Water Contamination at Camp Lejeune

Camp Lejeune is a vast military complex on the Atlantic Ocean in North Carolina. It went into service in the early 1940s, and the problems with contamination began shortly after.

There are eight different water treatment plants providing water on the base. Three of these water treatment plants are responsible for the contamination between 1953 and 1987.

The three water treatment plants, Tarawa Terrace, Hadnot Point, and Holcomb Boulevard, pulled water from multiple wells before it was dispersed around the base.

Multiple wells that sent water to these treatment plants came with contamination.

For the most part, Tarawa Terrace wells were impacted by chemicals dumped into the ground by ABC Cleaners. Hadnot Point wells were affected by waste disposal sites and leaking underground storage tanks dumped on the base by the military.

Water contamination was so impactful for several reasons. First, contaminated water was used for decades before the problem was addressed. Second, the three water treatment plants in question serviced base housing, hospitals, and schools, so people were using and drinking the toxic water daily.

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    Contaminants and Their Impact

    While it’s believed there were as many as 70 different contaminants in the water at Camp Lejeune, several prominent ones were found at extremely unsafe levels.

    These contaminants included:

    • Tetrachloroethylene and Perchloroethylene
    • Trichloroethylene
    • Benzene
    • Toluene
    • Vinyl Chloride

    To understand the extent of the water contaminants, let’s look at an example. PCE was the primary contaminant present at Tarawa Terrace.

    In February 1985, drinking water had PCE levels at 215 parts per billion (ppb). Acceptable levels of PCE in drinking water should be at 5ppb.

    Illnesses identified by the VA as prevalent from the water contamination include:

    • Bladder Cancer
    • Breast Cancer
    • Cervical Cancer
    • Esophageal Cancer
    • Kidney Cancer
    • Liver Cancer
    • Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma
    • Adult Leukemia
    • Aplastic Anemia and other myelodysplastic syndromes
    • Multiple Myeloma
    • Renal Toxicity
    • Scleroderma
    • Hepatic Steatosis
    • Infertility In Women (and other birth effects)
    • Lung Cancer
    • Neurobehavioral Effects (like ALS & Parkinson's Disease)

    Other conditions associated with water contamination include:

    • Ovarian cancer
    • Stomach cancer
    • Birth defects and birth injury
    • Miscarriage

    The Honoring America’s Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act of 2012 finally brought some compensation to soldiers and their families through the VA.

    Camp Lejeune Justice Act

    After a long wait, there’s finally an opportunity for justice for those who were poisoned during their time at Camp Lejeune. In August 2022, the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022, part of the Honoring Our PACT Act of 2022, was signed into law.

    This act makes it possible for victims of Camp Lejeune to seek justice finally. The federal government will allow those impacted to file lawsuits in federal court in North Carolina.

    The federal government has set aside billions to address the lawsuits being filed by those impacted.

    How Is the Camp Lejeune Justice Act Different Than Other Available Help?

    The US government knew of contamination at Camp Lejeune as early as 1982. Yet, it did not acknowledge or offer any type of tangible benefits to those impacted until 2012.

    President Obama signed into law the Camp Lejeune Families Act of 2012. This act allowed veterans and military families to seek compensation through the Veterans Administration.

    The VA has a list of presumptive illnesses that will automatically qualify for medical coverage for those veterans who were at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 days. Family members also at Camp Lejeune can seek reimbursement for medical care and expenses if they are ill due to their time there.

    The Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 is different because it allows those impacted to file a lawsuit to not only seek compensation but also provides a legal route for individuals to seek compensation for their water exposure-related medical issues.

    Filing a Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawsuit

    If you were at Camp Lejeune for a minimum of 30 days, you are eligible to file a claim. Your claim can seek compensation for:

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

    You will need to show you were at the base between August 1, 1953, to December 31, 1987, for the minimum number of days.

    Who Can File

    You can file a claim if you were at Camp Lejeune between 1953 and 1987 for the minimum number of days.

    This includes the following groups of people:

    • Active duty service members
    • Veterans
    • Family members living on base
    • Non-military staff
    • Families of deceased
    • In-utero victims whose mothers resided at Camp Lejeune

    Military members include Marines, Airmen, Sailors, Reservists, and Guardsmen.

    What Will You Need to File a Lawsuit

    If you were impacted by water contamination at Camp Lejeune, you should seek help to file your case.

    The key to a successful outcome for the lawsuit will be how you can prove the impact of contamination. Evidence might include:

    • Documents showing residence at Camp Lejeune
    • Military service records showing dates and locations served
    • Medical diagnoses
    • Medical records
    • Medical bills
    • Travel records
    • Additional healthcare information
    • Records on disability benefits
    • VA compensation benefits records

    There is only a limited window to file a suit, so you want to act quickly.

    Get the Legal Help You Need

    Victims have been waiting a long time to seek justice for the wrongs at Camp Lejeune.

    You want to work with an experienced attorney who understands the complexities of Camp Lejeune and personal injury cases.

    Seek Justice for Exposure to Water Contamination

    Finally, the over one million victims of water contamination have a chance for the compensation they deserve. Don’t miss your opportunity to file a Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit if you were at the base between 1953 and 1987.

    Let us use our experience to guide you through your lawsuit to get you compensation. Contact us today so we can get started working for you.