Esophageal Cancer Camp Lejeune Water Lawsuits & Claims
Esophageal cancer has been linked to the contaminated water at the Camp lejeune marine base. Over a 30-year period, more than 1 million people were exposed to toxic water at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. This total includes service members and their families who accompanied them to the base. Depending on where they were located on the base, they bathed in this water and drank it daily. Years later, many of them were diagnosed with critical illnesses, including various forms of cancer. One common form of cancer regularly diagnosed to Camp Lejeune veterans and their families is esophageal cancer. Many marines exposed to the toxic water died as a result of the contaminated water.
Thousand of victims endured serious illnesses, which include esophageal cancer
Marines and others who lived and worked at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina were exposed to toxic water from 1953 through 1987. Tens of thousand of victims endured serious illnesses, which include esophageal cancer. Esophageal cancer is unfortunately not a presumptive condition conclusively caused by the toxic water at Camp Lejeune. However, most of the best Camp lejeune attorneys would categorize esphogeal cancer as a tier 2 condition that is linked to the Camp Lejeune water. However, Camp lejeune is not conclusively and presumptively linked to the water like other types of organ cancer such as: liver cancer, kidney cancer and bladder cancer.
Representing victims across the United States
Our attorneys are representing victims across the United States. This post explains how toxic water at the Marine base is linked to esophageal cancer for Marines and others at Lejeune. This post also discusses the settlement amounts esophageal cancer claims and Camp lejeune wrongful death lawsuits from the contaminated water could garner.
Camp lejeune average settlement amounts
Our lawyers have estimated that Camp lejeune esophageal cancer claims pursuant to the Camp Lejeune Justice Act will have an average settlement amount of between $400,000 to a million dollars. Our attorneys estimates of an average settlement amount for esophageal cancer is on a per person payout basis. Camp Lejeune water payouts higher than $1,000,000 may come from jury verdicts.
Esophageal cancer has a high settlement amount payout because of the low survival rate of esphogael cancer. Only 20 percent of esphogael cancer victims survive over 5 years. Victims who suffer through esphageal cancer treatment may be unable to speak and or suffer other dehabilitating conditions.
A committee of top experts was established by the VA
A committee of top experts was established by the Veteran’s Administration. This committee had the responsibility to assess the evidence and report to the VA all diseases, cancers or conditions that are linked to the Camp Lejeune toxic water contamination. The VA Committee set forth Guidance for medical conditions and diagnosis linked to the water at the Marine base. The VA Guidance established 8 medical conditions that are presumptively linked to the polluted water at Camp Lejeune. Esophageal cancer was not found to be a presumptive condition associated to the Camp Lejeune contaminated water.
Studies have found an elevated risk of esophageal cancers among these veterans and their families. Although esophageal cancer is not one of the eight conditions that are presumed to be connected with Camp Lejeune water. However,there is a strong understanding that the toxins in the water could lead to this type of cancer.
Dangerous Chemical in Camp Lejeune Water
The reason why the esophagus would be at risk of developing a tumor is that drinking water is swallowed. The esophagus is one of the first places contacted by the toxins in the water. As a result, the following dangerous chemicals could have come directly into contact with someone’s esophagus:
- Benzene – This chemical is a known and dangerous carcinogen that is used to make other chemicals involved in manufacturing processes.
- Tetrachloroethylene – Also known as PCEs, This chemical is used in the dry cleaning process. There was an off base dry cleaner that was located up gradient from the base that had poor waste disposal practices, and the chemicals drift downhill and into the base’s water supply.
- Trichloroethylene – Known as TCEs, this Is a solvent that is used for cleaning metal parts. This chemical most likely got into the base’s water supply because it was buried in the ground at a chemical dump that was located near the water wells. The chemicals permeated the nearby water well.
- Vinyl Chloride- When TCEs and PCEs are in the water supply, they degrade over time into vinyl chloride. The substance does not occur on its own, and it has been associated with an elevated risk of cancer.
Approximately one million people were potentially exposed to these dangerous toxins. Water from three of the base’s water treatment plants drew from tainted groundwater wells.
The Military Exposed People to Grave Harm
For nearly 35 years, Camp Lejeune service members were exposed to these dangerous chemicals and their water. The military knew full well that the groundwater wells that supply the water were subject to possible degradation, allowing dangerous chemicals to possibly seep into the water. Even after an engineer raised concerns about potentially toxic water in 1980, it was another seven years until these water supplies were completely taken offline.
People who served at Camp Lejeune suspected that something was wrong from the elevated rate of illness among people who were on the base. However, the government did not come clean for years about what happened. By the time that people learned that government carelessness was responsible for their injuries, it was too late for them to do anything about it. There was a North Carolina law that blocked lawsuits that were filed more than 10 years after the last act of pollution. Even then, there is a judicial doctrine that keeps military service members from suing the government for injuries that are connected to their service.
Congress Has Cut the Red Tape that Was Between You and Financial Compensation
Now, Congress has changed the law that would allow people who were injured by the toxic Camp Lejeune water to file a claim against the government to receive the compensation that they have long deserved. The Camp Lejeune Justice Act created a new cause of action that only lasts for two years from the date that the legislation was signed into law by President Biden. Those who miss this deadline to file a claim will lose the ability forever.
The good news is that you do not need to specifically prove that your case of esophageal cancer was directly caused by the Camp Lejeune water. In any personal injury case, you have a legal requirement to prove that the defendant’s conduct was the approximate cause of your injuries. If you file a Camp Lejeune lawsuit, you can satisfy the causation element by showing the following about your illness:
- it was caused by exposure to the water;
- it was associated with exposure to the water;
- it was linked to exposure to the water; or
- the exposure to the water increased the likelihood of such illness.
How to Get Money for Your Camp Lejeune Injuries
There is a specific procedure that you must follow in order to file a claim against the government. anytime you are suing the government, you cannot go directly into court with a lawsuit.
- First, you would file a claim with the Department of Defense. They have 60 days to respond to your claim, If they do not respond, it would be considered denied. The Department of Defense may make you a settlement offer, and then you would proceed to negotiate an actual agreement with them.
- If your claim is denied, or you cannot negotiate a settlement agreement, you then have the legal ability to file a lawsuit in Federal court. The Camp Lejeune Justice act specifies that the appropriate venue for lawsuits is the Eastern District of North Carolina.
In many respects, the federal government is like any insurance company when you are filing a claim. Even though the government has a seemingly unlimited amount of money and an obligation to pay for the entire amount of your damages, it does not mean that they will automatically do it. You need an attorney who is familiar with the process, and they know how much your case is worth, in order to get what you deserve.
Your Compensation for a Camp Lejeune Injury
You have the legal right to negotiate with the federal government. They do not get to dictate how much you would receive in compensation, and the government must follow the law. For every Camp Lejeune claim, you are entitled to the following in compensation:
- The complete cost of your medical treatment (including past and future medical care)
- Lost wages if your illness caused you to miss time from work
- Pain and suffering (both mental and physical) that is associated with your condition
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Emotional distress
If you are reading this, and you had a loved one who died in the past from a Camp Lejeune related illness, you can file a wrongful death claim on behalf of your family. It does not matter how long ago your loved one passed away. So long as they were at the base during the relevant period, and their illness was one that would be associated with the water, your family could receive financial compensation.
You Have a Limited Amount of Time to Take Legal Action
It is essential that you act today to begin the legal process. Our experienced esophageal cancer Camp Lejeune attorneys are standing by and ready to help you fight for the money that you deserve. The government will not simply give it to you, but you have to ask and potentially fight for it. You cannot trust the government to be reasonable and compassionate in spite of the suffering that you have gone through already. Our lawyers know how to fight for our clients, and we are ready to do the same for you.