From the 1950s to the 1980s, many people exposed to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune have since developed epilepsy and seizure disorders. If this has been your fate, you may be eligible to file a Camp Lejeune epilepsy lawsuit against the federal government for long overdue compensation for suffering, damages, and loss.
The Jacksonville, NC Marine Corps base was the site of devastating water contamination spanning 30-plus years. People who lived and worked at Camp Lejeune unknowingly ingested and bathed in tap water polluted with dangerous chemicals far beyond safe levels. As a result, thousands became sick, disabled, or died from multiple forms of cancers, other diseases, and neurological disorders such as epilepsy.
A Camp Lejeune claim or lawsuit isan action against the United States government for harm suffered by anyone exposed to the toxic water at the base. These claims are made possible through the Camp Lejeune Justice Act (CLJA), which became law on August 10, 2022. The CLJA enables veterans, their families, and civilians harmed by the water to seek damages by filing a claim against the U.S. government.
Marc Whitehead & Associates law firm is helping thousands of veterans and their loved ones through this process. If you think you have a claim, contact us right away. We will evaluate the strength of your potential Camp Lejeune epilepsy lawsuit and possible settlement or court award.
Did the Contaminated Water at Camp Lejeune Cause Epilepsy?
The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) and other health agencies have been evaluating the health risks of Camp Lejeune’s water. As a result, multiple cancers, non-cancerous diseases, neurobehavioral effects, and birth defects have been linked to camp lejeune water contamination.
Many conditions, including epilepsy, have not been investigated or conclusively linked to exposure to Camp Lejeune’s toxic water.
Don’t let this discourage you.
Past Camp Lejeune residents who suffer from conditions not on ATSDR’s list of conditions associated with the Camp Lejeune water contamination – such as epilepsy – can still file valid claims under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act.
Regarding your specific chances of success, each plaintiff’s case results will differ. The possibility of your claim being successful will be based on different factors, such as the strength of your evidence and the type and degree of harm you have suffered.
Part of that proof will be based on the toxins in Camp Lejeune’s water.
Certain chemicals found in Camp Lejeune’s water have been identified in other toxic exposure cases as causes of epilepsy and epileptic seizures. These chemicals include tetrachloroethylene (PCE), trichloroethylene (TCE), and benzene, and are discussed further below.
If you believe your epileptic seizures or other neurological symptoms are associated with Camp Lejeune’s polluted water supply, our toxic exposure attorneys offer a free legal consultation to assess these aspects of your Camp Lejeune epilepsy lawsuit.
There is no obligation, and our knowledgeable team can begin assisting you immediately. We represent Camp Lejeune toxic exposure claims throughout the U.S., so where ever you live, we can help.
Symptoms of Epilepsy
Epilepsy is a chronic (long-term) disorder of the brain. Abnormal surges of electrical activity in the brain can cause recurring seizures. The seizure affects how you appear or act. Where and how the seizure presents itself can cause serious problems, as seizures can cause involuntary changes in body movement or function, sensation, behavior, or awareness.
The primary symptom of epilepsy is seizures. Not all seizures result from epilepsy; they can be a symptom of other medical problems. That said, epileptic seizures may involve the following signs and symptoms to watch for concerning a Camp Lejeune epilepsy lawsuit:
- Temporary loss of awareness
- Temporary loss of consciousness
- Confusion, trouble with processing information, difficulty with talking
- Blank stare, decreased visual acuity, and other vision problems
- Trouble breathing
- Muscular stiffness, stiffening of the body
- Uncontrolled muscle movements of arms and legs, muscle jerking, reduced muscle tone
- Psychological symptoms such as anxiety, dread, or fear
- Lip-smacking, chewing, rubbing hands, finger motions.
There are two primary seizure groups, summarized below:
Focal Onset Seizures:
- Aware – You are awake and aware during the seizure
- Impaired Awareness – You’re confused or have lost awareness or consciousness during the seizure.
Generalized Onset Seizures:
- Absence seizures – You briefly lose awareness; a blank stare is standard, usually less than 10 seconds.
- Atonic seizures: – You lose muscle control, or the muscles are weak during the seizure, usually less than 15 seconds.
- Tonic seizures – Muscle tone is heightened, and arms, legs, back, or the entire body becomes tense or stiff, usually less than 15 seconds.
- Clonic seizures – Fast, repeating stiffening and relaxing of a muscle (“jerking”); lasts for seconds up to two minutes.
- Tonic-clonic seizures – A combination of muscle stiffness (tonic) and repeated, rhythmic muscle jerking (clonic). Once known as a “grand mal” seizure, you lose consciousness, fall, and may bite your tongue during the convulsion. This seizure may last one to five minutes.
- Myoclonic seizures – Shock-like muscle jerks or twitches, typically lasting a few seconds.
Evidence that Camp Lejeune Toxic Water Caused Epilepsy
Over 70 solvents and industrial chemicals defiled the water supply on the base. As research continues, these chemicals may be linked to epilepsy and other diseases not yet included in ATSDR’s published findings.
Two of the eight wells at Camp Lejeune were contaminated. Tarawa Terrace and Hadnot Point water treatment plants furnished water to the base hospital, barracks, family housing, administrative offices, recreational areas, schools, and other areas.
Three chemicals in question (among other toxic substances) are:
- Tetrachloroethylene (PCE) is a dry cleaning agent and metal degreasing solvent.
- Trichloroethylene (TCE) is an industrial solvent used in dry cleaning and to clean metal machinery.
- Benzene – Benzene evaporates quickly, and the vapor is heavy and may sink into the ground. It dissolves slightly in water.
Each chemical is a known carcinogen, as per the ATSDR and CDC.
Independent Studies Indicating a Risk of Epilepsy from Exposure to PCE, TCE, and Benzene
PCE in drinking water linked to cancer and epilepsy:
Results of a 2015 study indicate that prenatal and early-life exposure to tetrachloroethylene (PCE) in drinking water may increase the risk of epilepsy and certain types of cancer, such as cervical cancer, into adulthood. The study focused on adults in the Cape Cod area of Massachusetts exposed to PCE-contaminated drinking water during gestation and early childhood.
TCE and risk of epilepsy:
A 2019 study investigated epileptic seizures in seven workers exposed to a mixture of organic solvents in their workplace. The study reported trichloroethylene (TCE) as one of the solvents responsible for the onset of temporal seizures.
Following exposure, all patients had at least one epileptic seizure. Several studies have reported temporal seizures related to acute or chronic exposure to trichloroethylene. The patients in the study had no neurological history.
Benzene and risk of epilepsy:
The CDC considers benzene a “systemic agent,” meaning its toxins may affect the entire body. CDC reports that ingesting benzene can lead to seizures, gastrointestinal irritation, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, diarrhea, dizziness, sleepiness, rapid heart rate, and death.
A 2023 case report from the University of Science and Technology of China studies a case of a patient with benzene poisoning presenting with status epilepticus. Generally, status epilepticus occurs when a seizure lasts more than 5 minutes or when seizures occur very close together, and the person does not recover consciousness between them.
In this study, epileptic seizures and brain MRI findings revealed injury to the central nervous system caused by exposure to paint containing benzene. The benzene-induced damage to the central nervous system was summarized as symptoms of cognitive impairment, seizures, and extensive signal abnormalities in the brain.
As studies progress, further diseases are anticipated to be linked with the Camp Lejeune water.
Countless victims did not feel the effects of PCE, TCE, benzene, or other chemicals until long after they left Camp Lejeune. Our Camp Lejeune lawsuit attorneys are here to fight for these individuals who have not gotten the compensation they deserve.
Are You Eligible to file a Camp Lejeune Epilepsy case?
If you spent time at Camp Lejeune between August 1953 and December 1987 and you have an illness – like epilepsy – that isn’t yet designated by the VA or the ATSRD as “linked” to a chemical in Camp Lejeune’s water supply, you may still be able to suefor compensation as well as receive VA benefits.
Filing a CLJA claim requires meeting the following criteria:
1. You were exposed to contaminated Camp Lejeune water for not less than 30 days during the period beginning on August 1, 1953, and ending on December 31, 1987.
2. You suffered an illness linked to the toxic water.
3. You must meet the burden of proof under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act.
Be prepared to show a medical link between your condition and exposure to the water. You can navigate these complex CLJA cases with help. Our experienced legal team will help you acquire and assemble the scientific and medical evidence connecting water contamination and epilepsy. Our attorneys will ensure all procedural requirements are followed so that you obtain the best results possible in your case.
How to File a Camp Lejeune Lawsuit for Epilepsy
Your claim must adhere to the following CLJA filing process:
- First, you file an administrative claim with the Office of the Judge Advocate General (JAG) of the Navy’s Tort Claims Unit (TCU).
- TCU has six months to respond to your claim. TCU will either accept that your cancer claim is valid and offer you a settlement – or – it will deny your administrative claim.
- If TCU denies your claim, you have six months to file a Camp Lejeune epilepsy lawsuit under the Act.
- All CLJA lawsuits will be filed in the Federal Courts of the Eastern District of North Carolina.
- There is a two-year statute of limitations on Camp Lejeune claims. This means you cannot file a lawsuit after August 10, 2024 – or – six months after your administrative claim is denied, whichever is later.
Having a knowledgeable litigation attorney manage your CLJA claim, properly handle settlement proceedings, or seek a fair jury verdict is of great value. You want a lawyer who will compel a fair compensation amount with respect to your epilepsy diagnosis and damages.
Compensation for a Camp Lejeune Epilepsy Injury Claim
An experienced Camp Lejeune epilepsy lawyer will investigate various factors to determine how much compensation you should seek. Compensation for a Camp Lejeune epilepsy lawsuit can include the following:
- The severity of the epilepsy
- The cost of medical care (past, ongoing, and future)
- Lost wages and loss of earning capacity
- The extent of pain and suffering (mental and physical)
- Loss of enjoyment of life, loss of companionship, and loss of earning capacity
- Degree of temporary or permanent disability
While a Camp Lejeune epilepsy lawsuit may not be considered a top-level claim under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act, it can still be a viable case. What reinforces your epilepsy injury claim is that the burden of proof for proving causation in CLJA claims is significantly lower than in traditional personal injury cases.
“Equipoise” causation is the evidentiary standard applied to all Camp Lejeune claims. To recover compensation, you must present 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. This means that if the evidence is 50/50 on whether the toxins caused epilepsy or epileptic seizures, a causal relationship has been established.
Contact Us about a Camp Lejeune Epilepsy Lawsuit
Talk to a lawyer immediately if you believe you were harmed by toxic water at Camp Lejeune. You may be eligible for VA benefits and a settlement or court award. We can help you in all situations.
While specific issues may be more challenging to prove, as with epilepsy, an experienced disability lawsuit lawyer with Marc Whitehead & Associates can help you navigate your Camp Lejeune epilepsy lawsuit or settlement and ultimately get the justice you deserve.