If you were stationed at U.S. Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune during the period between August 1, 1953 and December 31, 1987, then you were exposed to dangerous chemicals due to contaminated water. You may be eligible to file a Camp Lejeune lawsuit and obtain compensation for damages you suffered as a result of this exposure.
We’ll discuss some of the conditions linked to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune. Keep in mind that this is not a complete list, and you may have grounds to file a lawsuit if you developed other diseases.
The mass tort lawyers at Rueb, Stoller, Daniel will examine your case and explain your rights. Our focus is to help veterans and others who lived at Camp Lejeune get justice.
Background on Camp Lejeune Water Contamination
Camp Lejeune was established in 1942. Drinking water for stationed army personnel was provided by eight water treatment plants. In 1982, it was discovered that two of these treatment plants were contaminated: Tarawa Terrace and Hadnot Point.
Detailed analyses performed by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) identified the following contaminants:
- Tetrachloroethylene – also known as perchloroethylene (PCE)
- Vinyl chloride
- Various heavy metals, including mercury.
All these substances are known to cause cancer when ingested. And, looking over the diagnoses cited in various Camp Lejeune mass tort lawsuits, cancer is one of the most prevalent conditions.
What Diseases Are Associated With Contaminated Water at Camp Lejeune?
Let’s examine some of the conditions that military veterans stationed at Camp Lejeune as well as family members who lived on the base have developed.
1. Bladder Cancer
Bladder cancer is one of the most frequent diseases that Camp Lejeune veterans suffer from. The symptoms of this type of cancer include:
- Blood in the urine
- Frequent urination
- Unexplained back pains
- Pain during urination.
Doctors use a series of tests, including cystoscopy, biopsy, and CT scans to diagnose the condition. Treatment may include chemotherapy, radiotherapy, surgery, and immunotherapy.
The non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer responds best to treatments and is often resolved. Muscle-invading cancer is the more severe form, and the chances of being cured depend on various factors, including whether carcinoma is present.
2. Kidney Cancer
In Camp Lejeune mass tort lawsuits, kidney cancer is often a life-threatening condition developed by veterans. Patients usually experience the following symptoms:
- Blood in urine
- Appetite loss
- Inexplicable weight loss
- Chronic back pain
- Constant tiredness
Modern treatment options include cryoablation and radiofrequency ablation. However, in some cases, the doctor may have to remove the affected kidney.
Kidney cancer can often be cured if it is diagnosed and treated in the early stages when it is still localized to the kidney and surrounding tissue.
3. Liver Cancer
Many Camp Lejeune veterans were not aware that they developed liver cancer until it had spread to other organs. The reason for this is that this type of cancer shows no symptoms in its early stages.
As it progresses, patients may experience:
- Unexplained weight loss
- Nausea and vomiting
- Fatigue and weakness
- Upper abdomen pain
- Signs of jaundice.
Current treatment options include a liver transplant (if available), chemotherapy, removal of the tumor, and heating or freezing cancer cells.
4. Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
This type of cancer affects the lymphatic system. The white blood cells grow abnormally large and turn into tumors. Symptoms of Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma include:
- Enlarged lymph nodules
- Fever and night sweats
- Unexplained weight loss
- Pain or swelling in the abdomen
- Chest pain and difficulty breathing.
Patients need to undergo a series of complex tests, including a spinal tap to be properly diagnosed. Although treatment can cause the cancer to go into remission, it often comes back, requiring a new round of tests and treatments, including chemotherapy, radiotherapy and stem cell transplant.
All these treatments are extremely expensive, causing many Camp Lejeune veterans to get into medical debt. Our mass tort lawyers are here to advocate for the compensation that they deserve.
5. Cervical Cancer
Women also developed specific types of cancer due to exposure to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune. This type of cancer often goes undetected for a long period of time, because it does not show symptoms. In more advanced stages, the symptoms include:
- Vaginal bleeding between periods
- Pain and bleeding after intercourse
- Pelvic pain
- Unusual vaginal discharge.
Treatments often include surgery to remove the cervix and the uterus.
6. Aplastic Anemia
Aplastic anemia is a condition of the bone marrow. It becomes unable to produce new blood cells. By itself, it is not a fatal condition, but if it is not treated, it can lead to leukemia, serious blood conditions, and heart failure.
The most frequent symptoms include:
- Easy bruising or bleeding
- Infections that last for a long time
- Constant fatigue.
The only treatment that may completely cure aplastic anemia in some people is stem cell transplant.
7. Miscarriage and Birth Defects
Contaminated water at Camp Lejeune affects not only the exposed military personnel but also future generations. Many female veterans and women who lived at Camp Lejeune experienced the trauma of repeated miscarriages. Others had children with various birth defects, from cleft palate to spina bifida.
You and your children have the right to seek and obtain compensation for your economic losses and pain and suffering.
You May Be Eligible to File a Camp Lejeune Lawsuit, So Talk to Us!
Your path to getting the compensation you deserve starts with a phone call to the mass tort attorneys at Rueb, Stoller, Daniel.
We offer each new client a free case review, so call us at 1-866-CALL-RSD to schedule your initial consultation