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Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawsuit

During the years 1953-1987, water supplies at Camp Lejeune (North Carolina) were found to be contaminated with a number of hazardous chemicals linked to a range of serious health conditions, including cancer, birth defects, ALS, and other potentially life-threatening injuries.

Over one million people lived at Camp Lejeune within this time period: active duty and former military service members, families, non-military staff, and others.

If you, a family member, or a loved one has suffered health effects as a result of the water contamination at Camp Lejeune, you may be eligible to participate in the Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawsuit.

A Marine runs water of his face at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune
A Marine runs water of his face at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune

What was Found in the Water at Camp Lejeune?

The Camp Lejeune water contamination incident is one of the worst cases of water contamination in US history.

Over three decades, Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune was supplied with water that was contaminated with volatile organic compounds (VOCs): 

  • dry cleaning solvents
  • degreasers
  • chemicals used on heavy machinery
  • almost seventy (70) other toxic substances

The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease (ATSDR) has deeply studied water contamination at Camp Lejeune and its related health effects. The agency has published numerous pages detailing the links between water contamination and a host of often fatal illnesses.

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Where did the toxic chemicals in the water come from?

The water contamination spanned the entire area: base housing and buildings, and also Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) New River. MCAS New River is located very close to Camp Lejeune.

Sources of the contaminated water include two of the eight water treatment facilities that supplied Camp Lejeune and surrounding areas with water: Tarawa Terrace Treatment Plant and Hadnot Point Treatment Plant.

Toxic Substances that Contaminated Drinking Water at Camp Lejeune

Leaking from waste disposal sites, underground storage tanks, businesses near the base, and from military operations, toxic chemicals made their way into drinking water sources used by upwards of a million people over 30+ years.

Studies on the water at Camp Lejeune discovered various toxic chemicals, including:

  • Tetrachloroethylene (PCE or PERC)
  • Trichloroethylene (TCE)
  • Vinyl Chloride
  • Benzene

Tetrachloroethylene (PCE or PERC)

The industrial chemical tetrachloroethylene, also known as PCE or PERC, has been used in a variety of applications, including dry-cleaning fabrics, degreasing metal machinery, and manufacturing other chemicals. In recent years, however, studies have linked exposure to PERC to an increased risk of bladder cancer, multiple myeloma, or non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, as well as neurobehavioral effects.

PERC likely made its way into water supplies from a dry-cleaning business near the base.

Trichloroethylene (TCE)

Trichloroethylene (TCE) is a chemical used as a degreaser for metal machinery. Exposure to TCE can potentially lead to kidney cancer, non-hodgkin lymphoma, other cancers, and cardiac effects.

Vinyl Chloride

Vinyl chloride is a colorless gas that is used in the production of many plastic products, including PVC pipes and wire coatings. Historically, vinyl chloride was also used in products like makeup, refrigerants, and household consumables. Heavy exposure to vinyl chloride has been linked to multiple myeloma, liver cancer, and other cancers.

Benzene

Benzene is an organic compound found in a number of industrial chemicals. Chronic exposure to benzene has been linked to cancer. There is a strong association to acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and other forms of leukemia.

Camp Lejeune Gate

Health Issues related to Camp Lejeune Water Contamination

Water contamination at Camp Lejeune can result in a number of serious health effects. Scientific and medical evidence points to various toxic chemicals found at Camp Lejeune to conditions such as cancer, birth defects, and more.

Health effects related to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune include:

  • Bladder Cancer
  • Breast Cancer
  • Cervical Cancer
  • Esophageal Cancer
  • Kidney Cancer
  • Liver Cancer
  • Lung Cancer
  • Ovarian Cancer
  • Stomach Cancer
  • Multiple Myeloma and other myelodysplastic syndromes
  • Adult leukemia
  • Aplastic anemia and other bone marrow conditions
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Renal toxicity
  • Birth defects and birth injury
  • Miscarriage
  • Neurobehavioral effects

In 2012, the Department of Veterans Affairs released a list of presumptive conditions related to water contamination at Camp Lejeune. The conditions on the list include cancer, kidney disease, and liver disease.

Veterans who served at Camp Lejeune during the relevant time period may be eligible for disability benefits from the Veterans Administration.

Action from the Federal Government for Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Victims

Camp Lejeune Lawsuit Updates

June 24, 2022: Final passage of the PACT Act is on hold as lawmakers work out a blue-slip objection by the House, which has requested the Senate remove a minor provision.

June 16, 2022: The Senate passed the Honoring Our PACT Act, which includes the Camp Lejeune Act. When signed into law, it will allow veterans who were exposed to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune to file lawsuits against the U.S. government. In a statementissued on June 16, President Joe Biden said: “I urge the House to swiftly pass this bill so I can sign it into law right away.”

May 2022: Legislators announced a bipartisan agreement on comprehensive legislation to deliver all generations of veterans who were exposed to toxic materials their earned healthcare and benefits under the Department of Veterans Affairs for the first time in U.S. history.

There have been multiple attempts by the United States Government to secure disability benefits, disability compensation, health care benefits, and other benefits for qualifying service members and their family members suffering from conditions related to water contamination at Camp Lejeune.

Janey Ensminger Act

In 2011, the Janey Ensminger Act was introduced. The bill is named for a marine’s daughter who lived at Camp Lejeune and subsequently died of cancer at the age of nine. The Janey Ensminger Act has still yet to be passed, and has been awaiting senate approval since May 2019.

Honoring America’s Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act

Congress passed H.R.1627 – Honoring America’s Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act in 2012. This piece of legislation granted some benefits to veterans, family members, and others who were exposed if they met certain standards.

Through this bill, the Veterans Administration would provide health care benefits and VA compensation benefits to veterans. In addition, the bill also provides health care benefits to family members, just not VA compensation benefits.

Department of Veterans Affairs: Diseases Associated with Exposure to Contaminants in the Water Supply at Camp Lejeune (2017)

This 2017 rule added more conditions to the substances and disease registry included in the 2012 Honoring America’s Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act.

Legal Action against the Federal Government for Camp Lejeune Water Contamination

Multiple lawsuits have been filed against the United States Government over Camp Lejeune water contamination.

  • 2009: The wife of a marine corps member stationed at Camp Lejeune filed a lawsuit.
  • 2011: Another lawsuit was filed by a retired marine that claimed his breast cancer diagnosis was related to contaminated drinking water at the base.
Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawsuit

The Camp Lejeune Justice Act (2022)

The Camp Lejeune Justice Act would provide a path to file a claim against the U.S. Government and secure monetary compensation for service members, families, workers, and any other person who resided at Camp Lejeune for 30 days or more between 1953 and 1987.

The new law would allow claimants to pursue legal action against the U.S. Government in the same way mass tort and personal injury litigation is handled. The cases would be consolidated in the U.S. District Court: Eastern District of North Carolina.

The Camp Lejeune Justice Act would overrule North Carolina state law, and all state laws, that prohibit actions such as this.

This is a major step forward for victims suffering from certain diseases that they developed as a result of toxic water consumption at Camp Lejeune. In addition, the bill would also allow those in-utero (not yet born) at the time of exposure to seek compensation.

We anticipate thousands of military personnel and their families stationed at Camp Lejeune and injured from this water contamination to file lawsuits in federal court in North Carolina. These cases will be consolidated and coordinated under a federal judge in a multi-district litigation.

Filing a Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawsuit

Any person stationed, living or working at Camp Lejeune for 30 days or more between 1953 and 1987 may be eligible to file a claim.

Gathering Evidence

Evidence relating to water contamination can include a number of documents relating to your or a loved one’s time spent at the marine corps base.

Evidence in a water contamination lawsuit may include:

  • Documents proving residence at Camp Lejeune
  • Military service records indicating dates and locations served
  • Medical records and diagnoses
  • Medical bills
  • Travel records
  • Health care information
  • Records on disability benefits or VA compensation benefits

Hiring a Camp Lejeune Contamination Lawyer

After securing and organizing pieces of key evidence, your next steps should include hiring a lawyer. A lawyer will help you to refine your case and assess damages so that you can make a viable claim for compensation.

Anapol Weiss has vast experience with both water contamination and other environmental exposure lawsuits. In addition, many of our attorneys have led the charge in pursuing mass actions against pharmaceutical, medical device and other powerful entities and agencies, including:

  • Sol Weiss co- lead counsel in the NFL Concussion case; 
  • Tracy Finken Magnotta co-lead in the Zantac Multi-District Litigation;
  • Thomas Anapol and James Ronca as co-leads in multiple national orthopedic litigation cases;
  • The firm has also represented thousands of individual claimants in asbestos and water contamination litigations.

If your health has been compromised by exposure, you deserve to be compensated for your injuries and any resulting medical expenses or lost wages from missed work. Use our chatbot below to get a free, instant online case evaluation. The dedicated team at Anapol Weiss will examine your case and fight on your behalf for fair compensation.

Assessing Damages in a Camp Lejeune Lawsuit

Damages are any losses, both physical and mental/emotional, that a person suffers.

In a Camp Lejeune water contamination case, damages may include:

  • Medical bills
  • Pain and suffering
  • Lost wages
  • Disability benefits
  • Loss of companionship, consortium, enjoyment of life, and earning capacity
  • Permanent disability
  • Other compensatory damages

Determining Liability for Injuries

In a Camp Lejeune contamination case, the liable parties or defendants may include the federal government, other governmental or regulatory agencies, businesses that may have contributed to tainted water supplies, and any other person or group that contributed to an injury or diagnosis.

Lawyers will also establish liability in the case.

How do I file a claim for the Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit?

If you are interested in joining in the Camp Lejeune Lawsuit, you can use our chatbot below to get a free, instant online case evaluation to find out if you qualify for legal action right now. 

If you want to speak directly to our team, please call (888) 366-3530 for a free, no obligation case consultation with a member of our Camp Lejeune water contamination legal team today.