The Camp Lejeune breast cancer lawsuit refers to a legal action taken by a group of women who claim that their breast cancer was caused by exposure to contaminated water at Marine Corps Air station Camp Lejeune in North Carolina.
The plaintiffs claim their exposure to dangerous chemicals in Camp Lejeune’s water supply resulted in developing breast cancer. They claim that the government knew about the contamination and failed to take appropriate action to protect the health of those living and working at the base.
At Schmidt & Clark, LLP, we are experts in contamination lawsuits. The whole team is committed to holding people responsible for their negligence and helping those affected by contamination to get the assistance they need.
Why Choose Schmidt & Clark, LLP For Your Claim
- We have over 20 years of experience representing injured people in their claims against large corporations and government agencies.
- Our lawyers represent the victims of water contamination at Camp Lejeune in the United States.
- Our law firm will deal with every aspect of your case on your behalf and guide you through every stage of litigation.
- Camp Lejeune breast cancer lawsuits are an opportunity for Camp Lejeune victims to receive compensation for their medical treatment and lost wages.
- Water contamination on the Marine Corps base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina has been linked to breast cancer.
- Now there is an ongoing Camp Lejeune breast cancer lawsuit against the United States government by women who served at Camp Lejeune and are currently suffering from breast cancer
Water Contamination at Camp Lejeune
Camp Lejeune is a United States Marine Corps base that was established in 1941 and is located in North Carolina.
Beginning in the 1950s and continuing through the 1980s, the Camp Lejeune water supply was contaminated with various toxic chemicals, including benzene, trichloroethylene (TCE), perchloroethylene (PCE), and vinyl chloride.
The contaminants were released into the groundwater by industrial operations on the base and by leaking underground storage tanks.
As a result of the contamination, many people who lived or worked at Camp Lejeune, as well as their families, were exposed to the toxic water. This exposure has been linked to several serious health problems, such as breast cancer.
Research has shown that the children of women who were pregnant while living at the base have an increased risk of developing leukemia and other cancers.
The United States government has acknowledged the contamination at Camp Lejeune and has taken steps to clean up the site. In 2012, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) released a report outlining the history of the contamination at the base and its potential health effects.
The report concluded that "drinking the toxic water at Camp Lejeune during the period of contamination (1953-1987) is likely to have caused cancers of the liver, kidney, lung, lymphoma, and leukemia, as well as other health problems."
The Marine Corps has also established the Camp Lejeune Health Program to provide health care and support to eligible veterans, active-duty service members, and their family members who may have been affected by the contamination.
The program offers health assessments, counseling, and medical treatment for contamination-related conditions.
Additionally, The Honorable Secretary of Veterans Affairs has authorized disability health care compensation benefits to veterans, former reservists, and former National Guard members, who served at least 30 days at Camp Lejeune between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987, and who now suffer from one of eight illnesses associated with toxic exposure.
Illnesses included are Adult leukemia, Aplastic anemia, Bladder cancer, Kidney cancer, Liver cancer, Multiple myeloma, Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, and Parkinson's disease.
Related Article: Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawsuit
Signs of a Breast Cancer
Several signs may indicate the presence of breast cancer. However, it's important to note that many of these signs can also be caused by non-cancerous conditions, such as benign breast lumps or cysts.
It's always a good idea to consult a healthcare professional if you notice any changes in your breasts.
A lump or thickening in the breast or underarm - this is often the first sign of breast cancer. It's important to note that not all breast lumps are cancerous; it is still essential to have any lumps checked by a healthcare professional.
There are several signs of breast cancer that you should be aware of, including:
- Lumps or thickening in the breast or underarm area: These are the most common signs of breast cancer. A lump may be painless, cause discomfort, and be small or large.
- Changes in the size or shape of the breast: This can include one breast becoming larger or lower than the other or a difference in the shape of the breast.
- Changes in the skin of the breast or nipple: This can include redness, scaliness, dimpling of the skin on the breast, or an "orange peel" texture known as peau d'orange.
- Nipple discharge or changes: This can include spontaneous discharge from the nipple, the discharge can be a clear or cloudy fluid, or it can be blood or a difference in the position or shape of the nipple.
- Pain in the breast or armpit: This can be a sign of advanced breast cancer. Breast cancer is not usually painful, but some people experience discomfort or pain in the breast or armpit.
- A change in how the breast or nipple feels: This can include the breast or nipple feeling hard, warm, or swollen.
These symptoms can vary depending on the stage and type of breast cancer, and not every person experiences all of them. Additionally, male breast cancer can also be found without any symptoms, which is why it's essential to have regular screenings.
It's important to note that if you notice any changes in your breasts, you should schedule an appointment with a healthcare professional to evaluate them.
They may recommend additional tests, such as a mammogram, ultrasound, or biopsy, to determine whether or not the changes are due to breast cancer.
See the other toxic tort lawsuits we've taken on.
What Other Health Conditions Has Water Contamination at Camp Lejeune Been Linked To?
Water contamination at Camp Lejeune, a United States Marine Corps base in North Carolina, has been linked to severe health conditions.
The contaminated drinking water was contaminated with high levels of various pollutants, including trichloroethylene (TCE), tetrachloroethylene (PCE), benzene, and other cancer-causing chemicals, from the 1950s to the 1980s. This contamination affected residential drinking water.
Some of the health conditions that have been linked to the Camp Lejeune water contamination include:
- Various types of cancers, such as leukemia, kidney cancer, esophageal cancer
- Neurological disorders, such as Parkinson's disease
- Reproductive issues, such as miscarriage and birth defects
- Liver and lung diseases
- Immune system dysfunction
- Psychological disorders
- Kidney disease and other adverse health effects.
If you have lived or worked on base during these time frames, you may be eligible for healthcare benefits and health care through the Department of Veterans Affairs
The Camp Lejeune Justice Act: Helping Those Exposed to Camp Lejeune’s Contaminated Water Supply
The Camp Lejeune Justice Act from August 2022 is a law that provides healthcare benefits to veterans and their families who were impacted by the water contamination at Camp Lejeune, a United States Marine Corps base in North Carolina.
The law is known as Honoring America's Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act, H.R.1627; it passed the US Congress in 2012 and was signed by the President on August 6, 2012.
The law allows veterans who served at Camp Lejeune for a minimum of 30 days between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987, and their family members to receive hospital care, medical services, and nursing home care for the following 15 illnesses:
- Adult leukemia
- Aplastic anemia
- Bladder cancer
- Kidney cancer
- Liver cancer
- Multiple myeloma
- Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma
- Parkinson's disease
- Adult respiratory distress syndrome
- Hodgkin's disease
- Esophageal cancer
- Breast cancer
- Lung cancer
The Act also contains provisions that require the Department of Veterans Affairs to provide medical care and compensation to veterans and family members who were affected by the water contamination at Camp Lejeune and are suffering from one or more of the illnesses mentioned above.
What Is the Average Settlement for Camp Lejeune Breast Cancer Cases?
It's challenging to provide an average settlement for Camp Lejeune breast cancer cases as each case is unique, and the payments will depend on the individual circumstances of each case.
Camp Lejeune breast cancer cases are anticipated to see a per-person average settlement amount between $400,000 to $600,000. This includes medical and non-medical costs associated with a cancer diagnosis, treatment, and recovery.
The compensation and benefits provided by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act are based on the individual health condition and other factors like financial losses, disability, etc.
The VA determines the amount of compensation through a process known as claims adjudication, which evaluates the scientific and medical evidence presented by the veteran and the VA's regulations and guidelines.
If an individual can prove through medical evidence and testimony that the water contamination caused their breast cancer, the VA can determine that the veteran's service meets the service period service and specific locations. Also, family members of veterans who lived on the base have access to the benefits.
The average settlement amount can depend on various factors, including the case's specific circumstances, the strength of the evidence, and the VA's regulations and guidelines.
Additionally, the compensation given to an individual can differ based on factors like the state of the disease, treatment cost, financial losses, and disability.
It would be advisable to seek legal representation or consult with an attorney who has experience in handling breast cancer diagnosis cases for a better understanding of your specific case and an estimate of the settlement amount.
The Camp Lejeune Justice Act does not place any cap on the damages awarded to a claimant. The settlement amounts will be based on the seriousness of the injury or illness caused by the contamination and how significantly the injury or illness has impacted the claimant’s life to date and will likely affect it in the future, including medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering.
- Christopher Cantrell, attorney at LegalScoops
What Is the Burden of Proof During a Camp Lejeune Breast Cancer Claim?
The burden of proof during a Camp Lejeune breast cancer claim is on the claimant. This means that the individual must provide sufficient evidence to support their Camp Lejeune claim that their breast cancer was caused by exposure to toxic water at the military base.
This evidence may include medical records, expert testimony, and other relevant documentation. The individual must also demonstrate that their exposure to the contaminated water occurred during the period when the contamination occurred (1953 to 1987).
Camp Lejeune Breast Cancer Lawsuit
Usually, the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) does not permit veterans or their family members to sue for service-related illnesses. However, under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act, veterans and their families can sue for compensation for breast cancer caused by Camp Lejeune's contaminated water.
Veterans and their families who wish to file a Camp Lejeune lawsuit have just two years from the date of passage of the Camp Lejeune Justice Act to file a water contamination lawsuit.
Besides the two-year deadline, veterans must exhaust all administrative resources before filing a potential Camp Lejeune lawsuit in a federal court.
Any person who meets the following criteria may be eligible to file a Camp Lejeune breast cancer lawsuit:
- Present at Camp Lejeune between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987
- Exposure to water at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 days
- Were diagnosed with breast cancer
Do I Need to Hire a Lawyer to Represent Me in a Camp Lejeune Contamination Claim?
With the enactment of the Camp Lejeune Act of 2022, hiring a Camp Lejeune lawyer is critical to facilitate filing your contaminated water claim. While drafting your claim, you can get expert advice from a personal injury lawyer on the link between developed breast cancer and water at Camp Lejeune
Besides ensuring you get the compensation you're entitled to, a lawyer can look into your case, explain the procedure for claiming your financial compensation or health benefits, and bargain for fair Camp Lejeune settlement payouts in court.
Also, if you have applied for disability benefits and have been refused, an attorney can help you appeal on your behalf.
How Much Will It Cost to File My Camp Lejeune Contamination Case?
You don't have to pay a penny upfront to file breast cancer claims. Most attorneys and law firms work on the so-called "contingency" basis, which means you never pay a penny from your pocket.
The only time they collect charges is if and when you receive compensation for injuries caused by Camp Lejeune water. Their fees are removed from the amount you recover so that you never pay out of pocket.
Most lawyers and law firms collect a contingency fee of 30 percent to 40 percent of the settlement amount.
What Are the Chemicals in Camp Lejeune Water That Causes Breast Cancer?
Chemicals in Camp Lejeune water that causes breast cancer include Trichloroethylene (TCE), Perchloroethylene (PCE), Benzene, and Vinyl chloride. These contaminants have been linked to several health problems, including cancer, such as breast cancer, birth defects, and neurological conditions, such as Parkinson's disease.
Do I Qualify for Disability Benefits From the Veterans Administration (VA)?
You would qualify for disability benefits if you worked at Camp Lejeune or MCAS New River for a minimum of 30 days from August 1953 to December 1987. You did not receive a dishonorable discharge when you left the military.
What Are the Presumptive Conditions I Must Have Developed to Deem Myself Eligible?
Presumptive conditions are medical records that show you have at least one of these health conditions - breast cancer, kidney cancer, liver cancer, adult leukemia, aplastic anemia, and multiple myeloma.
Who Is Covered, and What Exactly Are the Benefits?
Veterans, reservists, and guardsmen have been included in health care and compensation (payment) benefits for injuries caused by Lejeune water.
What Are the Symptoms of Camp Lejeune Water Contamination?
Some of the symptoms that have been reported in people who were exposed to the Camp Lejeune contaminated water include prolonged fatigue, neurological problems, fever, infections, weight loss, cancer, swollen lymph nodes, bleeding, or bruising, reproductive problems, liver damage, kidney damage, etc.
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