Everything You Need to Know About the Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawsuit
Military members and their families now have the right to file a Camp Lejeune contamination lawsuit against the U.S. government. Devastatingly, as a consequence of bathing in and drinking the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune, many people have suffered from severe illnesses, and some have even died. Fortunately, as of 2022, Military service members and their families exposed to Camp Lejeune’s contaminated water have the opportunity to seek compensation for their injuries.
The experienced legal team at The Henry Law Firm offers legal counsel and assistance to those who have become ill or lost a loved one as a result of the incredibly negligent actions that allowed the Camp Lejeune crisis to occur.
According to estimates, it’s believed that about one million people comprising military families, Marine Corps, and contractors were repeatedly exposed to toxic chemicals that were found in Camp Lejeune’s water supply. Data has revealed that the water supply was contaminated from about 1953 to 1987. For 30 years, countless Marines and their families bathed and drank contaminated water.
In our article, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about the Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit so you know what to do.
What Is the Camp Lejeune Justice Act?
In August 2022, many people rejoiced when they learned of the Camp Lejeune Justice Act, a piece of legislation included in the Honoring Our PACT Act. This legislation allows former Camp Lejeune residents the opportunity to right previous wrongs by taking legal action for the consequences they have had to endure by being exposed to toxic water contamination.
When this commendable act was signed into law, the government’s immunity to lawsuits filed on behalf of former and current military members injured during service was removed. With this act in place, injustice can be corrected for those Camp Lejeune residents denied the right to seek legal assistance in the past.
Where Is Camp Lejeune?
It should be noted that Camp Lejeune didn’t always have contaminated water. This almost 250 square mile area situated in Onslow County, North Carolina, was first opened by the federal government in 1942.
It began as a training facility, and for about eight decades, it was a military operations center for the U.S. Marine Corps and various other branches of the armed forces. When it was operational, hundreds of thousands of retired and active duty military men, women, and their families and civilians lived there temporarily or permanently.
What Actually Happened at Camp Lejeune?
It wasn’t until early 1980 that it was officially recorded that the water systems at Camp Lejeune were contaminated with numerous toxins (volatile compounds). Some of the contaminants included trichloroethylene (TCE), trans-1,2-dichloroethylene (DCE), perchloroethylene (PCE), vinyl chloride, and benzene. It was also believed that as early as 1957, PCE levels in the base water exceeded maximum contaminant levels.
According to a report by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the TCE levels were as high as 1400 parts per billion which is 280 times the maximum concentration allowed in drinking water. The water with these contaminants was supplied to homes, administrative offices, schools, recreational areas, and even the base hospital.
Ultimately, because of this continued exposure to contaminated water at the base, many civilians, military personnel, and their families suffer illnesses and devastating health problems.
What Are the Illnesses Suffered by Those Exposed to the Camp Lejeune Water Contamination?
Those exposed to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune suffer many illnesses and health problems. If you or a loved one was a temporary or permanent resident of the base and are suffering or have suffered from any health conditions below, you could file a successful lawsuit by speaking with a qualified attorney:
- Breast cancer
- Multiple myeloma
- Bladder cancer
- Kidney cancer
- Neurobehavioral effects
- Female infertility and miscarriage
- Birth Defects
- Parkinson’s disease
- Renal toxicity
- Esophageal cancer
- Lung cancer
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
- Liver cancer
- Brain Injuries
- Cardiac Defect
- Fatty Liver Disease
- Myelodysplastic syndromes
- Hepatic steatosis
- ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease)
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Birth Injuries
What Are the Most Important Facts You Need to Know About the Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawsuit?
Now that you know more about Camp Lejeune, it’s time to delve into some of the most critical facts you need to know, especially if you’re considering filing a claim or lawsuit.
Settlement Fund Cost Was Determined
According to the reliable Congressional Budget Office, it’s estimated that $6.1 billion will be placed into a permanent settlement fund for the victims awarded compensation for the Camp Lejeune travesty. It is primarily believed that within the first 12 months, approximately $200 million would be paid to victims.
The Henry Law Firm is unable to tell you how much you could receive in a settlement because we don’t know how many people will file a lawsuit or how a jury will award damages. Yet, we can work alongside you to ensure you have a fair chance at obtaining the compensation you deserve.
Two-Year Deadline Was Imposed
A strict two-year deadline is imposed on Camp Lejeune victims or their surviving relatives. If you hope to obtain compensation, you’ll need to bring your claim within two years. Additionally, even though your lawyer will do most of the information gathering for your case, there are ways you can put yourself in the position of potentially receiving an early settlement.
To do this, you can get copies of official legal documentation proving that you worked or lived at Camp Lejeune between 1953 and 1987. This should be relatively easy as former Marines can request their official military service records to prove they lived or worked there. Likewise, civilians can obtain copies of their Social Security Work history to prove the same.
It Was Established That There Is No Cap on Damages
Since North Carolina is the state in charge of controlling the Camp Lejeune water contamination claims, there will be no cap on economic or noneconomic damages as per this state’s law. This means that there will be no cap on a jury payout.
Claims Process Is Proven to Be Complex
It is commonly believed that the claims process will be complex for Camp Lejeune water contamination claims. For example, it’s determined that only those who lived or worked at Camp Lejeune for 30 days or more have the right to file a civil lawsuit to obtain damages in the Eastern District of North Carolina.
Yet before a lawsuit can be filed, all claimants must undergo a six-month administration claim process with the JAG. These are just two of the claim requirements; since there are many more, it’s a good idea to seek counsel from an Ohio lawyer.
It Was Determined That Medical Records Are Needed
Should you want to file a lawsuit and are a Camp Lejeune water contamination victim, you’ll need to obtain your medical records that support your claim. Your medical records will help you prove that your injury or illness was connected to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune.
Since the VA has kept everyone’s medical records for several decades, they are somewhat easy to access. However, if you sought private care, you might struggle to get your hands on your medical records. Regardless of where your records are kept, our team at The Henry Law Firm can help you track them down and obtain them to strengthen your chances of receiving a fair settlement.
How Do You File a Camp Lejeune Lawsuit?
When you choose to work with The Henry Law Firm, you can count on us to make your Camp Lejeune lawsuit process as stress-free as possible for you and your loved ones.
If our law firm has the privilege of helping you with your case, you can count on our lawyer to handle each step of the legal process so that you can focus on your health and potential recovery. When you bring your case to us, this is what we will do:
- Evaluate your case specifics to determine if you’re eligible to file a Camp Lejeune claim
- Help you gather testimony, medical records, and evidence
- File a Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit on your behalf
- Negotiate settlement amounts with the defendant
- Present your case in court
Get in Touch With an Ohio Lawyer for Assistance With Filing a Camp Lejeune Lawsuit Today
If you or a loved one is a victim of the Camp Lejeune water contamination, you could have the right to file a lawsuit for the damages you deserve. If you suspect that your illness or health problems resulted from the water contamination and you think you meet the eligibility requirements, you should consider speaking with a skilled Ohio lawyer.
At The Henry Law Firm, we can help you determine your eligibility and get access to the evidence you need to build a strong case. Contact our legal team today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.