Marines, their family members, and non-military personnel who were stationed at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina from 1953 to 1987 were regularly exposed to contaminated water. Testing later revealed that the water supply contained a range of harmful chemicals that have been linked to cancer and other serious diseases.
Many of the contaminated wells were not retired until years after testing revealed the presence of dangerous toxins in the water supply.
The Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 offers compensation for victims of contaminated water at Camp Lejeune. Congress voted in favor of the bill, and it is expected to pass the Senate by law, once that happens a victim of contaminated water at Camp Lejeune would have the opportunity to file a claim against the government in a federal court.
Laboratory tests show that the water supply at Camp Lejeune is contaminated by four toxic chemicals: TCE, PCE, vinyl chloride, and benzene.
The Tarawa Terrace Water Treatment Plant in one U.S. military base was found to have PCE contamination when it was tested. This chemical is commonly used by dry cleaners, and the most likely source of contamination was an off-base dry cleaner called ABC One-Hour Cleaners. That company failed to properly dispose of its chemical waste, which led to the contamination.
TCE was discovered at elevated levels during testing at Hadnot Point Water Treatment Plant. This problem is believed to be connected to underground leaks and chemical spills. Other chemicals, including PCE, benzene, and vinyl chloride have also been found in the plant’s water supply. According to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), Camp Lejeune became contaminated in the early 1950s and continued until wells with contaminated water had been shut down in 1985.
The side effects of exposure to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune include:
• Lung cancer
• Kidney cancer
• Breast cancer
• Multiple myeloma
• Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
• Esophageal cancer
• Bladder cancer
• Myelodysplastic syndrome
• Hepatic steatosis
• Female infertility
• Neurobehavioral problems
• Renal toxicity
• Birth defects
The Janey Ensminger Act gives families of those who lived near or within Camp Lejeune between 1953 and 1987 and were later diagnosed with a covered condition or covered disability the ability to seek medical services, hospital care, and nursing home care for illnesses related to toxic exposure.
The 2012 Act (which is referred to as the Camp Lejeune Act) established a presumptive service connection for certain illnesses that have been linked to water contamination at Camp Lejeune. This means that victims don't need to prove that their illness or disability developed as a direct result of this pollution. They simply need to prove that they lived at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 days and developed an illness or disability associated with this issue.
If the Camp Lejeune Justice Act passes in the Senate and is signed into law, anyone affected by water contamination at Camp Lejeune will be able to sue for financial relief.
There are a number of people and entities that may be held legally responsible in a Camp Lejeune water contamination suit. These include federal agencies, individual companies, and others that have contributed to the poisoning through negligence.
Various factors may have contributed to the pollution at Camp Lejeune, and while different responsibilities could fall on various parties, an accomplished lawyer can help identify the liable party or parties and give you all the information you need to pursue your claim.
Depending on the specifics of your case, you could be entitled to recover compensation for:
• Present and future medical expenses relating to treating your illness, including hospital bills, doctor’s visits, surgeries, medications, tests, medical equipment, and more
• Lost wages if you are unable to work while you are being treated for your condition
• Lost earning capacity if you suffered a disability due to water contamination and can no longer perform the same job you previously held
• Pain and suffering, including emotional trauma, mental anguish, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and anxiety
• Loss of enjoyment of life
• Loss of consortium
• Other non-financial losses