From decades spanning from the 1950s to 1980s, over 1 million United States Marines and employees at the Camp Lejeune military base in North Carolina were unknowingly exposed to carcinogenic chemicals found in their drinking water.
The History of Camp Lejeune
Critically high levels of carcinogenic chemicals perchloroethylene (PCE), trichloroethylene (TCE), and vinyl chloride contaminated the drinking water supply from August 1953 until 1987. The level of carcinogens found in the water was hundreds of times above the EPA maximum safety levels, causing Camp Lejeune to become one of the most infamous U.S. water contamination incidents in history.
Aplastic Anemia Linked To Camp Lejeune Water
In 2009, the National Research Council (NRC), issued a comprehensive report on the health impacts of the Lejeune water contamination. The findings in this report identified evidence indicating that individuals with exposure to the water at Lejeune suffered a higher risk of contracting aplastic anemia.
In 2012, the Veterans Administration (VA), created a committee tasked with evaluating all of the scientific evidence on Lejeune and providing the VA with options as to what health conditions could be associated with prolonged exposure to the contaminated drinking water. The resulting clinical guide identified aplastic anemia as one of the specific conditions definitively connected to the contamination at Lejeune.
A later study conducted by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) concluded that there was evidence of clear association between Camp Lejeune water and higher rates of aplastic anemia. The ATSDR study also found that the incidence rates of aplastic anemia were highest among study participants with the most exposure to the contaminated water.
About Aplastic Anemia
Aplastic anemia is a relatively rare condition in which the bone marrow does not produce enough new blood for the cells, leaving the body with a shortage of blood cells. Symptoms can include fatigue, cardiovascular abnormalities, compromised immune system, or an inability of blood to clot normally.
Aplastic anemia can range from relatively mild with few symptoms to life-threatening with treatment options ranging from medication and observation to blood transfusions and bone marrow transplants.
New Law Will Allow Camp LeJeune Lawsuits for Aplastic Anemia
Former residents who were injured from the contamination have previously been barred from filing a civil lawsuit against the government. However, Congress recently passed the Camp Lejeune Justice Act (CLJA) as part of the Honoring Our Pact Act (PACT). This new bill allows for individuals who were exposed to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune between August 1, 1953 and December 31, 1987 to sue and recover damages and prohibits the U.S. government from asserting immunity in response to any forthcoming lawsuits.
Victims will have a 2-year window to file civil lawsuits against the government for injuries related to the water contamination at Camp Lejeune, but each plaintiff must have been exposed to the drinking water for a minimum of 30 days in order to file.
CLJA plaintiffs will have the burden of proving their claims, but the CLJA establishes a lower causation standard than in normal tort cases. Under this lowered standard, plaintiffs may not be required to support their claims with expert opinions. If their alleged health condition has been linked to Camp Lejeune in previous epidemiological studies, no further evidence will be required. Since aplastic anemia has been linked to Camp Lejeune water contamination, plaintiffs could establish per se causation based on these existing studies.
Contact Cellino Law About Camp Lejeune Toxic Water Lawsuits
If you lived or worked at Camp Lejeune between August 1, 1953 and December 31, 1987 and were later diagnosed with aplastic anemia, contact the legal team at Cellino Law.
Our team of experienced attorneys have the knowledge and resources to help you recover the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Contact us today for a free and confidential consultation at 800-555-5555.