Our attorneys are handling Camp Lejeune leukemia lawsuits in all 50 states.
This page is about bladder cancer injury and wrongful death claims. Our law firm discusses the legislation that will allow a Camp Lejeune toxic water lawsuit.
Our lawyers also speculate on the potential settlement amounts Camp Lejeune leukemia victims and wrongful death family members might recover in these lawsuits.
Camp Lejeune Lawsuit
Over 1 million people who lived or worked at the Camp Lejeune USMC base in North Carolina between 1953 and 1987 were exposed to drinking water that was highly contaminated with chemicals that have been linked to cancer. Scientific studies on the health impact of this contamination have concluded that the chemicals in the Lejeune water put these individuals at a significantly higher risk of leukemia and other blood cancers.
Congress is about to pass a new law that will allow Camp Lejeune victims the right to bring tort lawsuits and get compensation. Our firm is currently accepting new cases from individuals who lived or worked at Camp Lejeune during the relevant period and were subsequently diagnosed with leukemia.
History of Camp Lejeune Water Contamination
Camp Lejeune is a big Marine Corps base and training facility just north of Wilmington, North Carolina. Lejeune has been used continuously by the Marine Corps since WWII. It features barracks, family housing, schools, and other facilities and at any given time it is home to about 50,000 people.
From August 1953 to December 1987, the Camp Lejeune water supplied to residents and employees was poisoned with dangerously high levels of perchloroethylene (PCE) and trichloroethylene (TCE), which are types of chlorinated solvents. The level of these carcinogenic chemicals in the Lejeune water system was several thousand times above the EPA’s maximum safe limits.
Studies have estimated that just over 1 million people, including Marines, families, and civilian employees, lived or worked at Camp Lejeune during the relevant period and were exposed to the contaminated water.
Studies Link Leukemia to Water Contamination
The discovery of the water contamination at Camp Lejeune prompted a major response from the federal government, which included major studies by several public health agencies. The goal of these studies was to learn exactly how the contaminated water at Lejeune may have impacted the long-term health of the base residents and employees who were exposed to it.
The fact that contaminated water causes leukemia is no surprise. Multiple studies have shown that TCE – an abundant toxin at Camp Lejeune – causes a greater incidence of leukemia. Children exposed in-utero to TCE-contaminated water have demonstrated an increased incidence of lymphocytic leukemias.
The largest source of toxins that contaminated the water at Camp Lejeune was ABC Dry Cleaners. We know there are reports of high rates of leukemia in laundry workers. So it is not a surprise that our Camp Lejeune attorneys are seeing large numbers of leukemia victims and their families calling us to explore a compensation claim.
Studies Link Leukemia to Camp Lejeune Water Contamination
There are also specific studies that link leukemia not only to toxic water generally but the water contamination at Camp Lejeune.
The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), which is part of the CDC, has been performing extensive research and health assessments of Camp Lejeune since 1991. The ATSDR’s work at Lejeune has included advanced historical modeling of the estimated contamination levels in the Lejeune water systems going back to the 1940s.
The historical modeling data compiled by the ATSDR has been utilized in epidemiologic studies of the health effects of water contamination on Camp Lejeune employees and residents. These studies have analyzed various health outcome “endpoints,” including birth defects, adverse birth outcomes, cancer, and mortality rates.
One of the first significant reports on the health impact of the Camp Lejeune water contamination came in 2009 when the National Research Council (NRC) released a report entitled Contaminated Water Supplies at Camp Lejeune: Assessing Potential Health Effects (NRC Report). The NRC Report concluded that there was conclusive evidence of an association between exposure to the Lejeune water and increased rates of leukemia and other blood cancers.
Leukemia Is One of Eight Original Linked to Toxic Water at Camp Lejeune
At the direction of Congress in 2012, the Veteran’s Administration (VA) established a committee of leading experts (the “VA Committee”) to review the available evidence and provide the VA with clinical guidance on what diseases could be linked to the Lejeune water contamination. The Clinical Guidance published by the VA Committee listed leukemia as one of eight diseases that was presumptively connected to the water contamination at Lejeune.
In 2014, the ATSDR published the results of its long-term cancer incidence and mortality study for the Camp Lejeune population (the “ATSDR Study”). Just like the previous reports, the ATSDR Study found evidence that exposure to the water at Lejeune caused a significant increase in the rate of leukemia among residents and employees.
New Law to Allow Camp Lejeune Claims for Leukemia
Victims of the Camp Lejeune environmental tragedy have never been able to bring successful civil lawsuits for their injuries because of a strict statute of repose law in North Carolina. Thanks to years of lobbying by Veteran advocacy groups, however, Congress is now on the brink of enacting a new federal law that will give Camp Lejeune victims the ability to bring lawsuits and get compensation.
The Camp Lejeune Justice Act (CLJA), which has been merged into a larger veteran benefits bill called the Honoring Our Pact Act (PACT Act), was first passed by the House in March. An amended version of the bill was subsequently passed by the Senate in June and sent back to the House for approval.
On July 13, the House passed a newly revised version of the Senate bill which eliminated a problematic tax credit provision. The revised version of the bill is back to the Senate for approval again and it is expected to pass very soon.
When the CLJA becomes law, victims of Camp Lejeune water contamination will have a 2-year window to file civil lawsuits against the government for injuries related to the water contamination. The CLJA expressly eliminates the North Carolina statute of repose as a legal barrier.
Plaintiffs under the CLJA will have the burden of proving their claims. However, the CLJA adopts a lowered evidentiary for causation. Section (b)(2) of the CLJA allows plaintiffs to prove causation based on a single epidemiological study:
(2) USE OF STUDIES.—A study conducted on humans or animals, or from an epidemiological study, which ruled out chance and bias with reasonable confidence and which concluded, with sufficient evidence, that exposure to the water described in subsection (a) is one possible cause of the harm, shall be sufficient to satisfy the burden of proof described under paragraph (1).
CLJA § (b)(2). This language indicates that CLJA claimants will not need to retain expert witnesses to support their claims as long as they can cite a study showing that their injury is associated with Camp Lejeune.
The VA Clinical Guidance and the ATSDR Study could potentially be accepted as per se evidence of causation for leukemia claims under the CLJA. This means that individuals who bring claims under the CLJA for leukemia may not need to present expert evidence in support of causation.
What Will Be the Settlement Payouts for a Camp Lejeune Leukemia Lawsuit?
Our lawyers believe that Camp Lejeune leukemia lawsuits under the CLJA could have an average per person settlement payout between $150,000 and $350,000.
There are caveats for this payout projection. It is too early to predict Camp Lejeune leukemia settlement amounts. There are too many unknown variables that could significantly impact the potential value of these claims on a case-by-case basis.
But victims want to know what settlement amounts Camp Lejeune attorneys are projecting. So we are saying the quiet part out loud as long as you appreciate that projected settlement amounts are not guaranteed payouts. The actual compensation could be a lot less… or a lot more.
Our settlement compensation projections are based on expected settlement compensation for Camp Lejeune lawsuits generally and leukemia lawsuits by looking at settlements and verdicts for leukemia in prior tort cases, such as medical malpractice.
Example Camp Lejeune Leukemia Lawsuit
A majority of the Camp Lejeune water contamination victims were Marine Corps veterans who were stationed at Camp Lejeune. But thousands of civilian employees worked at the base and in many cases, these individuals have much longer periods of exposure to the toxic Lejeune water. This is very evident in the case of Hedges v. United States (7:22-cv-127), which was one of the Camp Lejeune legacy cases filed immediately after the CLJA was signed into law.
The plaintiff, Phoebe Lynn Hedges, was a civilian who worked on the Camp Lejeune base for 36 years from 1977 to 2013. For a period of 16 years, from 1977 to 1993, Ms. Hedges also lived on base at Lejeune. For 10 of the years that Ms. Hedges lived and/or worked at Camp Lejeune, she was regularly exposed to the contaminated water on the base.
Leukemia Caused by 10-Year Exposure to Toxic Lejeune Water
In 2013, Ms. Hedges was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia. The Complaint asserts that the “causal relationship between Plaintiff’s exposure to water at Camp Lejeune and her diagnosis of acute myeloid leukemia is as least as likely as not.” Blood cancers, such as leukemia, are one of the diseases linked to the toxic Camp Lejeune water. Leukemia is one of the conditions that the VA has considered “presumptively related” to the Camp Lejeune water.
This would be what Camp Lejeune lawyers would consider a “top tier” case for several reasons. First, the extent of the plaintiff’s exposure to the contaminated Camp Lejeune water is much more extensive than in most CLJA cases. Ms. Hedges lived and worked at Camp Lejeune for a decade beginning at the peak of the contamination levels in the late 1970s.
Second, leukemia is one of the diseases linked to the toxic Camp Lejeune water. The VA has considered leukemia “presumptively related” to the Camp Lejeune water. The combination of one of the presumptive diseases and a 10-year history of exposure to the contaminated water makes these very strong and ripe for a potential early settlement.
Contact Us About a Camp Lejeune Leukemia Lawsuit
If you served, lived, or worked at Camp Lejeune between 1953 and 1987 and were later diagnosed with leukemia, contact us today at 800-553-8082 or get a no-obligation case review online.