Did you develop liver cancer after serving, training, or living on Camp Lejeune in North Carolina? If so, you may now take legal action against the United States government in a Camp Lejeune liver cancer lawsuit.
Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune was the site of devastating water contamination from 1953 to 1987. During these years, thousands of military personnel, their families, and non-military workers ingested, cooked, and bathed in tap water polluted with harmful chemicals at high concentrations. All those exposed to the toxins were at risk of consequent health problems.
Until now, those who suffered illnesses due to the base’s water exposure were barred from taking legal action due to an obscure North Carolina law. However, in August 2022, Congress passed landmark legislation, the PACT Act, finally correcting this injustice.
Within the PACT Act is a new federal law specifically addressing the Camp Lejeune tragedy. This law is the Camp Lejeune Justice Act or CLJA.
The CLJA lets veterans and civilians seek damages if they were exposed for at least 30 days to the toxic water at Camp Lejeune between August 1953 and December 1987. Significant payouts for a long list of cancers and other diseases will now be awarded.
If you qualify, your Camp Lejeune liver cancer lawsuit will be a claim against the federal government seeking compensation for the harm you’ve suffered.
Do you think your or a loved one’s cancer may have resulted from Camp Lejeune water exposure? We urge you to speak with a Camp Lejeune liver cancer lawyer at Marc Whitehead & Associates. We’ll help you understand your case and answer any questions you have. Allow our experienced legal team to help you pursue long overdue justice.
Did Contaminated Water at Camp Lejeune Cause Liver Cancer?
Since the late 1980s, the Agency for Toxic Substance and Disease Registry (ATSDR) has been evaluating the onset of cancers and other serious health risks caused by toxins in Camp Lejeune’s water supply.
A Camp Lejeune liver cancer lawsuit will focus on unsafe levels of the following volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that polluted the Camp Lejeune drinking water:
- Trichloroethylene (TCE): This chemical is a solvent used in dry cleaning and cleaning metal machinery. It is also a cleaning agent found in paint removers and carpet cleaners.
- Tetrachloroethylene, a.k.a. Perchloroethylene (PCE): This compoundis used to produce fluorinated compounds, as a solvent for cleaning and degreasing, and in lubricants, adhesives, and sealants.
- Vinyl chloride: A colorless gas, vinyl chloride is used to make PVC plastic and vinyl products; it is also used as a chemical intermediate and a solvent.
- Benzene: Currently, benzene is mainly used to make other chemicals, including degreasers, plastics, resins, lubricants, rubbers, dyes, detergents, and pesticides. In years past, benzene was commonly used in its pure form as a solvent and as a gasoline additive.
ATSDR found these that three of the base’s eight water distribution systems were contaminated:
- Hadnot Point – The drinking water was contaminated with TCE, vinyl chloride and benzene from multiple sources, including poor disposal practices, leaks from underground storage tanks and spills at industrial sites.
- Tarawa Terrace – The drinking water was contaminated with TCE, PCE, and vinyl chloride. The source of the contaminants found in the Tarawa Terrace water treatment plant was ABC One-Hour Cleaners, an off-site dry cleaner.
- Holcomb Boulevard – Before 1972, Camp Lejeune’s Holcomb Boulevard area got its entire water supply from the Hadnot Point water treatment plant. Therefore, for persons living in the Holcomb Boulevard areas before 1972, the estimated levels of exposure to VOCs in the water would have been the same as for people living in the Hadnot Point area.
In 1972, the Holcomb Boulevard water processing plant was built. From 1972 until 1985, the Holcomb Boulevard water was contaminated only periodically with Hadnot Point distribution system water.
Due to the urgent health threat at the marine base, ATSDR issued a public health advisory authorizing full-scale studies and ongoing research on specific hazardous substances.
ATSDR risk assessments regarding liver cancer and Camp Lejeune VOCs are as follows:
- Trichloroethylene (TCE): ATSDR concludes that TCE exposure is associated with an increased risk for several cancers, including liver cancer.
- Perchloroethylene (PCE): ATSDR concludes that PCE exposure is associated with an increased risk for several cancers, including liver cancer.
- Vinyl Chloride: According to ATSDR’s public health advisory Fact Sheet, young children exposed to vinyl chloride may have had a higher risk for liver cancer. ATSDR also concludes that there is sufficient evidence for causation for vinyl chloride and hepatocellular carcinoma – the primary liver cancer in adults – and hepatic angiosarcoma, a rare form of liver cancer.
- Benzene: Only one study evaluated occupational benzene exposure and liver cancer; therefore, the epidemiological evidence is insufficient to determine whether a positive association exists for benzene and liver cancer. There is sufficient evidence for causation for benzene with leukemias and non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
Can I File a Camp Lejeune Lawsuit for Liver Cancer?
CLJA claims are open to anyone who:
- Lived or worked at Camp Lejeune for 30 days or more between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987, and
- Has been diagnosed with a health condition linked to contaminated water exposure.
A Camp Lejeune liver cancer lawsuit may be well-substantiated by scientific evidence that strongly links your cancer to exposure to the VOCs found in Camp Lejeune water. This causal connection is vital in valuating claims.
Accordingly, settlements and lawsuits for liver cancer are expected to be at the higher end of the value scale.
This does not mean there is an automatic award of benefits for every Camp Lejeune liver cancer lawsuit. It does mean that claims for liver cancer may be more straightforward to settle with the federal government and should be among the higher payouts.
Compensation for your settlement or jury award will be based on your exposure and other facts, such as:
- When you were exposed (e.g., what was your age, were you pregnant, etc.)
- How you were exposed (e.g., drinking, bathing, cooking, etc.) and for how long
- Your individual habits and lifestyle
Under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act, you could receive compensation for:
- Medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of quality of life
- Wrongful death
When evaluating a Camp Lejeune liver cancer lawsuit, expect the court to also factor in the stages of cancer and the survival rate as it pertains to you or your loved one’s case.
A disability lawsuit attorney at Marc Whitehead & Associates will be your dedicated advocate throughout the CLJA claims process.
Symptoms of Liver Cancer
Initial stages of liver cancer may have no or very vague symptoms. Over time, symptoms may show up in the form of:
- Unexpected weight loss
- Loss of appetite
- Feeling too full after a small meal
- Nausea or vomiting
- Tenderness, swelling, or pain in the upper right side of the abdomen (indicative of an enlarged liver)
- Swelling of the legs
- Itching all over the body
- Jaundice (a condition that causes skin and eyes to yellow)
As liver cancer advances in stages, further symptoms may appear, including:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Fatigue an weakness
- Mental confusion
- Tenderness, swelling, or pain in the upper left side of the abdomen (indicative of enlarged spleen)
VA Compensation for Camp Lejeune Liver Cancer
The VA has designated various illnesses as “presumptive conditions.” For these conditions, VA automatically assumes that your service caused your condition.
On March 14, 2017, the VA published a list of eight presumptive conditions related to the toxic water at Camp Lejeune. These eight conditions are:
- Adult leukemia
- Aplastic anemia and other myelodysplastic syndromes
- Bladder cancer
- Kidney cancer
- Liver cancer
- Multiple myeloma
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
- Parkinson’s disease
As a veteran filing for “presumptive service connection,” you don’t need to prove that your service caused the condition. To be eligible for presumptive service connection, you must meet the following requirements:
- You served at Camp Lejeune or MCAS New River, North Carolina, for at least 30 days total between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987, and
- You did not receive a dishonorable discharge when you separated from the military
NOTE! If you are already receiving VA disability compensation for liver cancer—or any other harm caused by Camp Lejeune water exposure—you are still eligible to seek damages in a Camp Lejeune liver cancer lawsuit under the CLJA. In addition, you may recover additional vital compensation for matters not covered by VA disability benefits, such as pain and suffering or loss of employment.
Any previously awarded VA disability benefits for conditions related to Camp Lejeune toxic water will likely be offset based on prior payments. Our experienced lawyers will ensure this is accurately and fairly handled.
The accredited VA attorneys and Camp Lejeune litigation attorneys at Marc Whitehead & Associates can help you with every aspect of getting a fair rating for your VA compensation claim for liver cancer, receiving appropriate VA healthcare benefits, and filing your federal CLJA lawsuit.
Filing a Camp Lejeune Liver Cancer Lawsuit
The first step under the CLJA is to file an administrative claim with the Department of the Navy, which has six months to adjudicate each claim.
Camp Lejeune claims for liver cancer that are initially denied or do not settle will proceed to trial in Federal Court – but only in the Eastern District of North Carolina. These cases are to be tried before a jury and proved, where a jury will determine compensation.
Contact Us about a Camp Lejeune Liver Cancer Lawsuit
Individual compensation under a successful Camp Lejeune lawsuit will depend on multiple factors. Our attorneys are experienced litigators of federal toxic exposure cases. We have an extensive understanding of the Camp Lejeune toxic water tragedy and the victims thereof. We are knowledgeable of the multiple cancers and illnesses associated with these cases.
Marc Whitehead & Associates are here to help you throughout this legal process and to ensure you recover maximum compensation under the Act. Please contact us immediately if you believe you were affected by the military base’s polluted water supply.