Lawyer for Esophageal Cancer Camp Lejeune Lawsuit
On August 10, 2022, President Biden signed the PACT Act (the Honoring Our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics Act) into law, following the Senate’s passing of the Camp Lejeune Justice Act on August 2, 2022. It was an important victory for the victims of water contamination at Camp Lejeune military base, who can finally achieve the justice they deserve.
The Camp Lejeune Justice Act allows anyone who lived or worked at the base from August 1, 1953, to December 31, 1987, for at least 30 days, exposed to the contaminated water and suffered injuries, to file a claim against the U.S. government. The danger of toxins in the water at Camp Lejeune was well-known to military officials, but they chose to do nothing about it for over three decades. With the signing of the PACT Act, victims and family members of deceased victims can sue the federal government for monetary damages such as disability payments, medical expenses, lost wages, mental health / counseling fees, and pain and suffering.
Have you developed esophageal cancer after staying at Camp Lejeune during the years of 1953 to 1987? Do you have a family member that was at Camp Lejeune during that time and died prematurely from esophageal cancer? You may be entitled to compensation from a Camp Lejeune lawsuit, but you must take action right away to receive your payment in a timely manner. Contact our office and schedule a consultation to learn about your rights and legal options.
What is Esophageal Cancer?
Esophageal cancer is a disease that occurs in the esophagus – a long, hollow tube that’s situated between your throat and stomach. Abnormal cell growth in this area is the sixth most common cause of cancer worldwide, and it affects men at higher rates than women. Many patients do not have symptoms in the early stages, but they may notice the following signs as the cancer becomes more advanced:
- Problems swallowing food and beverages (dysphagia)
- Unexplained weight loss
- Pain in the chest, often accompanied by pressure and burning
- Heartburn or indigestion that does not improve
- Coughing / hoarseness that does not go away
As the cancer becomes more aggressive, patients may suffer from bleeding in the esophagus and severe pain. Your doctor will discuss several treatment options with you, such as chemotherapy, targeted drug therapy, radiation, and surgery. Regardless of the treatment, patients are at high risk of long-term health complications, including continued problems drinking and eating, trouble digesting food, and even heart failure.
Certain factors, like consuming alcohol, smoking, and being prone to acid reflux will increase the likelihood of developing cancer in the esophagus. But the disease can also be a direct result of exposure to carcinogens, like benzene and vinyl chloride.
Water Contamination at Camp Lejeune
From August 1, 1953, to December 31, 1987, the water supply at Camp Lejeune was contaminated by a host of toxic chemicals. As a result, residents and workers at the military base were exposed to high levels of the following:
- Tetrachloroethylene (PCE or PERC)
- Trichloroethylene (TCE)
- Vinyl Chloride
Some of these chemicals came from fuel tanks that leaked toxins into the groundwater. Others came from industrial waste that was improperly disposed of, while a local dry cleaner released PCE and PERC into the well water. By ingesting these chemicals, countless individuals developed health complications such as esophageal cancer.
As for why the PACT Act is so important, it’s no secret that the military was aware of what was going on at Camp Lejeune. Many victims and their families tried in vain to seek benefits and hold the U.S. military responsible. Finally, these people will have their day in court and have the chance to seek the funds they are entitled to.
Whether you are familiar with the Camp Lejeune Justice Act or this is the first time you’re hearing about it, you are probably asking yourself, “I was stationed at Camp Lejeune and I have esophageal cancer. What are the steps I need to take?”
Please keep reading to learn more on this topic, though we want to stress that we can only provide general information. If you have specific questions about your rights as a Camp Lejeune esophageal cancer victim, don’t hesitate to give us a call.
Am I Eligible for a Camp Lejeune Lawsuit?
In order to file a Camp Lejeune lawsuit, you must be a veteran, contractor, civilian, or family member of an individual that was at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 days during August 1, 1953, to December 31, 1987. You do not need to have lived on base; visitors can also seek damages as long as they were at Camp Lejeune for 30 days or more during the contamination period. If your family member passed away from exposure to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune, you may also qualify for compensation.
The only exception applies to former service members who were discharged, as well as their families. These individuals are unlikely to be eligible for damages.
Should I Join a Class Action Lawsuit or should I File my Own Individual Lawsuit?
Considering that contamination of the water supply at Camp Lejeune went on for over 30 years, there are likely to be many victims who are suffering from the effects of esophageal cancer. You can certainly join these other plaintiffs in a Camp Lejeune class action lawsuit. While there is no class action on these cases currently, we can help you initiate one or join a lawsuit in the future. But you can also file a lawsuit on your own, which may be more beneficial to you and your family. One of our lawyers can go over each of these options with you and help you make an informed choice.
Average Case Value for Esophageal Cancer Diagnosis Camp Lejeune Lawsuits
As it’s been such a short amount of time since the PACT Act was signed, it’s impossible to say what the average payment will be for these cases. But payments in the 6-7 figure range are expected for a good number of cases, especially if the victim is suffering from or passed away from a severe illness such as esophageal cancer. Based on previous lawsuits involving chemical exposure and gross negligence, settlements ranging from $300,000 to more than $1 million are definitely possible.
These values are estimates based on previous settlements, and may not reflect the value of your own Camp Lejeune injury claim. To learn about the damages you can receive from a lawsuit, please consult one of our attorneys.
Is there a Time Period to File a Lawsuit – Join a Class Action?
For claimants who have already been diagnosed with esophageal cancer, the statute of limitations to file a lawsuit it two years from August 10, 2022, which is the signing date of the PACT Act. Wrongful death lawsuits must also be filed within this period of time. However, there are also victims who will be diagnosed with esophageal cancer in the future. These individuals have two years to seek compensation from the day they are diagnosed.
To ensure that your lawsuit is filed on time, contact our law firm as soon as possible. Extensions to the statute of limitations are extremely rare, so if you miss the 2-year deadline, you will most likely lose the chance to seek monetary compensation.
Where is the Lawsuit Filed?
Whether you are filing an individual claim or joining a class action, all Camp Lejeune lawsuits have to be filed with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina. These lawsuits are quite different than the average personal injury claim that you would file in your own state. Thus, it’s imperative that you work with a lawyer who is experienced in complex civil lawsuits against government entities. Our lawyers have the knowledge and experience you need to succeed in a Camp Lejeune esophageal cancer diagnosis lawsuit. Please give us a call and schedule a free case review.
How long does it take to Settle these Cases?
Here at DLTA Law Group, we know the importance of receiving your settlement as quickly as possible, especially when you’re suffering with a debilitating disease like esophageal cancer. Our goal is to recover your settlement within 6 to 8 months from the time we file your injury claim. However, there are factors that are beyond our control, like how long it takes for the appropriate federal agency to review your claim. After all, over a million people were exposed to dangerous chemicals at Camp Lejeune, so that gives you an idea of the number of cases that will need to be reviewed.
Depending on the complexities in your case, a settlement may not be negotiable, which means you will need to pursue compensation through a lawsuit. In that case, it could be 2 or more years before your lawsuit is settled.
Schedule a Free Case Evaluation
The impact of a diagnosis for esophageal cancer cannot be underestimated for the patient and their loved ones. For Camp Lejeune residents, workers, and visitors, the impact is even worse due to the fact that their illness could have been prevented by military officials. While justice comes far too late, it will no longer be denied to countless injury victims and their family members who were exposed to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune.
We are here for you in your fight for justice, and you can count on us to recover the funds you deserve. Furthermore, we are committed to the principle that an injury victim should never have to pay for legal services. That’s why we offer a Zero fee guarantee, meaning you pay nothing upfront to hire one of our attorneys. The only way we get paid is by winning your case, and if we don’t win, you won’t be responsible for any of our fees.
Since there is no risk to you at any point, please contact our office and take some time to speak with one of our attorneys.