If you served or lived on the base at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, you may have suffered exposure to harmful compounds in the drinking water. If you have liver cancer, it could be due to Camp Lejeune contamination.
Cancer-Causing Substances Contaminated Two Water Wells at Camp Lejeune
According to the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the military closed two water wells at Camp Lejeune in 1985. These wells contained trichloroethylene (TCE), perchloroethylene (PCE), benzene, vinyl chloride, and other harmful substances. According to the American Cancer Society, vinyl chloride causes liver cancer.
If you have liver cancer, you qualify for VA disability benefits and health care coverage if:
- You served on active duty, in the Reserves, or in the National Guard at Camp Lejeune for 30 cumulative days between August 1953 through December 1987.
- You received an honorable discharge from the military.
In addition to liver cancer, there are several other presumptive conditions tied to Camp Lejeune contamination. If you have one of the following illnesses, you automatically qualify for benefits and medical coverage if you served during the specified period:
- Breast cancer
- Bladder cancer
- Female infertility
- Esophageal cancer
- Hepatic steatosis
- Kidney cancer
- Lung cancer
- Multiple myeloma
- Myelodysplastic syndromes
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
- Neurobehavioral effects
- Renal toxicity
Seek a Diagnosis if You Have Not Already Done So
According to Mayo Clinic, symptoms of liver cancer include:
Unexplained weight loss and loss of appetite
- Upper abdominal pain
- Abdominal swelling
- Yellow discoloration of the eyes and skin (jaundice)
If you believe you suffered exposure to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune and you have these or other persistent symptoms, see a doctor immediately if you have not already. It is important that you begin treatment for liver cancer right away. Seeking medical treatment also creates a record of your illness for your claims.
Family Members Who Lived at Camp Lejeune May Qualify for Medical Coverage
If you are related to a veteran and lived on base at Camp Lejeune for 30 cumulative days from August 1953 to December 1987, you qualify for medical coverage if you have liver cancer or one of the fifteen presumptive conditions outlined above.
To receive benefits, you must provide proof you lived at Camp Lejeune, proof of a dependent relationship with a veteran (such as a marriage license, adoption papers, or birth certificate), and medical evidence showing you have a qualifying condition.
Veterans and family members with an eligible ailment will pay no future premiums or copays for treatment. They may also seek reimbursement for previous out-of-pocket medical expenses related to their contamination illness.
Can You Sue for Compensation?
There is legislation currently in Congress that will allow those affected by Camp Lejeune contamination to seek compensation in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina. The Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 opens legal action to veterans and family members, including those exposed in utero and those who have already had an initial claim denied.
Once the legislation passes, you will have two years to file your case or 180 days from an initial claim denial. A lawyer with our firm can help you prepare to take action.
How Much Is Your Camp Lejeune Contamination Claim Worth?
VA disability compensation payments depend on your disability rating and dependents. According to the VA, the 2022 benefit rate for a veteran with no dependents and a 10 percent disability rating is $152.64 per month. However, if you have a 100 percent disability rating and four dependents, your monthly payment is around $3,950.
If you take legal action, you could recover:
- Compensation for your past and future medical treatment
- Lost income, benefits, earnings, and retirement funds
- Loss of future earning capacity
- Compensation for physical pain and suffering, mental anguish, depression, anxiety, and loss of enjoyment of life
- Compensation for the wrongful death of a loved one
We Can Help with Your Liver Cancer Case
An attorney with our firm can help you file for benefits, appeal a denied application, or take legal action. Our team will:
- Obtain the documents needed to file a claim
- Consult with your doctor and other medical professionals
- Calculate the cost of your medical treatment and other costs
- Prepare and file your paperwork
- File an appeal if you receive an initial denial
- Collect and submit new evidence for review
- Represent you during a Board of Veterans’ Appeals (BVA) hearing if necessary
- File a lawsuit and represent you during court proceedings if needed
Ben Crump Law, PLLC Can Fight for You
Attorney Ben Crump and his team are dedicated to helping the powerless hold the powerful accountable. We have represented thousands of clients from all over the country with cases involving personal injuries, environmental illness, mass torts, and civil rights.
We want to help you pursue justice and compensation for your liver cancer and Camp Lejeune contamination. Because we believe everyone deserves representation, no matter their current financial standing, we take cases on contingency. Our services cost nothing up front, and we only get paid when we win your case. Call us now for a free consultation.