Camp Lejeune Toxic Water Lawsuits
- Contaminated water at Camp Lejeune has been linked to serious illnesses and conditions, including Parkinson’s disease, several types of cancers, adverse birth outcomes, and renal toxicity, many of which have been fatal.
- Anyone who lived or worked at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 days over the more than three decades the water was contaminated may file a claim, but there’s an August 10, 2024 deadline to do so.
- A Camp Lejeune water contamination lawyer can help get you compensation for a range of damages, such as medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Why Hire HHK Lawyers for Your Camp Lejeune Lawsuit?
For more than three decades, Camp Lejeune, a U.S. Marine Corps Base in North Carolina, was home to a hidden danger – contaminated water – and the health effects of toxins discovered in several wells have been linked to severe illnesses and deaths.
At Herman Herman Katz, we represent victims of water contamination and have years of experience handling toxic exposure lawsuits. Our firm has helped victims receive the compensation they deserve for what they’ve suffered and may suffer in the future. We’re relentless in our pursuit of justice and will go the extra mile in your Camp Lejeune lawsuit to secure financial compensation for what you and your family have unfairly endured.
We understand the complexities of the Camp Lejeune legislation and are available to answer any questions you may have. We can also help If you suffer from other illnesses or are unsure if you would qualify to file a Camp Lejeune claim.
Who Can File a Camp Lejeune Lawsuit?
Thanks to the Camp Lejeune Justice Act (CLJA), individuals who lived or worked at Camp Lejeune when the water was contaminated can seek compensation and hold the U.S. government responsible for their suffering and losses.
Those eligible to file a Camp Lejeune claim include injured veterans, their family members, civilians, or a legal representative of someone harmed by the toxic water discovered on the base. They must have resided, worked, or been otherwise exposed (including in utero exposure) to the water contamination at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 days between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987.
Keep reading our Camp Lejeune legal guide to learn more about Camp Lejeune legislation, Camp Lejeune legal options, the health effects of water contamination, and the history of Camp Lejeune water contamination.
Legislation for Victims of Water Contamination
In 2012, President Barack Obama signed the Janey Ensminger Act, which allowed military personnel to access medical coverage through the VA for a list of illnesses linked to Camp Lejeune’s contaminated water. The Act offered disability benefits to veterans, but overall, it was severely limiting; those harmed or the families of loved ones who died were prevented from seeking additional compensation, and civilians were completely left out.
Even with the Janey Ensminger Act, there was little that victims of Camp Lejeune’s toxic water could do on a legal level; it didn’t allow victims to sue the government for illnesses and wrongful deaths linked to contaminated water at the military base, but that changed with new legislation.
On August 2, 2022, the Honoring Our PACT Act, which includes the Camp Lejeune Justice Act, was passed by the U.S. Senate. When President Biden signed the new bill into law on August 10, 2022, individuals were given the ability to file Camp Lejeune lawsuits. However, victims must file an administrative claim with the Navy first. If their claim isn’t addressed within 180 days, a lawsuit against the U.S. government can be pursued.
Since the Honoring Our PACT Act came into effect, around 45,000 administrative claims have been filed with the Navy. However, as of May 2023, none of those claims had been resolved. As a result, federal lawsuits have been filed by victims of Camp Lejeune water contamination.
There’s been much criticism surrounding the claims process and lack of action by the Navy. More and more victims are dying before their claim is resolved, causing an increasing number of wrongful death lawsuits. The U.S. government is already facing hundreds of Camp Lejeune lawsuits, and if delays continue, that number will keep growing.
Camp Lejeune lawsuits contend that exposure to the dangerous toxins in the drinking water caused illnesses and deaths and allege negligence and failure to warn. They claim the government should have known the risks and done more to protect victims. After all, the slow response when volatile organic compounds (VOCs) were discovered in the wells at Camp Lejeune in 1982 put thousands more people at risk when they remained operating for three years.
Legal Options for Camp Lejeune Victims
Numerous cancers and other conditions are linked to toxic water exposure at Camp Lejeune. These health conditions have caused chronic illnesses and permanent disabilities and, for many, have been fatal.
Seeking financial compensation for not just medical bills and lost wages but wrongful death, pain and suffering, and other damages can alleviate the burden and harm victims and their families experience. It also holds the government responsible for any failures on its part.
Our experienced team of Camp Lejeune lawyers can help you navigate the complex legal process of the Camp Lejeune Justice Act. There is only a short, two-year window to file a Camp Lejeune claim – the deadline is August 10, 2024.
It’s important to consult with one of the contaminated water attorneys at Herman Herman Katz sooner rather than later. Contact us online or call 1-844-943-7626 for a free Camp Lejeune case consultation today.
Health Effects of Camp Lejeune Water Contamination
The Camp Lejeune water contamination health effects have been life-changing and, for many, fatal. Exposure to the toxins discovered on base has been associated with severe illnesses that have lasting effects on victims and their families.
Female infertility and miscarriage. Renal toxicity, aplastic anemia, Parkinson’s disease, neurobehavioral effects, and scleroderma. Bladder, liver, kidney, and breast cancer. Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and multiple myeloma. These are just some of the health effects linked to the toxins in Camp Lejeune’s drinking water.
Other possible symptoms and illnesses caused by water containing high VOC levels include low birth weight, eye defects, and impaired immune systems.
Several factors may affect the health problems and the types of cancer victims develop from Camp Lejeune water contamination:
- When the exposure occurred (age, during pregnancy).
- How much and how long you were exposed.
- How the exposure occurred (ingested, inhaled, absorbed).
- Personal health and habits.
Unfortunately, water contamination doesn’t typically cause immediate or noticeable symptoms. People could be exposed for years without their knowledge and discover it when it’s far too late. Such is the case of the staggering number of stillbirths by mothers who lived at Camp Lejeune. There is even a nearby cemetery called “Baby Heaven” dedicated to hundreds of babies born with fatal birth defects and others who died from leukemia and lymphoma.
Those who developed health conditions associated with exposure to toxic water should consult with the legal team at Herman Herman Katz. Our Louisiana mass torts lawyers have extensive experience representing victims of water contamination and can help you get the compensation you deserve under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act.
Camp Lejeune Water Contamination History
Camp Lejeune is a U.S. Marine Corps base in Jacksonville, North Carolina. Established in 1942, it’s well-known as an elite training center for military personnel, and its location provides fast deployments when needed. The 246-square-mile property has everything active-duty and retired Marines and their families need; there are schools, daycares, medical facilities, shopping centers, restaurants, banks, theaters, and other amenities.
But from 1953 to 1987, those living and working at Camp Lejeune drank, bathed, and cooked with highly contaminated water. Trichloroethylene, tetrachloroethylene, vinyl chloride, benzyne, and other harmful chemicals that pose risks to human health were discovered. These toxins have been associated with several cancers and other serious and fatal health conditions.
Unfortunately, what’s known about the events prior to the discovery of water contamination at Camp Lejeune suggests that more could have been done to protect those exposed to harmful toxins.
In 1974, the Marine Corps knew about the dangers that solvents presented to human health. They were ordered to dispose of chemicals at Camp Lejeune properly, but whether that occurred is unclear.
Water testing at Camp Lejeune didn’t officially begin until 1980, at which point scientists identified and shared concerns that harmful chemicals were affecting test results, indicating that volatile organic compounds (VOCs) were present. Many scientists said the level of contamination was the highest they had ever seen. Some of the levels of toxins in Camp Lejeune’s water supply were over 3,000 times the limit for what is considered safe to consume by today’s standards.
While the water tests at Camp Lejeune found VOCs in the wells that provided the majority of the drinking water in 1982, it took three years for the most contaminated wells to be shut down. What’s worse was the discovery that these wells had been contaminated so long that an estimated one million people were exposed to highly toxic water.
The sources of contaminants in the water at Camp Lejeune were waste disposal sites, leaky underground fuel storage tanks, and industrial spills. An off-base dry cleaner improperly disposed of solvents for years, and the solvent used to clean machinery on-base may have also been a source.
For more information about how to file a Camp Lejeune claim or lawsuit before the August 10, 2024 deadline, contact HHK online or call 1-844-943-7626 today.