Camp Lejeune is a U.S. Marine Base where service members and others living on base were exposed to toxic chemicals in contaminated water from 1953 to 1987. These contaminants came from gas stations, auto repair shops, and a dry-cleaning company. The companies contaminated both solid waste and emitted toxic chemicals into the air. Years later, many individuals exposed to these chemicals developed cancer and other diseases.
If you or a family member is facing a health condition or other complication and spent at least 30 days on Camp Lejeune from 1953 through 1987, you may be entitled to compensation. Call us today or message us online to schedule a free consultation with our Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawyers where we will walk you through the information that you need to know and discuss your potential lawsuit with you.
The United States Government investigated these issues and tested the water at Camp Lejeune for harmful chemicals between 1980 and 1984, which indicated that benzene, trichloroethylene, and perchloroethylene were in the water. After this finding, the U.S. government began investigating. It took until 1985 for the contamination zones to be shut down, and until 1987 for it to be safe to drink the water again.
Studies have shown that there is a tie between the chemicals found in the water at Camp Lejeune and certain health problems, like cancer, infertility, miscarriage, and birth defects. There were over 70 chemicals identified in the water at Camp Lejeune, such as:
Three areas of the base were affected more than others:
The chemicals in the water at Camp Lejeune have caused numerous cancers and diseases. Quite a few former military members and their families suffer from presumptive conditions. The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) estimated that as many as one million people could have been affected by the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune. The most common conditions related to water contamination are kidney, liver, lung, and bladder cancer. If you or a loved one has one or more of these health complications and you spent at least thirty days at Camp Lejeune between the years of 1953 and 1987, you could be entitled to monetary compensation.
A presumptive condition is an illness that a military member received during active duty. The Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) will presume that the military member’s service caused certain illnesses, and the military member can then claim non-taxable benefits as compensation.
To qualify as a presumption condition, the diagnosis must have been less than a year after the completion of active duty. Examples of common presumptive illnesses are arthritis and Type 2 diabetes. A person affected by the water contamination at Camp Lejeune may qualify for these types of benefits.
Some conditions associated with Camp Lejeune take weeks, months, and even years after exposure to the contaminated water to manifest. Many veterans from the base did not realize they had a condition until up to twenty years after their stay at Camp Lejeune.
The VA has classified eight conditions as presumptive:
Without a diagnosis for a presumptive condition, a veteran may not qualify for benefits through the VA, but they can file a lawsuit based on the water contamination. If you or a loved one finds yourself in a situation where you are suffering from either a presumptive condition or another type of condition, you should contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss your options and find out what path will be the best for you to secure the compensation you need.
Many studies have been performed to determine the causation and correlation between toxic chemicals and the conditions developed. The ATSDR is an agency for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) which investigates and studies environmental issues caused by substances. The ATSDR has performed studies to determine the health risks specifically related to the chemicals in the water at Camp Lejeune. It performed mortality studies to determine the rates of death in 150,000 marines and civilian contractors based on certain cancers. These types of studies have proven very useful in evaluating causation and determining which conditions have the strongest links to Camp Lejeune.
Cancers caused by the water contamination at Camp Lejeune can be placed in two tiers that correspond with the strength of the evidence that links the condition to the toxic chemicals in the water. Tier 1 conditions have strong data connecting them to Camp Lejeune, meaning that these conditions have the largest settlements. Some estimates guess that the value of a tier 1 cancer case is worth between $500,000 and $1 million.
Some tier 1 conditions are:
Tier 2 conditions have some evidence connecting them to Camp Lejeune water contamination, but the evidence is not as strong as tier 1 conditions. These conditions won’t yield quite as much in a settlement as tier 1 conditions, but estimates show that an individual could expect between $250,000 and $500,000 in compensation for these claims. Tier 2 conditions are less defined than tier 1, but usually include:
Some other conditions that aren’t especially tier 2 or tier 2 and are suspected to have been caused by the Camp Lejeune water contamination are:
In 2012, the Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act was passed to assist those affected by water contamination with healthcare benefits and medical coverage. This Act stated that, after other insurance benefits have been used, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs was required to cover the healthcare costs of those injured at Camp Lejeune as long as they spent at least 30 days on base between 1957 and 1987.
Then, in 2022, the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 was passed, which allows people harmed at Camp Lejeune to sue in U.S. federal court, specifically in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina. This Act allows people to directly sue the United States government as long as conditions are met.
Your attorney will need to gather information from you about when you were at Camp Lejeune and what conditions the water contamination caused. Your attorney will want to know:
If you are considering filing a legal claim for harm suspected to have been caused by the chemicals at Camp Lejeune, one of the many experienced lawyers on our team can help. Hiring an experienced attorney who is familiar with Camp Lejeune will take the burden of proving your case off your shoulders. Our lawyers will fight to secure the compensation you deserve.
Our lawyers often operate on a contingency fee basis, meaning that they are compensated for their services only after you win, and the amount owed is based on the amount you win at trial. Call Regan Zambri Long today or contact us online for a free case evaluation.