VA decides to grant “presumptive status” for benzene groundwater contamination at Camp Lejeune
3 illnesses—acute myelogenous leukemia, angiosarcoma of the liver, and kidney cancer, will be granted presumptive status
Those who served at Camp Lejeune, or eligible family members, from 1963 and 1987 could qualify for disability payments
Groundwater contamination can lead to deadly consequences for residents who live in the affected areas. Many veterans who served on the Marine Corps base at Camp Lejeune have firsthand experience with groundwater contamination and the effects that exposure to benzene and other dangerous chemicals can cause. Recently, a major victory was won for affected veterans and family members after the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) finally decided to grand “presumptive status” to veterans who were exposed at Camp Lejeune.
Now that presumptive status is being granted for three specific illnesses—acute myelogenous leukemia, angiosarcoma of the liver, and kidney cancer—those who served at Camp Lejeune between 1963 and 1987 who have one of those conditions will have their conditions automatically classified as “service-related” and thus qualify for disability payments. This could be critical for those who have contracted certain cancers or other diseases due to groundwater contamination.
Benzene exposure can be particularly dangerous when it comes to groundwater contamination, because it has been proven to cause several potentially deadly diseases. The Camp Lejeune contamination was more widespread than it was first revealed back in 1985 and could have exposed more than 750,000 people between 1963 and 1987. It involved two major water treatment facilities that were related to the Marine Corps base, as well as base housing units. Other diseases that could potentially lead to reimbursement include birth defects, bladder, breast, esophageal, and lung cancers; kidney and liver cancer; infertility, and miscarriage.
Missouri and Illinois residents who have been exposed to benzene through groundwater contamination may also have the right to seek financial reimbursement for their medical expenses. Our toxic tort law firm stands ready at 1-888-586-7041 to discuss your rights under the law. We would be happy to set up a free initial consultation in order to talk more about how we can help you. Filing a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit against the party believed responsible for causing the groundwater contamination may be the right step for you to take to gain the financial relief you need.
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Sources: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/va-benefits-camp-lejeune-veterans_55c0bc80e4b0b23e3ce3ee2f and http://www.militarytimes.com/story/military/benefits/health-care/2015/08/06/va-may-pay-disability-some-illnesses-linked-lejeune/31205019/