Camp Lejeune and Parkinson’s Disease

close-up of the hands of a parkinson's disease victim

For years, there have been rumors that the water at Camp Lejeune was contaminated with harmful chemicals. A new study has linked this water to Parkinson’s disease cases. 

This discovery is devastating for the injured victims harmed by this contamination and raises many questions about how this could have happened. Officials are still investigating the extent of the damage, and those affected are seeking justice.

Were you or a loved one stationed at Camp Lejeune and diagnosed with Parkinson’s? You may be eligible to file a claim for benefits. The water contamination attorneys from Injury Lawyer Team, sponsored by Rosenfeld Law Offices, advocate for injured victims harmed through the negligence of others.

Contact us today to schedule a free consultation. All confidential or sensitive information you share with our legal team remains private through an attorney-client relationship.

A Complicated History of The Contaminated Camp Lejeune Water Supply 

comparing trichloroethylene contamination limits at Camp Lejeune

In the early 1980s, the federal government hired Grainger, Inc. to conduct comprehensive testing on the Camp Lejeune water supply after initial testing revealed significant contamination.

The test results were horrific, isolating over 400 carcinogenic chemicals, including trichloroethylene (TCE), perchloroethylene (PCE), benzene, and vinyl chloride in the water. 

Although officials were aware of the contamination as early as 1981, it wasn’t until 1985 that residents were finally notified of the dangers present in the water. By then, it was too late for many.

Those stationed at Camp Lejeune between 1957 and 1987 were exposed to toxic water and may be at risk for developing severe health conditions, including Parkinson’s disease. 

In 2014, President Obama signed the Camp Lejeune Justice Act into law. This act provides healthcare benefits to those stationed at Camp Lejeune and later developed one of 15 illnesses linked to the harmful water. 

Parkinson’s disease is one of the illnesses covered under this act. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and served at Camp Lejeune during the specified period, you may be eligible for benefits.

time is limited to file camp lejeune parkinson's disease claim

What Is Parkinson’s Disease? 

Parkinson’s disease is a degenerative neurological disorder that affects the body’s ability to produce dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that helps to control movement and coordination. 

When the cells that produce dopamine are damaged, it can lead to tremors, muscle stiffness, and difficulty with balance and coordination. Parkinson’s disease is a progressive illness that worsens over time. 

There is no cure for Parkinson’s disease, but treatments are available to help manage symptoms and slow the progression of the disease. 

Some common symptoms of Parkinson’s disease include:

  • Tremors or shaking in the hands, arms, legs, jaw, or face
  • Stiffness in the trunk or limbs
  • Slow movement
  • Impaired balance and coordination
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Changes in speech
  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Memory problems
camp lejeune disability coverage area map

The Link Between Camp Lejeune Water Contamination and Parkinson’s Disease 

Studies have shown that those exposed to the contaminated water supply at Camp Lejeune are at an increased risk of developing Parkinson’s disease. 

One study by the National Academy of Sciences found a 41% increased risk of developing Parkinson’s disease among those exposed to harmful water. 

This is a significant increase, and it is only one of many studies that have found a link between the two. 

If you or a loved one served at Camp Lejeune during the time when the water was contaminated and have since been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, you might be eligible to receive benefits.

benzene and toluene found in Camp Lejeune

ATSDR Public Health Studies on How Contaminated Drinking Water Affected the Camp Lejeune Population

The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) has conducted several public health studies on the Camp Lejeune population. These studies have looked at the potential links between exposure to contaminants in the water and various diseases, including Parkinson’s disease. 

Some of the key findings from these studies include:

  • A study published in 2016 found that people who lived or worked at Camp Lejeune between 1953 and 1987 were more likely to develop Parkinson’s disease than those who did not. This study was based on data from the Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune Disease Registry, established in 2014 to track illness among former residents and workers at the base.
  • A 2015 research study found that exposure to trichloroethylene (TCE), a harmful chemical found in the water at Camp Lejeune, may increase the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease.
  • A comprehensive 2014 study found that exposure to benzene, another chemical found in the water at Camp Lejeune Marine Corps base, may increase the risk of leukemia or other blood cancers.
  • A study published in 2013 found that people who lived or worked at Camp Lejeune between 1953 and 1987 were more likely to develop certain types of cancer, including breast cancer and leukemia.

These studies suggest that exposure to toxic chemical solvents in the water supply at Camp Lejeune may be associated with an increased risk of developing certain diseases. 

Did you live or work at Camp Lejeune during this time? You may be eligible for benefits under federal laws, which provide healthcare and compensation to victims of hazardous water.

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New Federal Law Leads to Camp Lejeune Parkinson’s Disease Claims

The National Research Council (NRC) published a report in 2009 entitled Contaminated Water Supplies at Camp Lejeune. The United States Congress requested the information to ensure that the Camp Lejeune water supply was independently assessed for potential health problems.

The report revealed that Camp Lejeune’s water was contaminated with several toxic chemicals, including TCE and benzene. The report also found that exposure to these chemical solvents may increase the risk of developing certain diseases, including cancer.

In response to the findings of these studies, a new federal law was passed by Congress in 2012 covering injuries related to Camp Lejeune water contamination. The act provides health care and benefits to veterans and their families exposed to contaminated drinking water while living or working at Camp Lejeune.

Updated Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022

In the summer of 2022, Congress updated the law to include coverage for those with Parkinson’s disease and merged it with a larger bill called the PACT Act (Honoring Our Pact Act). 

The new federal law now provides health care and benefits to veterans and their families exposed to toxic water while living or working at Camp Lejeune and subsequently diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.

The Justice Act enacted by the United States government supersedes the North Carolina statute of repose previously used to dismiss Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuits.

According to Veterans Affairs, the Camp Lejeune victims that can seek disability benefits due to water contamination include:

  • Veterans
  • Former Marines
  • Active-duty military service members
  • Civilian employees
  • Family members living on or near Camp Lejeune
  • Contractors working on the base (occupational exposure)

Some studies have revealed a long-term occupational exposure to harmful water as an increased Parkinson’s disease risk to service members and others working at Camp Lejeune before 1987.

government funds allocated for camp lejeune parkinson's disease victims

The Devastating Health Effects of the Contaminated Camp Lejeune Water Supply

According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), Camp Lejeune residents living on the military base before 1987 have an elevated risk of significant health problems.

The National Academies Press published conclusions of research done by a VA committee. The committee concludes that exposure to the deadly chemicals has led to developing specific diseases, cancers, and medical conditions associated with water contamination. These conditions include:

  • Lung cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Bladder cancer
  • Kidney cancer
  • Liver cancer
  • Leukemia
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Scleroderma
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Aplastic anemia/myelodysplastic syndromes
  • Hepatic steatosis
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  • Renal toxicity
  • Neurobehavioral effects and neurodevelopmental impairment in children
  • Other severe health conditions

The VA has also established a website, Camp Lejeune: Past Water Contamination – Public Health, to provide information on the health effects of exposure to toxic water at the base. 

VA Committee Reviews Evidence on Severe Health Impact of Camp Lejeune Water

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Drinking water exposures reported by Camp Lejeune military base residents between 1953 and 1987 led the NRC to conclude that past exposure to contaminants in the water supply at the base was associated with adverse health problems. 

The Camp Lejeune water contamination scandal is a controversy involving the United States Marine Corps and toxic chemicals in the drinking water at the military base.

For decades, Marines and their families stationed at the military base were exposed to toxic water that caused severe health conditions, including a significantly increased risk of Parkinson’s disease compared to other diseases. 

The Marine Corps has since taken steps to improve the water quality at the base. Still, many veterans and their families continue to suffer from the health effects of the contamination. 

However, the VA committee concludes that there is sufficient evidence to conclude that Parkinson’s is a neurobehavioral issue that, for former Camp Lejeune residents and workers, was caused by the contaminated wells supplying water to the base and surrounding area.

trichloroethylene found in Camp Lejeune water

Camp Lejeune Victims Filing Parkinson’s Disease Lawsuits

The potential settlement value for people with Parkinson’s disease who file tort claims seeking benefits through the federal government is difficult to estimate. However, given the seriousness of the illness and the potential for long-term care, a high settlement value is likely.

Camp Lejeune victims exposed to contaminated water may be eligible for benefits through the Camp Lejeune Family Member Program. The program provides medical care for conditions related to exposure to toxic water.

People harmed by Camp Lejeune’s water contamination can file lawsuits against the United States government. These lawsuits seek compensation for injuries suffered due to the government’s negligence in allowing the contamination to occur.

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Hiring a Camp Lejeune Parkinson’s Disease Lawyer to Resolve a Compensation Claim for Disability Benefits

Are you a veteran, active-duty service member, or family member diagnosed with Parkinson’s? Were you stationed at Camp Lejeune before 1987? You may be eligible to receive benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), but you will need legal counsel to help you file a claim. 

The attorneys at Injury Lawyer Team have years of experience helping veterans receive the benefits they deserve. We will work tirelessly to ensure that you receive the maximum compensation possible, including coverage for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. 

We understand the complex process of filing for VA benefits, and we will guide you through every step of the process. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.

Our legal team accepts all personal injury cases and wrongful death lawsuits through a contingency fee agreement, meaning that you will pay no upfront fees until we resolve your case through a negotiated settlement or a jury award.