Something unspeakable happened in North Carolina between 1953-1987. Those living and working at U.S. Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune were continually exposed to contaminated water.
Included are military service members, civilian employees, and their families. Of course, pregnant women and their future children were among them.
You could have been one of them. You may have been exposed daily to toxic chemicals in what was supposed to be safe drinking water.
As a result, you may have infertility, congenital disabilities, or developmental delays. That’s not to mention many other terrible health conditions.
You’re not alone.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) acknowledged this event. Scientific evidence shows survivors of Camp Lejeune water contamination have increased health risks. You’re more likely to develop certain diseases, including various cancers.
Getting a Camp Lejeune Miscarriage or Infertility Lawyer
Did you live or work on the base between 1953-1987? Have you been plagued with miscarriages, infertility, and congenital disabilities? Or perhaps you have other illnesses associated with Camp Lejeune’s toxic water supply.
You don’t have to be military to pursue compensation for what’s been taken from you. You may qualify for medical expenses, related care, and psychological effects reimbursement. Fertility drugs cost a lot. But emotional distress adds insult to injury.
If you were military service personnel, you might qualify for disability compensation. You may qualify for VA health care benefits as a service member or military family member. These VA benefits are designed explicitly for the United States Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune base victims.
And you may be able to file a Camp Lejeune lawsuit if you don’t qualify for VA benefits because you or your parents were civilian workers, not military. Or because you’ve been denied benefits.
The Camp Lejeune Justice Act, passed in August of 2022, gives those people who spent 30 cumulative days on the base during this time the right to file.
You deserve compensation for any health issues caused by contaminated drinking water. Look for attorneys at a law firm specializing in pregnancy, miscarriage infertility cases. They can help you understand your rights and take the appropriate next step.
The Toxic Water at Camp Lejeune
They discovered volatile organic compounds in Camp Lejeune’s water systems. Two wells that provided water to homes and offices have been drawing contaminated groundwater for decades.
The primary contaminants were traced to a dry cleaning company dumping dangerous chemicals. These then seeped into groundwater. The water underwent no treatment to remove substances of significant concern. These are known to increase the health risks of various cancers and have had severe health consequences.
What effects did the Camp Lejeune contamination have on humans?
The VA acknowledges the vital link between illnesses and these toxic industrial chemicals. They list 15 on their website:
- Female infertility
- Miscarriage (spontaneous abortion)
- Bladder cancer
- Esophageal cancer
- Myelodysplastic syndromes (a group of blood disorders)
- Neurobehavioral effects (emotional, cognitive, and behavioral issues)
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (a lymph system disorder)
- Renal toxicity (kidney disease)
- Scleroderma (a tightening and hardening of the skin)
- Hepatic steatosis (fatty liver disease)
- Kidney cancer
- Leukemia (a white blood cell disorder)
- Lung cancer
- Breast cancer
- Multiple myeloma (a blood plasma disorder)
The Chemicals in the Camp Lejeune Water
Several toxic substances were found in the drinking water at up to 400% of the safe level.
- Vinyl chloride is a chemical used to make plastic pipes.
- Perchloroethylene (PCE) is a chlorinated solvent dry cleaners use.
- Trichloroethylene (TCE) is a metal degreaser and cleaner. It’s often used in furniture restoration, automotive, and art applications. People using it should generally wear protective gear to reduce exposure and not drink it.
- Benzene ismade of petroleum, which is used to make fuel.
- Other toxic chemicals
Evidence Linking Toxic Camp Lejeune Water to Infertility and Miscarriage
According to the CDC’s toxin facts pages, the chemicals found at unsafe levels at Camp Lejeune can cause health problems. Here’s a closer look at the three main toxins.
- TCE was used as an anesthetic. Then scientists discovered a relatively small exposure could impact reproductive hormone levels. It also causes heart, liver, and immune system damage. These can result in female infertility, miscarriages, congenital disabilities, and cancer.
- PCE damages the kidneys and liver, making it harder for your body to eliminate it and other toxins. It also impacts the mind, memory, emotions, and mood. A few studies have also linked it to congenital disabilities.
- Vinyl Chloride impacts the immune system, nervous system, and liver. Long-term exposure can reduce male fertility. And it may contribute to developmental delays in children. Developmental delays in the womb often cause miscarriages.
Animal Testing Links TCE to Infertility
More than one study has examined the link between TCE and animal infertility.
- TCE can cause male infertility in mice.
- TCE reduces the “fertizability” of eggs in female rats.
- TCE in mice impacts the ability to conceive. It also led to fewer baby mice per litter and a reduced number of female pups born compared to the control.
But animals aren’t people. So we need proof that these toxins have similar effects on humans. We need to show that one thing (the toxin) causes something else (miscarriages and infertility).
According to the CDC, sufficient evidence for cause and effect is found in one of two ways.
- Controlled human studies show sufficient evidence OR
- Human studies show some evidence, AND animal studies show sufficient evidence AND strong evidence regarding how the chemical can harm humans.
In this case, the second is true. In other words, animal studies alone are not enough medical evidence. People and rodents are different. But when combined with other evidence, it makes the case that toxic water lawsuits are built on.
Camp Lejeune Health Data Confirms Higher Rates of Infertility and Miscarriage
There are known health effects of these toxins. But researchers have also performed studies specifically on the people at Lejeune. They’ve found a strong link between this exposure and health problems.
The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) works with the CDC. They found the following in a significant Lejeune Health study published in 2017. In comparison to similar people without this toxic exposure, those on the base at this time have significantly higher rates of:
- Children with congenital disabilities
Who is Eligible to File a Camp Lejeune Infertility or Miscarriage Lawsuit?
Did you live or work on the base during this time? And do you have medical records showing infertility or miscarriage? You may have several serious health concerns related to this incident, so you should discuss those with your lawyer. You may file fertility and miscarriage lawsuits.
The new law gives individuals a limited time to file infertility and miscarriage claims. When this window expires, those who were once eligible will no longer be able to file a lawsuit successfully. Prospective plaintiffs should begin collecting and preserving documentation and contact representation soon.
You may be entitled to out-of-pocket health care costs for medical treatment and more.
What Proof Will Be Required for Camp Lejeune Infertility Claims?
In U.S. Courts, the burden of proof is on the plaintiff (you). You must show that you spent at least 30 days at Camp Lejeune between 1953 and 1987. To start, gather documents from around that time like:
- Marriage license
- Birth certificate or Adoption papers
- Utility bills
- Military orders
- Pay stubs
- Tax forms
- Other proof of residence
You’ll need to show the physical harm from this chronic exposure in the form of:
- Medical records
Remember that you may have suffered more than physical harm from related illnesses. So other proof you’ll want to collect could be anything that shows:
- Ongoing medical expenses
- Any lost income (past or future)
- Emotional and psychological distress
- Pain and suffering
- Denied disability benefits or VA benefits
- Death certificates
You should still contact a law firm if you’re missing the necessary documentation to see what may be needed to get started with your Camp LeJeune lawsuit claim.
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