Camp Lejeune Bladder Cancer Lawsuit – Lawsuits Information Center Blog

From the early 1950s through the late 1980s, the drinking water supply at U.S. Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune was severely contaminated with cancer-causing chemicals. Public health studies on the impact of this contamination concluded that exposure to Camp Lejeune water caused increased rates of specific types of cancer. One of the types of cancer with the strongest link to Lejeune’s water supply is bladder cancer.

Thousands of former Camp Lejeune residents and employees have developed bladder cancer from chemicals in the water supply. These victims have already been barred from pursuing personal injury claims. Today, however, the 117e Congress is about to enact a new law that will give victims of Camp Lejeune water contamination a special right to sue the government for negligence and obtain compensation.


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Since the early 1940s, Camp Lejeune has been one of the largest and busiest Marine Corps bases in the United States. Covering more than 150,000 acres and 11 miles of shoreline on North Carolina’s south coast, Camp Lejeune is the largest USMC base on the east coast and ranks behind Camp Pendleton in San Diego as the largest USMC base in the States. -United.

Like most Marine Corps bases, Camp Lejeune resembles a mid-sized town with a population of around 50,000. This population includes Marines and their families living in on-base housing and served by schools, hospitals, and other facilities. Since the base opened, Camp Lejeune has operated its own water supply system using a series of massive underground water wells.

In the late 1980s, Camp Lejeune’s water supply was discovered to be severely contaminated with industrial chemicals. The main toxins present in Lejeune’s water were 2 industrial solvents, perchlorethylene (PCE) and trichlorethylene (TCE). Subsequent research determined that Camp Lejeune’s water supply had been contaminated with these chemicals from August 1953 to December 1987. The extent and level of contamination was unprecedented, with TCE and PCE being several thousands of times the maximum safe limits.

Evidence linking bladder cancer to Camp Lejeune water

Contamination of the water at Camp Lejeune and the USMC’s mismanagement of it has angered the public. This motivated the federal government to fund numerous scientific studies to assess the impact of contaminated water on the health of people who lived and worked at Camp Lejeune.

The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) is an investigative arm of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The ATSDR has been conducting extensive research and studies on the Camp Lejeune water disaster for 3 decades.

In 2014, an ATSDR morbidity study was published which detailed the results of a large-scale study of the health impact of contaminated water at Camp Lejeune. The ATSDR Morbidity Study examined the medical records of service members, their families, and civilian employees at Camp Lejeune during the time of the water pollution. These recordings were compared to a control group from another USMC base (Camp Pendleton) where the water was not contaminated.

The ATSDR Morbidity Study concluded that contaminated drinking water at Camp Lejeune was linked to an increased risk of bladder cancer. The study showed that former Lejeune residents and employees who were exposed to TCE and/or PCE in the water supply had significantly higher rates of bladder cancer. This result is intuitive given that the bladder is the organ that interacts the most with drinking water.

In 2012, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released toxicological reviews of TCE and PCE that found both chemicals to be carcinogenic to humans. A similar conclusion was drawn by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) the following year. These conclusions were largely based on specific epidemiological studies showing a clear association between PCE and bladder cancer.

Camp Lejeune bladder cancer lawsuits under new federal law

The victims of Camp Lejeune water contamination have never been able to get the justice they deserve. All previous civil lawsuits have been effectively blocked by strict North Carolina law. Now, however, Congress is on the verge of solving that problem with the passage of a new federal law that will allow Lejeune’s victims to file civil lawsuits.

The Camp Lejeune Justice Act (CLJA), (now part of a larger bill called the PACT Act), was passed by the House of Representatives in March by a vote of 256 to 174. June 16, 2022 , the Senate passed the PACT Act by a vote of 84-14. The Senate version of the bill included several amendments that required House approval. There is no doubt that the bill will eventually pass.

When the CLJA/PACT Act is finally passed, Camp Lejeune water victims will have the right to sue the federal government for civil negligence for injuries caused by contaminated water. Claimants under the CLJA will still have the burden of proving their claims, but the CLJA has created a new lower standard of proof for establishing causation.

Under the CLJA, claimants can establish causation based on a single valid scientific study linking their alleged injuries to the Camp Lejeune water. In the case of bladder cancer, several recognized studies (including the ATSDR study) have verified the link between bladder cancer and Camp Lejeune water.

Settlement Value of Bladder Cancer Cases at Camp Lejeune

It would be very premature at this time to claim with certainty what the settlement value of Camp Lejeune’s bladder cancer claims will be. It is not too early, however, to offer an estimate of their potential value based on reported verdicts and settlements in past bladder cancer cases (primarily the failure to diagnose malpractice cases).

Based on these prior data points, we estimate Camp Lejeune’s bladder cancer claims will have a settlement value of between $145,000 and $220,000. Factors that would affect the settlement value of individual claims include the victim’s age, stage of cancer, extent of exposure to Camp Lejeune water and treatment results.

Contact us about a bladder cancer trial at Camp Lejeune

If you (or a deceased family member) lived or worked at Camp Lejeune between 1953 and 1987 and subsequently developed bladder cancer, call us today at 800-553-8082 to see if you have a case.

About John A. Provost

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