Can I Still Sue If I Get Va Benefits Or Disability
Yes. You are still entitled to bring a Camp Lejeune contaminated water lawsuit and to recover a lump-sum settlement even if you have received or are currently receiving disability or other VA benefits. And winning a Camp Lejeune lawsuit will not jeopardize your eligibility to collect disability or other VA benefits in the future.
However, a Camp Lejeune settlement could potentially scale back the amount of benefits you collect if you have already received and/or are receiving payments related to your Camp Lejeune injuries.
Camp Lejeune: Past Water Contamination
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As a part of the Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act of 2012, qualifying Veterans can receive all their health care from VA if they served on active duty at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 days between August 1, 1953 and December 31, 1987, even if they dont have a health condition that is presumed to be related to exposure. For individuals with one of the 15 medical conditions presumed to be related to exposure, there is no charge for care. For other health conditions, Veterans will have a co-pay, depending on income and health eligibility priority category.
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Colon cancer caused by Camp Lejeune water
Exposure to toxic substances at Camp Lejeune has caused veterans and their family members to develop a number of serious health conditions. The Veterans Administration has designated eight illnesses that are presumed to come from exposure to toxic Camp Lejeune water. Many of these conditions are some form of cancer. The prolonged presence of toxins in the body has caused people to develop numerous forms of organ cancer.
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What Diseases Can I Develop From Contaminated Water On Camp Lejeune
Although exposure to PFAS is linked to numerous health problems in medical literature, there are only certain diagnoses that make you eligible for seeking compensation, as there must be a definitive causal relation between these diseases and exposure to this group of toxic chemicals. The following are the health problems and diseases you can file a personal injury claim for with Camp Lejeune:
It is worthy of note that if you have any other cancer, you are still eligible for compensation, as PFAS are carcinogenic and thereby associated with the disease, regardless of what organ or part of the body it affects. Consequently, if you struggle with cancer, we can help you file a personal injury claim with Camp Lejeune as well to recover the compensation you deserve.
The Future Of Relief For Those Impacted By Contaminated Water Exposure At Camp Lejeune
For years, the United States government has known and acknowledged that as many as one million service members, their families, contractors, and civilians and personnel on base at Camp Lejeune may have been exposed to these toxic compounds that were found in the drinking water. Yet complete relief and compensation benefits have evaded those affected by exposure due to the laws regarding victims abilities to a Camp Lejeune water lawsuit.
The reason so many veterans were denied help and prevented from filing a lawsuit is because of the Feres Doctrine. This legal decision was laid out in 1950 in the Supreme Court case Feres versus United States. It stated that United States Military members and veterans could not file a lawsuit against the government for injuries sustained while on active military duty. They were instead required to file a lawsuit for compensation and benefits with the VA Administration.
However, many of the doctors and health care providers who worked at the VA simply had very little experience dealing with these complicated cases of chemical exposure and lacked knowledge regarding their health effects. In some cases, doctors may have received just four hours of training regarding the effects of exposure to the contaminants and had no experience with water contamination cases.
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Veterans And Civilians Exposed To Toxic Water At Camp Lejeune
In 1982, the U.S. Marine Corps discovered toxic volatile organic compounds in the drinking water at the Camp Lejeune base in North Carolina. However, the contamination actually began in1953 and potentially exposed one million base workers, service members, and their families to these chemicals until 1987, according to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry .
People who lived or worked at the U.S. Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina between 1953 and 1987 may have been exposed to water that was contaminated with volatile organic compounds , such as trichloroethylene and tetrachloroethylene , and vinyl chloride.
Exposure to this contaminated water has been linked to an increased risk of multiple adverse health effects, including but not limited to kidney cancer, leukemia, and multiple myeloma, as well as bad birth outcomes.
Time is limited, contact us today for your free case evaluation.
Kidney Cancer Caused By Toxic Water At Camp Lejeune
Kidney cancer is a presumptive condition presumptively linked to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune marine base in North Carolina. Cancer is a disease in which cells in the body grow out of control. When cancer starts in the kidney, it is called kidney and renal pelvis cancer.CDC
The ATSDR mortality study determined that residents and workers who drank the Lejeune water had a greater rate of kidney cancer as well as kidney disease as opposed to another control group. The ATSDR research determined causation from the Lejeune H2o and kidney cancer / kidney disease.
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How Does The Va Rate Thyroid Disorders
The VAs disability rating is determined by the severity of your thyroid disorder. The VA reviews:
- Any medical records and doctors notes that you submitted
- The VA claim exam results, if applicable
- Documentation from another veteran, like a buddy statement
- Information from non-military members
Your disability rating will be shown as a percentage. If you have more than one service-connected condition, the VA assigns what is called a combined disability rating. A combined disability rating will not exceed 100%.
The rating criteria for thyroid disorders are listed in Title 38, § 4.119 Schedule of ratings endocrine system of the Code of Federal Regulations. The VAs eligibility criteria for thyroid disorder disability benefits can differ from another organizations criteria.
Camp Lejeune Victims Can Seek Justice
Camp Lejeune victims have become the first and only group permitted to sue the U.S. government for their subsequent health problems.
Military members usually cant sue the government for injuries sustained during their time of service. But after the passage of the Camp Lejeune Justice Act earlier this year, those with qualifying illnesses who lived or worked there for at least 30 days from August 1, 1953, through December 31, 1987, can file a water contamination claim. If the claim is denied, a Camp Lejeune lawsuit can proceed.
Camp Lejeune attorneys are helping servicemembers, their family members and others who lived and worked on the base to file claims for their injuries and wrongful death. There is a two-year window for filing a claim.
Sadly, the Camp Lejeune Justice Act is the exception to the rule. Similar attempted lawsuits by victims at many other bases have been summarily dismissed due to the federal governments sovereign immunity. The sovereign immunity doctrine, originally inherited from British common law, means the government cannot be sued unless the government itself waives that right.
Various bills filed in Congress to help overcome these hurdles have been unsuccessful.
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Estimated Settlement Value Of Camp Lejeune Thyroid Cancer Cases
Our lawyers estimate that a successful Camp Lejeune lawsuit involving thyroid cancer could have an average settlement payout of around $60,000 to $220,000. The primary reason that our settlement value estimate for thyroid cancer cases is this low is because it is a Tier 3 Camp Lejeune injury. The lack of clear causation evidence linking thyroid cancer to Camp Lejeune makes these cases weaker and drives down their settlement value.
What Illnesses Are Associated With Camp Lejeune Water Contamination
The toxic chemicals that contaminated the water at Camp Lejeune have been linked to a number of serious health concerns. Multiple types of cancer are associated with these toxic chemicals, including:
- Aplastic anemia
- Myelodysplastic syndromes
- Hepatic steatosis
- Cardiac defects
- Neurobehavioral disorders
Fertility issues and miscarriages have also been linked to the water contamination at Camp Lejeune. In-utero exposure to contaminated water has led to a wide range of birth defects and high rates of childhood cancer. Tragically, many children died very young due to the toxic effects of the chemicals found in the water at Camp Lejeune.
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Studies Have Shown A Linkage Between Camp Lejeune Water And Cancer
Numerous scientific Studies have backed up these claims. The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry performed a retrospective study analyzing the morbidity and illnesses in Camp Lejeune veterans. The ATSDR found linkages between TCE and PCE exposure and bladder and kidney cancer.
There are numerous studies that have looked at the hazardous effects of Camp Lejeune water. One study compared the mortality rate of people who spent time at Camp Lejeune versus those who spent time at Camp Pendleton, another Marine Corps Base. The study found that the mortality rate at Camp Lejeune was 1.3 times that at Camp Pendleton. In another study, the odds ratios for kidney cancer at Camp Lejeune were greater than 1.5.
These types of cancers are among the most serious illnesses suffered by Camp Lejeune veterans. The five-year survival rate for liver cancer is approximately 20%. The survival rate for pancreatic cancer is even lower. Even when one survives cancer, they suffer a number of health impacts and effects on the rest of their life.
Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Explained
The contamination at Camp Lejeune was caused by a combination of factors, including poor management practices, poor maintenance of equipment, and a lack of oversight from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency . It has taken years for the EPA to acknowledge what happened at Camp Lejeune, but now they are working hard to clean it up.
In addition to the health risks associated with contaminated water, there are also environmental concerns. Over 1 million gallons of highly toxic wastewater are sitting in open trenches near the base. This waste contains high levels of toxic non-organic compounds of dioxins and PCBs, which can contaminate soil and surface waters.
If you believe you have been exposed to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune and would like to learn more about your legal rights, please call us today for a free initial consultation. We offer free consultations to all clients.
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Toxic Substances Found In The Water At Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune And Marine Corps Air Station New River
More than 1 million people may have been exposed to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, and the full effects of that exposure may not be known for years or even decades.
Researchers are still working to understand how the exposure may have affected peoples health, but some conditions have been linked to water contamination.
According to the National Library of Medicine, the water at Camp Lejeune was contaminated with a variety of chemicals, including benzene, chloroform, and vinyl chloride.
These chemicals are known to cause cancer, birth defects, and other serious health problems.
Who Has Been Impacted
Retired Marine veteran Jerry Ensminger watched his nine-year-old daughter Janey die of leukemia in September 1985 after a two-and-a-half-year battle with the disease. Janey had been born and raised at Camp Lejeune. Ensminger did not learn until 1997 that his daughters illness was precipitated by the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune.
As Ensminger quickly learned, he was not alone. As he started speaking out, untold numbers of veterans reached out with their own heartbreaking tales of similar tragedies. He also found that the military was aware of the exposure, but officials quietly closed down the water sources without alerting the public.
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How Did Camp Lejeune Water Get Contaminated
According to the CDC, Camp Lejeunes water supply was contaminated by:
- a dry-cleaning company located off-base
- underground storage tanks and
- industrial spills off-base.3
The U.S. military had used TCE which is a colorless and odorless liquid as a cleaning solvent. From 1953 to 1987, Camp Lejeunes Hadnot Point Water Treatment Plant had TCE levels of up to 1,400 parts per billion . According to the Environmental Protection Agency , drinking water should have no more than 5 ppb of TCE.
Meanwhile, ABC One-Hour Cleaners used PCE which is a colorless liquid with a slight odor as a commercial fabric solvent. From 1953 to 1987, Camp Lejeunes Tarawa Terrace Treatment Plant had PCE levels of up to 215 ppb. According to the EPA, drinking water should have no more than 5 ppb of PCE.
Organ Cancer Linked To Contaminated Camp Lejeune Water
Sadly, numerous veterans, their family members as well as workers at the Camp Lejeune Marine base suffered organ cancer such as Bladder, Kidney, Prostate and Liver cancer that is linked to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune. For over three decades, The federal government carelessly exposed service members and their families to a Litany of toxic chemicals at Camp Lejeune. Not knowing the danger, these marines and their families drank and bathed in heavily contaminated water. Although Camp Lejeune was designed poorly in a manner that increase the danger of the water, the exact hazards were not known for almost 30 years. Even after the federal government learned of the danger in which they placed these families, it was years before it fully disclosed the hazards to those exposed. By that time, Camp Lejeune victims were not able to file a lawsuit for financial compensation.
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Birth Defects And Childhood Cancers Study
1.What progress has ATSDR made on its study of contaminated drinking water at Camp Lejeune and specific birth defects and childhood cancers?
ATSDR has finalized a study on specific birth defects and childhood cancers. The study includes children born from 1968 through 1985 to mothers who for some time during their pregnancy lived at Camp Lejeune. The study looked at whether children whose mothers were exposed to contaminated drinking water while they were pregnant at Camp Lejeune were more likely to have specific birth defects. The study also looked at whether children exposed to contaminated drinking water in utero or during their first year of life were more likely to have specific childhood cancers. Parents of the children were interviewed in spring/summer 2005 about where they lived at Camp Lejeune from 1968 through 1985, their medical histories, and their personal habits.
2. Why did this study examine only the period from 1968 to 1985?
The study only included children born between 1968 and 1985 because computerized birth certificates in North Carolina became available in 1968 and the heavily contaminated wells on base were shut down in 1985.
3. Which conditions were included in ATSDRs study?
The study included:
- neural tube defects , consisting of anencephaly and spina bifida,
- cleft lip and cleft palate,
- and childhood leukemia and non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
6. How did the drinking water at Camp Lejeune get contaminated?
Water Contamination At Camp Lejeune
The Camp Lejeune Marine Corps Base in North Carolina was established in 1942. Forty years later, the Marine Corps determined that two of the water treatment facilities providing water to the base had been contaminated with volatile organic compounds.
Specifically, the Tarawa Terrace treatment plant was contaminated with PCE . The EPA maximum containment level of this organic compound is 5 parts per billion in drinking water. The maximum level of contamination at Tarawa Terrace was 215 ppb.
It was determined that the water had been contaminated for a total of 346 months by a nearby off-base dry cleaning company.
The other treatment plant, Hadnot Point, was contaminated with TCE . The current EPA approval for TCE in drinking water is 5 ppb. At its highest point, the contamination at Hadnot Point was measured at 1,400 ppb. Multiple sources of contamination are believed to have caused this, including storage tank leaks, industrial spills, and inappropriate water disposal practices.
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Who Was Responsible For The Camp Lejeune North Carolina Water Pollution
According to the EPA, the Navy was responsible for monitoring the water quality at Camp Lejeune. The Army Corps of Engineers ensured that the water met all federal standards. At least one employee at Camp Lejeune knew about the problem but failed to report it to his superiors.
The government has paid millions of dollars in settlements to victims of water pollution. According to the Associated Press, the Department of Justice has received over $100 million in claims from individuals who believe they suffered illnesses due to exposure to contaminated water.
Pfas Water Contamination Map
A map of the base locations listed above can be viewed below. Click on a marker for base information.
If your base is not on the map or list above, this does not mean you were not exposed to PFAS chemicals from firefighting foam. These are simply the specific bases attorneys working with ClassAction.org are looking into.
More than 700 military sites are suspected or known to have been contaminated with PFAS the Environmental Working Group keeps an updated map of these sites here.
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Mortality Study Of Civilian Employees
1.What is the purpose of the study?
The purpose of the study was to determine whether potential exposures to the drinking water contaminants at Camp Lejeune are associated with increased risk of death from specific cancers and other chronic diseases among civilian workers employed at the base. The contaminants included trichloroethylene , tetrachloroethlylene , benzene, and two contaminants formed when TCE or PCE degrade in groundwater: 1,2-dichloroethylene and vinyl chloride.
2. What was studied?
The study evaluated specific causes of death in 4,647 full-time workers who were employed at Camp Lejeune during 1973-1985. ATSDR also evaluated a comparison group of 4,690 full-time workers who were employed at Camp Pendleton during 1973-1985 and were not employed at Camp Lejeune during those years. The Camp Pendleton workers are a comparison group that is, they were not exposed to contaminated drinking water.
The study looked at data for these causes of death:
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
- Cancers of the bladder, brain, cervix, colon, esophagus, female breast, kidney, larynx, liver, lung, oral cavity, pancreas, prostate, rectum, and soft tissue
- Hematopoietic cancers
3. Why does this study include only workers employed at Camp Lejeune and Camp Pendleton during 1973-1985?
4. Why was Camp Pendleton used for the comparison group?
5. Why did ATSDR include smoking-related conditions?
6. What did you find?