Do you qualify for a Camp Lejeune scleroderma lawsuit? If you have developed scleroderma from ingesting or bathing in contaminated water at Camp Lejeune, you may be eligible to recover damages from the federal government.
New legislation known as the Camp Lejeune Justice Act (CLJA) of 2022 makes this possible.
Decades of toxic chemicals poisoning the drinking water at the base have caused countless marines and their families to develop various cancers and diseases, including scleroderma.
Our legal team is prepared to fight for you if the contaminated water has caused you or a loved one harm. Marc Whitehead & Associates represents victims in Camp Lejeune water lawsuits and settlements. This includes anyone who lived or worked at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina from August 1953 to December 1987 for at least 30 days.
Scleroderma Lawsuits for Exposure to Camp Lejeune Water Will be Strong
According to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), this devastating disease is firmly linked to trichloroethylene (“TCE”), a contaminant that is well known to have polluted the base’s water supply. The government reportedly knew about the dangerous situation but did nothing.
To learn how you may be compensated for the harm done at the base, contact our Camp Lejeune lawsuit attorneys for a free case review and to understand your legal options. We actively represent clients in all 50 states and are prepared to help you now.
Important: You have only two years to file a toxic water lawsuit, so don’t delay!
What Is Scleroderma?
Also known as systemic sclerosis, scleroderma is a chronic disease of the connective tissues, including skin, cartilage, tendons, ligaments, bone, and muscle. Systemic means the disease affects the whole body.
Scleroderma is typically classified as an autoimmune rheumatic disease. The condition builds up in your body, resulting in the hardening (sclera) of your skin (derma) and underlying connective tissues.
Some cases may remain at the skin level, while more severe forms can invade various organ systems. The condition can alter your appearance and make it very hard to do everyday tasks. Living with scleroderma can take a terrible physical and emotional toll.
Types of Scleroderma
Different types of sclerodermas can cause mild to severe health problems. The Johns Hopkins scleroderma page discusses two types of systemic scleroderma indicative of the Camp Lejeune contamination – limited and diffuse scleroderma.
Also referred to as limited cutaneous scleroderma, this form evolves gradually and affects the skin on your fingers, hands, face, lower arms, and legs below the knees. Internal organ damage is less likely in the limited scleroderma type.
This type comes on more rapidly and starts as being limited to the fingers and toes but then extends beyond the elbows and knees to the upper arms, trunk, and thighs. Diffuse scleroderma can cause substantial organ damage, including the gastrointestinal tract, kidneys, lungs, and heart.
No two cases are alike, and symptoms of scleroderma can vary in severity and progression. Common symptoms include:
- Swelling, pain, and numbness of the hands and feet
- Pain and swelling of the joints
- Rigid joints
- Tight, hard skin
- Hair loss
People with limited scleroderma often have all or some of the following five symptoms referred to as CREST syndrome, which stands for the following symptoms:
- Calcinosis – the formation of calcium deposits in the connective tissues.
- Raynaud’s phenomenon – a condition in which the small blood vessels of the hands or feet contract in response to cold or anxiety, causing numbness or burning sensation and color changes in fingers and toes.
- Esophageal dysfunction – an impairment of the esophagus that causes trouble swallowing due to the loss of normal movement of the smooth muscles.
- Sclerodactyly – a hardening of the skin of the hand causing fingers to curl inward in a claw-like fashion.
- Telangiectasia – permanently dilated small blood vessels, known as “spider veins,” that develop under the skin and appear as tiny red lines and spots.
Diffuse scleroderma is often the most invasive type of scleroderma. Musculoskeletal pain is common. There can be significant damage to your blood vessels and internal organs, including your:
- Gastrointestinal (GI) tract
Camp Lejeune veterans and loved ones suffering from diffuse scleroderma may also experience some or all of the CREST features associated with limited scleroderma.
Scleroderma Treatment Options
Currently there is no cure for scleroderma, and there is no productive way to keep the disease from worsening. Treatment for both limited and diffuse scleroderma is geared towards managing each person’s symptoms and restricting the autoimmune processes:
- Pain relief via nonsteroidal, anti-inflammatory medications or corticosteroids;
- Soothing skin discomfort with lotions and moisturizers;
- Slowing skin thickening and limiting damage to internal organs through corticosteroids or other medications to suppress the immune system;
- Physical therapy and exercise to promote muscle strength;
- Medications to manage blood pressure and blood flow issues;
- Managing specific symptoms, such as Raynaud’s phenomenon;
- Scleroderma is stressful, and stress can impact the severity of scleroderma. Doctors may refer patients to a counselor or a scleroderma support group.
How a Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawyer Can Help
You are not alone during this difficult time. If you were injured because our government was negligent in handling the water disaster at Camp Lejeune, Marc Whitehead & Associates would be your strongest ally. Our lawyers charge nothing unless you win.
Help you gather evidence
Our legal team compiles all necessary evidence linking your scleroderma with on-base water contamination. We track down and organize medical treatment records and all substantiating documents. We contact medical and vocational experts to demonstrate how scleroderma has affected you over time so you receive the maximum settlement amount you deserve for your hardships.
Navigate the application process
Our firm will help in all legal aspects of your claim and file on your behalf. We will ensure you meet all filing deadlines and responsibilities for your Camp Lejeune scleroderma lawsuit. In addition, we collaborate with your physicians so they may present your unique information in the best possible way. As we work through the process, our attorneys are supported by skilled and committed legal staff.
Keep you updated on any changes in legislation
Our law firm is intimately involved with these cases. We stay abreast of all notices from the Office of the Judge Advocate General of the Navy’s Tort Claims Unit. We will inform you as updates occur to the law or procedures regarding CLJA claims.
We make it easy for you to stay informed throughout your case; we are available to discuss your case at any point during the process.
Take legal action on your behalf
There are specific steps required to file and receive the highest possible settlement. Beginning with the administrative claim process, these cases require knowledgeable lawyers with proven experience and access to specific resources.
We will file your initial claim with the Navy to ensure all forms and documentation are appropriately completed and leave nothing to chance. Our attorneys represent each client individually through the settlement offer and potential lawsuit.