The Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawsuits
In 1982, the U.S. Marine Corps discovered dangerous chemicals known as volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the drinking water at the U.S. Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, North Carolina.
However, the contamination actually began in 1953 and continued to expose base workers, service members, and their families until 1987, according to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). Though, the most contaminated wells were removed from service in February 1985.
Water from the Tarawa Terrace Treatment Plant and the Hadnot Point Treatment Plant were found to be contaminated primarily by two toxic chemicals.
The Tarawa Terrace Treatment Plant was contaminated by perchloroethylene (PCE), a colorless liquid most commonly used for dry cleaning. The source of this contamination was found to be the waste disposal practices of an off-base dry cleaning company. The PCE levels at the Tarawa Terrace Treatment Plant highly exceeded current standards between November 1957 and February 1987, according to the Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry.
At the Hadnot Point Treatment Plant, the water was contaminated by trichloroethylene (TCE), a volatile anesthetic. Underground storage tank leaks, industrial area spills and water disposal sites are believed to have been the sources of the TCE contamination.
Symptoms of Exposure to Camp Lejeune Water Contamination
The symptoms of exposure to Camp Lejeune water contamination will be different in each person depending on when they were exposed, how long they were exposed and how they were exposed. Some people might not experience symptoms for years.
Symptoms of exposure will also vary depending on the illnesses caused by the exposure. For example, someone who developed bladder cancer because of exposure to contaminated water would have symptoms of bladder cancer, including difficulty urinating or pain while urinating. At the time of exposure, some people could have experienced headaches, nausea, skin irritation, fatigue, confusion or vomiting.
Those stationed, working, or living on and around Camp Lejeune between 1953-1987 may have contracted one or more of these life altering diseases that have been linked to Camp Lejeune water contamination:
● Adult leukemia
● Aplastic anemia and other myelodysplastic syndromes
● Bladder cancer
● Kidney cancer
● Liver cancer
● Multiple myeloma
● Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
● Parkinson’s disease
Birth defects and reproductive health conditions linked to Camp Lejeune water contamination:
● Cardiac birth defects
● Choanal atresia
● Female infertility
● Fetal death
● Low birth weight
● Major malformations
● Neural tube defects
Other diseases and conditions linked to Camp Lejeune water contamination:
● End-stage renal disease
● Liver cirrhosis
● Parkinson disease
Who is eligable to file a Camp Lejeune lawsuit?
Under the law, anyone who “resided, worked, or was otherwise exposed” to Camp Lejeune drinking water for 30 days or more between
August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987, may be eligible to file a damages claim. This group includes:
● Military veterans who served at Camp Lejeune during the above period
● Family members of veterans who live on the base
● Civilians workers who lived or worked on the base
Family members of Veterans, Guardsmen, and Reservists may also be eligible for financial compensation. Qualifying family members include:
● Those whose sponsor (the qualifying veteran) was on active duty and served at Camp Lejeune for 30 days or more between
August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987
● The spouse or dependent of the veteran during the same period
● Those who lived on the base for 30 days or more between the same dates.
● This includes the infants born of women pregnant on the base during this period (in-utero benefits)
Servicemen, contractors and family members who have lived, worked, or served at Camp Lejeune between 1953-1987 and have received a diagnosis in the years since will be able to receive the financial compensation they deserve with the Camp Lejeune Justice Act signed into law in August 2022. Contact Magazine Law Group for a free evaluation of your case.