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Camp Lejeune Neurobehavioral Effects Lawsuit

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C.L. Mike Schmidt Published by C.L. Mike Schmidt
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Between 1953 and 1987, the water at Camp Lejeune was exposed to toxic substances in the drinking water. Service members and their families exposed to these toxic chemicals have been diagnosed with adverse health effects, including several types of cancer and other neurobehavioral deficits [1].

If you or your family members were exposed to the dangerous water at Camp Lejeune and developed adverse health effects, you may be eligible for a lawsuit, and the expert lawyers and Schmidt and Clark can help.

Quick Summary

  • The contaminated drinking water at Camp Lejeune entered the local water treatment plant from a local dry-cleaning service.
  • Toxic chemicals in the contaminated drinking water led to many adverse health outcomes, including neurobehavioral effects, behavioral disorders, and neuropsychological disorders.
  • Other health conditions linked to water contamination include aplastic anemia, adult leukemia, and bladder, kidney, or liver cancer. 
  • The Camp Lejeune Justice Act has allowed thousands of individuals to file a lawsuit that they couldn’t previously file.

How the Contaminated Water at Camp Lejeune Occurred

A doctor looking at how contaminated water at camp lejeune occuredCamp Lejeune started to experience toxic water conditions in the 1950s when the water became contaminated with toxic chemicals. 

The toxic chemicals entered the local water treatment plant and spread through the base, exposing service members, their families, and citizens to them. These chemicals entered the drinking water through a local dry cleaning service’s disposal process.

There were over 70 dangerous chemicals in the contaminated water, including tetrachloroethylene, trichloroethylene, benzene, and vinyl chloride.

Chronic exposure to these chemicals leads to many adverse health effects among those living and working on Camp Lejeune. The chemical exposure continued to occur until 1987.

Related Article: Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawsuit Update

Neurobehavioral Effects Caused by the Contaminated Water at Camp Lejeune

A doctor checking up on a patient in a hospital

When referring to neurobehavioral effects, we are referring to conditions related to the connection between the nervous system and behavior.

These neurobehavioral effects include headaches, poor concentration, anxiety, dementia, insomnia, and behavioral and learning issues [2].

The symptoms of neurobehavioral effects include:

  • Confusion
  • Sensory disturbances
  • Tension
  • Depression
  • Issues with motor function and reaction time
  • Tremors
  • Involuntary muscle movement
  • Contrast sensitivity

There are several studies of the neurobehavioral effects caused by the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune.

The Veteran’s Affairs Department defines neurobehavioral effects as conditions between the action of the nervous system and behavior. These include trouble concentrating, PTSD, insomnia, problems with visuomotor coordination, fatigue, etc. [3].

University of Pittsburgh Study

A study by the University Of Pittsburgh showed the effects of organic solvent exposure on occupational exposure subjects. The study found that social alienation, difficulty concentrating, anxiety, memory, and learning impairments were evident in those exposed workers.

Behavioral disorders were also discovered among school-aged children when toxic exposure occurred.

National Center for Biotechnology Information Study

The NCBI study found that long-term chemical exposures, even to low concentrations of trichloroethylene, are linked to neurobehavioral effects [4].

Nuclear Regulatory Commission Study

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission agrees that neurobehavioral effects like Parkinson’s disease should be included and covered by the Veterans Affairs Office under the presumptive health conditions associated with Camp Lejeune water contamination exposure. 

The Agency for Toxic Substances and Diseases Registry Study

The ATSDR also found that neurobehavioral effects such as Parkinson’s disease, cancer, and other health conditions are common among active-duty military members that served at Camp Lejeune [5].

People chronically exposed to PCE may experience disorientation, irritability, peripheral neuropathy, short-term memory deficits, and sleep disturbance. Reversibility depends on the severity of the exposure.”
Patrick Breysse, Ph.D., Agency For Toxic Substances And Disease Registry

Neurobehavioral Effects and Life Impacts

Neurobehavioral effects can impact your quality of life. The consequences of Camp Lejeune contamination led to huge life impacts, such as major medical expenses, loss of enjoyment of life, and loss of ability to earn wages. 

Testing for Neurobehavioral Effects Caused by Chemical Exposure

The link of neurobehavioral effects to toxic chemicals can be tested. Neurotoxicity testing has been established through EPA guidelines for tests. The rate at which chemicals are introduced for use is more frequent than they can be tested [6].

Other Health Conditions Linked to the Water at Camp Lejeune

A doctor looking at an x-ray in a hospital

Long-term exposure to the toxic substances in the Camp Lejeune water leads to several other health impacts, including [7]:

Camp Lejeune Justice Act and the Camp Lejeune Neurobehavioral Effects Lawsuit

The Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 allows those affected by the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune to pursue lawsuits against the government for their neurobehavioral effects, neurological effects, or other health conditions.

Strict North Carolina statutes previously blocked the ability to file these lawsuits.

How to File a Camp Lejeune Lawsuit

A lawyer searching how to file a camp lejeune lawsuit

Although the Camp Lejeune Justice Act has made it easier for individuals to file lawsuits, there are still a few key elements you will need to provide.

  1. First, you’ll need documentation to prove you resided or worked at Camp Lejeune from August 1953 to December 1987.
  2. Second, you must have been diagnosed with one of the presumptive illnesses listed by the Veteran’s Affairs Office.
  3. Third, you must file your claim within the next two years.

What Is the Average Settlement?

The Camp Lejeune water contamination settlement amounts could be over $1 million or as low as $25,000. The settlement amounts will depend on the nature of the medical condition and the extent of harm to the victim.

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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 Is the Most Common Neurobehavioral Disorder?

The most common neurobehavioral disorder is Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder or ADHD. An estimated four percent of United States adults are affected [8].

Is Anxiety a Neurobehavioral Deficit?

Yes, anxiety is a neurobehavioral deficit. Other neurobehavioral effects include memory loss, insomnia, headaches, dementia, and Parkinson’s disease.

How Long Do Symptoms From Contaminated Water Last?

Most symptoms from contaminated water last 24 to 48 hours. In the case of Camp Lejeune, the contaminated water had lifelong effects.

How Long Will It Be Before Getting a Settlement?

It will likely take a year before we see settlements in the earliest cases. The average time frame is 20 months from filing to settlement.

What Are the Signs That Water Is Contaminated?

Contaminated water will often have a cloudy appearance, an odor, or a color change. Water contaminated with bacteria can smell like rotten eggs. High iron levels in water give it an orange color.

Can Neurobehavioral Disorders Be Reversed?

Some neurobehavioral disorders can be reversed, and some can’t. It depends on the severity of the disorder. Some effects, such as depression and PTSD, usually aren’t reversible. 

What Are the Lawyer Fees?

The lawyer fees for a Camp Lejeune lawsuit are limited to 20 to 25 percent of the total settlement amount by the Camp Lejeune Justice Act, depending on at what point in the case a settlement is reached.

Get a Free Lawsuit Consultation

Suppose you or your family members resided or worked at Camp Lejeune for 30 days between 1953 and 1987 and were exposed to contaminated drinking water that caused you to develop neurobehavioral effects such as confusion, sensory disturbances, contrast sensitivity, or any other health conditions. In that case, our expert lawyers can help you file a lawsuit.  

Our experienced lawyers at Schmidt & Clark, LLP are filing claims for Camp Lejeune service members, workers, and other victims seeking damages for neurobehavioral effects caused by the amp Lejeune water contamination.

We can help you build a claim with evidence, collect medical records, file your claim, and represent you in court if necessary.


References:

  1. https://www.va.gov/disability/eligibility/hazardous-materials-exposure/camp-lejeune-water-contamination/
  2. https://www.consumernotice.org/environmental/camp-lejeune/neurobehavioral-effects/
  3. https://misuse.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/error/abuse.shtml
  4. https://misuse.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/error/abuse.shtml
  5. https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/ToxProfiles/tp19.pdf
  6. https://www.epa.gov/sites/default/files/2014-11/documents/neuro_tox.pdf
  7. https://www.va.gov/disability/eligibility/hazardous-materials-exposure/camp-lejeune-water-contamination/
  8. https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/adhd/data.html

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