If you’re familiar with the Camp Lejeune water contamination controversy, you’ve probably heard of volatile organic compounds or VOCs. But what are these toxic chemicals? And what must be proven in a lawsuit over the contaminated water?
If you were harmed because of this contaminated water, you will likely learn all about VOCs as you decide whether to take legal action. When you’re ready to file a Camp Lejeune lawsuit, the team at Rueb Stoller Daniel can represent you. Call us today at (833) 44-DRLAW.
The Basics of VOCs
A number of highly toxic chemicals called volatile organic compounds have been found in the water at Camp LeJeune. These are carcinogenic substances that may cause a number of serious health problems (see below). Some examples of VOCs include:
- Trichloroethylene (TCE)
- Perchloroethylene (PCE)
- Vinyl chloride
- Mercury and other heavy metals
- Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs)
These and other chemicals are commonly found in degreasers and dry-cleaning solvents. They were initially stored in waste disposal units and underground tanks at the base. However, they spilled or leaked into Camp LeJeune’s water over time, causing contamination.
Health Problems Associated with VOCs
VOCs are detrimental to human health. The ones identified at Camp Lejeune have been known to cause:
- Numerous cancers (esophageal, kidney, breast, bladder, lung, and others)
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
- Multiple myeloma
- Female infertility
- Renal toxicity
- Female infertility
- Myelodysplastic syndrome
- Neurobehavioral effects
- Hepatic steatosis
- Other diseases and injuries
Almost any use of the water at Camp Lejeune could expose someone to VOCs. For instance, someone at the base could come in contact with these chemicals by way of:
If you believe you were exposed to VOCs, it is imperative that you seek medical attention. You should report any health problems to your doctor. Also, explain to your doctor how you may have come in contact with the contaminated water.
The Role of Expert Witnesses
The scientific facts about VOCs, including their effects on human health, are well known. However, the average American likely knows very little about these chemicals. If you end up filing a lawsuit over Camp Lejeune water contamination, your case may end up in front of a jury.
There’s a good chance members of the jury will need to learn about VOCs and their harmful nature. This is where expert witnesses come in.
During a trial, expert witnesses explain complicated and technical subjects to members of a jury. These are topics that everyday Americans know little or nothing about. A scientific or medical expert witness who specializes in VOCs can explain (among other things):
- What they are
- Where they come from
- How they ended up in the water at Camp LeJeune
- What sorts of diseases are linked to VOCs
- The long-term prognosis of someone exposed to VOCs
It will be up to the plaintiff to establish these and related matters. The government and other defendants will almost certainly have their own expert witnesses. These individuals will try to rebut the claims made by the plaintiff’s experts.
Each side will be attempting to convince the jury of its perspective on who should be responsible for the contamination. Having strong expert witnesses in your corner will therefore prove to be essential.
Count On Rueb Stoller Daniel
The mass tort attorneys of Rueb Stoller Daniel are experienced litigators who have handled cases like the Camp LeJeune water contamination. We understand the vital role that expert witnesses play. And we know how to build a winning case. If you or a loved one were injured or faced a disease/illness at some point in their life because of Camp Lejeune’s water, reach out to us. We are accepting new clients today.