Camp Lejeune has been the center of a massive water contamination lawsuit for decades. For over 30 years, drinking water at Camp Lejeune was contaminated with toxic chemicals like benzene and trichloroethylene.
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has identified several diseases associated with this contamination. However, many unanswered questions remain about how these cancers develop and who is at risk.
The Camp Lejeune Lawsuit
Established in 1941, Camp Lejeune is a North Carolina-based Marine Corps Base. Its construction was completed near the end of 1942. It is the largest Marine Corps Base on the East Coast. The base is on the New River, a tributary of the Cape Fear River. Lieutenant Colonel William P.T. Hill established it.
Camp Lejeune was an important strategic location during World War II, where Marines were trained for amphibious assaults against Japan’s Pacific fleet. During this period, Camp Lejeune was also an area where many veterans had been exposed to contaminated water for over 30 years. Veterans and their families living at Camp Lejeune were exposed to the contaminated water between August 1953 and December 1987.
The contaminated water was linked to many diseases and illnesses. For example, water at Camp Lejeune was associated with birth defects among children whose mothers were exposed to contaminated water.
Is Camp Lejeune Contaminated Water Lawsuit a Personal Injury Case?
To understand if the Camp Lejeune Contaminated Water Lawsuit is a personal injury case, you must first know what personal injury is.
Personal injury cases are typically civil lawsuits arising from an accident, injury, or harm due to someone else’s negligence. These cases can be brought by people injured in many ways, including car accidents and falls. According to Injured Call Today, around 400,000 personal injury claims are filed annually in the USA.
When someone is injured due to the negligence of another party, they may be able to file a personal injury case against them. The contaminated water at Camp Lejeune was also present because of the plants’ negligence that was supposed to treat and supply safe drinking water to Camp Lejeune.
Tarawa Terrace and Hadnot Point were the plants supplying the water. Both plants were shut down after the ATSDR reports confirmed the presence of contaminants.
Since the injury was caused due to someone else’s negligence, the Camp Lejeune Contaminated Water Lawsuit is said to be a personal injury case.
Who Can Get Compensation for the Camp Lejeune Contaminated Water Lawsuit
The following people can file a Camp Lejeune Contaminated Water Lawsuit and receive compensation.
- Veterans and their families who served at Camp Lejeune between 1953 and 1987 can file a claim. This would include anyone stationed at any of the five Marine Corps bases in North Carolina during that period, Camp Lejeune, New River Air Station, Cherry Point Marine Corps Air Station, Bragg Navy Complex, and Havelock Naval Facility.
- Veterans exposed to contaminated water while on active duty or in a reserve component can also file a claim. Suppose you were discharged from military service due to an illness or disease caused by exposure to contaminated water at these facilities. In that case, you may be able to receive compensation from this lawsuit.
- Anyone stationed at the camps for at least 30 days, whether in continuity or not.
The Camp Lejeune Contaminated Water Lawsuit is ongoing. Hence, if you or someone you know is facing any diseases due to exposure to contaminated water, seek help from an experienced lawyer or a law firm and file your case.
What Are the Diseases Associated With Camp Lejeune Contaminated Water Lawsuit
Many chemicals were found in the water supplied to Camp Lejeune. These chemicals included trichloroethylene (TCE), benzene, and vinyl chloride, all known to cause serious health problems if ingested regularly over time. The lawsuit also includes claims for wrongful death related to cancer caused by exposure through drinking water on base during those years.
People who lived or worked at Camp Lejeune may be eligible for compensation if they developed any one of several diseases associated with long-term exposure:
- Bladder and cervical cancer
- Kidney cancer
- Neurobehavioral effects
- Liver cancer
- Congenital abnormalities, etc.
How to File a Case if You Are a Victim
- Find a law firm. The first step in filing a claim is to find a law firm specializing in personal injury and medical malpractice cases and discuss your concerns.
- Find a lawyer: A lawyer can help you navigate the legal system by providing advice on all aspects of your case, from filing it to maintaining it through trial or settlement. Some lawyers are more familiar with military-related injury claims than others, so ask which type of cases they specialize in before hiring them as your legal representative.
- Get help from the VA or government agencies involved in this issue: If you need assistance filling out forms for these organizations, contact their respective offices for guidance on how to get started with applying for benefits or assistance.
- Get help from veterans’ organizations: There are many explicitly dedicated to helping veterans file their lawsuits against entities responsible for causing harm during service at Camp Lejeune, so contact one if needed.
Updates on the Camp Lejeune Contaminated Water Lawsuit
Over 850 lawsuits were first filed at the North Carolina court. All the claims were consolidated into an MDL. However, the court dismissed the cases because the statute of limitation stated that the injuries occurred three years before filing the cases. This led to outrage among the people. Hence, the claims were reconsidered.
The lawsuit has now taken a form of an Act, the Camp Lejuene Justice Act. It has been signed by President Biden and is now a part of the Honoring Our PACT Act. The Camp Lejeune Justice Act makes it easier for those affected to file lawsuits and recover the damages.
If someone served at Camp Lejeune and has been diagnosed with any of the above diseases, he or she may be able to file a case against the government. All you need to do is contact a personal injury lawyer specializing in this type of case and let them know what happened during your time at Camp Lejeune.