Many veterans previously stationed at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune and their families have been plagued with severe health issues and disabilities due to the water contamination at the base from August 1953 to December 1987. Toxic chemicals found in the water during this time have been linked to cancer and other diseases, including hepatic steatosis.
However, a new bill promises these victims that they will soon have a two-year period in which they can file lawsuits against the federal government for health issues they’ve suffered related to toxic chemical exposure at Camp Lejeune. If you or your family is considering seeking legal action pertaining to the water contamination at Camp Lejeune, Ben Crump Law, PLLC, is ready to assist you in your pursuit of compensation.
Filing a Camp Lejeune Contamination Lawsuit for Hepatic Steatosis
On June 16, 2022, the U.S. Senate passed the Honoring our PACT Act of 2022, which addresses “health care, presumption of service-connection, research, resources, and other matters” related to veterans exposed to toxic chemicals while serving in the military. This bill includes a section referencing the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022, which explicitly concerns contaminated water exposure at Camp Lejeune.
The only action needed to enact the bill into law is for President Biden, who has already endorsed its passage, to sign it. Then, when the law passes, veterans and their families will finally be entitled to file a lawsuit against the federal government to seek the compensation they deserve.
The Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 will establish a two-year period beginning on the law’s enactment date, during which veterans, civilians, and their families exposed to toxic chemicals in the military base’s water supply could initiate legal action. This time window is critical because it overturns legal technicalities that would prevent otherwise qualifying claimants from receiving legal compensation.
Determining If You Are Eligible to File a Camp Lejeune Lawsuit
Under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022, the claimant must provide proof of a probable causal relationship between their health condition and toxic chemical exposure to Camp Lejeune’s contaminated water. Therefore, research findings, as described below, linking these chemicals to hepatic steatosis development are vital to the success of any Camp Lejeune-related legal action.
You or a family member may be entitled to file a lawsuit to receive compensation for losses suffered if you (1) resided or worked at Camp Lejeune or were otherwise exposed to the water supply for at least 30 consecutive or non-consecutive days between 1953 and 1987 and (2) were diagnosed with one or more of the following health conditions:
- Cancers of the bladder, breast, esophagus, kidney, liver, and lung
- Other cancers including leukemia, Non-Hodgkins lymphoma, multiple myeloma, and Myelodysplastic syndromes
- Hepatic steatosis or fatty liver disease
- Neurobehavioral effects
- Parkinson’s disease
- Female infertility
- Renal toxicity
Damages for Health Conditions Linked to Camp Lejeune Water Contamination
When filing a lawsuit, your compensation package will include a list of damages you have incurred in addition to their value. Losses you may be entitled to receive financial awards for include the following:
- Medical bills for past and future treatment
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Lost income
- Loss of earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional anguish
- Loss of consortium
If your loved one passed away from their related illness, you may be able to seek wrongful death damages.
Toxic Chemicals in Camp Lejeune’s Water
Upon the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry’s (ATSDR) investigation, two Camp Lejeune treatment plants distributed water containing many volatile organic chemicals (VOCs) between 1953 and 1987 at levels above what safety standards allow. These chemicals were introduced into the water supply by a nearby dry-cleaning company.
Specific toxic chemicals identified in Camp Lejeune water included trichloroethylene (TCE), perchloroethylene/tetrachloroethylene (PCE), vinyl chloride, and benzene. All of these chemical solvents have been associated with the development of cancer and severe health conditions.
Can These Chemicals Contribute to Hepatic Steatosis?
Hepatitis steatosis is an accumulation of fat in the liver. It is known as steatohepatitis when inflation develops, and the condition progresses. A common cause of fatty liver disease is alcohol consumption. Still, it has also been found among non-drinkers, including those regularly exposed to toxic chemicals in the workplace.
According to Toxicologic Pathology, a 2013 study on toxicant-associated steatohepatitis included vinyl chloride, PCE, TCE, and nitrobenzene in a list of industrial chemicals related to steatohepatitis and other chemical liver diseases. According to the study:
- High-level vinyl chloride has been associated with occupational liver disease.
- Toxicant-associated steatohepatitis occurs “particularly” with PCE in human and animal studies.
If you were exposed to toxic chemicals in the water at Camp Lejeune and later developed hepatic steatosis or steatohepatitis, you might be eligible to file a lawsuit against the government for your losses.
Filing a Claim for Medical Benefits with VA
Veterans and family members affected by the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune can also apply for Veteran’s Affairs (VA) healthcare benefits. To be eligible, they must meet the same criteria established by the Camp Lejeune Act of 2012 and have one of the qualifying conditions.
Consult a Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Attorney on Our Team Today
Attorney Ben Crump is a trial lawyer who handles civil rights and personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits. If you are seeking a legal representative who will tirelessly advocate for your right to justice for a health condition caused by Camp Lejeune’s toxic water exposure, please contact Ben Crump Law, PLLC, for a no-obligation consultation and begin pursuing compensation for the losses you have suffered.
We also take Camp Lejeune contamination on a contingency-fee basis, so you won’t pay any upfront fees or costs. Instead, we only take a payment if and when we recover a financial award for you.