Doctor’s Proof in Camp Lejeune Cases

Proving a Camp Lejeune water contamination claim is complex. Anyone filing a claim must produce documentation showing their presence during the years that the water was contaminated, such as:

Your doctor's proof in Camp Lejeune cases - Doctor talking with a camp le jeune victim

• Time spent at Camp Lejeune, including:

o Service orders
o Hospital records from the base hospital or a VA hospital
o Military records, including your DD214, showing that you were stationed there.

• Housing records, including bills showing your address at Camp Lejeune during the affected period

• Insurance information

• Work records, including pay slips, W-2s, tax returns, and other documents (for civilian workers)

• Medical records documenting your condition and symptoms, including:

o Diagnostic testing, such as X-rays, MRIs, blood tests, and others
o Treatment records, including surgeries and other interventions such as cancer treatment
o Prescribed medications for your condition

These documents are used to both establish your presence at Camp Lejeune and show that you became ill later.

Doctor’s Proof in Camp Lejeune Cases

Persons with long-term chronic medical conditions already have a diagnosis and are undergoing treatment by their doctor. But to prove that your medical condition is from the base’s water system, your doctor has the additional burden of demonstrating a link between the two.

A diagnosis only shows that a person has a specific medical condition without context. Medical records, including doctor’s notes, are needed to show that:

• The medical condition is found to be presumptive

• The patient developed this condition after long-term exposure to the toxic chemicals in the water

• Testing to determine if any evidence of the chemical itself is lingering in the system

• There is a definitive and established link between the condition and toxic exposure from Camp Lejeune.

Although there is an established list of presumptive conditions, over time this list could be expanded into more illnesses that resulted from the toxic exposures. Therefore, even if your medical condition is not considered “presumptive” and not on the list, you should file a claim anyway.

Your doctor’s proof in Camp Lejeune cases may show that your medical condition was indeed linked to long-term toxic exposure, even if it isn’t presumptive.

Whether veteran or civilian, your medical records are the bridge to demonstrating the illness that developed after your time at Camp Lejeune. Your claim will depend on as much evidence as you can gather to show that you were not only there but developed medical conditions following your residence there.

Camp Lejeune Claim? Contact The Herren Law Firm Today

For over 30 years, the Herren law firm has helped veterans and disabled people with their benefit claims and appeals. We have extensive experience dealing with governmental agencies and the claims filed with them.

If you or someone you know became ill after being stationed at Camp Lejeune, contact us immediately.

We’ve helped over 4,000 people, and we can help you as well. Contact us today by calling (713) 682-8194 or using our online contact form. Your consultation is free, and you won’t owe us a fee until we win your case.

How Scientists Connect Sickness to Camp Lejeune’s Water Contamination

It started small, with one fuel leak, but eventually grew to an estimated 750,000 gallons of contaminated water released into the base groundwater every day for over 30 years. Residents and civilian workers ingested large amounts of benzene, PCE, TCE, and vinyl chloride and that led to cancers and other serious illnesses.

Camp Lejeune's water contamination - scientist sampling camp le jeune water for contamination

How did this go unnoticed for over 30 years? And why did the United States Marine Corps refuse to acknowledge Camp Lejeune’s Water Contamination?

The Environmental Protection Agency

In the 1970’s the EPA named Camp Lejeune as a “major polluter” in the US. Toxic substances were being dumped into the water supply regularly. This included some from an off-base dry cleaner that dumped used solvents into the drains used for dry cleaning and degreasing.

Camp Lejeune’s water contamination was first discovered in 1980 when the base began testing the water for trihalomethane (THM). However, there were so many other contaminants in the water that interfered with the testing that it was inconclusive for THM.

Although the EPA notified both Camp Lejeune and the Marine Corps of this contamination, both failed to take any corrective action. It took the base more than four years to shut down those contaminated wells, claiming that the EPA had not yet finalized its regulations for carcinogens.

However, two prior base documents showed that they were aware of the chemical dangers but failed to act despite this knowledge, and fought to keep much of it under wraps.

In 1989, the EPA declared Camp Lejeune a Superfund site. It would be a decade later before the Marine Corps would begin notifying former residents about the possible connection between the contaminated water and any health problems.

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR)

ATSDR is an independent agency under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It is a federal public health agency that assesses the potential human health effects of hazardous substances found at or near toxic waste sites such as Camp Lejeune.

The ATSDR began its first study in 1997, comparing illness and mortality rates of service members, their families, and civilian workers from Camp Lejeune with a similar demographic population from Camp Pendleton, CA, known as a “cohort study.” These individuals were both at the bases between the mid-1970s through the mid-1980s. The results found that the Camp Lejeune population had a much higher risk for multiple cancers than the Camp Pendleton population.

In 2005, the agency began examining specific birth defects and childhood cancers in children born to mothers who lived at Camp Lejeune any time during their pregnancies from 1968-1985. Since then the agency has completed several other studies that concluded that the contamination was also related to additional health conditions.

Since then more and more conditions are being found as possibly linked to the Camp Lejeune contaminated water.

Camp Lejeune’s Water Contamination Claim? Contact The Herren Law Firm Today

For over 30 years, the Herren law firm has helped veterans and disabled people with their benefit claims and appeals. We have extensive experience dealing with governmental agencies and the claims filed with them.

If you or someone you know became ill after being stationed at Camp Lejeune, contact us immediately.

We’ve helped over 4,000 people, and we can help you as well. Contact us today by calling (713) 682-8194 or using our online contact form. Your consultation is free, and you won’t owe us a fee until we win your case.

The Primary Contaminants in the Drinking Water of Camp Lejeune

Individuals who became ill after spending time at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina were likely exposed to a series of volatile organic chemicals (VOC) that unknowingly leaked into the base’s water supply. These were chemicals used for dry cleaning, cleaning weapons and machinery, and a component in fuels.

Primary Contaminants in the Drinking Water of Camp Lejeune

Despite regular water treatment, these chemicals were still in the water supplied to base housing. Marines, their families, and civilian workers who spent 30 days or more at the base may have been made seriously ill by these chemicals.

VOC Contaminants

Of all the toxic chemicals found in the Camp Lejeune water system, these were found in the largest amounts:

Benzene and toluene, chemicals found in gasoline and other types of fuel
Methylene chloride, a chemical solvent used in laboratories and in the removal of paint
Trichloroethylene (TCE), primarily used as a metal cleaner, used for tasks such as cleaning weapons, engine parts, and machinery
Tetrachloroethylene (also known as PCE, perc, or perchloroethylene), primarily used for dry cleaning
Vinyl chloride, 1,2-dichloroethylene, and 1,1-dichloroethylene, breakdown products of TCE and PCE

All the chemicals are known human carcinogens. No one knows how much of these chemicals were regularly dispersed in the drinking water or for exactly how long. The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), as part of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), has an entire section on its website dedicated to Camp Lejeune’s water contamination, complete with reports and other information.

Illness

Over the years, people who have spent time at Camp Lejeune during the affected period have experienced a wide range of serious health problems that include:

• Cancers of various types
• Birth defects
• Miscarriage and fetal deaths from exposure during pregnancy (in utero)
• Cardiac defects
• Liver cirrhosis
• Parkinson’s Disease
• Autoimmune diseases, including Scleroderma
• Kidney problems, including end-stage renal disease
• Neurological effects
• Neurobehavioral effects

At the time, no one attributed the illnesses to the drinking water until the discovery of the contamination. While there is a list of known side effects—the VA calls these “presumptive conditions” for service members—many other illnesses may have been caused by the chemical exposure but are not yet recognized.

Discovery

The chemicals went undetected until the early 1980s, but the Marine Corps didn’t close all the contaminated facilities until late 1987. Notification began in 1984 with an article run in the base’s newspaper and a press conference in 1985. The base also has a notification database on its website for former residents.

The ATSDR’s position is that the ingestion of these VOCs was a strong contributor to the adverse health effects experienced by Marines, their families, and civilians working at Camp Lejeune during the affected time frame. The complete report is available online, with additional reports throughout the site.

Camp Lejeune Claim? Contact The Herren Law Firm Today

Until recently, only veterans could request help through the VA for their medical conditions. After the signing of the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022, family members and civilian workers can now file a claim for compensation due to the harm they suffered from the contaminated water.

If you or someone you know became ill after working or being stationed at Camp Lejeune, contact us immediately for help filing your claim. There is a short time period in which you can file a claim. Act now.

We’ve helped over 4,000 people, and we can help you as well. Contact us today by calling (713) 682-8194 or using our online contact form our consultation is free, and you won’t owe us a fee until we win your case.

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