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Camp Lejeune Liver Cancer Lawsuit Update

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For nearly 35 years, those stationed at Camp Lejeune were unknowingly exposed to a toxic cocktail of pollutants. These noxious chemicals have been linked to numerous medical conditions with deadly consequences for thousands of members and employees of the United States Marine Corps

If you or your family members have served at Camp Lejeune between 1953 and 1987 and have suffered from health complications related to the exposure, Schmidt & Clark can help you.

Our experienced team of attorneys spent decades fighting cases like this, and we can assess your eligibility requirements and help you receive the compensation you deserve.

Quick Summary

  • Volatile organic compounds were found in the contaminated water at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune from 1953 to 1987, leading ultimately to serious health problems, including liver cancer.
  • The Camp Lejeune Justice Act grants key healthcare benefits to those exposed to toxic chemicals in Camp Lejeune’s contaminated water.
  • Camp Lejeune liver cancer victims can receive financial compensation for their suffering, ranging from $190.000 to $550.000.

Liver Cancer Linked to Contaminated Drinking Water at Camp Lejeune

A person holding contaminated drinking waterNumerous studies have uncovered that those living and drinking water at Camp Lejeune for an extended period of time are disproportionately prone to developing life-threatening illnesses like liver cancer, kidney cancer, and leukemia [1]. 

The data indisputably points towards contaminated water being linked with these serious health risks because of the toxic substances it contains.

The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) found that these toxic substances may cause the most common form of liver cancer, Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) [2].

About Liver Cancer

Liver cancer can be a deadly and debilitating threat, with an average of 80.000 new cases being diagnosed every year throughout the world [3]. 

The severity of it depends on multiple factors, such as its location on the liver and if it’s primary or secondary. Additionally, its size, whether or not it has spread to other organs, and one’s overall health all contribute to how severe this illness might become [4].

Liver cancer is highly variable, with some forms progressing quickly and others taking much longer to spread. Hemangiosarcoma and angiosarcoma are known for their rapid advancement, while hepatocellular carcinoma tends to move more slowly through its course of progression [5].

 The symptoms of this type of cancer include:

  • Unexpected weight loss; 
  • Loss of appetite;
  • Nausea or vomiting;
  • Pain in the abdomen;
  • Swelling or fluid build-up in the abdomen;
  • Itching;
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes) [6].

Early treatment significantly increases the chances of a successful outcome against this silent killer.

“Liver cancer is often treatable. Be sure to speak with your doctor about new or concerning symptoms, as well as treatment side effects that may be affecting you. Your doctor may be able to adjust your treatments and help you feel more comfortable.”
Brett Barlow, Editor at Healthline.com

What Chemicals in the Camp Lejeune Drinking Water Are Linked to Liver Cancer?

A doctor scientist checking the chemicals in the camp lejeune drinking water

Chemicals in the Camp Lejeune water that are linked to liver cancer are vinyl chloride (VCM), trichloroethylene (TCE), tetrachloroethylene (PCE or PERC), and benzene.

  • VCM –  A colorless gas that has been proven to cause chronic liver disease, liver angiosarcoma, and hepatocellular carcinoma (a common type of primary liver cancer) [7]. When a water supply is contaminated, VCM can enter household air when using the water for showering, cooking, and washing [8]. 
  • TCE – A halocarbon often used as an industrial solvent believed to cause an increased risk of liver cancer [9] [10].
  • PCE A chemical used to degrease metal parts but categorized as cancerogenic by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for all types of exposure [11].
  • Benzene – Whether by inhalation or swallowing, people exposed to benzene are more likely to suffer from severe health complications, including liver cancer [12].

The research found that exposure to these hazardous chemicals that infiltrated one life-filled military base can even cause hepatic angiosarcoma, a rare type of tumor listed by the National Cancer Institute (NCI).

VA Compensation for Camp Lejeune Liver Cancer

A lawyer computing the compensation for camp lejeune cancerThe Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022, signed by President Biden, is devoted to providing disability compensation for veterans who have been injured or suffered from contaminated water during their military service [13].

This legislation allows all of the victims to legally be able to file a Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit and recover damages, such as medical expenses.

The Veterans affair Department has also agreed to support the veterans and their families affected by water contamination from the base with $2 billion and has set up $350 million for healthcare services.

Additionally, they will pay out compensations amounting to up to $75 million to families who lost service members due to contaminated water exposure.

Although each suit differs, the typical settlement amount for Camp Lejeune liver cancer cases ranges from $190.000 to $550.000

To file for compensation, you must demonstrate the connection between contaminated water at Camp Lejeune and the health problems you have suffered. 

Camp Lejeune Liver Cancer Lawsuit

A lawyer explaining to a client the camp lejeune liver cancer lawsuitAfter decades of neglect, the US House of Representatives passed the CLJA with a resounding majority in 2021. 

This historic federal law almost guarantees compensation for those affected, allowing for their disability benefits and health care services, such as cancer care or treatment. 

According to the Navy JAG Tort Claims Unit, over 15.000 claims have been filed in only six months

However, certain factors affect the Camp Lejeune liver cancer lawsuit:

  • Medical bills;
  • Lost wages;
  • Pain and suffering;
  • Permanent disability;
  • The damaging effects on the quality of life.

Who Is Eligible to Sue for Camp Lejeune Water Contamination?

Veterans who served at Camp Lejeune from 1953 to 1987, as well as civilians employed on the base during that period, may be eligible to sue for Camp Lejeune Water Contamination. 

Additionally, the Camp Lejeune Justice Act allows family members to file a claim on behalf of their loved ones who were exposed to contaminated water during the said period.

Parents, siblings, spouses, and children can seek justice for those affected by this unfortunate event.

How to File a Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Cancer Lawsuit

A lawyer filing a camp lejeune water contamination cancer lawsuit

 

If you believe you meet the required conditions, reach out to Schmidt & Clark LLP. Our experienced lawyers will help you file a lawsuit in federal court located within the Eastern District of North Carolina and help you gather evidence to help bolster your Camp Lejeune claim and ensure its credibility.

Legal documentation necessary for the suit includes:

  • Medical records – You must provide documentation stating your diagnosis as a result of exposure to contaminated water; Prepare the documented symptoms, prescribed medications, and surgical interventions. 
  • Military service records – You will need a DD Form 214, also referred to as DD214, containing information like the date of your enlistment, administrative remarks, and disciplinary actions.
  • Housing records – A leasing agreement is needed to prove that you were present at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 days between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987.

Asking for assistance from the VA Regional Office or filing online through their website could be helpful in successfully completing this process.

As of July 2022, the filed suits take roughly 125 days to process. However, this time range was standard before President Biden signed the PACT Act, which may reduce the waiting time significantly.

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FAQs

What Are the Symptoms of Camp Lejeune Water Contamination?

The symptoms of Camp Lejeune Water contamination are fever, fatigue, infections, weight loss, enlarged liver, bleeding, excessive sweating, and bone pain.

What Is the Average Payout for the Camp Lejeune Lawsuit?

The average payout for the Camp Lejeune lawsuit is from $300.000 to $500.000, depending on factors like medical records, disability payments, pain and suffering, and mental health services.

Consult an Experienced Camp Lejeune Lawyer

Thousands of people have gone decades unknowingly drinking contaminated water at Camp Lejeune and are at risk of developing life-threatening illnesses like liver cancer. 

If you or someone close to you suffered from this health issue or any of the related conditions after exposure at the military base, financial compensation might be a viable option.

Schmidt & Clark, LLP team of established personal injury attorneys has experience in handling every step of the Camp Lejeune lawsuits. We can negotiate a settlement that can allow you to get what you are rightfully owed. 


References: 

  1. https://www.publichealth.va.gov/exposures/camp-lejeune/
  2. https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/sites/lejeune/docs/ATSDR_summary_of_the_evidence_for_causality_TCE_PCE_508.pdf
  3. https://www.cancer.org/cancer/liver-cancer/about/what-is-key-statistics.html
  4. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/liver-cancer/
  5. https://www.medicinenet.com/does_liver_cancer_spread_quickly/article.htm
  6. https://www.cancer.org/cancer/liver-cancer/detection-diagnosis-staging/signs-symptoms.html
  7. https://misuse.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/error/abuse.shtml
  8. https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/substances/vinyl-chloride
  9. https://academic.oup.com/jnci/article/105/12/869/904951
  10. https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/CHRG-111hhrg58485/html/CHRG-111hhrg58485.htm
  11. https://www.epa.gov/sites/default/files/2016-09/documents/tetrachloroethylene.pdf
  12. https://www.cancer.org/healthy/cancer-causes/chemicals/benzene.html
  13. https://justiceforlejeune.org/camp-lejeune-justice-act

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