Camp Lejeune – Water Contamination Lawsuit
CAMP LEJEUNE – WATER CONTAMINATION LAWSUIT
By M. Ernat
Individuals living in, or working in, Camp Lejeune between 1953 and 1987, may have been exposed to toxic chemicals in their drinking water…..Chemicals that have the potential to cause serious health effects.
From the early 1950s through 1987, drinking water at Camp Lejeune exposed military service members, their families, and civilian staff to toxic contaminants. Those contaminants, often identified as volatile organic chemicals (VOCs) at levels in excess of what is considered safe for drinking water. These include trichloroethylene (TCE), tetrachloroethylene (also called perchloroethylene, or PCE), vinyl chloride, and benzene.
Each of these chemicals has been linked to serious medical conditions, including Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma, various cancers, end-stage renal disease, Parkinson’s Disease, Liver Cirrhosis, and cardiac defects. There may even be a causal relationship linked to miscarriage, aplastic anemia, and myelodysplastic syndromes (though more research is needed).
If you (or a loved one) were exposed to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune (for at least 30 days) during the eligible contamination period, you may be entitled to compensation. In general, as we know now, you must meet the following criteria to be entitled to a possible Camp Lejeune water contamination settlement:
- Proof & history of exposure: showing you worked and/or lived at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 days between 1953 and 1987.
- Medical Conditions Linked: various conditions have been linked to date – final diseases & illnesses are to be determined. A plaintiff must be able to provide evidence showing either a causal relationship between the toxic exposure resulting from Camp Lejeune contaminated water or “that a causal relationship is at least as likely as not”. A diagnosis of one of the recognized medical conditions will be required.
WHAT MAKES THIS LAWSUIT POSSIBLE?
In 2021, the Camp Lejeune Justice Act was introduced into Congress. The Act is part of the Honoring Our PACT Act. The goal of this law was to remove loopholes that were preventing Camp Lejeune service members, their families, and civilians who worked at the base from receiving financial compensation for injuries they’ve suffered as a direct result of exposure to contaminated water. We are currently awaiting this becoming law, but anticipate it will likely clear the House and the Senate – and be passed on to President Biden to sign.
It will be challenging proving eligibility, based on the amount of time which has passed, and the strict eligibility requirements. An experienced toxic tort attorney can assist service members, their family, and their representatives in understanding their rights and possibly getting compensation. The team at VanDerGinst Law has the toxic tort experience needed for cases like these. We will be working side-by-side with legal professionals in North Carolina to vigorously pursue these lawsuits on behalf of our clients.
If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us at 800-960-8529. You can also complete a form here and someone from our firm will contact you.