Veterans and their families who resided at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune between 1953 and 1987 and later developed myelodysplastic syndrome may able to receive compensation from the U.S. government for their many personal and financial losses related to toxic water exposure. Also, these individuals may be able to claim disability benefits from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
If you are one of the victims of Camp Lejeune water contamination, consider calling Ben Crump Law, PLLC, today for a free consultation. We can help show you are entitled to financial restitution, medical care, and disability payments related to your health condition. We don’t shy away from tough cases.
What to Expect from Your Camp Lejeune Legal Team
When you consult our legal team regarding your Camp Lejeune claim, our attorneys can determine your eligibility to file a claim and/or lawsuit and then:
- Begin building a solid case by gathering evidence such as medical bills, health- and work-related records, and expert testimony
- File your lawsuit and pre-trial motions as needed on your behalf
- Identify and calculate losses you’ve incurred related to your illness
- Negotiate potential settlement amounts with the defendant
- Take your case to trial if appropriate
At Ben Crump Law, PLLC, we want to pursue justice for water contamination victims stationed, residing, or working on base at Camp Lejeune from 1953 to 1987. We can help you understand the eligibility requirements for pursuing compensation and explore your legal options and rights with you.
What Happened at Camp Lejeune?
According to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), from 1953 to 1987, the water supply at Camp Lejeune contained several contaminants known as volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These synthetic chemicals are commonly used as solvents in industrial and workplace environments. Apparently, the waste disposal practices of a dry-cleaning service near the base introduced these compounds into the water supply.
Testing of treatment plant and water supply well samples found that VOCs, specifically tetrachloroethylene (PCE), trichloroethylene (TCE), vinyl chloride, and benzene, were present in Camp Lejeune drinking water sources at levels exceeding safety standards. Prolonged exposure to these carcinogens can lead to the development of cancer and other diseases and illness.
As a result of drinking and bathing in the base’s contaminated water, many service members, workers, and families residing there later developed various cancers and illnesses, many of which were presumed to have been caused, at least in part, by their time spent at Camp Lejeune and exposure to harmful chemicals.
Filing a Camp Lejeune Lawsuit for Myelodysplastic Syndrome
The Honoring our PACT Act of 2022 has passed the U.S. Senate and is awaiting approval from President Biden to be enacted into law.
The bill incorporates the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2021, which will allow any person who resided or worked at the military base for 30 days or longer between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987, and later suffered a water contaminated-related illness to sue the government for compensation.
Illnesses that qualify for legal action include the following:
- Cancers of the bladder, breast, esophagus, kidney, liver, and lung
- Other cancers, such as multiple myeloma, childhood and adult leukemia, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, myelodysplastic syndromes, and possibly more
- Renal toxicity and end-stage renal disease
- Aplastic anemia
- Cardiac and birth defects
- Hepatic steatosis
- Miscarriage and infant death
- Parkinson’s disease
- Female infertility
Can Chemical Exposure Cause Myelodysplastic Syndrome?
Myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) are a type of rare blood cancer caused by poorly-formed or malfunctioning blood cells resulting from bone marrow problems producing these cells. Common symptoms include fatigue, shortness of breath, pallor (due to anemia), and easy/unusual bruising or bleeding. According to Mayo Clinic, in most incidents of MDS, the cause is unknown, but some cases may be related to toxic chemical exposure, specifically benzene.
Also, according to ATSDR, “health effects with positive findings in at least one study that assessed exposure to benzene” include myelodysplastic syndromes and aplastic anemia, a potential complication.
Claiming Disability and Medical Benefits from VA
VA has designated a presumptive service connection for veterans exposed to the contaminated water supply at Camp Lejeune from August 1, 1953, through December 31, 1987, who later developed one of the following diseases:
- Adult leukemia
- Myelodysplastic syndromes, such as aplastic anemia
- Bladder, kidney, and liver cancer
- Multiple myeloma
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
- Parkinson’s disease
“Presumptive service connection” means when these conditions, including myelodysplastic syndromes, are diagnosed in certain veterans, VA assumes they were caused by military service and, in this case, their time at Camp Lejeune during the period of water contamination. As a result, they can receive monthly disability compensation.
Veterans approved for Camp Lejeune water contamination claims can receive monthly payments depending on their disability rating. In addition, they may qualify for “special” or additional monthly compensation for particularly severe disabilities. See the VA website or Camp Lejeune Veteran and Family Health & Disability Benefits for qualifying conditions and how to apply for disability.
If you have questions about the VA disability or medical claims process concerning Camp Lejeune-related illnesses, Ben Crump Law, PLLC, can help.
Claiming Medical Benefits from VA
Veterans, civilians, and their families may also qualify for medical benefits related to toxic water exposure at Camp Lejeune. Veterans can find out more information and apply at VA Healthcare. Families can find more information by filling out Camp Lejeune Family Member Program Application Form 10-10068.
Work with our Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawyer
Attorney Ben Crump is a trial lawyer who handles civil rights, personal injury, and wrongful death cases. He is renowned nationally for representing the families of high-profile police violence cases. He is genuinely passionate about ensuring that justice is served and that victims receive compensation for any losses they are entitled to recover under the law.
If you are a Camp Lejeune water contamination victim and want to pursue compensation for myelodysplastic syndrome or another health condition, please contact Ben Crump Law, PLLC, for a free and confidential case review.