For more than three decades (1953 to 1987), members of the Marine Corps, their families, supporting staff, and civilians were exposed to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune Marine Corps Base in North Carolina. For many years, some victims have been unable to pursue compensation for the damages they suffered.
Fortunately, new legislation has been created to give the victims who were exposed to the toxic water a chance to pursue Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuits against the U.S. Government and other parties at fault for their injuries. The Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022, which recently passed the U.S. House, will allow individuals that affected by this contamination a chance to pursue lawsuits for their losses and damages.
If you or a family member once lived at Camp Lejeune Marine Corps Base and suffered health effects from the water contamination, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit. Contact Class Action Lawyer Coalition for a free, no-obligation case consultation to find out more about your legal options. Call our mass tort lawyers to find out how filing a Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit can help you and your family.
What Are the Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Claims?
The water supply at Camp Lejeune, a military base camp in North Carolina was contaminated with dangerously high levels of carcinogenic chemicals, from 1957 to 1987. In 1982, the U.S. Government discovered the dangerous chemicals in the groundwater of the base.
Significant medical and scientific evidence highlighted a link between exposure to these toxins and the development of certain conditions and illnesses. Experts believe that the contamination at this base is one of the most significant water contamination cases in U.S. history. The Department of Veterans Affairs approximates that about 900,000 service members may have been exposed to toxic water.
Unfortunately, North Carolina laws blocked some of the Camp Lejeune victims from filing lawsuits. However, the U.S. senate is about to pass a new federal law that enables victims to bring lawsuits and get financial compensation.
Our mass tort attorneys are taking up new lawsuits from the Camp Lejeune water contamination victims who were living or working at the base between 1957 and 1987 and were later diagnosed with cancer or other health conditions as a result of the contaminants.
What Did They Find in the Water Contamination Testing at Camp Lejeune?
In the 1980s, the two primary water treatment facilities that were supplying water to Camp Lejeune were tested by the Marine Corps. The testing highlighted that Camp Lejeune’s water supply was contaminated with high levels of chemicals known to be extremely toxic to the human body and have been associated with the development of cancer.
The testing also revealed that the entire water supply to Camp Lejeune contained dangerous levels of hazardous chemicals since the 1950s. The full timeline of the contamination of the water treatment plants (Hadnot Point and Tarawa Terrace) is 30 years, from 1953 to 1987. While the contamination was discovered in 1982, it took more than 3 years for the wells to be shut down.
What Are the Causes for the Camp Lejeune Water Contamination?
Multiple sources of contamination were identified in the testing. These include underground storage tanks and waste disposal tanks. Most of the toxic compounds established as water contaminants in Camp Lejeune’s water supply are Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), which are often used in products such as dry-cleaning solvents and degreasers.
A dry-cleaning company located nearby was using such solvents, which would end up contaminating the groundwater. The surrounding areas had waste disposal sites and had also experienced industrial spills, which further contributed to the contamination. The water wells that supplied the base exceeded the set limits for hazardous chemicals by many times over.
The following are the hazardous chemicals found at high levels in both water treatment plants:
- Trichloroethylene (TCE) – This is a VOC designed to be used as a degreasing agent and in refrigerants. Commercial dry cleaners typically use TCE as spot cleaners. Prolonged exposure to TCE has been associated with an increased risk of developing certain cancers, including kidney and liver cancers and cervical cancers.
- Perchloroethylene/Tetrachloroethylene (PCE) – PCE is also used in dry-cleaning as well as metal degreasing. Exposure to PCE is associated with the development of lung, pancreatic, cervical, esophageal, and kidney cancers.
- Benzene – This is a known human carcinogen, yet it’s one of the most used substances in the process of making other chemicals, and in the manufacture of rubbers, lubricants, detergents, dyes, pesticides, and drugs. Benzene is linked to multiple myeloma, acute myeloid leukemia, and non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
- Vinyl Chloride: This is used in the manufacture of plastic coatings and PVC. It’s associated with a higher risk of developing brain, liver, and lung cancers, as well as leukemia and lymphoma.
- Other contaminants – While the contaminants listed above were found in the highest quantities, many other toxins were found in the water supply at Camp Lejeune. These include mercury, toluene, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and others.
If you or your loved one was living in Camp Lejeune during the contamination period and developed cancer, we can help. Even if there’s no current research linking your illness or cancer to the chemicals listed above, there might still be ways to establish a connection. Get in touch with us today to schedule a free consultation with an experienced mass tort lawyer at Class Action Lawyer Coalition.
What Are the Side-Effects of the Water Contamination at Camp Lejeune?
Exposure to the toxic contaminants in the water at Camp Lejeune is likely to have increased the likelihood of developing several illnesses and cancers. The following is a list of suspected symptoms and illnesses:
- Breast cancer
- Esophageal cancer
- Lung cancer
- Kidney cancer
- Bladder cancer
- Multiple myeloma
- Renal toxicity
- Female infertility
- Hepatic steatosis
- Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
- Neurobehavioral effects
- Myelodysplastic syndrome
In their report, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry found that the cancers and other illnesses and conditions listed above are directly linked to the toxins in the water at Camp Lejeune. If you developed any of these conditions following a 30-day stay or more at Camp Lejeune, you may be entitled to compensation.
What is the Janey Ensminger Act and How Can it Help the Suffering Caused By the Camp Lejeune Water Contamination?
In 2012, President Barack Obama signed the Janey Ensminger Act. It’s named after Janey Ensminger, a daughter of Jerry Ensminger, a Marine Corps member, who lost her life to leukemia when she was just 9 years old. Jerry Ensminger later discovered that she likely developed cancer following exposure to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune where he was living at the time Janey was born.
The Act essentially authorized the provision of medical services to veterans and their family members who lived on Camp Lejeune from 1957 to 1987. It applies to specific ailments and diseases believed to be linked to the contaminants present in the water supply to the base. The medical care is to be delivered by the Department of Veteran Affairs.
To learn more about the Janey Ensminger Act and whether you qualify for benefits through the Department of Veterans Affairs, reach out to us today at 855-938-0980. Our team can explain your eligibility and legal options, and answer any questions you may have in a free consultation.
What is the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022?
This is legislation meant to widely expand the 2012 Honoring America’s Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act. The Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 passed the House in March 2022 with bipartisan support.
The previous legislation only authorized coverage for the out-of-pocket medical costs veterans with documented exposure incurred, and the corresponding healthcare conditions from the contaminated water at the base camp. The act fell short of making full compensation for Camp Lejeune veterans, contractors, civilians, and their families for their damages and losses.
The 2022 Camp Lejeune Justice Act is meant to cover all forms of compensatory damages, including emotional losses, permanent injury, disability, loss of consortium/companionship, and wrongful death. The Act also provides a 2-year revival period where previously time-barred claims can be brought against the U.S. government.
Who Can File for the Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawsuit?
Based on the Veterans Administration release and the Camp Lejeune Justice Act, anyone who resided at the base camp for 30 days or more may be eligible to file a Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawsuit. This includes former and active service members, non-military staff, civilians, contractors, and their family members.
Qualifying family members mainly include those where a qualifying veteran (sponsor) was on active duty at Camp Lejeune for 30 days or more during the period of contamination. Keep in mind that you must have lived at the base for 30 days or more and you were a spouse or dependent of the veteran during the same period. This also includes infants born of women who were expectant on the base during the contamination period.
It’s worth noting that if you were dishonorably discharged, you and your family might not be eligible for disability compensation or benefits.
Let an Experienced Lawyer Help You File Your Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawsuit
When dealing with mass tort cases, it’s critical to work with an experienced attorney who is familiar with the subject matter, court system, and location. At Class Action Lawyer Coalition, this is our home, our backyard.
Our mass tort lawyers can help you file your Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawsuit and ensure you get the compensation you deserve. We have brought many lawsuits against large organizations for decades now, and we’ve been able to secure favorable outcomes for clients all over the country.
If you became sick after being exposed to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune, we’d love an opportunity to discuss your case. Call us at 855-938-0980 for a free consultation.