While there is no doubt that our military members face extraordinary risks on a daily basis, the statistics are still jarring. About half of all military members will experience at least one injury every year. Further, the official Department of Defense Statistics indicates that the average rate of medical visits is about 1,600 injury-related visits per every 1,000 servicemembers.
Just because you serve in the military does not mean that you have signed up to endure life-altering injuries and illnesses. The military and government still have an obligation to ensure that your work environment and living conditions are safe.
That is why so many current and former military members are researching their options after learning about Camp Lejeune cancer and how it might have impacted their health. Anyone who served at Camp Lejeune between the 1950s and 1985 and thinks they may have been exposed to toxic water has a vested interest in learning more about their legal options. Get more details about Camp Lejeune, toxic water exposure, and your legal options if you suspect you may have a claim. Another firm has created a quiz to see if your case qualifies. We are working with another firm on these-Morgan & Morgan. You can take Morgan & Morgan’s Camp Lejeune case evaluation quiz to see if your claim qualifies.
What is Camp Lejeune?
Camp Lejeune is the United States Marine Corps Base in North Carolina. The base was established back in 1942, and it continues to operate 24/7 today. The mission of this important facility is to support the Marine Corps, a Navy command, and a Cost Guard command. In fact, the New River Air Station has the greatest number of marines and sailors in one location across the globe.
The location of Camp Lejeune was built was determined to be an ideal place for the training center, considering that it is located near two deep water ports.
History of Camp Lejeune-Related Illness
The area where Camp Lejeune was built was chosen specifically for its proximity to water, but it was ultimately water that started to cause problems for military members, employees, and others on base. In 1982, the Marine Corps discovered volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the drinking water. After an investigation into the ordeal, it was discovered that two water treatment plants were providing contaminated water to the base.
One water treatment plant, Tarawa Terrace, was reportedly contaminated as a result of illegal waste disposal practices being conducted by an off-base dry cleaning firm. Specifically, ABC One-Hour Cleaners were unloading waste, which ultimately resulted in PCE contamination. The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry conducted tests and determined that the PCE concentrations in the drinking water exceeded EPA standards for about 346 months between November of 1957 and February of 1987. The contaminated wells were closed down in 1985.
Yet another water treatment plant, Hadnot Point, was also allegedly providing contaminated water to Camp Lejeune. The TCE contamination at this plant largely stemmed from industrial area spills, waste disposal sites, and leaking underground storage tanks. The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry determined that the VOC exceeded EPA standards from August of 1953 to January of 1985.
The Camp Lejeune Cancer Controversy
After investigating the situation, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry believes that the TCE, PCE, and VOC contamination within the water at Camp Lejeune not only made veterans experience various illnesses but that it likely also increased their risk of developing cancers and other adverse health effects, such as:
- Kidney cancer
- Multiple myeloma
- Rectal cancer
- Bladder cancer
- Breast cancer
- End-stage renal disease
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Adverse birth outcomes
If you experienced negative health effects after living or working at Camp Lejeune and later developed cancer, it might be worth it to let an attorney investigate whether contaminated water could have caused or contributed to your medical situation. Right now, there have only been a few studies linking the contaminants with negative health impacts.
How to Get a Diagnosis
If you are experiencing any negative health symptoms after living or working at Camp Lejeune, it is best to consult with your doctor to better understand your condition. If you suspect toxic water could have caused or contributed to your situation, let your doctor know. Your doctor will be able to diagnose your condition and determine how to best treat your symptoms.
Depending on the severity of your situation, you may need extensive or long-term care. Consult with a lawyer to look into your legal options for compensation to help alleviate some of the financial burdens.
Does the Statute of Limitations Apply?
One important question that many military members have is whether the statute of limitations applies in cases of Camp Lejeune cancer. Considering that the water contamination was discovered years ago, many impacted individuals might wrongly assume that too much time has passed to seek out any compensation.
The good news is that you might still be able to pursue compensation because the statute of limitations might not have started until you discovered your health condition or its connection to time spent at Camp Lejeune. If you only recently learned that you have a health problem, then you might still have time to seek out a claim.
How a Lawyer Can Help You
A quality lawyer can help you learn whether there are any other pending claims regarding the toxic water contamination at Camp Lejeune. If there are other pending lawsuits, you might be able to join other plaintiffs who have also been adversely impacted by the same circumstances. Take the recent Tylenol lawsuits as an example. Many different injured individuals are all seeking out a claim at the same time.
A good lawyer can also help you document the extent of your losses. If your attorney believes you do have the basis to seek out a claim, they will work hard to ensure that justice is served in your situation.
Were You Diagnosed with Camp Lejeune Cancer?
Are you a former employee, resident, or military veteran who worked or resided at Camp Lejeune between 1950 and 1985? Have you suffered negative health effects that you believe could be the result of exposure to volatile organic compounds in the toxic water? Let us connect you with an attorney who can help you explore your legal options for compensation or take the Camp Lejune Quiz by Morgan & Morgan.