If you lived or stayed at Camp Lejeune from 1953 through 1987 and developed prostate cancer, you may be able to file a lawsuit to receive compensation that was not previously available to you. Keep reading to learn how you may qualify for a Camp Lejeune prostate cancer claim and how a personal injury lawyer can help.
The toxic water at Camp Lejeune is linked to prostate cancer and many other diseases and conditions. Some veterans have filed a VA high-risk prostate cancer Camp Lejeune water contamination disability claim to receive health benefits related to their diagnosis.
Now, recent laws recognize that victims of this devastating diagnosis deserve justice for everything they have gone through above and beyond VA benefits. Here we'll review the connection between the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune and prostate cancer, discuss what legal options you can pursue, and show you how an experienced Camp Lejeune attorney can help you fight for your rights and the outcome you need.
The Issues With the Water at Camp Lejeune
Camp Lejeune is a Marine Corps base in Jacksonville, North Carolina, where Marines and Sailors train and live. However, this base also serves as a residence to about 30,000 individuals, including service members' family members and other civilians.
That is why it was devastating to discover that the water at Camp Lejeune was contaminated with dangerous toxins from 1953 through 1987. Worse yet, once testing was done on this water, the Marines discovered that millions of people were exposed to chemicals known to cause cancer and other debilitating health conditions.
The Chemicals in the Water
While the water was contaminated with around 70 different chemicals, some of the most dangerous contaminants found in the water included:
Tetrachloroethylene and Trichloroethylene
Trichloroethylene and tetrachloroethylene are common dry cleaning solvents and metal degreasing chemicals that are well known to be dangerous to humans and considered to be carcinogens. When individuals are exposed to these chemicals, even for a short period, it can result in eye issues, neurological effects, kidney dysfunction, and unconsciousness. While long-term exposure has been known to cause severe problems in development and reproduction and has been associated with numerous types of cancers.
Benzene and Vinyl Chloride
Benzene helps to make other chemicals used in plastics, synthetic fibers, and resins. However, it is also used to make drugs, pesticides, detergents, and rubber. In addition, benzene is known not only to be hazardous to humans but also a well-known carcinogen.
Vinyl chloride is a toxic chemical used for many commercial purposes, such as making PVC pipes and other plastic products. If water is contaminated with vinyl chloride, it can enter the house when the water is used for bathing, cooking, or showering, which can mean bad news since the chemical is frequently linked to a handful of deadly cancers.
The Link Between the Contaminated Water and Camp Lejeune Prostate Cancer
Researchers studying the water at Camp Lejeune and its effects have discovered that men exposed to this water have an increased risk of prostate cancer, and numerous other diseases and cancers can affect all people.
In fact, according to studies done by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), those who have been exposed to these toxins for an extended time have a higher rate of prostate cancer, brain cancer, kidney cancer, lung cancer, and other types of diseases. However, the ATSDR report is not the only one to study this connection.
In addition, the following reports also show that there is an increased risk between exposure to the toxic water at Camp Lejeune and prostate cancer:
- The Report on Carcinogens details the effects of trichloroethylene, explicitly indicating that occupational exposure to this chemical is associated with “excess incidents” of prostate cancer.
- An EPA report entitled Toxicology Review of Trichloroethylene also examined the relationship between trichloroethylene and prostate cancer and shares similar findings as the other reports.
These health studies have linked the toxins in Camp Lejeune's water to potential prostate cancer developments. Further legal action will help strengthen these connections, allowing numerous individuals to pursue the financial damages they deserve.
Prostate Cancer Basics
Prostate cancer is a type of cancer that occurs in the prostate, which is a small gland in males that produces seminal fluid and nourishes and transports sperm. Yet, while prostate cancer is one of the most common types of cancer, and the survival rate is high, it can still lead to lifelong effects and debilitating symptoms.
Some of the more common signs and symptoms of prostate cancer include:
- Urination problems
- A decreased force of urine
- Blood in the semen or urine
- Pain in the bones
- Unintentional weight loss
Additionally, several other complications can be associated with prostate cancer, primarily if treatment is not taken soon after warning signs develop.
These complications include:
- A loss of bladder control
- The spread of cancer to the other parts of the body
- Erectile dysfunction
Possible Treatment Plans for Prostate Cancer
While low-grade prostate cancer may not require immediate treatment other than active surveillance, if a patient needs treatment, these procedures can include:
- Radiation therapy
- Surgery to remove the prostate
- Hormone therapy
- Targeted drug therapy
- Other types of treatments, depending on the circumstances
However, no matter what treatment is needed, the procedure will likely result in extensive medical bills that can forever impact you and your family financially and cause numerous hardships. As a result, if you are going through this challenging ordeal and believe you have a case, reach out to an experienced Camp Lejeune water contamination lawyer today. These attorneys can help you figure out the legal steps you should take next and help you recover the financial damages you deserve.
How Does the Camp Lejeune Justice Act Help Those With Prostate Cancer?
President Biden signed the Camp Lejeune Justice Act into law in August 2022. This regulation now allows service members, their loved ones, and others diagnosed with an illness because of exposure to the toxic substances in the water at Camp Lejeune to pursue a lawsuit and recover damages for the losses and harm they suffered because of this exposure. This right also applies to veterans who have previously been denied benefits from the VA.
Filing a Camp Lejeune Prostate Cancer Claim
To bring a Camp Lejeune lawsuit, individuals need to have lived, worked, or otherwise stayed at Camp Lejeune for a minimum of 30 days between August 1953 and December 1987 and have been diagnosed with:
- Prostate cancer
- Parkinson's disease
- Liver cancer
- Liver disease
- Multiple myeloma
- Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma
- Aplastic anemia and other myelodysplastic syndromes
- Bladder cancer
- Kidney cancer
- Lung Cancer
- Esophageal cancer
- Renal toxicity
- Breast cancer
- Myelodysplastic syndromes
- Miscarriage and female infertility
- Neurobehavioral effects
- Brain cancer
- Cardiac defects
However, this list does not indicate every disease that may develop from the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune. Other diseases and health issues may also qualify you to pursue legal action against the government. That is why the best way to determine whether you can file a Camp Lejeune lawsuit is to review your case with a Camp Lejeune water contamination attorney. These lawyers can figure out not only whether you can file a suit under the Act but also help you prepare a strong legal case to receive the justice and money you deserve.
The Monetary Damages You Can Request When You File a Camp Lejeune Lawsuit
If you can file a Camp Lejeune lawsuit, you may be able to demand additional compensation you could not request in the past.
This compensation can be broken down into numerous financial damages and include payment for:
- Medical bills related to hospital stays, medications, surgeries, assistive medical devices, and other kinds of treatments connected to your condition and health issues
- Lost wages
- Future medical treatment
- Reduced earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of life
**IMPORTANT** The time to pursue these damages is limited. The Act indicates that qualified individuals will only have two years from the date the Act was signed by President Biden (August 10, 2022) to file a legal suit. If they do not file within this time, they can be barred from receiving the money they need.
How Much Money Can You Obtain From a Camp Lejeune Prostate Cancer Lawsuit?
It is too early to determine the potential awards from a Camp Lejeune lawsuit.
However, these factors can influence the amount you might receive:
- The inability to work
- The amount of lost wages
- The severity of the illness or condition
- The cost of medical bills, including current and future expenses
- The length of exposure to the toxic water
- The extent of pain and suffering
Because each case is different, it is recommended you discuss your legal claim with a knowledgeable Camp Lejeune attorney. These attorneys can give you a better idea of what you can expect from your lawsuit and the potential remedies you may be able to receive.
Can You Still Pursue Legal Action If You Received Previous Benefits?
Even if you had previously obtained compensation and benefits for the diseases or conditions you sustained because of your exposure to the contaminated water, you might still be able to pursue legal action under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act. However, there is a chance that if you are successful with your lawsuit, the compensation awarded to you will be reduced by any previous benefits.
For more information regarding this issue and what a lawsuit may mean for your benefits, reach out to a Camp Lejeune water contamination attorney for a more detailed explanation.
Do You Need a Lawyer to Help With Your Camp Lejeune Lawsuit?
If you want to pursue a Camp Lejeune lawsuit, it is best to work with a skilled attorney who has handled these complex legal cases before and has previously challenged the government. This is because bringing a Camp Lejeune legal claim will likely be complicated and involve more than just filling out documents. Individuals who want to bring a successful case will also have to provide evidence establishing the extent of their disease and show proof of the correlation between their prostate cancer and the toxic water at Camp Lejeune.
Thankfully, when you work with one of these attorneys, they can handle all aspects of this lawsuit for you.
Work with a Camp Lejeune Prostate Cancer Lawyer and Fight for the Monetary Damages You Need
If you want to fight for the justice you and your family deserve after developing Camp Lejeune prostate cancer from the dangerous toxins in the water, reach out to an experienced Camp Lejeune water contamination lawyer today to discuss your case for free.
Your attorneys can not only take on this fight for you, but they can also:
- Review the circumstances of your stay at Camp Lejeune, review your medical records, and determine whether you have a valid lawsuit.
- Discuss all your legal options and help you figure out your next steps.
- Investigate and find the evidence needed to show that your prostate cancer can be linked to the toxic water at Camp Lejeune.
- Retain experts to prove your case and show that the contaminated water led to your cancer diagnosis.
- Determine your options if your previous VA claim was denied.
- Handle the settlement negotiations with the other side and fight for the fair settlement offer you need.
- File a lawsuit if the other side is unwilling to provide the money you are entitled to, and fight vigorously for a successful outcome.
Contact a Camp Lejeune water contamination attorney today for more information about how they can help during a free case evaluation.