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Archive for February, 2023

Camp Lejeune – Contaminated Water – Presumptive Illnesses

Thursday, February 23rd, 2023

According to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, “as many as one million military and civilian staff and their families might have been exposed to the contaminated drinking water” at Camp Lejeune from the early 1950s to late 1980s.

Here are some descriptions and symptoms (reported by MayoClinic.org) of the eight presumptive illnesses caused by the toxic water at Camp Lejeune:

1.         Adult leukemia: cancer of the body’s blood-forming tissues, and this includes bone marrow and the lymphatic system. People with leukemia have bone marrow that over-produces too many abnormal white blood cells that cannot function properly. Symptoms include:

  • Fever or chills
  • Persistent fatigue/weakness
  • Frequent or severe infections
  • Weight loss
  • Swollen lymph nodes, enlarged liver or spleen
  • Easy bleeding or bruising
  • Recurrent nosebleeds
  • Tiny red spots in your skin (petechiae)
  • Excessive sweating, especially at night
  • Bone pain or tenderness

2.         Aplastic anemia and other myelodysplastic syndromes: a group of disorders that result from something defective in the spongy material inside bone marrow where blood cells are made, causing blood cells to not form or work properly. It is common to not experience symptoms right away, but in time, myelodysplastic syndromes might cause:

  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Unusual paleness (pallor), caused by a low red blood cell count (anemia)
  • Easy or unusual bruising or bleeding, caused by a low blood platelet count (thrombocytopenia)
  • Pinpoint-sized red spots just beneath the skin that are caused by bleeding (petechiae)
  • Frequent infections, caused by a low white blood cell count (leukopenia)

3.         Bladder cancer: a common type of cancer that most often begins in the urothelial cells that make up the inner lining of your bladder. Bladder cancers can reoccur frequently, even after successful treatment so people with this diagnosis often undergo years of follow-up testing. Symptoms of bladder cancer include:

  • Blood in urine (hematuria), which can cause urine to appear bright red or cola colored (sometimes the urine appears normal, but blood is detectable on a lab test)
  • Frequent urination
  • Painful urination
  • Back pain

4.         Kidney cancer: the abnormal growth of cells in the kidney tissue. Symptoms include:

  • Blood in your urine, which may appear pink, red, or cola colored
  • Pain in your back or side that is constant
  • Loss of appetite
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Tiredness
  • Fever

5.         Liver cancer: the abnormal growth of cells that begins in your liver. There are several types of liver cancer and the most common type is hepatocellular carcinoma, which begins in hepatocytes, the main type of liver cell. It is rare to have symptoms in early stages of primary liver cancer, but when symptoms do finally appear, they include:

  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Upper abdominal pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • General weakness and fatigue
  • Abdominal swelling
  • Yellow discoloration of your skin and the whites of your eyes (jaundice)
  • White, chalky stools

6.         Multiple myeloma: cancer that forms in plasma cells (type of white blood cell), overpowering healthy blood cells in the bone marrow that help fight infections by producing antibodies. There may not be symptoms in early stages of multiple myeloma and symptoms can vary, but symptoms can include:

  • Bone pain, especially in your spine or chest
  • Nausea
  • Constipation
  • Loss of appetite
  • Mental fogginess or confusion
  • Fatigue
  • Frequent infections
  • Weight loss
  • Weakness or numbness in your legs
  • Excessive thirst

7.         Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma: cancer that begins in your lymphatic system, causing lymphocytes (white blood cells) to grow abnormally and can even form tumors throughout the body.

  • Swollen lymph nodes in your neck, armpits or groin
  • Abdominal pain or swelling
  • Chest pain, coughing or trouble breathing
  • Persistent fatigue
  • Fever
  • Night sweats
  • Unexplained weight loss

8.         Parkinson’s disease: a progressive disorder, meaning the symptoms start slowly and worsen over time. This disease is incurable and affects the nervous system and parts of the body that are controlled by nerves. Tremors are a common symptom, especially in early stages but early signs can be mild and go unnoticed. Although, symptoms vary for everyone and often begin on one side of the body. The main symptoms are:

  • Tremors
  • Slowed movement (bradykinesia)
  • Rigid muscles/ stiffness
  • Impaired posture and balance
  • Loss of automatic movements (decreased ability to perform unconscious movements, including blinking, smiling, or swinging your arms when you walk)
  • Speech changes
  • Writing changes (it may become hard to write)

If you, your loved one, or one of your family members lived or worked for a minimum of thirty days at Camp Lejeune between August 1953 and December 1987 and have been diagnosed with any of the presumptive illnesses referenced above, you may be eligible to recover under the pending Camp Lejeune Contaminated Water Lawsuit.  Please call us at 910-793-9000 for a free confidential consultation.

By Bryanna Gordon, Legal Assistant

Camp Lejeune – Contaminated Water – Class Action Lawsuit 

Monday, February 20th, 2023

The United States Marine Corps discovered in 1982 that the drinking water at their Base Camp Lejeune, in Jacksonville, North Carolina, was contaminated with numerous dangerous chemicals.  This contamination was existent from August 1953 through December 1987.  Our Marines, as well as their families, and civilian staff who lived or worked at Camp Lejeune during this time period were exposed to this contamination and many of them experienced or still experience serious health issues. 

The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs presumes that the following eight diseases developed in those exposed to the contaminated water during August 1953 and December 1987 were in fact caused by their exposure to the contaminated water:

  • Adult leukemia
  • Aplastic anemia and other myelodysplastic syndromes
  • Bladder cancer
  • Kidney cancer
  • Liver cancer
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  • Parkinson’s disease

If you, your loved one, or one of your family members lived or worked for a minimum of thirty days at Camp Lejeune between August 1953 and December 1987, and experience(d) health issues, you may be eligible to recover under the pending Camp Lejeune Contaminated Water Lawsuit.  Please call us at 910-793-9000 for a free confidential consultation.

By Jana H. Collins

Trailing the Wilmington Area

Friday, February 17th, 2023

Emma Dill with Wilmington StarNews reports that there is a statewide effort to spotlight the significance of local trails, greenways, and blueways in North Carolina, deeming 2023 as the “Year of the Trail.” As New Hanover County continues to grow, the “Year of the Trail” campaign is making an impact in Wilmington with the addition of numerous local trailways – ranging in location from downtown Wilmington to Kure Beach- that are currently in the works. The progress of these trails is all at different stages, however, all trails are focusing on supplying more links for cyclists and pedestrians within New Hanover County.

According to the official campaign website, this is the “largest statewide celebration of trails and outdoor recreation in North Carolina history.” Campaign efforts are led by the Great Trails State Coalition, and their objectives include boosting outdoor recreation tourism, advancing diversity and inclusion on trails, demonstrating the importance of trails to elected officials, and promoting the safe and responsible usage of trails. The “Year of the Trail” has brought five local trailways for New Hanover County locals to be on the lookout for.

The Downtown Trail has been approved and funded for the design of Phase 1, however, construction for the trail has yet to be funded so the timeline is uncertain. This trail is estimated to cost $3.5 million and extend 5.9 miles long, linking downtown Wilmington with Northside, Love Grove, and Forest Hills neighborhoods.

The Masonboro Road Loop Trail is currently in construction Phase 1 and is projected to extend 1.4 miles with an estimated budget of $2.5 million. This trail links Navaho Trail to Pine Grove along Masonboro Loop Road and Phase 2 of construction is projected to start next year. 

The Greenville Loop Road Trail has 4 separate phases that vary in stages of completion. With a budget of $6.8 million, this trail will be 4.4 miles, link South College Road with Oleander Drive along Greenville Loop Road, and construction is projected to begin in Spring 2023.

The Pleasure Island Greenway was proposed to link Kure Beach town limits with Fort Fisher and the Southport Ferry Terminal, stretching 4.8 miles long. This greenway will not have an official budget and timeline for completion until the feasibility study is completed.

Across the bridge in Brunswick County, the Gullah Geechee Heritage Corridor is under works, but there is much uncertainty regarding completion until the feasibility study is completed. If approved, the Gullah Geechee Heritage Corridor will extend for 22 miles linking Navassa with Southport and other areas in Brunswick County.

By Bryanna Gordon, Legal Assistant