CAMP LEJEUNE


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From the 1950s through the 1980s, as many as one million people living or working at the U.S. Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, were potentially exposed to drinking water contaminated with dangerous, cancer and disease-causing chemicals, such as industrial solvents, benzene, vinyl chloride and other chemicals.

Health officials say contaminants in the drinking water at Camp Lejeune likely increased the risk of cancers, adverse birth outcomes, and other dangerous conditions for residents, civilian workers, Marines and naval personnel. The identified source of the contamination was poor waste disposal practices at an off-base dry cleaning company.

Water supply wells were contaminated by multiple sources, including leaking underground storage tanks, industrial area spills, and waste disposal sites.

Joe Lyon is a highly-rated Toxic Tort Attorney and Camp Lejeune lawyer representing plaintiffs nationwide in a wide variety of civil litigation and VA claims.

Dangerous Camp Lejeune Water Supply

According to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), many damaging chemicals and compounds, some of which are known cancer-causing agents, were found in the Camp Lejeune water supply.

Some of these chemicals include the following:

•    Trichloroethylene (TCE)
•    Vinyl Chloride (VC)
•    Benzene
•    Heavy Metals
•    Pesticides
•    Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs)
•    Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)
•    Tetrachlorethylene (PCE)

Camp Lejeune Settlements

Veterans who were exposed to contaminated drinking water, and suffered related illnesses while assigned to Camp Lejeune in North Carolina may now be able to receive government disability benefits totaling more than $2 billion.

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) began cash payouts in March 2016, available for eligible veterans stationed at the Marine base for at least 30 cumulative days between August, 1953 and December, 1987. Veterans must submit evidence of their diagnoses and service information.

Veteran Affairs Secretary Bob McDonald determined that there was enough “scientific and medical evidence” to make a reasonable connection between exposure to the contaminated water and eight specific medical conditions.

According to the VA, about 1,400 disability claims related to Lejeune are already pending. The compensation covers active duty, Reserve and National Guard members who developed one of eight diseases:

•    Adult leukemia
•    Aplastic anemia
•    Bladder cancer
•    Kidney cancer
•    Liver cancer
•    Multiple myeloma
•    Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
•    Parkinson’s disease

Water Contamination Illnesses

Although the VA is naming eight specific cancers and illnesses in this phase of compensation, there may have been other injuries associated with the Camp Lejeune contamination.

The VA approved disability benefits to veterans based on evidence and ongoing research. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) secretary has said the water at Camp Lejeune was a “hidden hazard.”

The Department of Health and Human Services Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) determined that prolonged exposure to these chemicals increases the risk of certain health conditions.

Health officials say contaminants in the drinking water at Camp Lejeune likely increased the risk of cancers, adverse birth outcomes, and other dangerous conditions that include the above, but also the following:

•    Esophageal cancer
•    Breast cancer
•    Female infertility and miscarriage
•    Scleroderma
•    Lung cancer
•    Myelodysplastic syndromes
•    Hepatic steatosis
•    Neurobehavioral effects

Camp Lejeune Lawsuits

As many as one million American veterans, civilian workers and family members may have been exposed to the hazards of a contaminated water supply at Camp Lejeune from 1953 to 1987. Anyone who served or lived at the Jacksonville, North Carolina training facility could be at risk of developing health issues. Those who may be eligible to seek benefits include the following:

•    U.S. Marines
•    Navy personnel
•    Reservists
•    National Guard personnel
•    Civilian employees
•    Family Members

Camp Lejeune Illness Contamination

Many affected Camp Lejeune veterans have lost their homes and the ability to work, primarily because of the disabilities caused by the illnesses they developed from toxic exposure. Two U.S. Senators are urging the government to expand compensation for victims, and called the incidence a “national problem.”

The Lyon Firm is proud to represent American veterans in disability claims, involving water contamination illnesses, cancers or any other toxic exposure disease. Contact Joe Lyon for a free consultation.

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Why are these cases important?

Toxic exposure cases help empower employees to fight for their right to be protected, satisfactorily informed, and to stay safe. They also bring awareness to challenge and higher the expectations of companies who are not serving their employees justly.

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VA Disability Claims FAQ

What VA Disability benefits are available?

The following disability compensation benefits are available to Veterans:

Disability Compensation – a monthly monetary benefit paid to Veterans who are disabled by an injury or disease that was incurred in or aggravated by active military service. 

Automobile Allowance – financial assistance provided to help eligible severely disabled Servicemembers and Veterans purchase or adapt an automobile to accommodate their disabilities

Clothing Allowance – annual stipend(s) provided to disabled Veterans who have unique clothing needs as a result of a service-connected disability or injury.

Specially Adapted Housing/ Special Home Adaptation Grants – provides monetary benefits to adapt or obtain suitable housing for eligible severely disabled Veterans

Service-Disabled Veterans’ Insurance (S-DVI) – provides life insurance coverage to Veterans who have been given a VA rating for a new service-connected disability in the last two years. Totally disabled Veterans are eligible for free insurance premiums and have the opportunity to purchase additional insurance  

Veterans’ Mortgage Life Insurance (VMLI) – provides mortgage life insurance protection to disabled Veterans who have been approved for a VA Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) Grant

Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) – provides educational and training services to Veterans with service-connected illnesses and injuries to prepare for, obtain, and maintain suitable employment

Education Assistance – provides education benefits to Veterans to assist with obtaining a degree or with pursuing other eligible education and training

Dependents’ Educational Assistance (DEA) – provides assistance to survivors or dependents of Veterans to obtain a degree

 

Am I eligible for VA Disability Benefits?

Disability compensation is a monthly benefit paid to Veterans who are at least 10% disabled because of injuries or diseases that were incurred in or aggravated during active duty or active duty for training. A disability can apply
to physical conditions, such as a chronic knee
condition, as well as a mental health conditions,
such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
If you were on inactive duty for training, the
disability must have resulted from injury, heart
attack, or stroke. Your discharge from service must
have been under other than dishonorable conditions.
Compensation varies depending on the degree of
your disability. 

If you have dependents, an additional allowance
may be added if your combined disability is rated
30% or greater. Your compensation may be offset
if you receive military retirement pay, disability
severance pay, or separation incentive payments.

What are presumptive veteran disabilities?

VA presumes that some disabilities are due to
military service. You may be eligible to receive
service-connected disability benefits if you have
a qualifying disability associated with certain
conditions of service, such as:

» Former Prisoners of War
» Vietnam Veterans exposed to Agent Orange
» Gulf War Veterans with undiagnosed illnesses
and medically unexplained chronic multisymptom illnesses.

What is a “service-connected” disability?

A service-connected disability is related to an injury or disease that developed during or was aggravated while on active duty or active duty for training. VA also pays disability compensation for disabilities resulting from injury, heart attack, or stroke that occurred during
inactive duty training.

What compensation can i expect?

VA disability benefits depend on your level of disability and stats of dependents. You can calculate what you think you may deserve at the VA Web site: https://www.va.gov/disability/compensation-rates/veteran-rates/

Are VA Disability Benefits for life?

You can be eligible for VA benefits for as long as your service-related injury or disability is assigned to a compensable rating by the VA. 


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