Are you considering a Camp Lejeune leukemia lawsuit? Anyone who lived or worked at Marine Corp Base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina between 1953 and 1987 was likely exposed to toxic chemicals in the base’s drinking water. As a result, countless military members, their families, and civilian staffers who ingested or bathed in the polluted water have since been diagnosed with often-fatal cancers, including leukemia.
Until now, exposure victims have been barred by a strict North Carolina law preventing plaintiffs from taking legal action. However, a new federal bill – the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 (CLJA) – corrects this injustice.
Victims of contaminated water exposure can finally bring individual Camp Lejeune lawsuits against the federal government for long-overdue reparations. Leukemia claims are among the most common.
Our lawyers represent victims from all 50 states who wish to pursue a Camp Lejeune leukemia lawsuit for compensation for the devastating consequences of toxic water consumption. The legal team at Marc Whitehead & Associates will fight for fair compensation for you and your family.
It was in the late 1980s that the Tarawa Terrace and Hadnot Point water-treatment plants at Camp Lejeune were identified as polluted with industrial solvents. These water systems served military-family housing, barracks for unmarried service personnel, base administrative offices, schools, and recreational areas.
The Hadnot Point water system was also the water source to the Holcomb Boulevard area before 1972, serving the base hospital and supplying water to the Holcomb Boulevard water system.
You have until August 10, 2024, to file a Camp Lejeune leukemia lawsuit. If you believe you have a case, contact us immediately. An experienced disability lawsuit lawyer at Marc Whitehead & Associates will help you understand your case eligibility and answer any questions. Our law firm has been involved for many years with Camp Lejeune water contamination rulings and Veterans’ water contamination claims for Camp Lejeune presumptive conditions.
What Is Leukemia?
Leukemia is an umbrella term for cancers of the blood and blood-forming tissues, such as the bone marrow and lymphatic system, where much of your body’s blood is made. This cancer is characterized by the rapid, out-of-control growth of abnormal blood cells.
Leukemia cells are usually white blood cells that are still developing. Fewer cases of leukemia occur in developing red cells or developing platelets. The abnormal cells overpower and displace healthy blood cells. Leukemia can frequently spread to lymph nodes and other organs and tissues.
Physicians categorize leukemia based on which type of white blood cell is involved — lymphocytes or myeloid cells — and whether the illness develops quickly (acute) or slowly over time (chronic).
Common types of acute leukemia include:
- Acute myeloid leukemia (AML)
- Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL)
- Acute promyelocytic leukemia (APML)
Common types of chronic leukemia include:
- Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL)
- Hairy cell leukemia (HCL)
- Chronic myeloid leukemia (CML)
What Causes Leukemia?
It is widely accepted that this cancer develops from both genetic and environmental factors. The risk of leukemia may be heightened due to certain genetic disorders, family history, smoking, past cancer treatments (radiation or chemotherapy), and chemical exposure, including benzene.
All forms of leukemia can result from chemical exposure.
Did the Contaminated Water at Camp Lejeune Cause Leukemia Cancer?
The water supply at the marine base contained these toxic industrial chemicals:
- PCE (perchloroethylene and tetrachloroethylene)
- TCE (trichloroethylene)
- Vinyl chloride
All four chemicals are classified as volatile organic compounds (VOCs). All four have been scientifically linked to higher cancer rates and other illnesses for anyone sufficiently exposed occupationally or environmentally.
Benzene and PCE have been scientifically indicated as a cause of leukemia cancers and have been linked explicitly to leukemia regarding Camp Lejeune leukemia lawsuits or claims.
Below we look at various studies showing the potential for benzene, TCE, and PCE to cause leukemia through exposure.
American Cancer Society Reports on Benzene and Leukemia
According to the American Cancer Society, factors that put some people at higher risk are:
- Exposure to high levels of benzene, such as workers in the chemical, shoemaking, and oil refining industries. This is particularly so with acute myeloid leukemia (AML).
- In the lab (mice studies), benzene has been shown to cause chromosome changes in bone marrow cells. Such changes are commonly found in human leukemia cells.
Expert agencies ─ including the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), National Toxicology Program (NTP), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ─ have evaluated the cancer-causing potential of benzene.
Owing to these and other agencies, the American Cancer Society reports that exposure to benzene is soundly linked with a higher risk of cancer, particularly leukemias and other cancers of blood cells.
The ATSDR Reports on Camp Lejeune Contaminants and Leukemia
The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), a division of the CDC, has provided past studies and continues to evaluate toxicity outcomes for the victims of the Camp Lejeune water tragedy.
The following summary is from the 2014 ATSDR Camp Lejeune study, Health effects linked with trichloroethylene (TCE), tetrachloroethylene (PCE), benzene, and vinyl chloride exposure. The study found benzene and TCE connected to leukemia as follows:
- Benzene: ATSDR concludes that there is sufficient evidence for causation for benzene and all leukemia types, i.e., ALL, CLL, AML, and CML
- TCE (trichloroethylene): ATSDR concludes that the epidemiological evidence for TCE and leukemia from the occupational and drinking water studies is not strong but sufficient to at least reach equipoise.
- PCE (perchloroethylene and tetrachloroethylene): ATSDR concludes that because of the limited number of epidemiological studies, the mixed results in the studies of dry cleaning workers who most likely have the highest exposure to PCE, and uncertainties in certain rat studies, there is below equipoise evidence for causation for PCE and leukemias.
Explanation of “equipoise”: the evidence is sufficient to conclude that a causal relationship is at least as likely as not, but not sufficient to conclude that a causal relationship exists (“equipoise and above”).
The VA Reports on Camp Lejeune Water Contaminants and Leukemia
In 2012, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) established a presumptive service connection for eight diseases associated with exposure to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune. These diseases include adult leukemia. These eight diseases have sufficient scientific and medical evidence to support the presumption.
Symptoms of Leukemia Cancer
A patient’s symptoms will depend on the type of leukemia cancer. If you or a loved one spent time at Camp Lejeune, the following are symptoms to watch for regarding a Camp Lejeune leukemia lawsuit:
- Weakness, tiredness, and fatigue
- Fever and chills
- Severe or recurring infections
- Excessive sweating or night sweats
- Easy bleeding or bruising
- Frequent nosebleeds
- Petechiae (tiny red spots on the skin)
- Shortness of breath
- Swollen lymph nodes, enlarged spleen or liver
- Unexplained weight loss
- Bone and joint pain, tenderness
Are You Eligible to File a Camp Lejeune Leukemia cancer case?
To be eligible to sue and recover damages in a Camp Lejeune leukemia lawsuit, you will need to meet the following criteria:
- You must prove you lived, worked, or were otherwise exposed (including in utero exposures) to the base’s water for not less than 30 days at Camp Lejeune between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987.
- You developed leukemia as a result of water contamination.
- You were not dishonorably discharged from the military.
- Family members may also be eligible to file a Camp Lejeune wrongful death claim for their loved ones who have passed away from leukemia due to water contamination.
How to File a Camp Lejeune Lawsuit for Leukemia
Your claim must adhere to the following CLJA filing process:
- The first step is to file an administrative claim with the Office of the Judge Advocate General (JAG) of the Navy’s Tort Claims Unit
- The Navy has six months to respond to your claim. JAG will either accept that your claim is valid and offer you a settlement – or – it will deny your administrative claim.
- If JAG denies your claim, you have six months from the date the denial notice is mailed in which to file a Camp Lejeune leukemia 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.
While an attorney is not required, we believe the most successful CLJA claims will be those filed by a knowledgeable Camp Lejeune leukemia lawyer. Your claim will be one among thousands. Be sure you have the right lawyer representing your case.
The effects of exposure to toxic water can take years to develop. Certain forms of documented evidence will be needed for a Camp Lejeune leukemia lawsuit or claim to be successful. Our lawyers can help you locate and assemble the necessary documentation, often dating back decades.
We assemble and file required paperwork and forms in precise formats at specific times. Notably, we meet the burden of proof required by the Camp Lejeune Justice Act and assist with all potential legal action under the Act.
Compensation for a Camp Lejeune Leukemia Cancer Injury Claim
We will clarify all damages you have suffered due to exposure to toxic water at Camp Lejeune.
You may be entitled to compensation for some or all of the following:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Loss of services provided for the family
- Costs of continuing disability
- pain and suffering
- mental anguish
- physical impairment
- loss of enjoyment of life
Contact Us about a Camp Lejeune Leukemia Cancer Lawsuit
Are you ready to start your Camp Lejeune leukemia lawsuit? We urge you to contact our attorneys today. Your legal consultation with our firm is free and without obligation. Our attorneys will give you honest, thorough, and reliable answers to your questions.
Working with a knowledgeable Camp Lejeune claims team can make all the difference in receiving the maximum verdict or settlement. We’ll help you navigate through this process to help you get the compensation you deserve.