Camp Lejeune Bladder Cancer Lawsuit Attorney
The United States Marine Corps (USMC) Base at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina began operations in 1941 and remained operational for over four decades. During that time, hundreds of thousands of Armed Services personnel, civilian employees, and family members lived or worked there. Unfortunately, many of those who lived or worked at the camp between 1953 and 1987 developed serious diseases and medical conditions that have been linked to chemicals found in the water on the base.
Since 2017, the Veterans Administration (VA) has recognized certain conditions as being associated with exposure to the Camp Lejeune’s contaminated water, including life-threatening cancers, such as bladder cancer. The VA paid health care benefits, and, in some cases, out- of-pocket health care costs related to the conditions presumed to have been caused by exposure to Camp Lejeune’s water, but it wasn’t until the Camp Lejeune Justice Act became law in August, 2022, that victims of toxic exposure while at the camp were given the right to bring a claim for damages against the government.
This means that if you have been diagnosed with bladder cancer, or you are the surviving family member of someone who died of bladder cancer, you may be entitled to compensation from the U.S. government if the cancer is linked to Camp Lejeune. To find out if you qualify for compensation and to get expert help filing your Camp Lejeune Justice Act claim, contact the experienced Camp Lejeune water contamination attorneys at Boyers Law Group.
We are committed to advocating for you and your family and to helping you navigate the complicated claims process. Our goal is to maximize compensation for victims who have suffered physical injuries and emotional trauma because of bladder cancer linked to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune.
Call us today at 305-512-7600 or submit the “Tell Us What Happened” on our website for expert help with your Camp Lejeune bladder cancer claim.
What Contaminants Are Linked to the Camp Lejeune Drinking Water?
From the time Camp Lejeune opened until well into the 1980s, both the Hadnot Point and the Tarawa Terrace treatment plants provided drinking water to the base. Despite the government’s claims to the contrary, numerous studies would eventually confirm what residents and employees at the camp had been claiming for decades – that the Camp Lejeune drinking water was contaminated.
Water from the Hadnot Point distribution system was eventually sampled in May and July 1982, December 1984, and throughout 1985. In 1982, samples showed extremely high levels of trichloroethylene (TCE) and tetrachloroethylene (PCE). Vinyl chloride and benzene were also detected in the Hadnot Point distribution system during sampling conducted on or after December, 1984.
The Tarawa Terrace distribution system water was also sampled and analyzed in May and July, 1982, and from February, 1985 onward. During the July, 1982 distribution system sampling, high levels of TCE, PCE, benzene, and vinyl chloride were also detected. TCE, vinyl chloride, and benzene are classified as human carcinogens, while PCE is classified as a “likely” or “probable” human carcinogen.
After decades of supplying contaminated water to Camp Lejeune, both the Hadnot Point and Tarawa Terrace distribution systems were permanently shut down in 1985. However, by that time, hundreds of victims, including fetuses and children, had been exposed to the contaminated water.
The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry’s (ATSDR) Study of Health Effects Associated with Camp Lejeune’s Water
The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) is charged with assessing the presence and nature of health hazards at specific Superfund sites, including Camp Lejeune. The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008 required ATSDR to develop a health survey that would be sent to all persons who could be identified as potentially being exposed to contaminated drinking water at Camp Lejeune.
Consequently, the ATSDR conducted a health survey in 2011-2012 to collect information on cancers, other diseases of interest, and information about lifestyle and demographic factors. The information collected in the health survey was used to conduct a morbidity study to evaluate whether exposure to the contaminated drinking water at Camp Lejeune was associated with medically confirmed diseases of interest.
The morbidity study compared Marines and civilians who worked or lived at Camp Lejeune and Camp Pendleton during the same time period and found that contaminated drinking water at Camp Lejeune was associated with increased risk in both Marines and civilian employees for bladder cancer, kidney cancer, and kidney disease. For Camp Lejeune Marines compared with Camp Pendleton Marines, the odds ratio for bladder cancer was 1.64, meaning Marines stationed at Camp Lejeune were more than one and a half times more likely to develop bladder cancer. For Camp Lejeune civilian employees, the odds ratio of exposure to water contaminated with TCE or PCE was almost double that of their Camp Pendleton civilian counterparts.
After an exhaustive analysis of the morbidity and related studies, the ATSDR has concluded that evidence exists to support an association between drinking water at Camp Lejeune that was contaminated with TCE, PCE, benzene, and/or vinyl chloride and at least 16 diseases, including bladder cancer. Specifically, there was sufficient evidence for causation between exposure to PCE and bladder cancer, while there was below equipoise evidence for causation for TCE, vinyl chloride and benzene.
Do I Have a Valid Camp Lejeune Claim?
Four decades after the first published study showing harmful contaminants in the Camp Lejeune drinking water, the Camp Lejeune Justice Act (CLJA) was signed into law in August, 2022. The CLJA recognizes several “presumptive injuries” linked to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune, including bladder cancer, and allows you to file a Camp Lejeune bladder cancer claim if:
- You or your loved one served, lived, worked, or were in utero at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 days between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987, AND
- You or your loved one was subsequently diagnosed with bladder cancer or a related condition.
Note that a two-year statute of limitations applies to claims filed under the CLJA. In practical terms, this means that you must initiate a claim within the applicable two-year time frame or risk losing your right to pursue a claim for compensation
How Do I File a Camp Lejeune Bladder Cancer Claim?
Claims for compensation for bladder cancer related to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune need to be filed with the Office of the Judge Advocate General (JAG) of the Navy’s Tort Claims Unit (TCU). The claim form you file with the TCU establishes your right to pursue compensation and determines the type and extent of compensation to which you may be entitled.
Because the initial claim form is so important in determining your right to compensation and the amount to which you may be entitled, it is in your best interest to consult with an experienced Camp Lejeune water contamination attorney before preparing and submitting your claim. A Boyers Law Group attorney will advise you for free and help prepare your claim for maximum compensation.
Like many victims of Camp Lejeune, you may have been denied compensation after filing a claim under the Federal Tort Claims Act. If so, you are entitled to – and strongly encouraged to — re-file a claim under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act (CLJA). Let the experienced attorneys at Boyers Law Group help you obtain the compensation you so justly deserve.
How Much Is My Camp Lejeune Bladder Cancer Lawsuit Worth?
The amount of compensation to which you may be entitled will depend on factors such as the extent to which your illness has impacted your life and your ability to work, the severity of your illness, the degree of pain and suffering you have endured, and the long-term prognosis. In general, however, both economic and non-economic damages are potentially available for Camp Lejeune bladder cancer victims and surviving family members, including compensation for:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Mental anguish, depression, anxiety, stress
- Past and future medical expenses
- Lost income and diminished earning capacity
- Other damages recoverable under the CLJA
Keep in mind that compensation may be available even if you already received benefits or monetary compensation from the Veterans Administration (VA), Social Security disability or another government agency because of your bladder cancer; however, the amount of compensation you receive may be offset by the value of the benefits already received.
For Expert Help with Your Bladder Cancer Claim, Contact the Experienced Camp Lejeune Attorneys at Boyers Law Group
If you were diagnosed with bladder cancer, or you lost a family member to bladder cancer, and you believe the cancer is linked to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune, an experienced Camp Lejeune attorney at Boyers Law Group can help. Our experience and commitment to pursuing justice for victims of negligence gives us the drive to understand and navigate the complex federal laws and procedures applicable to Camp Lejeune claims. Let us put our experience, skills and resources to work for you.
We understand the suffering caused by the contaminated drinking water at Camp Lejeune and we are dedicated to aggressively advocating on your behalf. Contact us today for your free initial consultation by calling 305-512-7600 or by filling out the “Tell Us What Happened” form on our website.