A national law firm, Marc Whitehead & Associates represents Camp Lejeune colorectal cancer lawsuit cases and settlement claims across the U.S.
From 1953 to 1987, U.S. Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina was the site of tragic water contamination. Military personnel, their families, and civilian workers who lived and work on the base during these years drank, cooked, and bathed in the base’s water supply that was polluted with carcinogenic chemicals.
By the early 1980s, the Department of Defense learned the water was toxic, yet hid the truth for many years before publicly confessing the dangers. Adults and children alike were exposed to the toxins, including exposure in the womb.
Most residents have since moved to different areas of the United States. Many carry a high risk of developing cancers that are potentially associated with the harmful chemicals, including colorectal cancer. Were you one of them?
If you were exposed to contaminated drinking water at Camp Lejeune and now suffer from colon or rectal cancer, contact our law firm without delay. You may qualify for financial compensation.
We know you have questions about how to go about filing a claim, or if you even qualify for a Camp Lejeune colorectal cancer lawsuit. Our attorneys have extensive experience in litigating toxic exposure cases. In a free consultation, we will answer all of your questions and help you take the next steps toward getting justice.
Evidence Linking Camp Lejeune Toxic Water to Colorectal Cancer
Camp Lejeune’s water systems were contaminated with over 70 chemicals. The main chemical involved were:
- Trichloroethylene (TCE) – used as a degreaser for metal parts
- Tetrachloroethylene (PCE) – used for dry cleaning and metal degreasing
- Benzene – used to make industrial chemicals and is a component in fuel
- Vinyl Chloride – an industrial chemical used to produce polyvinyl (PVC) plastic
All are known carcinogens. PCE and TCE were found at dangerously high levels in the water. The levels of benzene and vinyl chloride were also far above the maximum contaminant levels as defined by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Evidence to support a Camp Lejeune colorectal cancer lawsuit exists in various scientific studies conducted by public health agencies. Ongoing studies suggest a strong link between exposure to the base’s toxic water and a higher incidence of colorectal cancer.
For example, two studies by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) specifically address Camp Lejeune’s water supply regarding TCE, PCE, benzene and vinyl chloride.
- Civilian Mortality Study entitled: Mortality study of civilian employees exposed to contaminated drinking water at USMC Base Camp Lejeune: A retrospective cohort study.The study found increased risks in the Camp Lejeune civilian workers for several causes of death, including kidney cancer, leukemia’s, prostate cancer, rectal cancer and Parkinson’s disease.
- A study of TCE, PCE, Benzene and vinyl chloride entitled: Health effects linked with trichloroethylene (TCE), tetrachloroethylene (PCE), benzene, and vinyl chloride exposure.
The study finds sufficient evidence for causation in people exposed occupationally or environmentally to the chemicals detected in the drinking water at Camp Lejeune. ATSDR reported positive findings in at least one study that evaluated exposure to TCE and/or PCE for colorectal cancer at Camp Lejeune.
While studies are ongoing, Camp Lejeune colorectal cancer claims may be challenging to prove for causation. An experienced disability lawsuit attorney from Marc Whitehead & Associates can help you navigate your Camp Lejeune colorectal cancer lawsuit or settlement and ultimately get the justice you deserve.
Symptoms of Colorectal Cancer
Colorectal cancer begins in the colon (large intestine) or the rectum. The disease is often referred to simply as colon cancer. The rectum serves as the corridor connecting the colon to the anus.
Colon cancer begins as polyps (growths) in the inner lining of the colon. Over several years, the colon polyp may become cancerous. The polyps may spread (metastasize) into cells that line the large intestine or rectum. According to the American Cancer Society, late stage colorectal cancer often spreads to the liver, and sometimes to the lungs, brain, the abdominal cavity, and to distant lymph nodes.
In many cases, people diagnosed in the early stages of colorectal cancer (stage I or II) may not suffer any colon or rectal cancer symptoms. It is often the case that symptoms appear only when colorectal cancer has grown into late-stage cancer or has spread.
Symptoms of Colorectal Cancer Include:
- Abnormal stool color such as black or tarry, clay-colored, deep red, white-colored
- Rectal bleeding, blood in the stool
- Mucus in the stool
- Loose stools, diarrhea for more than 24 hours
- Mild to severe abdominal pain, abdominal cramps, bloating and gas pains
- Unable to pass stool for 3 days
- Unexplained weight loss
- Unusually narrow stool
- Fatigue, weakness
The entire list of symptoms may differ with each individual. Severity of symptoms will vary based on the location, size and growth of the cancer in the colon or rectum.
How to File a Camp Lejeune Colorectal Cancer Claim or Lawsuit
With the passage of the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022, or CLJA, the federal government enables civilian workers, military personnel and their families to pursue claims against the United States government based on the toxic water at Camp Lejeune.
Eligibility to file a Camp Lejeune colorectal cancer lawsuit requires that you meet the following criteria:
- You lived, worked, or were stationed at Camp Lejeune at any time beginning on August 1, 1953, and ending on December 31, 1987. This includes members of the Armed forces, civilians, civil service employees, and dependents and family who stayed on-base, including those not yet born (in utero injuries).
- You must have had at least 30 days’ exposure to the toxic water during the relevant period. The 30 days do not need to be consecutive.
Under the CLJA, you’ll first file an administrative claim with the Navy’s Office of the Judge Advocate General (JAG).
After six months, if the Navy JAG has (1) denied the claim or (2) taken no action on your claim, you may then file a Camp Lejeune colorectal cancer lawsuit in Federal Court. The lawsuit must be filed with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina.
It’s important to know there is a deadline. Claims filed after August 2024 will not be accepted, so do not delay taking action. The time to file is now, and we urge you to discuss your case with a Camp Lejeune disability lawyer today. We can begin helping you immediately.
Compensation for a Camp Lejeune Colorectal Cancer Injury Claim
Depending on the strength of your case, settlement amounts may range from $10,000 to over $1 million. The more severe the cancer, the greater the potential for considerable financial compensation for the cancer patient or their surviving family members.
Your Camp Lejeune colorectal cancer lawyer will examine the following components of your case to determine appropriate damages and maximum settlement, including:
- The extent and severity of the colorectal cancer
- Medical expenses (past, ongoing, and future)
- Lost wages and loss of earning capacity
- Pain and suffering (mental and physical)
- Loss of companionship and decline in life quality
Was a loved one lost due to contaminated water exposure at the base? If so, you may warrant vital compensation for medical costs, burial expenses, lost benefits, and more in a wrongful death claim.
Contact Us about a Camp Lejeune Colorectal Cancer Lawsuit
Camp Lejeune contamination victims and families have waited decades for justice. Marc Whitehead & Associates are ready to help you now. Our firm will ensure your claim demonstrates the connection between exposure to contaminated water and the harm you suffered.
Veterans: Filing a Camp Lejeune colorectal cancer lawsuit will not affect your current VA disability benefits and VA health care. If you are awarded damages from a CLJA lawsuit, your VA benefits will not be reduced, and your eligibility for other VA benefits or services will not be affected.
Marc Whitehead & Associates can help you with all of these matters.