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Camp Lejeune Leukemia Lawsuit Attorney

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Camp Lejeune is a United States Marine air station in North Carolina. From the 1950s to the 1980s, the base was contaminated with cancer-causing chemicals, leading to numerous leukemia cases and other cancers in military members and their families [1]

If you have been affected and developed a Leukemia diagnosis from water contamination, you may be eligible for a lawsuit, and our expert lawyers at Schmidt and Clark can help. 

Quick Summary

  • Camp Lejeune experienced contaminated water from chemicals between 1953 and 1987, which led to many adverse health effects on service members and their families.
  • One of the health effects the contaminated water caused was adult Leukemia, which is cancer of the bone marrow and lymphatic system.
  • Evidence and scientific studies have linked the contaminated drinking water at Camp Lejeune to the development of adult leukemia.
  • The Camp Lejeune Justice Act has eased the burden of proof of victims and given the ability of many victims to pursue lawsuits for their illnesses.
  • A lawsuit may allow you to be compensated for health care expenses, financial compensation, and disability compensation, enabling victims to receive government-funded health care benefits.

How Water Contamination Occurred at Camp Lejeune and the Chemicals Found

A lawyer using a laptop in an officeIn 1982, contaminants were discovered in the Camp Lejeune water supply that caused many adverse health effects for service members and their families. A local dry cleaning business’s disposal process led to chemicals in the nearby water treatment plant.

 The Camp Lejeune water was contaminated between 1953 to 1987.

Due to the Camp Lejeune water contamination with Benzene, vinyl chloride, trichloroethylene, and perchloroethylene, many Camp Lejeune victims living and working on the base have developed cancer, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, adult leukemia, aplastic anemia, and other health problems.

Related Article: Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawsuit

What Is Adult Leukemia?

Adult Leukemia is a cancer of the body’s blood tissues, such as bone marrow and the lymphatic system. Leukemia affects the white blood cells, which help your body fight off disease.

In people with Leukemia, the bone marrow produces an excess amount of abnormal white blood cells that can’t function properly [2].

There are several types of adult Leukemia. These include:

  • Acute myeloid Leukemia
  • Chronic lymphocytic Leukemia
  • Chronic myeloid Leukemia
  • Acute lymphoblastic Leukemia 

Symptoms of Adult Leukemia

A doctor writing down on a clipboard about the symptoms of leukemia

Adult Leukemia is accompanied by several symptoms, including:

  • Fatigue or weakness
  • Pale skin
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Appetite loss
  • Fever
  • Consistent infections
  • Bone or joint pain
  • Excess bleeding
  • Enlarged lymph nodes

Causes of Leukemia

There are several causes of leukemia, including:

  • Chemical exposure
  • Radiation exposure
  • Smoking
  • Chemotherapy medications

Leukemia Complications

There are also serious complications that can arise from Leukemia, including:

  • Severe infection
  • Pneumonia
  • Hemorrhage

Evidence Linking the Contaminated Water at Camp Lejeune to Leukemia

A doctor checking out the evidences linked to the contaminated water at camp lejeune

The effects of exposure to any toxic chemicals depend on several factors, including:

  • When exposure occurs
  • How much exposure occurs
  • How long exposure occurs
  • The method of exposure

Not everyone exposed to hazardous chemicals like chemicals found in the Camp Lejeune water contamination will develop health issues. However, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry has scientific and medical evidence showing a link between adult Leukemia and Camp Lejeune contamination [3]

In 2009, the Navy requested that the National Research Council perform a study to assess the long-term health effects of those who served at Camp Lejeune during the water contamination period.

The National Research Council determined there is evidence of a link between the risk for Leukemia and chemicals like TCE, PCE, and Benzene [4].

The Veterans Affairs Technical Workgroup also found that at least one internationally recognized scientific authority cited strong evidence supporting the link between TCE and the development of Leukemia, which led the VA to acknowledge the relationship of contaminated water at Camp Lejeune with leukemia [5]

Studies found elevated risks from Camp Lejeune for causes of death including cancer of the kidney, liver, esophagus, cervix, multiple myeloma, Hodgkin lymphoma, and Lou Gehrig’s disease
Frank Bove, Senior Epidemiologist, Center For Disease Control

Burden of Proof

Under the recently passed Camp Lejeune Justice Act, victims of water contamination from Camp Lejeune can now file suits that were previously limited due to a strict North Carolina statute.

The Camp Lejeune Justice Act also lowers the burden of proof to cite a single validated study linking Leukemia to the Camp Lejeune water contamination [6].

You will need to prove a few key factors to file a lawsuit.

  1. First, you will need to prove that you resided or worked on the Camp Lejeune base during the water contamination period for at least 30 days. You can achieve this through military records.
  2. Second, you will need a validated study linking your Leukemia to toxic water contamination at Camp Lejeune.
  3. Third, you may need other records, including medical statements, test results, medical expenses that show losses, and proof of disability benefits.
  4. Fourth, you must file the lawsuit within the next two years.

Related Article:Camp Lejeune Multiple Myeloma Case

See all related toxic tort cases we’ve covered.

Average Settlement of a Camp Lejeune Lawsuit

Lawyer and client passing money around in an office

The Camp Lejeune Justice Act has just been recently passed, so no lawsuits have been settled yet. However, the Congressional Budget Office has estimated the settlements may cost around $300 billion over the next decade.

This number is difficult to estimate because over 900,000 individuals have been affected

Below are similar leukemia toxic exposure lawsuits that have been settled:

  1. A 2018 case of a $4.5 million settlement for a worker who developed Leukemia after workplace exposure to Benzene. After regular exposure, the worker developed chronic myelogenous Leukemia.
  2. A 2016 case of an $824,000 settlement of a man that claimed Benzene in printing solvents caused his myeloid Leukemia.
  3. A 2015 case of an $8.2 million settlement for a man that claimed Benzene in DuPont paint caused his myeloid Leukemia.
  4. A 2015 case of a $7.5 million settlement for a man that drove a gasoline tanker for six years exposed him to Benzene. The man later died of myelodysplastic syndrome.

Factors That May Affect Settlement Amount

Several factors may affect your settlement amount, including length of exposure, method of exposure when exposure occurred, and more.

What Damages Can You Be Compensated For?

In the Camp Lejeune contamination lawsuit, there are several damages you can compensate for, including being reimbursed for health care expenses, financial compensation, disability compensation, and allowing victims to receive government-funded health care benefits.

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Have you or a loved one been injured or exposed to a toxic chemical at work or in the home that has caused a severe life-threatening side effect, illness, disease, or death?

FAQs

What Are the Long-Term Effects of Camp Lejeune Water Exposure?

The long-term effects of Camp Lejeune water exposure include neurobehavioral effects such as memory problems, insomnia, headaches, dementia, anxiety, acute cancers, and Parkinson’s disease [11].

What Other Illnesses Are Linked to Camp Lejeune Contamination?

Other illnesses linked to the Camp Lejeune contamination include aplastic anemia, bladder cancer, kidney cancer, liver cancer, miscarriage, and more.

What Birth Defects Did Camp Lejeune Cause?

Camp Lejeune caused many birth defects, including childhood leukemia, childhood cancer, cleft palate, oral clefts, cleft lip, spina bifida, neural tube defects, and brain cancer.

Is the Camp Lejeune Lawsuit Legitimate?

Yes, the Camp Lejeune Lawsuit is legitimate. The Camp Lejeune Justice Act passed in 2022, gave victims the right to sue and qualify for disability benefits depending on the exposure and effects of the contamination.

How Long Will the Camp Lejeune Lawsuits Take To Settle?

It is estimated to take between 14 and 26 months to reach settlements. It will likely take a year before settlements are seen for the earliest filed cases.

Can I File a Lawsuit Without a Lawyer?

No, you can’t file a Camp Lejeune lawsuit without a lawyer. A lawyer is crucial to your case to help you collect evidence and represent you in court.

What Should I Do if I Drink Contaminated Water?

If you accidentally drink contaminated water, the ideal response is to see your doctor. Early symptoms from contamination can appear cold or flu-like with a fever. 

What Happens if You Shower in Contaminated Water?

Showering in contaminated water can cause skin irritation and eye, ear, or throat infections. Swallowing contaminated water while showering can also lead to several adverse health effects.

Get a Free Lawsuit Evaluation

Suppose you or your family members were exposed to toxic water at Camp Lejeune between 1953 and 1987 and developed an acute condition like adult leukemia or another adverse health effect. In that case, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit. 

The experienced personal injury lawyer team at Schmidt & Clark, LLP can help you gather medical evidence, and doctor’s testimony and hire medical experts.

Our lawyers will also prepare arguments for your exposure and diagnosis, how they link to the contamination at Camp Lejeune, and represent you in court, so make sure to schedule your appointment now.


References:

  1. https://www.publichealth.va.gov/exposures/camp-lejeune/
  2. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/4365-leukemia
  3. https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/sites/lejeune/background.html
  4. https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2016/09/09/2016-21455/diseases-associated-with-exposure-to-contaminants-in-the-water-supply-at-camp-lejeune
  5. https://www.regulations.gov/document/VA-2016-VBA-0021-0001
  6. https://www.classaction.org/camp-lejeune-water-contamination
  7. https://www.consumernotice.org/environmental/camp-lejeune/neurobehavioral-effects/#:~:text=Exposure%20to%20Camp%20Lejeune%20water,dementia%2C%20anxiety%20and%20Parkinson’s%20disease.

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