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Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawsuit

Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawsuit Overview

Military veterans, their family members, and workers who served in Camp Lejeune from 1953 to 1987 and developed cancer, reproductive disorders, and other health issues may be eligible to pursue a claim and seek financial compensation.

Camp Lejeune is a military camp in Jacksonville, North Carolina used as a marine corps base. From 1953 to 1987, unregulated dumping of toxic wastes in the area contaminated the camp’s water supply including their drinking water. As a result, military personnel and their families who resided at the camp during those years developed a variety of health issues, including a rare form of breast cancer, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, leukemia, reproductive disorders, and other problems.

If you or a loved one was stationed in Camp Lejeune from 1953 to 1987, and developed cancer or other health issues, contact Maxwell Law Group LLP today. We can answer your questions and review your case for free.

For help understanding your options if you’ve been injured by the Camp Lejeune water contamination issue, reach out to our firm or call (844) 525-7155.

Camp Lejeune Lawsuit Update

This section contains news about Camp Lejeune lawsuits and what plaintiffs can expect going forward. This section was last updated on: August 10, 2022.

August 10, 2022: President Biden has signed the Honoring our Pact Act into law.

August 3, 2022: The Senate has approved the Honoring our Pact Act of 2021. It is now awaiting President Biden’s signature before it  becomes law.

July 15, 2022: The US House of Representatives voted in favor of an amended version of the Honoring our Pact Act of 2021 which removed a provision on tax treatment of healthcare professionals. This is to help fast-track the bill’s approval and avoid a lengthy process in the Senate.

June 16, 2022: The Senate approves the bill with some amendments and is now waiting for the president’s signature before it becomes law.

March 2022:The bill is passed in the house and moves to the Senate.

February 28, 2022: The CLJA is merged into another bill which is renamed the Honoring our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act of 2021. The bill will provide additional health care benefits and will allow veterans who were exposed to toxic chemicals during their service to file lawsuits.

January 25, 2022: The Camp Lejeune Act (CLJA) of 2022 is submitted in the House of Representatives.

Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Quick Facts

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EFFECTS

Cancer, reproduction disorders, scleroderma, and other health issues

CONTAMINATION PERIOD

1953 to 1987

AFFECTED INDIVIDUALS

Military personnel, their families, and workers stationed in Camp Lejeune

What Happened in Camp Lejeune?

Camp Lejeune is one of the marine corps’ largest base camps. It is located in North Carolina and spans 246 square miles. It was constructed in 1941 and is used for a variety of military training and as a housing area for marines and their families. The camp has underground water storage tanks which supply the whole base.

Due to years of unregulated dumping of solvents including oil, industrial waste, and possibly radioactive chemicals near the base wells, Camp Lejeune’s water supply was contaminated with several chemicals. The camp’s water supply comes from two sources, the Hadnot Point Treatment Plant and the Tarawa Terrace Treatment Plant. Toxic chemicals were found in both treatment plants. The contamination started as early as 1953 until 1985, when the water tanks were shut down, but the water was deemed clear from contaminants only in 1987.

It is estimated that about 500,000 people were exposed to toxic contaminants found in the water supply.

Am I Eligible to Participate in a Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawsuit?

Anyone who meets the following criteria may be eligible to file a Camp Lejeune lawsuit:

  • Veterans, reservists, guardsmen, their spouse and ex-spouses who were stationed at Camp Lejeune from 1953 to 1987 and developed health problems including:
    • Different types of cancer
      • Breast cancer (both male and female)
      • Liver cancer
      • Kidney cancer
      • Bladder cancer
      • Ovarian cancer
      • Prostate cancer
      • Cervical cancer
      • Lung cancer
      • Esophageal cancer
      • Leukemia
      • Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  • Reproduction disorders
  • Miscarriage
  • Birth defects
  • Renal toxicity
  • Scleroderma (an autoimmune disease)
  • Neurological disorders
    • Parkinson’s disease
  • Biological children of the above who resided at the camp or in utero during the contamination period
  • Stepchildren of the above who resided at the camp during the contamination period
  • Civilian contractors who worked at the camp during the contamination period
  • Individuals who spent at least 30 consecutive days at the camp during the contamination period

Am I Eligible to Participate in a Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawsuit?

Anyone who meets the following criteria may be eligible to file a Camp Lejeune lawsuit:

  • Veterans, reservists, guardsmen, their spouse and ex-spouses who were stationed at Camp Lejeune from 1953 to 1987 and developed health problems including:
    • Different types of cancer
      • Breast cancer (both male and female)
      • Liver cancer
      • Kidney cancer
      • Bladder cancer
      • Ovarian cancer
      • Prostate cancer
      • Cervical cancer
      • Lung cancer
      • Esophageal cancer
      • Leukemia
      • Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  • Reproduction disorders
  • Miscarriage
  • Birth defects
  • Renal toxicity
  • Scleroderma (an autoimmune disease)
  • Neurological disorders
    • Parkinson’s disease
  • Biological children of the above who resided at the camp or in utero during the contamination period
  • Stepchildren of the above who resided at the camp during the contamination period
  • Civilian contractors who worked at the camp during the contamination period
  • Individuals who spent at least 30 consecutive days at the camp during the contamination period

The time you have to pursue a claim is limited. Do not wait to reach out to our firm or call (844) 525-7155 to see if you have a case.

What Toxic Chemicals Were Found in Camp Lejeune’s Water Supply?

Routine sampling from Camp Lejeune’s water treatment plants showed 4 chemicals that contaminated their drinking water supply:

  • Trichloroethylene (TCE)

Trichloroethylene is a nonflammable colorless liquid that is used as a solvent for cleaning and degreasing metal parts and as a component in making other chemicals, such as refrigerants. It can evaporate quickly in air but can stay a long time in soil and water since evaporation is the only way to break it down.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), exposure to high levels of TCE can cause facial nerve damage, heartbeat irregularities, liver and kidney damage. There is evidence that exposure to TCE in the workplace can cause scleroderma, a condition where the immune system attacks the connective tissues under the skin and around internal organs, while men who were exposed showed a decrease in sperm quality and reproductive hormone levels. Human studies also show that TCE has developmental effects like spontaneous abortion, birth defects, and small birth weight. 

  • Tetrachloroethylene or Perchloroethylene (PCE or PERC)

Tetrachloroethylene or Perchloroethylene is a nonflammable colorless chemical used for dry cleaning and as a solvent for metal degreasing. It breaks down slowly in air, water, and soil.

The CDC lists unconsciousness and mood, memory, attention, and vision changes as effects of high-level exposure to PCE. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) considers PCE as a probable carcinogen in humans.

  • Vinyl Chloride

Vinyl chloride is a colorless gas used in the manufacturing of plastic products, including pipes, wire and cable coatings, and packaging materials. It breaks down quickly when exposed to soil and water if it is near the surface.

According to the CDC, liver changes are observed in people who breathed vinyl chloride for several years, while some people who were exposed at work had nerve damage and immune reactions. The Department of Health and Human Services categorizes vinyl chloride as a known carcinogen, linked with increased risk of developing liver, barin, lung, and blood cancer.

  • Benzene

Benzene is a colorless liquid used in a lot of manufacturing plants for a variety of products, including rubbers, dyes, detergents, lubricants, pesticides, and medicine. It can break down in the air for a few days, but breaks down more slowly in soil and water.

High levels of benzene can cause drowsiness, dizziness, confusion, rapid heart rate, and headaches. Continued exposure to benzene has been linked with harmful effects to the  bone marrow, causing lower levels of blood cell and plasma production leading to anemia, infections, and excessive bleeding. Women exposed to benzene experienced irregular menstrual patterns and decrease in ovary sizes. Both the Department of Health and Human Services and the IARC consider benzene as a human carcinogen.

Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawsuits

The earliest Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit was filed in July 2007 by the wife of a Marine Corps Corporal. She and her husband resided in Camp Lejeune from 1980 to 1983. She was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2003.

In 2011, another lawsuit was filed by a former marine soldier who stayed at the camp from 1957 to 1959. He developed a rare form of breast cancer despite not having any family history or risk factors.

Around 850 lawsuits were filed by former Camp Lejeune residents, but all of them were ultimately dismissed in 2016 because of North Carolina’s statute of limitations. Over the years, multiple appeals have been submitted to reverse the dismissal but was repeatedly rejected because of the state prohibitions on lawsuits filed 10 years after the last pollution occurred.

In January 2022, a bill called the Camp Lejeune Justice Act (CLJA) of 2022 was introduced to the House of Representatives which aims to establish a cause of action for residents and workers who developed health issues because of toxic chemical exposure from Camp Lejeune. This was merged into a larger bill in February 2022 and was renamed Honoring our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act of 2021, which added provisions to provide better health care to veterans who were exposed to toxic chemicals during their service and allow affected individuals to file lawsuits to claim for damages.

In June 2022, the Senate approved an earlier version of the bill. It was brought back to the House of Representatives to remove a provision on the tax treatment of healthcare professionals. The amended version was approved on July 15, 2022..

The Senate approved the Pact Act on August 3, 2022 by a vote of 86-11.

On August 10, 2022, President Biden has signed the Honoring our Pact Act into law. Veterans, their families, and workers stationed in Camp Lejeune will be able to file a lawsuit and seek compensation without being hindered by North Carolina’s 10-year statute of limitations.

How Maxwell Law Group Can Help

If you or a loved one was stationed in Camp Lejeune from 1953 to 1987, and developed cancer or other health issues, Maxwell Law Group can help get you the compensation you deserve. Call (844) 525-7155 or fill out the form below and we’ll investigate your case at no charge to you.

Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Infographics

Camp Lejeune Quick Facts [2022]
Camp Lejeune timeline [UPDATED]

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Please note that the law limits the time you have to pursue a claim or file a lawsuit for an injury. If you think you have a case, don't wait to take action. Contact us today.

To speak with us directly, call (844) 525-7155. We want to hear about your situation and help you through this difficult time.

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