Camp Lejeune is a United States Marine Corps base located in North Carolina. It has a long history of water contamination that began in the 1950s and lasted for several decades. The contamination was caused by the release of toxic chemicals such as benzene, trichloroethylene (TCE), and perchloroethylene (PCE) into the groundwater from activities like industrial dumping and waste disposal.
The contamination was discovered in the 1980s, but it wasn’t until the 1990s that the government took significant action to address it. The 2012 Honoring America’s Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act provides medical care and disability benefits to those who were exposed to the contaminated water. Many of those exposed have suffered from a range of health problems, including cancer, birth defects, and neurological disorders. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has published a list of presumptive illnesses thought to be caused by exposure to contaminants at Camp Lejeune. Qualifying veterans can receive health care, including cancer treatment, mental health services, and other specialized care (but excluding dental care), from the VA if they served on active duty at Camp Lejeune or the nearby Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS)-New River for at least 30 days between August 1, 1953 and December 31, 1987.
If you or a loved one may have been affected by a presumptive illness caused by contaminated water at Camp Lejeune, the personal injury attorneys at George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers can help you get the compensation you deserve. Complete a free Camp Lejeune Case Evaluation form online, or call our attorneys at 888-392-5392 to schedule your free case review today.
What Is a Presumptive Condition?
A presumptive condition is one that is presumed to have been caused during a person’s military service. Presumptive conditions are established by law or regulation, and if you have a presumptive condition, you don’t need to prove that your service caused the condition. You only need to meet the service requirements for the presumption.
What Are the Camp Lejeune Presumptive Conditions?
Scientific and medical evidence has led the VA to establish a presumptive service connection for veterans, reservists, civilians working on base, family members living on base, and National Guard members exposed to contaminants in the water supply at Camp Lejeune from August 1, 1953, through December 31, 1987, who later developed one of the following eight diseases:
Adult leukemia resulting from contaminated water at Camp Lejeune is a life-threatening illness that can seriously compromise one’s quality of life. It can require costly and extensive treatments, including traditional and targeted chemotherapy. You may also require radiation, a bone marrow transplant, immunotherapy, and cell engineering. Symptoms can include changes in body temperature, chronic fatigue, chronic infections, unexplained weight loss, swollen lymph nodes, and bruising. Forms of adult leukemia include:
Adult-onset leukemia is diagnosed with a physical exam, lab tests, and bone marrow tests.
Aplastic Anemia and Other Myelodysplastic Syndromes
Aplastic anemia and other myelodysplastic syndromes affect the body’s ability to produce healthy red blood cells. The most common symptoms include unexplained and ongoing fatigue, lingering infections, and susceptibility to bruising or bleeding. These conditions are diagnosed by lab tests that measure your bone marrow and blood cell count. Treatment for a plastic anemia and other myelodysplastic syndromes may consist of:
If you developed a myelodysplastic condition after exposure to contamination at Camp Lejeune, you may be eligible for medical benefits from the VA.
Multiple forms of bladder cancer may have resulted from exposure to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune. The most common symptoms of bladder cancer include blood in the urine, frequent urination, painful urination, and unexplained back pain. Bladder cancer may be diagnosed using cystoscopy, biopsy, urine tests, and imaging, like x-rays and CT scans. In addition to diagnosing bladder cancer, these and other tests will determine the stage of the cancer and dictate your treatment options. Treatment options include surgery, chemotherapy targeting the bladder, chemotherapy to treat your entire body, radiation to destroy cancer cells, and immunotherapy to fight cancer cells throughout your body.
The symptoms of kidney cancer resulting from Camp Lejeune contaminated water include blood in the urine, chronic back pain, appetite loss, weight loss, chronic fatigue, and fever. In order to make a positive diagnosis, your doctors will perform blood, urine, and imaging tests, such as ultrasounds, CT scans, and MRIs. They may also conduct a biopsy to test the affected areas. Imaging scans and other exams can also help your doctor understand the stage of your cancer. Treatments can include cryoablation, radiofrequency ablation, removal of the affected kidney, immunotherapy, and radiation.
Liver cancer resulting from contamination at Camp Lejeune can cause serious symptoms and require expensive treatments. A doctor will diagnose liver cancer using blood tests, imaging tests, and liver biopsies. In its early stages, liver cancer may not cause symptoms, which allows it to progress unchecked. At later stages, symptoms may include:
Depending on the severity and stage of the disease, your doctor may recommend a liver transplant (if available), removal of the tumor, heating or freezing cancer cells, and chemotherapy. Treatment may also include supportive care, such as psychological care and support as needed to cope with your diagnosis.
Multiple myeloma is a cancer of the plasma cells. Healthy plasma cells help you fight infections by making antibodies that recognize and attack germs. Multiple myeloma causes cancerous plasma cells to accumulate in your bone marrow and limit healthy blood cell growth. Symptoms can include:
Treatment for multiple myeloma contracted due to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune may include chemotherapy, immunotherapy, bone marrow transplant, corticosteroids, and radiation.
If you are suffering from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma after exposure to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune, you may be experiencing symptoms such as enlarged lymph nodes, abdominal pain, coughing or difficulty breathing, fever or night sweats, and unexplained weight loss.
This condition causes white blood cells to grow abnormally and form tumors. In order to diagnose non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, your doctor will perform a thorough physical exam, blood and urine tests, CT and MRI scans, and a test of your lymph nodes. A bone marrow test and a spinal tap may also be required. Diagnosis will lead to treatments, including chemotherapy, radiation, and target drug therapy.
Exposure to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune has been found to increase the risk of Parkinson’s disease. This condition is a brain disorder that causes unintended or uncontrollable movements, such as shaking, stiffness, and difficulty with balance and coordination. Symptoms may begin gradually and worsen over time. As the disease progresses, people may have difficulty walking and talking. Parkinson’s disease may be diagnosed via physical and neurological exams. Treatment can include a variety of medications and surgical intervention.
What Are the Symptoms of Camp Lejeune Water Contamination?
The contaminants found in the water at Camp Lejeune can cause a variety of serious symptoms and diseases. These chemicals are known to cause various cancers, birth defects, organ damage, and neurobehavioral effects. Symptoms may include:
Am I Eligible for Compensation if I Have a Presumptive Condition?
If you have a presumptive condition due to exposure to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune, you may be eligible for compensation if you meet all of the following requirements:
- You were a service member, family member, civilian, or in utero at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 days total between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987.
- You have a diagnosis of one or more of these presumptive conditions:
Pursuing compensation requires documentation. If you are seeking compensation as a service member or civilian who was stationed at Camp Lejeune or a family member of one, the personal injury attorneys at George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers can evaluate your case and determine the best way forward.
File Your Camp Lejeune Claim with Us
If you or a loved one was stationed at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 days total between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987, you might have been exposed to dangerously contaminated water that has been shown to cause serious, debilitating, and potentially fatal conditions. If you are suffering from a condition caused by contaminated water at Camp Lejeune, you may be entitled to compensation. Complete a free Camp Lejeune Case Evaluation form online, or call our attorneys at 888-612-7001 to schedule your free case review today!