Living in an industrialized country such as the United States, it’s normal to take for granted simple things like clean water. But did you know that military members, their families, and civilians were exposed to contaminated water in the military base of Fort Lejeune, North Carolina for decades while the problem was dismissed or swept under the rug? Some of our nation’s heroes and their families who made the biggest sacrifices were irreparably injured or killed by the very water that was supposed to nourish them. Thanks to a new law, those negatively affected will be able to file a claim for compensation. If you or a loved one lived in Camp Lejeune during the period of contamination and suffered negative health consequences, contact the Law Offices of Michael J. Gopin, PLLC.
Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawsuit Overview
The U.S. Marine Corps Base Camp in Lejeune, North Carolina was established in 1942. The Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) Agency for Toxic Substance and Disease Registration conducted a study and found that people living on or working at the base from 1953-1987 were exposed to contaminated water that caused death, injuries, and chronic health conditions. There were two main volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that were initially identified in the contaminated water supply, a dry-cleaning solvent and a degreaser. However, over time, it was discovered the drinking water was contaminated with:
- Trichloroethylene (TCE)
- Perchloroethylene (PCE)
- Vinyl chloride
- Other toxic compounds at rates of 240 to 3,400 times the levels deemed to be safe
The contamination was linked to the negligent waste disposal practices of nearby businesses, as well as industrial area spills and leaking underground storage tanks.
It is estimated that up to one million people were affected by the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune. A new law is making it possible to sue the government for injuries, illnesses, and deaths caused by the water contamination stemming from exposure at Camp Lejeune.
Cancers Associated with Camp Lejeune Contaminated Water
The Agency for Toxic Substance and Disease Registration has linked the water contamination to many injuries, deaths, and chronic health conditions, including various cancers such as:
- Adult leukemia
- Bladder cancer
- Brain cancer
- Breast cancer
- Cervical cancer
- Esophageal cancer
- Kidney cancer
- Liver cancer
- Lung cancer
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
- Ovarian cancer
- Prostate cancer
- Rectal cancer
- Soft tissue cancer
Possible Side Effects of Camp Lejeune Military Base Water Contamination
In addition to various types of cancers, victims may have suffered the following conditions due to water contamination at Camp Lejeune:
- Female infertility
- Birth defects, major malformations, and birth defects
- Miscarriage and fetal death
- Aplastic anemia and other myelodysplastic syndromes
- Myelodysplastic syndromes
- Parkinson’s disease
- Multiple myeloma
- Hepatic steatosis
- Renal toxicity
- Neurobehavioral effects
- Liver cirrhosis
- Impaired immune system function
- Neurobehavioral performance deficits, including confusion, delayed recall, and visual perception deficits
If you lived at Camp Lejeune between 1953 and 1987, contact our personal injury team today for a free consultation.
The Camp Lejeune Justice Act
Veterans and families who lived or worked at Camp Lejeune have historically not been able to recover compensation for their injuries. However, the Camp Lejeune Justice Act provides a remedy against the United Sates government for those exposed to the contaminated water as well as a streamlined process to file a claim. It also waives sovereign immunity for the United States to allow the civil claims against it and allows for jury trials in these cases.
To be eligible to file a claim pursuant to the Camp Lejeune Justice Act, you must:
- Show that you were exposed to contaminated water for at least 30 days at Camp Lejeune from August 1, 1953 to December 31, 1987
- File an SF 95 pursuant to Section 2675 of Title 28, United States Code
Damages Recoverable from a Camp Lejeune Lawsuit
If you lived at or worked at Camp Lejeune and were exposed to contaminated water during the relevant time period, you may be able to recover financial compensation for:
- Past, current, and future medical care for injuries or illnesses caused by contamination
- Lost wages and lost earning capacity due to your chronic health condition
- Funeral and burial expenses for a loved one’s wrongful death caused by contamination
- Lost quality of life
The Camp Lejeune Justice Act prohibits punitive damages for these claims. However, there is no cap on actual damages.
How an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help
If you were injured at Camp Lejeune because of contamination, an experienced personal injury lawyer can advocate for you while you focus on treating your condition(s). Our team can research the relevant laws, process your claim, and negotiate for top dollar for your claim. We can also explore every avenue of possible compensation and fight for you to have a brighter financial future. We can help establish that water contamination caused your illness by gathering relevant medical records and other documents.
Contact an Experienced Attorney Today
If you or a loved one was exposed to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune, the Law Offices of Michael J. Gopin, PLLC can help. We have been in business since 1987 and have more than 30 years of combined legal experience, so we know what it takes to secure full and fair compensation for our deserving clients. We can thoroughly investigate your claim and gather evidence to establish your right to compensation. Our firm has recovered millions of dollars in lawsuits and claims for injured clients, and we are ready to help you, too. Contact us today for your free case review.