Camp Lejeune, a military base in North Carolina, is the site of one of the largest water contamination incidents in United States history. From 1953 to 1987, the water supply at Camp Lejeune was contaminated with toxic chemicals, affecting thousands of military personnel and their families.
This article provides a comprehensive guide to the water contamination at Camp Lejeune, the health conditions linked to the contamination, potential compensation for victims, and how a lawyer can help with a Camp Lejeune water contamination claim.
Water Contamination at Camp Lejeune
From 1953 to 1987, the water supply at Camp Lejeune was contaminated with a variety of toxic chemicals. These chemicals included:
- Perchloroethylene (PCE): A chemical used in dry cleaning and as a degreaser.
- Trichloroethylene (TCE): A chemical used as a solvent for cleaning metal parts.
- Vinyl chloride: A chemical used in the production of PVC (polyvinyl chloride) plastic.
- Benzene: A chemical used in the production of rubber, plastics, and other materials.
- Other solvents: Various other chemicals used in industrial processes.
These chemicals were released into the environment through a variety of sources, including leaking underground storage tanks, industrial spills, and improper disposal practices. As a result, the water supply at Camp Lejeune became contaminated, exposing thousands of military personnel and their families to these toxic chemicals.
Health Conditions Linked to Camp Lejeune Water Contamination
The toxic chemicals found in the water at Camp Lejeune have been linked to a variety of health conditions, including several types of cancer and other serious illnesses. Some of the cancers associated with toxic exposure at Camp Lejeune include:
- Lung cancer
- Brain cancer
- Thyroid cancer
- Esophageal cancer
- Multiple myeloma
- Bladder cancer
- Liver cancer
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
- Kidney cancer
In addition to cancer, other serious illnesses have been linked to toxic exposure at Camp Lejeune, including:
- Cardiac defects
- Neurobehavioral disorders
- Hepatic steatosis (fatty liver disease)
- Myelodysplastic syndromes (a group of blood disorders)
- Aplastic anemia (a rare blood disorder)
- Scleroderma (a rare autoimmune disease)
- Nephrotoxicity (kidney damage)
- Parkinson’s disease
Additionally, there have been reports of miscarriages and fertility issues among those exposed to the contaminated water, as well as high rates of childhood cancer and birth defects among the children of military personnel who lived at Camp Lejeune during the contamination period.
Potential Compensation for Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Victims
Victims of the water contamination at Camp Lejeune may be eligible for compensation for the damages they have suffered as a result of their exposure to toxic chemicals. Some of the damages that may be recovered in a Camp Lejeune water contamination claim include:
- Medical costs: Expenses related to the diagnosis and treatment of health conditions linked to toxic exposure.
- Lost wages: Compensation for lost income due to the inability to work as a result of a health condition linked to toxic exposure.
- Lost earning capacity: Compensation for the reduction in future earning potential due to a health condition linked to toxic exposure.
- Pain and suffering: Compensation for the physical and emotional pain experienced as a result of a health condition linked to toxic exposure.
- Emotional distress: Compensation for the mental anguish and emotional distress experienced as a result of a health condition linked to toxic exposure.
- Disability: Compensation for the loss of enjoyment of life and the inability to perform normal daily activities as a result of a health condition linked to toxic exposure.
- Loss of society and companionship: Compensation for the loss of love, affection, and companionship experienced by the family members of a victim who has suffered a health condition linked to toxic exposure.
- Out-of-pocket expenses: Compensation for any additional expenses incurred as a result of a health condition linked to toxic exposure.
In some cases, the amount of compensation awarded may be reduced by any prior benefits received, such as disability benefits or medical coverage provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
Eligibility for Damages in a Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Claim
In order to be eligible for damages in a Camp Lejeune water contamination claim, a victim must meet certain requirements. These requirements include:
Diagnosis of a health condition associated with toxic exposure: The victim must have been diagnosed with a health condition that has been linked to exposure to the toxic chemicals found in the water at Camp Lejeune.
Residence or work at Camp Lejeune: The victim must have lived or worked at Camp Lejeune during the time period when the water was contaminated (1953-1987).
A lawyer can help different types of claimants, including military personnel, their family members, and civilian employees, determine their eligibility for damages in a Camp Lejeune water contamination claim.
How a Lawyer Can Help with a Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Claim
A lawyer can provide valuable assistance to victims of the Camp Lejeune water contamination by helping them obtain the medical care and compensation they need and deserve.
Some of the ways a lawyer can help with a Camp Lejeune water contamination claim include:
Assistance in obtaining medical care and compensation:
A lawyer can help victims navigate the complex process of obtaining medical care and compensation for their health conditions linked to toxic exposure.
Veteran testimonial regarding legal representation
A lawyer can provide a testimonial from a veteran who has successfully obtained compensation for their Camp Lejeune water contamination claim, demonstrating their experience and expertise in this area.
Linking health conditions to contaminated water exposure
A lawyer can help victims establish a connection between their health conditions and their exposure to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune, which is essential for obtaining compensation.
Pursuing justice for affected veterans and families
A lawyer can help victims hold the responsible parties accountable for the harm they have suffered as a result of the water contamination at Camp Lejeune.
A History of Water Contamination and Legal Challenges at Camp Lejeune
Camp Lejeune, established in 1941, is a 246-square-mile military base located in Jacksonville, North Carolina. The water contamination at Camp Lejeune was discovered in the 1980s, and subsequent investigations revealed that the contamination had been ongoing since the 1950s.
Victims of the water contamination at Camp Lejeune have faced numerous legal obstacles in their efforts to obtain compensation for their injuries.
Some of the key legal developments related to the Camp Lejeune water contamination include:
VA “presumptive service connection”
In 2017, the VA established a “presumptive service connection” for certain health conditions linked to the Camp Lejeune water contamination, making it easier for affected veterans to obtain disability benefits.
Honoring America’s Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act of 2012
This legislation provided medical care for veterans and their family members who were affected by the water contamination at Camp Lejeune.
North Carolina Statute of Repose
In 2014, the Supreme Court ruled that a North Carolina law limiting the time period for filing personal injury claims did not apply to Camp Lejeune water contamination claims, allowing victims to pursue compensation for their injuries.
Currently, the proposed Camp Lejeune Justice Act is being considered by Congress, which would provide additional support and compensation for victims of water contamination at Camp Lejeune.
Adley Law Firm Services for Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Victims
The Adley Law Firm is dedicated to helping victims of the Camp Lejeune water contamination obtain the compensation they deserve for their injuries. The firm offers a free case review for affected individuals and has a reputation for success in personal injury claims.
If you or a loved one has been affected by the water contamination at Camp Lejeune, contact the Adley Law Firm today to discuss your legal options and begin the process of seeking justice for your injuries.