The development of Parkinson’s disease could be related to exposure to a particular chemical in the water at Camp Lejeune: trichloroethylene (TCE). It is up to those exposed and their lawyers to demonstrate a causal relationship or possible causal relationship between exposure to Camp Lejeune water and a Parkinson’s diagnosis.
To show this relationship, a lawyer will show how long you were at Camp Lejeune and that you have Parkinson’s disease. From here, they can present the current evidence and expert testimony to prove the relationship between exposure to the water and Parkinson’s disease.
What Happened at Camp Lejeune?
Camp Lejeune is a training base for U.S. marines in North Carolina. In the 1980s, people discovered the drinking water on the base was contaminated with dangerous chemicals, mainly trichloroethylene (TCE), tetrachloroethylene (PCE), benzene, and vinyl chloride.
Many marines, marine family members, and even babies in utero were exposed to these chemicals from the 1950s to the 1980s.
These chemicals are linked to certain diseases, including cancers, cardiac defects, Parkinson’s disease, and end-stage renal disease.
The Impact of Parkinson’s Disease and Risk from Exposures
Parkinson’s disease gets progressively worse. It impacts the brain and people’s movements. People with Parkinson’s disease may experience symptoms like hand tremors and trouble balancing and moving. This can make it hard for them to do day-to-day activities.
It can also change how they communicate and interact with other people. For example, they may have trouble remembering things or may find it difficult to speak. While doctors can help with symptom management, Parkinson’s disease doesn’t have a cure, and the condition can be debilitating.
It is not completely clear what causes Parkinson’s disease. However, it may be related to exposure to certain toxins or chemicals. One such chemical at Camp Lejeune, trichloroethylene (TCE), may contribute to Parkinson’s disease. So, it is possible that those who served or lived at Camp Lejeune while the water was contaminated may develop Parkinson’s disease later in life.
Qualifying for Compensation Under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act
The Camp Lejeune Justice Act (CLJA) allows those who were at Camp Lejeune to pursue compensation for the damages they experienced because of exposure to the unsafe water. Under this law, you must meet specific qualifications to seek compensation. For one, you must have spent thirty days or more at Camp Lejeune between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987.
Secondly, you must have suffered harm related to this exposure. Suppose you hope to show the exposure is related to Parkinson’s disease. In that case, you will need a confirmed diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease. This official diagnosis will likely come from a doctor or other provider with the authority to make this diagnosis.
The burden of proof then rests on you and your lawyer to show the causal relationship between this exposure and your condition. The text of the CLJA states the following:
“A party shall produce evidence showing that the relationship between exposure to the water at Camp Lejeune and the harm is sufficient to conclude that a causal relationship exists; or sufficient to conclude that a causal relationship is at least as likely as not.”
The Aid of Legal Representation and Witnesses
If you choose to pursue compensation via the parameters of the Camp Lejeune Justice Act, it can be helpful to work with a lawyer. A good lawyer should have experience helping others in situations like your own. They will work to show the potential causal relationship between your condition and exposure at Camp Lejeune. They may help make this case to the court utilizing a few different strategies:
- Show thorough documentation of your time at Camp Lejeune during the specified time frame and your Parkinson’s disease diagnosis
- Have expert testimony or other evidence of how this condition has impacted your life
- Present the current evidence that supports that TCE may be linked to the development of Parkinson’s disease
- Have expert witnesses discuss the potential relationship between water exposure and Parkinson’s disease
This is not an exhaustive list of ways your legal team can prove the link between your Parkinson’s disease and Camp Lejeune’s contaminated water. Know that your lawyer will be fighting for your best possible outcome.
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If you are ready to take legal action related to your time at Camp Lejeune, the attorneys at The Fitch Law Firm LLC are ready to help. You can get a free consultation to understand the prospects of your case and how our firm would be able to assist you.
We understand that handling this type of case can be difficult, and we are ready to offer our services. While you focus on your health and wellbeing, we’ll be protecting your rights. Contact us today to get started.
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