Our attorneys are handling Camp Lejeune liver cancer and fatty liver disease lawsuit in all 50 states.
You can make the argument that liver cancer is the strongest disease linked to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune. Why? Unlike most diseases from Camp Lejeune’s toxic water, liver cancer is linked to all three of the major contaminants at Camp Lejeune: TCE, PCE, and benzene.
So we expect the government to be as willing to offer reasonable settlement amounts in Camp Lejeune liver cancer lawsuits because of the evidence that liver cancer is linked to Lejeune.
Camp Lejuene and Liver Cancer and Disease
From 1953 to 1987 – and maybe longer – Marines, their families, and employees at the Camp Lejeune military base in North Carolina were exposed to carcinogenic chemicals in their drinking water. Scientific studies have concluded that these chemicals caused base residents and employees to develop various types of cancer and other diseases.
Vinyl Chloride and Liver Cancer and Disease
Liver cancer and fatty liver disease are two of the health conditions that have been conclusively linked to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune. Importantly, high amounts of vinyl chloride were found at Camp Lejeune. Long before the Camp Lejeune lawsuit, the connection between vinyl chloride and liver cancer and fatty liver disease has been well understood in the medical literature.
Liver Cancer and PCE
Perchloroethylene is the primary solvent used in commercial and industrial dry cleaning. Perhaps the single biggest source of contamination at Camp Lejeune was from ABC Dry Cleaner. PCE is a heavy substance and gravity is a downward force. PCE found its way into the drinking water at Camp Lejeune at stunning levels.
The connection between liver disease and PCE is not new. In the 1960s, reports documented the risks of inhaling PCE on the liver. These include toxicity to the liver from daily exposures. This latter result led the German authors to conclude that PCE’s toxicity to the liver was sufficient to disqualify workers with pre-existing liver dysfunction or disease from employment.
The Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022
A new federal law allows victims of this contamination disaster to bring civil lawsuits and get compensation. Our firm is currently accepting cases from individuals who lived or worked at Camp Lejeune and were diagnosed with liver cancer, fatty liver disease, or other serious liver conditions.
History of Camp Lejeune Water Contamination
Just north of Wilmington, North Carolina there is a sprawling Marine Corps base and training facility called Camp Lejeune. Camp Lejeune has been in continuous use since WWII. At any given time, it is home to about 50,000 people and a workplace for several thousand more. The base has barracks, family housing, schools, hospitals, and its own drinking water supply system fed by massive underground aquifer wells.
Dangerously high levels of two toxic chemicals, perchloroethylene (PCE) and trichloroethylene (TCE) (which are known as chlorinated solvents) contaminated the water supply at Camp Lejeune from 1953 until later 1987. The level of these carcinogens found in the Lejeune water during this period was over a thousand times higher than the EPA maximum safe levels.
It has been estimated that just over 1 million people, including Marines, families, and civilian contractors and employees, lived or worked at Camp Lejeune during the period of contamination and were exposed to high levels of TCE and PCE.
Liver Cancer Linked to Camp Lejeune Water
Camp Lejeune was one of the worst incidents of drinking water contamination in U.S. history. Several public health agencies have spent decades studying how the chemicals in the water may have impacted the long-term health of residents and employees at Lejeune.
The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), which is a branch of the CDC, has been involved in research and studies on water contamination at Camp Lejeune since 1991. The ATSDR’s work at Lejeune has yielded historical modeling of the estimated contamination levels in the Lejeune water systems over the previous 4 decades.
The contamination modeling data developed by the ATSDR has enabled several epidemiologic studies to be done on individuals exposed to the Lejeune water over the years. These studies have identified are a host of adverse health outcomes associated with Lejeune, including birth defects, cancer, and other diseases.
2009 NRC Report
National Research Council (NRC) released a report in 2009 entitled Contaminated Water Supplies at Camp Lejeune: Assessing Potential Health Effects (NRC Report), which was one of the first comprehensive reports on the potential consequences of the Cam Lejeune water. The NRC Report concluded that there was evidence that exposure to the water at Lejeune caused higher rates of liver cancer. There was also evidence that the Lejeune water caused fatty liver disease.
VA Clinical Guidance
In 2011, the Veteran’s Administration (VA) formed a special committee composed of leading medical and scientific experts (the “VA Committee”). The VA Committee was tasked with reviewing the available evidence and providing the VA with clinical opinions as to what diseases and health conditions could be linked to the Lejeune water contamination based on solid evidence.
In 2012, the VA Committee published its official Clinical Guidance for health conditions related to Camp Lejeune. The VA Clinical Guidance identified liver cancer as one of 8 health conditions that were presumptively connected to the water contamination at Camp Lejeune.
The ATSDR published the results of its long-term mortality and cancer incidence study for the Camp Lejeune population (the “ATSDR Study”) in 2014. The ATSDR Study research the same conclusions about liver cancer and disease as previous studies. The ATSDR Study found clear evidence that exposure to TCE and PCE in the water at Camp Lejeune resulted in a significant increase in the rate of liver cancer among residents and employees. A similar association was found between exposure to water and fatty liver disease.
New Law Will Allow Camp Lejeune Lawsuits for Liver Cancer
Victims of Camp Lejeune water pollution have previously been barred from bringing civil lawsuits. Now, however, a new federal law will soon allow these victims to bring claims.
The Camp Lejeune Justice Act (CLJA), which has been merged into the Honoring Our Pact Act (PACT Act), was first passed by the House in March. The Senate passed the bill with amendments in June and sent it back to the House. The House ended up revising the Senate version of the bill and passed the revised PACT Act on July 13. The revised version of the bill is now back with Senate for approval.
When the CLJA is eventually enacted, it will give victims of Camp Lejeune water contamination a 2-year window to file tort lawsuits against the government for injuries related to the water contamination. CLJA plaintiffs will have the burden of proving their claims, but the law creates a lowered evidentiary standard for causation.
Under this lowered standard, plaintiffs may not be required to support their claims with expert witness testimony, if their alleged health condition has been linked to Camp Lejeune in previous studies. Liver cancer has been linked to the Camp Lejeune water contamination, which means plaintiffs could establish per se causation based on existing health studies.
Camp Lejeune Liver Cancer Settlement Amounts
We can’t say with any level of certainty what the settlement value of Camp Lejeune liver cancer cases will be. There are too many variables that could impact the value of these cases and it is too early to give definitive answers.
Despite these limitations, we can provide a tentative estimate of the potential settlement value of Camp Lejeune liver cancer lawsuits by looking at settlements and verdicts for liver cancer in prior tort cases (e.g., failure to diagnose liver cancer). We can also look at the nature and survival rate for liver cancer as factors in the estimated valuation of these claims.
Based on these comparative points, we believe that Camp Lejeune claims under the CLJA based on liver cancer could have an average settlement value between $190,000 and $550,000. This is at the higher end of the value scale, mostly because liver cancer is very dangerous. The overall 5-year survival rate for liver cancer (all stages) is just 20%.
Camp Lejeune Fatty Liver Disease Lawsuits
Fatty liver disease is a condition (steatosis) is a liver condition resulting from the buildup of too much fat in the liver. Fatty liver disease often has no symptoms, but in some cases, it can eventually lead to liver damage.
Some cases of fatty liver disease can progress into cirrhosis of the liver, which is very serious. If left untreated, cirrhosis of the liver can lead to liver failure and/or liver cancer.
All of the public health studies have concluded that higher rates of fatty liver disease were associated with the Camp Lejeune water contamination. Individuals with fatty liver disease may be able to bring claims under the CLJA, especially if their fatty live disease progressed into something more serious.
Contact Us About a Camp Lejeune Liver Cancer Lawsuit
If you lived or worked at Camp Lejeune from 1953 to 1987 and were later diagnosed with liver cancer or another liver disease, contact us today at 800-553-8082 for a free consultation.