Thousand of service members, their families and other workers who lived or worked at Camp Lejeune suffered from the following types of blood cancers: Adult leukemia, Aplastic Anemia and other myelodysplastic syndromes, Multiple Myeloma and Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. For years, service members and their families who lived at Camp Lejeune were not told that their lives were in danger from the simple everyday acts of drinking water and showering. Blood Cancer is serious business and you need a big time law firm to get you top compensation.
Speak directly with a Camp Lejeune lawsuit lawyer right away using our 24 hour hotline at 855-554-9179
This Camp Lejeune page was updated by an attorney on October 30th, 2023 to provide the most up to date information about blood cancers and Leukemia caused by the toxic water at Camp Lejeune.
If you suffered from blood cancer from drinking the water at Camp Lejeune Marine base, you should consider filing a Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit. For decades, the government did not even know of the grave harm to which they exposed the people who served this country. However, even when the government learned of the possible danger, it did not properly act to protect Marines and their families (as well as other civilians and contractors who were working on the base). Instead, it took the military years to take contaminated water treatment plants offline.
It was an open secret that Camp Lejeune veterans were dying in much higher numbers than those who served at other bases. Statistical studies had backed up these conclusions, Including one that directly compared people who were stationed at Camp Lejeune with those who were at Camp Pendleton (a Marine Corps base in South Carolina). The problem was that the ground water at Camp Lejeune in several parts of the base had become contaminated after poor planning and waste disposal practices.
Families Were Denied Financial Compensation for Years
However, even when the government came clean and informed Camp Lejeune veterans exactly why they were sickened, families did not have any recourse to get financial compensation. A North Carolina state law and a long-held judicially crafted doctrine both combined to keep injured service members and their families from filing a claim against the government. Previous multidistrict litigation failed, as the court dismissed the cases for the reasons stated above.
In August 2022, Congress finally acted to give injured service members and their families some degree of Justice after Decades of being denied it. As part of the PACT Act, Congress passed the Camp Lejeune Justice Act. This provision of the law created a new federal cause of action for injured service members and their families to file a claim against the government that they previously did not have.
The Requirements for Camp Lejeune Claim Eligibility
Those who were at Camp Lejeune for 30 days or more between the years of 1953 and 1987 may be eligible for a financial compensation if they can show that their harm was:
- was caused by exposure to the water;
- was associated with exposure to the water;
- was linked to exposure to the water; or
- the exposure to the water increased the likelihood of such harm
What are Myelodysplastic syndromes?
Myelodysplastic syndromes constitute a cohort of cancers. These cancers involve immature blood cells located in bone marrow that fail to mature or result in healthy blood cells.
Blood Cancers Connected to the Camp Lejeune Water
The Veterans Administration publishes a list of eight illnesses that are presumed to have been caused by exposure to toxic Camp Lejeune water. Blood cancers have been linked to the toxins that are found in the water at Camp Lejeune. Here are some of the following cancers that have been connected to the contaminated water:
- Adult leukemia – This is when the bone marrow makes a large amount of abnormal blood cells. In most cases, these involve white blood cells, and they do not function properly.
- Aplastic anemia and other myelodysplastic syndromes –The body does not produce enough new blood cells, leaving you fatigued. You may be more likely to suffer an infection or to experience uncontrolled bleeding
- Multiple myeloma – A group of plasma cells can become cancerous and crowd out healthy cells. This cancer can damage both the bones and the immune system
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma – Malignant Cancer cells form in the lymph nodes, that are part of the body system that fights infections.
The Chemicals that Caused the Camp Lejeune Illnesses
There were three significantly toxic substances found in the water at Camp Lejeune that have been connected with various blood cancers. These substances are considered to be volatile organic compounds (VOCs). VOCs are often connected to childhood leukemia. This was the condition that was the cause of death for nine-year-old Jamie Emsminger. Her father fought for years for justice for Camp Lejeune victims after he learned the real cause of his daughter’s death.
- Perchloroethylene (PCE) Is often found in dry cleaning compounds. There was an off-base dry cleaner that was located a couple of miles up gradient from one of the water wells that supplied a water treatment plant. This dry cleaner was known to have extremely poor waste disposal practices, to the point where its site became a Superfund cleanup site years later. PCE often finds Its way into groundwater. Studies have shown that dry cleaning workers who are often exposed to PCE have much higher rates of lymphoma and multiple myeloma. PCE was the main contaminant at the Tarawa Terrace water treatment plant because it was located in close proximity to the off-base dry cleaner.
- Benzene – There is little doubt that Benzene is carcinogenic. Benzene has been connected with various types of leukemia. Camp Lejeune water became contaminated with extremely high levels of benzene because of poor waste disposal practices. Soldiers often use Benzene to clean their weapons. For years, chemicals were buried in the ground at Camp Lejeune. Unfortunately, these chemical dumps were located perilously close to groundwater wells. Camp Lejeune officials knew of the possibility that the water wells may lose their structural integrity and be vulnerable to contamination from other chemicals in the surrounding ground.
- Trichloroethylene (TCE) – There is sufficient evidence to believe that TCE is strongly connected with multiple myeloma. One 2011 study found that they were elevated levels of multiple myeloma after TCE exposure. Similar to benzene, poor waste disposal practices lead to a buildup of TCE in the ground near water wells. The TCE seeped into the groundwater Wells that were processed in wastewater treatment plants, and the chemical ended up in drinking and bath water in large quantities.
There have been other volatile organic compounds that were found in the water at Camp Lejeune given the wide range of chemicals that were a part of daily military life at the base.
Blood Cancers Can Be Difficult to Treat and Are Often Fatal
Leukemia and other blood cancers are difficult and expensive to treat. Oftentimes, patients need experimental and complex treatment in order to prolong their life and give them a better chance of survival. It can take years to battle leukemia and get to the point of remission. Children have a far better chance of survival if they had been diagnosed with the disease under the age of 20. For those over the age of 20, the 5-year survival rate is approximately 40%. Thus, many of the claims filed by Camp Lejeune families will be wrongful death cases.
You May Be Eligible for Substantial Financial Compensation
If you or a loved one meets the qualifications, and you have been diagnosed with one of the forms of blood cancer listed above, you may be eligible for significant financial compensation. First, you would need to file a claim directly with the federal government under the procedure specified by the federal tort claims act. You cannot sue the government until they have had a chance to review your claim. They may make you a settlement offer, and then you would negotiate the appropriate amount of compensation. If you are not able to come to an agreement with the government, you may file a lawsuit against the government in federal court in North Carolina, as per the terms of the Camp Lejeune Justice Act.
Your Compensation in a Camp Lejeune Claim
You may be entitled to the following damages as part of your Camp Lejeune claim:
- The complete cost of your medical bills to treat your condition
- Lost wages if you are blood cancer kept you from working ( including money that you were not able to earn in the future when you had to stop working)
- Pain and suffering from the physical and emotional discomfort of the disease
- Loss of enjoyment of life
If your loved one died from any one of the above forms of blood cancer caused by water contamination at Camp Lejeune, your family may be able to file a wrongful death claim against the federal government. It does not matter how long ago your loved one died. A wrongful death claim would pay for your family’s damages that you suffered due to the loss of your loved one.
Adult Leukemia and Camp Lejeune Contamination
If you have a potential claim, you should contact an experienced Camp Lejeune water contamination attorney to help you file it against the federal government. You can expect that the federal government may be as bad as any insurance company when it comes to handling your claim. Given the billions of dollars of potential liability, the government may look to save money at your expense. Like any personal injury claimant, you have legal rights. It does not matter that the government is on the other side of the claim. An experienced lawyer will fight for you and your family to receive the highest possible compensation for your claim.
What is aplastic anemia?
What is Multiple myeloma?
White blood cells that are cancerous can accumulate in bone marrow effectively blocking blood cells that are healthy. “Multiple myeloma is a cancer that forms in a type of white blood cell called a plasma cell. Healthy plasma cells help you fight infections by making antibodies that recognize and attack germs. In multiple myeloma, cancerous plasma cells accumulate in the bone marrow and crowd out healthy blood cells. Rather than produce helpful antibodies, the cancer cells produce abnormal proteins that can cause complications.” Mayo Clinic
- Pain in the bones
- major loss of weight
- feeling weak
Multiple myeloma is often deadly and dangerous, but you can get justice with a top Lejeune attorney. If you or a family emember served, spent time at or lived at Camp Lejeun during the applicable time period and were diagnosed with multiple myeloma, you may be awarded substantial compensation.
What Is Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma?
“Cancer starts when cells begin to grow out of control. Cells in nearly any part of the body can become cancer, and can spread to other areas. To learn more about how cancers start and spread, Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (also known as non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, NHL, or sometimes just lymphoma) is a cancer that starts in white blood cells called lymphocytes, which are part of the body’s immune system. NHL is a term that’s used for many different types of lymphoma that all share some of the same characteristics. There is another main type of lymphoma, called Hodgkin lymphoma, which is treated differently. See Hodgkin Lymphoma.” Cancer.org
If you have suffered from Adult leukemia, Aplastic Anemia, other myelodysplastic syndromes, Multiple Myeloma or Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma from the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune you should contact a Camp Lejeune contaminated water lawsuit lawyer right away. You must act now to begin the process that could result in financial compensation. Once the deadline passes in August 2024, you will lose the ability to seek financial compensation forever, as the past laws will resume their blocking effect on Camp Lejeune claims.