With the first cases claiming harm from Camp Lejeune contamination to be heard soon in court, the public has yet to see the results of a landmark study of cancers among thousands exposed to tainted water at the Marine Corps base from the 1950s to the 1980s, despite the study wrapping up months ago.
The comprehensive “cancer incidence study” launched in 2015 by an agency within the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was cleared by an outside peer review in April, but it has not yet been made public. The delay could affect more than 1,100 lawsuits seeking compensation for deaths and illnesses that are moving toward action in federal court in North Carolina, as Congress intended in a law enacted in August 2022.
Another 117,000 damage claims are pending at the Navy Judge Advocate General's Office, the first step Camp Lejeune victims must take before going to federal court. The Justice Department said in a court filing last month that the claims ask for a total of $3.3 trillion in damages.
To be successful with claims, plaintiffs must prove they spent more than a month at Camp Lejeune when the water was contaminated between 1953 and 1987 and show they were affected by any of varied illnesses linked to the pollution, including kidney, liver and bladder cancer, leukemia and Parkinson's disease.
However, some diseases, including breast cancer and multiple myeloma, are not as strongly connected by studies to the…