Camp Lejeune Bladder Cancer
When Camp Lejeune was designated as a U.S. Marine Corps Base in 1942, little did anyone know its adverse health effects on those who called it home. For nearly 30 years, the base dumped toxic chemicals into the soil and water, resulting in numerous cancer cases, including bladder cancer.
However, during the early 1980s, testing experts discovered that the water had been contaminated with benzene and other hazardous chemicals. This revelation has since come to light as a significant health concern, as many former residents of Camp Lejeune have developed bladder cancer due to the exposure.
Victims of this negligence are now seeking justice, but time is running out because of the statute of limitations on wrongful death lawsuits. If you or someone you know has been affected by Camp Lejeune's tainted water, please contact us immediately. The personal injury lawyers at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, can help you seek the compensation you deserve.
Contact our product liability lawyers at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form today for immediate legal advice and schedule a free consultation to discuss receiving financial compensation. All confidential or sensitive information you share with our legal team remains private through an attorney-client relationship.
The Decades-Long History of Contaminated Water at Camp Lejeune
In 1942, the federal government opened the Camp Lejeune Marine Corps base in North Carolina. By the early 1980s, the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) detected a vast contaminated water supply at the military base.
In 2016, an Agency for Toxic Substance & Disease Registry (ATSDR) study correlated numerous cancers, including bladder cancer, with the base's water contamination at camp Lejeune and Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) New River.
However, government agencies hid these public health studies for years before admitting a severe water supply contamination problem at the Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune. Any significant exposure harmed active Marines, families, civilian employees, and others.
Many serious health problems associated with the Camp Lejeune water contamination would not be detected for decades.
Military Personnel, Family Members, and Civilians Exposed to the Contaminated Water Supply for Decades
The test found volatile organic compounds (VOCs), including Trichloroethylene (TCE), perchloroethylene (PCE), benzene, and vinyl chloride, which are known to cause various cancers, including bladder cancer.
- Trichloroethylene (TCE) is a harsh solvent that was used to clean metal parts a Camp Lejeune. Even minimal toxic levels can cause bladder cancer and significant damage to the nervous system, liver, and kidneys.
- Perchloroethylene (PCE) is a toxic solvent that was used in a neighboring dry cleaner company bordering Camp Lejeune; the volatile organic compound is known to cause cancer, defects, and other severe medical conditions.
- Benzene vinyl chloride is a toxic component found in gasoline. Researchers identified benzene in the Camp Lejeune water supply leaking from underground fuel storage tanks. Benzene is known to cause significant damage to the body's blood cells, causing many medical conditions, including child and adult leukemia.
- Vinyl chloride is a highly toxic volatile organic compound. The chemicals used to manufacture plastics were found in the water from leaking underground storage tanks at Camp Lejeune. The toxic chemical is known to cause bladder cancer and significant damage to the liver, kidneys, and nervous system.
In the decades since the original toxic chemicals were found in the base’s water supply, over 400 more harmful compounds have been found, and likely many more have not yet been identified.
Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Leading to Severe Health Challenges
Marine veterans and their families who lived and worked at Camp Lejeune Marine Corps Base exposed to toxic water face a new challenge.
According to recently released CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) bladder cancer statistics, those who drank or bathed in the water from about 1953 to 1987 are two-and-a-half times more likely to develop bladder cancer.
This potentially devastating news for victims is compounded by the fact that the Veterans Administration (VA) has not yet ruled on whether or not these veterans will be eligible for disability benefits. Veterans and family members diagnosed with bladder cancer and other conditions need information and clarity on this complex issue.
Injuries and Conditions From Camp Lejeune Tainted Water
Camp Lejeune has been an active U.S. Marine Corps Base for many years. Unfortunately, this base was also the site of one of American history's most significant water contamination cases.
In December 2017, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) acknowledged that the Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune water was tainted with toxic chemicals. This contamination affected many Marines and their families who lived or worked at the Marine Corps Air Station between 1953 and 1987.
Some of the severe injuries, cancers and medical conditions caused by toxic water include:
- Adult leukemia
- Adverse birth outcomes, including birth defects
- Aplastic anemia and other myelodysplastic syndromes
- Bile duct (gallbladder) cancer
- Bone Cancer
- Breast cancer
- Brain cancer
- Bladder cancer
- Cardiac defect
- Cervical cancer
- Endocrine cancer
- Esophageal cancer
- Female infertility
- Heart defect
- Hepatic steatosis
- Kidney cancer
- Liver cancers
- Liver diseases
- Lung cancer
- Myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS)
- Nephrotoxicity (kidney damage)
- Neurobehavioral disorders
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL)
- Ovarian cancer
- Plasma cell myeloma
- Prostate cancer
- Rectal, colorectal/colon cancers
- Renal toxicity
- Other diseases and cancers
Legal Options Available to the Surviving Family Members After Camp Lejeune Bladder Cancer Death
Military men and women stationed at Camp Lejeune are diagnosed with bladder cancer yearly. The cause of this cancer is the contaminated water supplied to the base for decades. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with bladder cancer, you may be entitled to compensation.
Filing a lawsuit against the government can be complicated, but knowing your rights is essential. The first step is to file a claim with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
The VA will review your claim and decide whether or not you are eligible for VA disability benefits based on various factors and evidence, including:
- Your medical records that document a bladder cancer diagnosis
- Government documentation of your time at the North Carolina military base
If you are not eligible for benefits, you can still pursue a lawsuit against the government.
Our Camp Lejeune bladder cancer law firm specializes in military environmental litigation and works with our clients to gather evidence and build a strong case. Pursuing a lawsuit can be challenging, but holding the government accountable for the contamination at Camp Lejeune is vital to receiving the VA benefits you deserve.
The PACT Act Containing the Camp Lejeune Justice Act
In August 2020, the Senate passed the PACT Act helping veterans exposed to water supplies and burn pits diagnosed with severe medical conditions including bladder cancer, lung cancer, Parkinson's, and health problems.
The Senate held the Act for months after the United States House of Representatives had passed their version of the bill.
The PACT Act will likely benefit millions of veterans by providing more than $300 billion over the next decade to help veterans exposed to toxic fumes and chemicals while serving in the military.
Presumptive Conditions Including Bladder Cancer
The United States Congress based the bill on rigorous scientific evidence before identifying presumptive conditions for any illness, cancer, or condition believed to be associated with their military service. The new presumptive conditions list includes 12 respiratory illnesses and numerous cancers, including bladder cancer.
Many problems are associated with burn pits where the government burned nearly everything being disposed of at military bases worldwide, especially in Afghanistan and Iraq. Signing the Act into law codifies the process, allowing additional VA benefits.
Changes in the law have added 23 new conditions to the long list, including monoclonal gammopathy of unknown significance (MGUS), brain cancer, chronic bronchitis, and asthma. Victims will now have access to the treatment they need after a diagnosis of bladder cancer.
The Camp Lejeune Justice Act
In 2012, President Barack Obama signed the Camp Lejeune Justice Act, creating beneficial opportunities for military service members, families, and civil employees harmed by the contaminated drinking water at Camp Lejeune.
Many Camp Lejeune cases were barred from filing in federal court because they were more than ten years old. The new act removed this arbitrary time limit and will allow justice to be served for those who were harmed by the toxic water at Camp Lejeune.
The Act also set up a fund to provide medical care for those affected by the contaminated water. This care will be provided through the VA for any service-related illness or condition associated with exposure to toxic water.
The fund will also reimburse out-of-pocket medical expenses that those affected have already incurred. Finally, the Act provides for research into the long-term health effects of exposure to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune.
Enacting the law is a significant victory for the thousands of service members, families, and civil employees harmed by the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune. The Camp Lejeune Justice Act will provide them with the opportunity to seek justice and get the medical care they need and deserve.
Contact a qualified Camp Lejeune bladder cancer attorney to discuss your legal options if the contaminated water caused your bladder cancer from your time at the military base.
Have You Developed Bladder Cancer? Hire a Personal Injury Attorney to Resolve Your Compensation Case
Do you suspect that your bladder cancer diagnosis is related to the toxic water at Camp Lejeune or Marine Corps Station (MCAS) New River?
The Camp Lejeune bladder cancer attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC represents people living with bladder cancer exposed to toxic chemicals while in military service. Call us at (888) 424-5757 to schedule a free consultation to discuss you or a family member receiving financial compensation.
Our legal team accepts all personal injury cases and wrongful death lawsuits through contingency fee agreements. This promise ensures you pay nothing until your case is resolved through a negotiated settlement or jury award.
All personal or confidential information you share with your Camp Lejeune bladder cancer attorney concerning your claim remains private through an attorney-client relationship.