit, including some veterans and their families who developed life-threatening diseases after drinking contaminated water at this North Carolina Marine Corps base.
What Is the Camp Lejeune Contaminated Water Lawsuit?
The Camp Lejeune Contaminated Water Lawsuit is a class action lawsuit filed against the government on behalf of military veterans stationed at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. It alleges that a Marine Corps Base Drinking Water was contaminated with industrial solvents, pesticides, and other toxic chemicals from 1953 to 1987.
The affected individuals developed severe illnesses, including kidney cancer, leukemia, and non-Hodgkin lymphoma, as well as other types of cancers and neurological disorders, such as Parkinson’s disease or Alzheimer’s disease, among others.
What Are the Cancers Associated With the Camp Lejeune Contaminated Water Lawsuit?
The following types of cancer can be linked to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune:
Leukemia is a blood and bone marrow cancer caused by abnormal white blood cell buildup. Leukemia can affect the blood cells that fight infection and those that carry oxygen, resulting in anemia, fatigue, weakness, lack of energy, and shortness of breath. Most patients respond to standard treatment regimens. However, some forms are resistant to therapy or have serious side effects. According to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, there were 61,090 new cases of leukemia in 2021.
Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is a cancer that affects the lymph system. It presents as a swollen area, or lump, in one of your lymph nodes, which are spherical-shaped organs found all over your body, including under your arms, in your neck and groin, and in your chest and abdomen. It is a common form of cancer. An article on the Cancer.net website estimates that 8,540 people will be diagnosed with cancer in 2022.
Kidney cancer is a form of cancer that begins in the tissues of the kidney. The kidney is part of the urinary system. Cancer may be suspected if there is haematuria, persistent fever, weight loss, abdominal pain, and fatigue. Kidney cancer can be treated by surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, or a combination. These treatments will depend on many factors, including age, size, and stage of the cancerous tumor.
A study was conducted to monitor the growth of cancer in kidneys. The study published on the NCBI website shows a difference in tumor Linear Growth Rate (LGR) before and after 6 months. However, there was no relation between cancer cell growth and the Fuhrman grade system, gender, or age.
Besides the cancers mentioned above, the contaminants in the water supplied to Camp Lejeune were also associated with other cancers, such as bladder cancer, liver cancer, prostate cancer, etc.
Can You File a Camp Lejeune Contaminated Water Lawsuit for Non-Cancerous Diseases?
Most cancers developed by contaminated water are listed as presumptive conditions by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. This means that veterans who served at Camp Lejeune between August 1953 and December 1987 for at least 30 days and have later developed those conditions are eligible for getting compensation without proving anything else.
But what about non-cancerous diseases not listed in the presumptive conditions list? Can you file a Camp Lejeune Contaminated Water Lawsuit for those diseases?
The answer is yes. If exposed to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune, you can file a lawsuit for non-cancerous diseases. The statute of limitations may be different than it is for cancer, but that doesn’t mean that the law won’t recognize your injury as real and worthy of compensation. Besides cancerous diseases, water contamination at Camp Lejeune was also associated with other conditions, such as miscarriage, congenital abnormalities, neurobehavioral effects, Scleroderma, etc.
If your family member was exposed to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune and is suffering from a non-cancerous disease or has died, you may still be able to file an injury claim on their behalf. You may secure compensation for pain and suffering, medical bills, lost wages, and other damages associated with the fatal illness.
How to File a Camp Lejeune Contaminated Water Lawsuit?
The following are some steps you can follow if you believe you have been affected by the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune:
- File a claim with the Veterans Administration (VA) within two years of discovering your injury or illness is related to exposure to toxic chemicals in the water supply at Camp Lejeune. You will need proof of exposure and proof of related medical care for your condition.
- File an appeal if the VA denies your initial claim or if you receive less than full compensation from your claim. You must file your appeal within one year of receiving notice that your claim has been denied or reduced in value below $100,000. Suppose an administrative law judge finds that there has been a denial of due process or an error in law on behalf of VA officials during an appeal hearing. In that case, the judge may award up to $1,000 in attorney’s fees.
- File a lawsuit against Camp Lejeune for personal injury damages if you have not been fully compensated for your medical expenses and other losses by VA officials or through an appeal hearing. You should seek legal counsel from a veteran’s lawyer who is experienced in handling these cases before filing any claims with the court system.
- You’ll need to prove that the water contamination caused your illness and that you were exposed. If possible, gather records of your exposure, such as military service and medical records. Also, gather any reports showing how many other people were affected by Camp Lejeune’s contaminated drinking water during the same period.
The Camp Lejeune Contaminated Water Lawsuit is a critical case that can bring justice to the many people who have suffered from the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune. If you have been affected by this, filing a claim as soon as possible is vital to get compensation for your injuries or damages.