Toxic Exposure

Camp Lejeune Bladder Cancer Lawsuit

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Many veterans and their family members exposed to contaminated drinking water at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, between 1953 and 1987 have developed severe health conditions, including bladder cancer. These health issues have been linked to the toxic drinking water from two water treatment facilities on the base.

Due to recent legislation, service members, civilians living on base, and workers at Camp Lejeune during this period who were exposed to the water for thirty days or more and developed bladder cancer may file claims with the U.S. government. If those claims aren’t processed timely, or if they are denied, they may file a Camp Lejeune bladder cancer lawsuit to seek financial compensation.

Why are people filing Camp Lejeune bladder cancer lawsuits?

Legislation allows veterans and their loved ones to file for damages. The Camp Lejeune Justice Act, passed as part of the Honoring our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act of 2022, appears to provides a brief time in which to file claims. The actual deadline is currently under review from a Federal Judge in North Carolina.

The Camp Lejeune Justice Act seeks to compensate those injured by volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the base’s water. These VOCs include:

  • Benzene
  • Tetrachloroethylene/perchloroethylene (PCE)
  • Trichloroethylene (TCE)
  • Vinyl chloride

The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) has linked exposure to contaminated water to incidents of bladder cancer in Marines, their family members and civilian workers who worked at Camp Lejeune during specific dates.

Other conditions linked to Camp Lejeune toxic water

In addition to bladder cancer, the VOCs that were found in the drinking water at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune have also been linked to other serious health issues. These include:

A diagnosis of one of these conditions may make you eligible to file a Camp Lejeune claim if you were on base during the right time period for thirty days or more.

How to file a Camp Lejeune bladder cancer claim

To start, people must file an administrative claim with the Department of the Navy and show that:

  • They were stationed at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, between August 1, 1953 and December 31, 1987 for at least 30 days.
  • They suffered a serious health problem that can be linked to the toxic water at Camp Lejeune.

If the Department of the Navy doesn’t resolve the claim within six months or denies the claim, victims may be eligible to file a Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit. If you are the victim, you may file the claim for yourself. If you are representing a loved one’s estate in the case of a wrongful death, you may file as the court-appointed representative of the estate.

Deadlines for filing Camp Lejeune bladder cancer compensation claims

While the Camp Lejeune Justice Act has allowed victims to file for financial relief, the time available to file Camp Lejeune claims seems to be limited based on the interpretation of the Camp Lejeune Justice Act. However, the actual deadline is under review by a Federal Judge in North Carolina.

This means that service members, their families, contractors and other workers must file their claims by a deadline. Claims not filed by that date could be forever barred. We will update this site with the actual deadline when the Court provides that date. 

People who have had their claims denied, have 180 days from the denial date to file a Camp Lejeune lawsuit. Lawsuits not filed within that time period will be forever barred.

Contact a Camp Lejeune water contamination attorney

If you or a loved one served, worked or lived at Camp Lejeune between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987, and developed severe health complications, a Motley Rice toxic exposure attorney can help you weigh your options for compensation. We are available by email, or you can call 866.855.9017 for more information.

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Evidence linking Camp Lejeune to bladder cancer

Bladder cancer describes several potentially fatal types of cancers that start in the bladder, including:

  • Adenocarcinoma
  • Small cell carcinoma of the bladder
  • Squamous cell carcinoma
  • Urothelial carcinoma

Multiple studies, including a 2014 paper in Environmental Health Perspectives, have found a positive association between PCE and an increased risk of bladder cancer. The 2014 paper looked at several studies of people who worked as dry cleaners and found a common link between bladder cancer incidences and exposure to common dry cleaning chemicals. The ATSDR, looking at this and other studies, found sufficient evidence linking PCE to an increased risk of a bladder cancer diagnosis.

In February 1985, high levels of PCE were detected at the Tarawa Terrace Treatment Plant at Camp Lejeune. The ATSDR further reports that: “Based on the model results, PCE concentration was estimated to have exceeded the current EPA maximum contaminant level of 5 μg/L in drinking water at the Tarawa Terrace water treatment plant for the 346 months between November 1957 and February 1987.”

Bladder cancer symptoms

The National Cancer Institute reports that bladder cancer may have the following symptoms.

Symptoms of bladder cancer

Bone pain/tenderness

Pain or burning during urination

Frequent urination during the day or night

Swelling in the feet

Inability to urinate


Lower back pain, primarily on one side

Unintended weight loss/loss of appetite

Pain in the abdomen

Urge to urinate even when the bladder isn’t full

If you or a family member were stationed at Camp Lejeune between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987, and are experiencing these symptoms, consider speaking with your doctor about your concerns.

These symptoms may be a sign of bladder cancer that could be related to toxic exposure. If you are diagnosed with bladder cancer, you may be eligible to file a claim.

If you’re concerned about the claims process, contact a Camp Lejeune attorney at Motley Rice for a free initial case evaluation to discuss your legal options.

Our history of representing veterans

Motley Rice is committed to helping veterans and their families seek justice for preventable harms that devastated servicemembers and their loved ones. We have represented claimants in litigation for:

  • Exposure to asbestos and other toxic materials
  • 3M earplugs and hearing loss
  • EFP roadside bombs manufactured by terrorists 
  • Exposure to toxins released from burn pits at military facilities

Our lawyers have the experience to help file claims, litigate cases and negotiate Camp Lejeune settlements.

Read more on our work in support of veterans.

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