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Fort Carson Water Contamination Lawsuit

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For years, the Department of Defense ignored dangerous levels of forever chemicals—per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS)—in water at the Fort Carson base, putting thousands of people at risk. 

Individuals affected by water contamination near the Fort Carson military base deserve justice for the oversight by the Air Force in providing clean, safe drinking water.

Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers is committed to helping victims who lived in affected areas file a Fort Carson water contamination lawsuit. Read on to learn how.

Updates on Fort Carson Water Contamination Lawsuits

The Fort Carson water contamination lawsuit is an active case that continues to evolve by the day. Some of the most recent developments in the past two months include:

Federal District Court Judge Richard M. Gergel approved a multi-billion dollar settlement between public water suppliers and 3M, one of the chemical companies that produced toxic firefighting foam used at Fort Carson and bases around the United States. [1] This “aqueous film-forming form” contaminated water around military bases for decades. 

3M will pay these suppliers between $10.5 billion and $12.5 billion, depending on the extent of the water contamination, on a schedule set to last until 2036. 

Judge Richard M. Gergel has decided to focus on illnesses caused by elevated levels of poly-fluoroalkyl substances in drinking water rather than those caused by skin contact or breathing in chemicals. This allows more veterans to seek compensation, as they would have been exposed to PFAS chemicals while drinking and bathing. 

Judge Gergel has asked the plaintiffs to provide a list of health risks associated with water contamination, and the defendants will then present their counterarguments associated with the scientific evidence.

Uncovered documents from the 1980s demonstrate 3M’s experiments with PFAS substances, particularly that they caused testicular cancer in lab rats [2]. These findings have been repeatedly supported by other research from independent researchers, as documented by the National Cancer Institute [3].

Plaintiffs asked Judge Gergel to include thyroid cancer and liver cancer to the list of illnesses caused by contaminated water, meaning these additional illnesses will be discussed during the discovery phase of the lawsuits.

The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) released a critical study exploring PFAS contamination at military bases using blood serum samples from 1,836 subjects [4]. This study, completed in January of this year, focuses on the Pease base in New Hampshire.

The US military filed a motion to dismiss 27 lawsuits filed by states, property owners, and businesses impacted by dangerous water near military installations [5], both at Fort Carson and elsewhere. 

The government claimed they were immune based on the Federal Tort Claims Act, which prevents parties from filing lawsuits unless it can be proven a government entity violated mandatory policies. Their argument is the plaintiffs could not show specific PFAS handling regulations limiting their use.

In the Camp Lejeune class action suit, which also focuses on groundwater contamination, the judge found insufficient evidence for a 2022 law allowing victims of PFAS-related illnesses to seek a jury trial [6]. This means such lawsuits will be bench trials, with only the judge making the final verdict.

Fort Carson Lawsuit Eligibility Criteria

  • Proof of Exposure – You must provide records showing you resided on or near Fort Carson for at least six months and were exposed to the chemicals.
  • Diagnosis – Your medical records must show you have tested positive for one of the diseases associated with toxic water supplies, which include kidney cancer, thyroid disorder, testicular cancer, or bladder cancer, after being stationed at Fort Carson.

Toxic Chemicals in Fort Carson Drinking Water

Fort Carson is a base located in Colorado Springs, Colorado, which has been identified as having toxic drinking water putting service members at risk. 

The Environmental Protection Agency has designated three areas of the base as Superfund sites: The Fort Carson Maneuver Area, used for training exercises; HQ Fort Carson 7th ID Decam, the headquarters for the 7th infantry unit; and the Fort Carson Tire Fire.  

The military states all preliminary investigations of the Fort Carson sites were completed in 2023 [7], but remediation efforts will continue until 2027.

Despite these cleanup efforts, the Environmental Working Group notes the levels of dangerous substances in drinking water around Fort Carson remain concerningly high, even if it is now within legal standards [8].

PFAS are synthetic agents that resist heat, water, oil, grease, and stains [9]. In military applications, they are a key component of firefighting foam. Their toxicity has led to many veterans filing a firefighting foam lawsuit because of adverse health effects.  

PFAS do not break down in the environment and can easily move into groundwater supplies. They have been linked to reproductive issues, immune system problems, and thyroid disease. 

Those who have been exposed to these substances at Fort Carson or other bases should contact our team to discuss a PFAS chemicals exposure lawsuit

Trichloroethylene is used as a degreaser for heavy equipment, such as the tanks used at Fort Carson. Like PFAS, they can infiltrate water systems easily [10]. Exposure can cause immune and reproductive system damage, as well as trigger kidney cancer.

PCE is a colorless substance commonly used in dry cleaning.  It can also be used as a solvent, degreaser, and adhesive [11]. This chemical has been linked most strongly with bladder cancer [12]. 

Benzene is a colorless liquid at room temperature that is easily aerosolized.  It is found in gasoline emissions, exhaust, and cigarette smoke. Groundwater infiltration can occur as a result of leaking hazardous waste sites, particularly when storage tanks are buried underground. Benzene can cause leukemia, and it has also been associated with damage to DNA [13].  

Vinyl chloride is a colorless and highly flammable gas used in the production of products containing PVC, such as wire coatings. In previous decades, it was also used as a refrigerant. Like the other substances mentioned here, it can easily infiltrate groundwater, but vinyl chloride is also toxic when breathed in. 

VC causes damage to the central nervous system [14]. Additionally, vinyl chloride is associated with a rare liver cancer called hepatic angiosarcoma, as well as leukemia, lymphoma, and brain cancer.  

A number of other harmful substances have contaminated drinking water around military bases, which include pesticides, herbicides, petroleum, and industrial solvents. Radioactive waste has even been found at Fort Carson [15], putting local residents at serious risk for major diseases. 

Health Risks of Drinking Contaminated Water

Immediate exposure to some contaminants, such as VC, may cause symptoms like dizziness, fatigue, numbness, and visual disturbances [16]; however, most of these symptoms take longer to develop. 

Signs you may have been exposed to dangerous contamination include:

  • High cholesterol
  • Infertility
  • Low birth weights
  • Liver abnormalities
  • High blood pressure during pregnancy [17]

The EPA has identified a variety of health effects resulting from toxic water [18], which include:

  • Reproductive issues, including infertility
  • Developmental delays in children
  • Thyroid disease
  • Immune disorders, including reduced vaccine response
  • Obesity
  • Several cancers, including testicular cancer, kidney cancer, and prostate cancer

How to File a Fort Carson Water Contamination Lawsuit

  • Contact Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers – Schedule a free consultation with an attorney from our personal injury law firm to discuss your Fort Carson case.
  • Provide Evidence – Provide proof of residence around the Fort Carson base, such as military records, as well as medical records showing you were diagnosed with a condition related to PFAS exposure.
  • Drafting a Complaint – We will develop a complaint informing the responsible parties that we will be seeking damages. This will explain why we believe your illnesses are directly connected to toxic water at Fort Carson.
  • Filing a Complaint – By filing the complaint, we begin the legal process, which includes sharing information with the defendants, gathering expert testimony, taking depositions, and attending court sessions.

Evidence Needed to Support Your Claim

  • Proof of Residence – We must show you were stationed at Fort Carson, Colorado Springs, for at least six months, which can be shown through base housing records.
  • Military Records – Show the dates of your employment at Fort Carson through records such as military directives and discharge paperwork.
  • Medical Documentation – You must show you tested positive for at least one disorder currently recognized as being associated with polluted water, such as thyroid disease, testicular cancer, or kidney cancer.

You Have a Limited Time to File a Fort Carson Lawsuit

There are numerous water contamination lawsuits against military bases for causing serious illnesses, such as testicular cancer, and failing to perform adequate cleanup efforts in time. Unfortunately, every state has a different statute of limitations related to occupational diseases: Colorado has a statute of just two years, but some states have a statute of only one year.

It is crucial that you call us immediately to start the Fort Carson water contamination lawsuit process. This gives us time to gather all the information necessary to make a strong case on your behalf while still meeting this deadline. 

Fort Carson Lawsuit Financial Compensation Estimates

How much you may receive in a Fort Carson water contamination lawsuit depends on the evidence available and your illness’s severity. 

As the Fort Carson case is still ongoing, estimates are subject to change. On the low end, for those with minimal exposure or little documentation, you may receive $30,000, while those with prolonged exposure or severe illness could receive up to $1,000,000. An average case may settle for $100,000 to $300,000.

Your settlement can be impacted by the severity of your illness, the length of your exposure, the amount of evidence available, and the skill of the attorney representing you. 

When you speak with us, we will discuss potential estimates based on the specifics of your case.

Your settlement is meant to compensate you for the financial and emotional setbacks incurred by the dangerous water at Fort Carson. This can include things like:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of future earning potential
  • Permanent disability
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of life enjoyment

Contact a Fort Carson Water Contamination Lawyer Today!

Jonathan Rosenfeld, Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer

If you were exposed to dangerous levels of PFAS and other hazardous materials while working at Fort Carson, you may be eligible for a Fort Carson water contamination lawsuit.

Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers is dedicated to helping veterans and their families recover from the failures of the Fort Carson administration to impose adequate remediation efforts, putting employees and their loved ones at risk for illnesses like testicular cancer and infertility.

We provide free consultations and work on a contingency fee basis, meaning you owe us nothing unless we are able to win your case. Contact us today at (888) 424-5757 or use our online form to get started with your free Fort Carson case evaluation. 

Resources: [1] The Hill, [2] Riker Laboratories, [3] National Cancer Institute, [4] Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, [5] Reuters, [6] Roll Call, [7] Department of Defense, [8] Environmental Working Group, [9] Centers for Disease Control, [10] Minnesota Department of Health, [11] Environmental Protection Agency, [12] Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, [13] Environmental Protection Agency, [14] Environmental Protection Agency, [15] US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, [16] Centers for Disease Control, [17] Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, [18] Environmental Protection Agency

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