Like countless others, you or a family member may have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease (PD) after exposure to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune. If so, you may be entitled to compensation in a Camp Lejeune Parkinson’s disease lawsuit or settlement claim against the U.S. government.
Former Camp Lejeune service members, their families, and civilian workers who lived or spent time on Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina were exposed to highly toxic chemicals in the base’s water supply. The years of contamination span from 1953 through 1987.
Scientific evidence links this harmful exposure to many tragic diseases, including Parkinson’s disease.
A new federal law called the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022, or CLJA, opens the doors for exposure victims and their families to seek justice and get the financial compensation they desperately need.
If you think you have a case, contact a Camp Lejeune Parkinson’s disease attorney at Marc Whitehead & Associates for a free, no-obligation legal consultation. We are available 24/7 to help determine whether you have a legitimate case and prepare and file a Camp Lejeune Parkinson’s disease lawsuit on your behalf.
Camp Lejeune Water Contamination & Parkinson’s Disease
PD is a progressive brain disease that causes involuntary or uncontrollable movements, such as tremors or shaking, muscle rigidity, and problems with balance and coordination.
Parkinson’s disease results from the loss or decline in the function of dopamine-producing brain cells. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that controls muscle movement throughout the body.
Dopamine intricately interacts with other neurotransmitters to coordinate many nerve and muscle cells involved in movement. Without sufficient dopamine, this balance is interrupted, resulting in various disorders.
The four (4) main chemicals that contaminated water at Camp Lejeune were:
- Trichloroethylene (TCE) – a solvent used in commercial dry cleaning, metal degreasing, lubricants, spray adhesives
- Tetrachloroethylene, a.k.a. perchloroethylene (PCE) – used for dry cleaning and metal degreasing
- Benzene – a solvent used to make industrial chemicals and is a component in fuel
- Vinyl chloride – an industrial chemical used to produce polyvinyl (PVC) plastic
Multiple studies have identified PCE and TCE as the Camp Lejeune water contaminants that could be enough to establish causation in a Camp Lejeune Parkinson’s disease lawsuit.
Previous estimations are that a million Marines, their families, and civilians who worked or lived at the base were exposed to TCE and PCE drinking water levels up to 280 times higher than what is considered safe levels.
A new study published in the Journal of Parkinson’s Disease, on March 14, 2023, indicates that exposure to trichloroethylene (TCE) could raise the actual risk of PD exponentially – as much as a 500% increased risk beyond what has previously been understood.
According to the new study’s lead author, as reported by Webmd.com, “TCE damages the energy-producing parts of cells, the mitochondria … The nerve cells that are particularly sensitive to TCE’s toxins are those that produce dopamine, a brain chemical that’s lower in people with Parkinson’s. This might partially explain the link.”
The new study also contends that TCE “is contributing to the global rise of PD and that TCE is one of its invisible and highly preventable causes.” The study presents seven cases of Parkinson’s disease, specific to Camp Lejeune, where TCE may have contributed to Parkinson’s disease. Three cases depict likely environmental exposure to PD, and four highlight potential occupational exposure risks.
These seven Camp Lejeune cases add to the existing literature linking TCE to Parkinson’s disease. Our attorneys will continue to observe this and other developing research that may affect Camp Lejeune Parkinson’s disease lawsuit payouts and settlement amounts.
What Are the Symptoms of Parkinson’s disease?
Symptoms of Parkinson’s usually begin gradually and worsen over time. Unfortunately, symptoms can take years to develop. The cardinal symptoms of PD include:
- Postural instability or difficulty balancing;
- Disorganization of motor function often resulting in a severely limited ability to stand up from a seated position, balance while standing or walking, or use the upper extremities.
- Perhaps the most notable symptom of PD is resting tremor – trembling and shaking that occurs in your hands, arms, legs, face, or tongue. The tremor of PD may begin on one side of your body but often progresses to both sides as the disease advances.
- Muscle rigidity is characterized by stiffness of limbs, and it becomes difficult to bend one’s extremities.
- Bradykinesia (extreme slowness of movement) and hypokinesia (loss of muscle movement) are further symptoms of PD. Examples include:
- “Freezing of gait,” where a person wants to walk but for a brief moment cannot take a step forward (often leading to severe falls).
- “Masked face” where, due to loss of muscle movement, a person’s face looks blank or has reduced expression.
- Micrographia, meaning the person writes in cramped, tiny handwriting. This may be an early sign of Parkinson’s.
Along with motor function limitations, people with Parkinson’s often experience non-motor symptoms ranging from complications with:
- blood pressure
- heart rate
- bladder and bowel functions
- gastrointestinal disorders
- hearing and vision problems
- loss of smell
- many forms of pain
- swallowing and speaking difficulties
- behavioral changes, including:
- an inability to understand, remember or apply information
- difficulty concentrating or persisting
- sleep problems
- cognitive decline
Can I File a Camp Lejeune Parkinson’s Disease Lawsuit?
A diagnosis of PD can be life-changing. The Camp Lejeune Justice Act allows toxic exposure injury victims to sue the U.S. government for reparations in the form of personal injury or wrongful death lawsuits.
Under the CLJA, a potential claimant is anyone who meets the following criteria:
- You lived or worked, or were otherwise exposed (including in utero exposure) to the contaminated water at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina,
- For not less than thirty (30) days,
- Beginning August 1, 1953, and ending December 31, 1987.
How to File a Camp Lejeune Lawsuit for Parkinson’s
Suing the government comes with its own set of rules, even with a helpful law like the CLJA. The team at Marc Whitehead & Associates will file your lawsuit to the correct court within the right amount of time, as summarized below:
- You must first file an administrative claim with the Office of the Judge Advocate General (JAG)
- JAG will have six months to respond to your claim. JAG will either agree you have a valid claim and offer a settlement – or – JAG may deny your administrative claim.
- If your administrative claim is denied, you have six months from the date the denial notice is mailed in which you can file your CLJA lawsuit.
- CLJA lawsuits will be filed exclusively 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.
The Camp Lejeune Justice Act allows you to file a wrongful death lawsuit for family members you have lost to Parkinson’s disease associated with toxic exposure on the base. If your husband or wife, parent, child, or other family member has died from Parkinson’s due to Camp Lejeune’s polluted water, we can help you seek compensation as their representative.
An experienced Camp Lejeune disability attorney can assist you throughout your Camp Lejeune Parkinson’s disease lawsuit or wrongful death lawsuit and ultimately get the justice you deserve. Call (800) 562-9830 to learn more.
Determining Camp Lejeune Parkinson’s Payout Amounts
Camp Lejeune settlements will likely be based on a tiered or ranked system set by the Navy JAG or Justice Department. The highest payments will be those with the most substantial medical and epidemiological evidence linking the disease to the toxic water.
PD is one of the diseases that the Department of Veterans Affairs has classified as presumptively connected to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune. This presumption signifies that solid and compelling evidence links Camp Lejeune’s water to the increased volume of Parkinson’s disease cases.
We expect Parkinson’s disease settlement amounts will be among the highest Camp Lejeune payouts. The latest studies regarding TCE, PCE, and Parkinson’s disease may support these expectations.
Contact Us about a Camp Lejeune Parkinson’s Disease Lawsuit
Our national law firm represents victims seeking to file a Camp Lejeune Parkinson’s disease lawsuit in all 50 states.
The entire Marc Whitehead & Associates team will guide you through filing a claim against the government, and we will fight to get you the compensation you deserve. Attending to the unique facts of your case, we will explain the special requirements outlined in the CLJA, ensure that your claim is appropriately preserved and processed, and will engage in any resulting litigation.