Were you or a loved one diagnosed with bile duct cancer at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune after exposure to polluted water? If so, you may be entitled to financial compensation in a Camp Lejeune bile duct cancer lawsuit.
Cancer of the bile duct, also known as cholangiocarcinoma (CCA), is one of many devastating cancers associated with Camp Lejeune’s toxic tap water.
From 1953 to 1987, unsuspecting U.S. Marines, their families, and civilian contractors drank, bathed in, and consumed water heavily contaminated with dangerous chemicals. If you were exposed during those years to the polluted water for a minimum of 30 days and now suffer from cancer of the bile ducts, you may be able to sue and recover damages in a Camp Lejeune bile duct cancer lawsuit against the government.
Discover your rights and options in a free case review. Contact a Camp Lejeune bile duct cancer lawyer who can help you right now. Our law firm, Marc Whitehead & Associates, handles Camp Lejeune lawsuits in all 50 states.
You deserve reparations for your or a loved one’s pain and suffering and all expenses related to bile duct cancer diagnosis and medical treatments. In addition, if you have lost a loved one to this disease due to toxic water exposure, you may be able to file a wrongful death claim.
The recent passing of the Camp Lejeune Justice Act (CLJA) makes this long-awaited legal action possible. Millions of veterans, military families, non-military workers, and survivors may now file individual injury claims or wrongful death claims to obtain restitution for the harm caused by exposure to Camp Lejeune water. The CLJA is part of the more comprehensive Honoring Our PACT Act of 2022.
Did the Contaminated Water at Camp Lejeune Cause Bile Duct Cancer?
Studies indicate a possible link between the contaminated water at the base and various cancers and diseases, including bile duct cancer.
A Camp Lejeune bile duct cancer lawsuit will focus on your exposure to unsafe levels of certain chemicals that polluted three of the marine base’s water distribution plants – Hadnot Point, Tarawa Terrace, and Holcomb Boulevard.
Bile duct cancer is a rare type of cancer originating in the bile ducts. The bile ducts are part of the body’s biliary system that produces, stores and transports digestive fluids called bile. The ducts are a series of slender tubes that carry bile from the liver to the gall bladder and finally into the small intestine, where it helps digest the fats in food.
Bile duct cancer is a progressive, invasive cancer resulting in bile duct obstruction, or “biliary obstruction,” at the late stage.
According to the Mayo Clinic, cholangiocarcinoma occurs when something triggers a genetic mutation within the cells in the bile ducts. The trigger provokes normal cells in the bile ducts to become abnormal, multiply rapidly, and pile up, forming a malignant tumor or mass. However, the exact causes of those triggers are not clear.
There are three types of bile duct cancer based on where the cancer occurs in the bile ducts:
- Intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma, which affects the bile ducts within the liver. This type is sometimes confused as a type of liver cancer. This type is more challenging to treat and more difficult to remove surgically.
- Hilar cholangiocarcinoma, which affects the bile ducts outside the liver.
- Distal cholangiocarcinoma, which affects the portion of the liver near where the bile ducts enter the small intestine.
Studies Support Potential Camp Lejeune Bile Duct Cancer Lawsuits
Several epidemiological and morbidity studies have investigated the potential link between the chemicals contaminating Camp Lejeune’s water and bile duct cancer.
Bile duct cancer and exposure to Camp Lejeune’s water supply
One 2014 study found that individuals exposed to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune had a higher risk of developing bile duct cancer compared to unexposed individuals.
The study, titled “Mortality Among Marines and Navy Personnel Exposed to Contaminated Drinking Water at USMC Base Camp Lejeune: A Retrospective Cohort Study,” was conducted by a team of researchers from the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), the National Cancer Institute, and the University of North Carolina.
Studies supporting exposure to 1,2-dichloropropane and dichloromethane
Both 1,2‐dichloropropane and dichloromethane were among the chemicals contaminating Camp Lejeune’s water. 1,2‐dichloropropane is used to make other chemicals, such as chlorinated and industrial solvents.
- A 2017 study entitled Occupational cholangiocarcinoma caused by exposure to 1,2‐dichloropropane and/or dichloromethane, found that a group of Japanese print shop workers who were exposed to 1,2‐dichloropropane and dichloromethane suffered occupational cholangiocarcinoma as a result.
- According to the ATSDR Toxicological Profile for 1,2-Dichloroprapane,
- The International Agency for Research on Cancer concluded that 1,2-dichloropropane is carcinogenic to humans based on evidence that 1,2-dichloropropane exposure caused cancer of the biliary tract(cholangiocarcinoma)in occupationally exposed workers and supporting data.
- The EPA determined that 1,2-dichloropropane is likely to be carcinogenic to humans based on evidence of a potential correlation between occupational exposure to 1,2-dichloropropane and cholangiocarcinoma (bile duct) cancer and adequate evidence in laboratory animals.
- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has classified 1,2-dichloropropane as likely to be a human carcinogen; also, The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has classified 1,2-dichloropropane as carcinogenic to humans.
Dichloromethane (also called methylene chloride) is used as an industrial solvent, a paint stripper, and a pesticide.
- Per ATSDR’s Public Health Statement for methylene Chloride, the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and the EPA have determined that dichloromethane (a.k.a. methylene chloride) is a probable cancer-causing agent in humans.
Bile duct cancer from exposure to vinyl chloride
Vinyl chloride was one of the primary contaminants in the marine base’s water. Vinyl chloride is a known carcinogen and is firmly associated with several types of cancer, including liver, brain, and lung cancer.
Other works have indicated a link between exposure to vinyl chloride and bile duct cancer. One such study is titled “Liver and biliary tract cancer among chemical workers,” in which a Michigan chemical plant suffered more than expected deaths credited to liver and biliary tract cancer. An association was found for vinyl chloride, based on five cases with presumed exposure.
Symptoms of Bile Duct Cancer
Routine physical exams cannot detect early or small bile duct tumors as they are deep within the body. Unfortunately, blood tests or other screening tests will not identify bile duct cancer until after the cancer has advanced and symptoms appear. For this reason, you may not know you have bile duct cancer until the condition is somewhat advanced.
The bile ducts typically become obstructed, leading to jaundice and liver test abnormalities. Symptoms of cholangiocarcinoma include:
- abdominal pain
- unintended weight loss
- intensely itchy skin
- jaundice (yellow appearance of skin and eyes)
- changes in the color of stool (grey or very pale) or urine (dark)
- fever, sweating
Am I eligible for a Camp Lejeune Bile Duct Cancer Lawsuit?
You must meet several criteria to have “legal standing” to file a lawsuit for Camp Lejeune toxic water exposure:
- You were present on the Camp Lejeune base between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987. This includes in-utero exposure;
- You had a minimum of 30 days of exposure at the base;
- You were diagnosed with a disease or medical condition that is linked to exposure to Camp Lejeune’s contaminated water.
The effects of exposure to dangerous chemicals often take years to develop. Research shows that exposure beyond 30 days increases your risk for cancers and other disabling conditions for the rest of your life. When these chemicals cause illness or death decades later, you are still eligible for compensation.
How to File a Camp Lejeune Lawsuit for Bile Duct Cancer
A Camp Lejeune bile duct cancer lawsuit may be supported by scientific evidence that links your cancer to exposure to chemicals found in the water. This causal connection is vital in valuating claims. Under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act, your claim must show evidence that is either:
- “Sufficient to conclude that a causal relationship exists; or
- “Sufficient to conclude that a causal relationship is at least as likely as not.”
Your attorney will examine and develop the following into your claim:
- What chemicals were you exposed to
- When you were exposed (i.e., during pregnancy, at what age, etc.),
- How much contamination were you exposed to,
- For how long were you exposed,
- How were you exposed (breathing, drinking, bathing, cooking, etc.).
You must file your claim in the appropriate court. CLJA claims will be filed exclusively in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina.
You must file on time. Camp Lejeune lawsuits should be filed no later than August 10, 2024 (two years after the CLJA went into effect) – or – six months after your administrative claim is denied, whichever is later.
Camp Lejeune Veterans, if you are currently receiving VA benefits for bile duct or other cancer due to the toxic water on the base, you may now undertake a separate action through the courts to increase the amount of money available to you and your family. Filing a Camp Lejeune bile duct cancer lawsuit will not change or reduce your VA benefits.
Compensation for a Camp Lejeune Bile Duct Cancer Injury Claim
Our lawyers will account for all of the damages you or your family members have suffered due to exposure to toxic water at Camp Lejeune. You may be entitled to compensation for some or all the following:
- Medical expenses (past and future)
- Lost wages, Loss of earning capacity
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma
- Loss of the enjoyment of life
If the government does not offer you enough money in a settlement, you have the legal right to take your case to federal court in North Carolina. A Camp Lejeune cancer lawyer will help you properly evaluate your settlement offer and respond to the government.
Contact Us about a Camp Lejeune Bile Duct Cancer Lawsuit
Our attorneys represent individuals who wish to bring a lawsuit for biliary tract cancer or cholangiocarcinoma caused by the Camp Lejeune contaminated water tragedy.
For anyone questioning whether you qualify, we invite you to contact us today. If you have suffered or lost a loved one to bile duct cancer from exposure to Camp Lejeune’s drinking water, it is more important than ever to have your claim filed most effectively for the highest possible settlement outcome.
You need an experienced litigation law firm on your side. For immediate assistance, contact a disability lawsuit attorney at Marc Whitehead & Associates.