If you or your family member(s) served in the United States Marine Corps (USMC) from the mid-20th century to the last years of the 1980s, you likely spent some time at Camp Lejeune, in Jacksonville, North Carolina. Those who worked, trained, or lived on the base also were or are at risk of having been contaminated by exposure to toxic carcinogens in the water system.
In recognition of that likely reality, Congress passed 2022 the Camp Lejeune Justice Act to provide a path to justice for those who suffered illness or harm from their exposure to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune
Who Is at Risk?
Potentially exposed claimants are not limited to military personnel who trained or were stationed at Camp Lejeune. Their families, too, are at risk, as are the civilian employees who worked 30 or more days at Jacksonville’s Camp Lejeune from Aug. 1, 1953, to Dec. 31, 1987.
Of course, many of those veterans, their family members, and the base’s former employees are now deceased. However, their survivors may still file Camp Lejeune lawsuit claims seeking compensation for damages and other losses on their behalf for their illnesses that arose due to this exposure.
Time Is of the Essence to Sue Camp Lejeune
The Camp Lejeune Justice Act provides a short window of opportunity to act for those affected by the contaminated water at the Marine base who wish to sue Camp Lejeune. The deadline for filing a claim is August 10, 2024.
What Types of Illnesses and Injuries Arose from the Contaminated Water at Camp Lejeune?
While this list is by no means inclusive, below are some of the health conditions and diseases that are alleged to have arisen from exposure to the contaminated water:
- Birth defects
- Esophageal cancer
- Cardiac defects
- Leukemia (adult)
- Breast cancer
- Aplastic anemia
- Cervical cancer
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
- Bladder cancer
- Parkinson’s disease
- Kidney cancer
- Liver cancer
- Pancreatic cancer
- Multiple myeloma
- Rectal cancer
- Lung cancer
- Prostate cancer
There are other types of illnesses that may have led to wrongful deaths for Camp Lejeune residents and employees. Their illnesses and health crises may have been triggered by the water that was tainted with volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that are known carcinogens.
What Is the Status of these Claims with the Court?
The Camp Lejeune class lawsuit is not currently certified as a class action due to its recent evolution from the legislation passed in 2022. It remains a broad legal action under which many claimants across decades can seek financial redress.
How Did the Water Contamination Occur?
Back in 1953, no one suspected that the water in Jacksonville, North Carolina, posed any health hazards to the Marines training at Camp Lejeune, their families, or the workers on the base.
But according to records provided by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), the water for the base came from contaminated wells that remained in service until February 1985, with the contamination continuing until 1987.
What Contaminated the Water at Camp Lejeune?
Some of the VOCs that showed up positive in the drinking water for those living and working on the Camp Lejeune base were:
- Tetrachloroethylene and/or perchloroethylene (PCE): Used to degrease metal and in the dry-cleaning process.
- Trichloroethylene (TCE): This substance cleans metal parts.
- Benzene: Used in the manufacture of chemicals to make synthetic fibers, nylon, resins, and plastics.
While there was no malicious intent to harm thousands of people over four decades last century, Congress recognized how this egregious breach caused great damage to American servicepersons, their families, and civilian employees.
Do You Know How to Make a Personal Injury Claim?
Most claims arise over small matters between individual parties. Often, they can be settled in the small claims courts having jurisdiction over the cases.
GetDispute offers a full array of services to clients to help them satisfactorily resolve their legal difficulties. From generating demand letters to providing documents to file in court, we help our clients win their cases.