For more than three decades, veterans, their families and civilian workers at Camp Lejeune Marine Corps Base drank, bathed in, and cooked with severely contaminated water. Those exposed to the toxic water for a total of 30 days or more have already begun filing Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuits against the government.
The volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and other chemicals discovered in the Camp Lejeune water wells have been linked to several cancers, birth defects, Parkinson’s disease, and other adverse health effects – evidence that’s been mounting for years. Now, another study has yet again reinforced the devastating conditions and illnesses that victims have suffered.
Released in May, the study’s results showed that Camp Lejeune veterans have a higher risk of Parkinson’s disease compared to those at Camp Pendleton, a Marine Corps Base where toxic exposure didn’t occur. In fact, veterans at Camp Lejeune had a 70% higher risk of Parkinson’s disease, which was based on the health data of 158,122 participants. Extensive research has already linked Parkinson’s disease and other health conditions to trichloroethylene (TCE), a contaminant in the water.
As the mid-way point of the two-year window to file a Camp Lejeune toxic water claim approaches, those who developed illnesses associated with the chemicals found in the wells should speak with a toxic exposure Camp Lejeune attorney.
The effects of water contamination at Camp Lejeune are extensive and have caused much more than just physical health struggles; serious illnesses and conditions have caused emotional pain and suffering for victims and their families, and there are high medical costs to treat and manage the effects of Camp Lejeune’s toxic water. Overall enjoyment and quality of life have also been affected.
Unfortunately, many veterans, family members and civilians have died from a disease associated with TCE and other chemicals found at Camp Lejeune. In these cases, surviving families may be eligible to file a wrongful death claim.
With devastating illnesses and adverse health effects linked to the VOCs and other chemicals, it’s important to follow the steps to pursue a Camp Lejeune lawsuit. A lawyer can help navigate the process and build a strong toxic exposure claim.
Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Legislation
The Camp Lejeune Justice Act (CLJA) was created in response to the high levels of contaminants found in the water at the North Carolina Marine Corps Base. It was later included in the Honoring Our PACT Act, which President Biden signed on August 10, 2022. A two-year window was set, with the deadline to file a CLJA claim by August 10, 2024.
Before the CLJA, victims of water contamination at Camp Lejeune could not sue the U.S. government for what happened. Once the legislation was signed into law in August 2022, the government’s protection from lawsuits was voided.
As of late May, more than 900 lawsuits against the U.S. government had been filed by veterans, family members and civilian workers. The overwhelming number of Camp Lejeune lawsuits before the North Carolina federal court points to the seriousness and far-reaching effects of contaminated water at the Marine Corps base. Lawsuits will no doubt continue to pile up before the August 10, 2024 filing deadline.
Anyone exposed to the water at Camp Lejeune for 30 or more days between 1953 and 1987 and who developed an illness or adverse health condition may have a toxic exposure claim. Even veterans receiving other support can file a Camp Lejeune claim and still get VA benefits.
Illnesses Caused by Toxic Water at Camp Lejeune
For over 30 years, the wells at Camp Lejeune contained dangerous pollutants and carcinogens, including trichloroethylene, tetrachloroethylene, vinyl chloride and benzene. They became contaminated by leaky underground storage tanks, industrial spills, and waste and solvent disposal sites.
Over the last decade, more and more victims have come forward, revealing how Camp Lejeune’s contaminated water caused harm. More than one million people were exposed to dangerous chemicals, leading to risks of severe and life-changing conditions.
Some of the illnesses and conditions linked to toxins in the water at Camp Lejeune include:
- Birth defects
- Cancer (bladder, breast, esophageal, kidney, liver, and lung)
- Cardiac defects
- Myelodysplastic syndromes
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
- Parkinson’s disease
These are just some of the health effects that victims are suffering from. Unfortunately, many have died due to illnesses linked to contaminated water.
Filing a Camp Lejeune Toxic Water Lawsuit
The latest study showing Camp Lejeune veterans had a significantly higher risk of Parkinson’s disease reinforces the dangers of exposure to the VOCs and other harmful chemicals discovered on base. Parkinson’s disease was already one of the illnesses listed on the Camp Lejeune claims form, and survivors with Parkinson’s are entitled to make a claim.
Camp Lejeune lawsuits that have already been filed claim that the government should have known about the danger and that they tried to keep it quiet after they found out what happened. It’s past time for victims to be compensated.
Anyone who has suffered, is still suffering or lost a loved one from a health condition associated with exposure to toxic water should know how to find the right Camp Lejeune lawyer. An experienced attorney will fight for the rights of victims, help get the best outcome from a claim and file a Camp Lejeune lawsuit if needed. They’ll also help hold the government responsible for failing to protect service members and civilians. But there’s a time limit and a specific process to follow.
Victims must first submit a Camp Lejeune claim with the Navy JAG Office. After six months, if a settlement isn’t reached or a claim is denied, a Camp Lejeune lawsuit may then be filed in North Carolina federal court.
The process of filing a claim or lawsuit has strict requirements and deadlines that must be met. Given the seriousness of this tragedy, it’s best to hire an attorney with experience handling toxic exposure lawsuits. They can help with this process to ensure your claim is filed correctly and that fair compensation is paid. And if your CLJA claim isn’t resolved within six months, a Camp Lejeune lawyer can file a lawsuit on your behalf and fight for what you’re entitled to.