CAMP LEJEUNE


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Camp Lejeune Cancer Settlements

SECURE COMPENSATION FOR YOUR ILLNESS

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. Many 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.

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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. Contact our law firm if you need representation for a contamination claim.

What Contaminants Were in the Water at Camp Lejeune?

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 were found in the Camp Lejeune water supply.

Some of these chemicals involved in the property contamination are known cancer-causing agents and include the following:

These chemicals have been linked with various medical conditions and severe injury, including different types of cancer.

Who Can Qualify for a Camp Lejeune Settlement?

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 the toxic exposure 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:

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ABOUT THE LYON FIRM

Joseph Lyon has 17 years of experience representing individuals in complex litigation matters. He has represented individuals in every state against many of the largest companies in the world.

The Firm focuses on single-event civil cases and class actions involving corporate neglect & fraud, toxic exposure, product defects & recalls, medical malpractice, and invasion of privacy.

NO COST UNLESS WE WIN

The Firm offers contingency fees, advancing all costs of the litigation, and accepting the full financial risk, allowing our clients full access to the legal system while reducing the financial stress while they focus on their healthcare and financial needs.

What Effects Did the Contamination Have on Military Members?

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

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.”

How Do I File a Claim for Camp Lejeune Water Contamination?

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

    If you believe that you or a loved one were injured or affected by contaminated water, you should take the following steps in preparation for legal action:

    • Gather any documents or medical records related to your injuries
    • Take note of when you lived in or near the Camp Lejeune area
    • Make a written account of your injuries and symptoms (when they began, and how they are impacting your life)
    • Contact a lawyer to discuss your legal rights and options

    We understand if you can’t perform all of these tasks on your own, but don’t worry — it’s our job to gather evidence and ensure your case is ready for trial.

    Do you want to speak to a lawyer?

    How Did the Water Get Contaminated at Camp Lejeune?

    Perchloroethylene (PCE) and trichloroethylene (TCE) were the primary contaminants found in the wells serving the two water systems in the Camp Lejeune area. The Tararwa Terrace water systems supplied family housing, unmarried service personnel barracks, base offices, schools, and recreational areas. The Hadnot Point water system served the base hospital and an industrial area of the base.

    Groundwater at the Tarawa Terrace system became contaminated with PCE as a result of spills and improper disposal by an off-base dry cleaner nearby (ABC One-Hour Cleaners). This began as early as 1953. There may also have been other on-base sources contributing to the contamination of that system.

    Contamination of the Hadnot Point water system involved multiple contaminants and sources and was more complex. The primary chemical found there was TCE. It is likely that on-base spills and leaks from storage tanks were the cause of contamination.

    Contact a Lawyer for Help With a Camp Lejeune Illness Contamination Claim

    Water contamination claims can involve serious, long-term medical conditions and injuries. On top of this, the addition of military and veteran issues can make such cases even more complex. When dealing with these types of challenges, you need a lawyer with experience and a proven track record in handling such cases.

    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 at (513) 381-2333 for a free consultation.

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    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/

    Compensation from a lawsuit or settlement may cover costs and expenses such as:

    • Medical treatment and hospital bills
    • Lost wages
    • Loss of earning capacity
    • Pain and suffering
    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. Speak with an attorney regarding your eligibility for benefits and/or legal compensation.


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