If you lived or worked at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 days between August 1953 and December 1987, may be entitled to file a Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit. Officials have been aware of water contamination on this U.S. Marine Corps base for decades but have failed to address the problem. The water contamination has been associated with death and chronic diseases of many servicemen and women and their families who lived or served on that base. The Wieand Law Firm can help victims seek compensation for injuries by filing a camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit.
How Did the Camp LeJeune Water Contamination Occur?
According to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), drinking water provided by two of the water treatment plants on the base were contaminated. Authorities identified the waste disposal practices at ABC One-Hour Cleaners, a dry cleaning company, as the source of the contamination of the drinking water from the Tarawa Terrace water treatment plant. The water was primarily contaminated by PCE (perchloroethylene or tetrachloroethylene). Data analysis and modeling conducted by the ATSDR showed that PCE concentrations exceeded current maximum EPA contaminant levels between November 1957 – February 1987. The most highly contaminated wells were closed down in February 1985.
Supply wells providing water to the Hadnot Point water treatment plant were contaminated by multiple sources, including leaking underground storage tanks, industrial area spills, and waste disposal sites. The water was at this treatment plant was primarily contaminated by TCE (trichloroethylene), but also included contaminates such as PCE, benzene, and vinyl chloride. Sites such as the Mainside barracks, Midway Park family housing, Hospital Point family housing, and Berkeley Manor were supplied by Hadnot Point water system until June 1972. After 1972, contaminated water was used to supplement drinking water in Holcomb Boulevards water system for another 13 years.
Health Impacts of Camp Lejeune Water Contamination
The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) have conducted multiple studies and assessments of public health impacts of contaminated water at Camp Lejeune. These studies include both individuals who lived or worked on the base, as well as studies into birth defects and childhood cancers of children born to mothers who had lived on the base.
The agency has published a document entitled ATSDR Assessment of the Evidence for the Drinking Water Contaminants at Camp Lejeune and Specific Cancers and Other Diseases. This document compared the findings from the agency’s Camp Lejeune studies with findings from studies from other groups exposed to the same chemicals. The agency found sufficient evident of causation for multiple health effects including:
- Kidney Cancer
- Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
- Cardiac Defects
- Bladder Cancer
- Liver Cancer
- Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma
More Health Risks Associated with Contaminated Water at Camp Lejeune are in the Infographic below:
Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022
As part of the Honoring Our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxins (PACT) Act, the U.S. Government passed the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022. This legislation includes nearly $300 billion in financial benefits focused on addressing issues that affect military veterans who were exposed to toxins during service to their country.
The U.S. Department of Defense has finally admitted health risks associated with contaminated water at Camp Lejeune. If you have lived or served at Camp Lejeune and have suffered from one of these conditions, you may be eligible to file a Camp Lejeune toxic water lawsuit and receive financial compensation.
Who is Eligible to File a Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawsuit?
Anyone who lived or worked at Camp Lejeune for a minim of 30 total days between August 1, 1953 and December 31, 1987 may be entitled to collect compensation through a Camp Lejeune toxic water lawsuit.
It’s important to note that payout isn’t automatic. Individuals are required to file civil lawsuits to collect on the damages from the contaminated water. But, for the first time, veterans and their families can take legal action to get monetary compensation.
How Long Will It Take for a Camp Lejeune Toxic Water Lawsuit to Settle?
It’s unknown if the federal government will look to quickly settle Camp Lejeune Just Act (CLJA) claims or if it will aggressively defend them. At this point, taking action to file a lawsuit is the first step needed to seek a settlement for your injuries. The attorneys at the Wieand Law Firm are hopeful that settlements during the administrative claim phase or very early in the civil litigation stage are possible.
Likely, the Department of Justice and the Navy will screen claims and rank them into a tiered system based on harm severity and likelihood of a connection to the toxic water at Camp Lejeune. Using a system like this would mean that the strongest claims may settle relatively quickly, potentially during the 6-month preliminary claim phase. Weaker claims may take longer to process, as civil discovery may be needed to strengthen these claims.
What Does It Cost to Hire the Wieand Law Firm?
The lawyers handling these cases are expected to work on a contingency-fee basis. This means that you do not have to pay anything out-of-pocket for their services. You would not owe any fees unless they win money for your claim. If money is achieved from your claim, your legal fees would come as part of the settlement award or jury verdict.
It’s important to note that our attorneys are offering to speak with former Camp Lejeune victims for a consultation free of charge, so complete the form on the bottom of this website to reach out.
Can I file a Claim if My Loved One is Deceased?
Yes, a legal representative may file a Camp Lejeune contaminated water lawsuit for a deceased individual who became ill from Camp Lejeune toxic water. You have the right to pursue compensation if your loved one’s death was not from the toxic water exposure. For example, if your loved one suffered from an illness or condition from the Camp Lejeune toxic water, but died from an accident, you may still be able to recover compensation for their illness.
What Information is Needed to File a Claim?
According to the statute, the Camp Lejeune Justice Act requires plaintiffs to submit an administrative claim to the Navy Department prior to filing a claim in court. These administrative claims are required to contain specific information that includes:
- Dates of residence or employment at Camp Lejeune
- Details about your exposure or use of the contaminated water
- Date that you were diagnosed with a disease, illness, or health condition
- Information about the medical treatment you received and the outcome
- Impact that the illness has had on your life, including economic and emotional impacts
- Your financial demand for compensation
Camp Lejeune water contamination claims will require well-documented support to demonstrate the damages you sustained from the contaminated water. The lawyers at the Wieand Law Firm are well-versed in the statute and are well qualified to provide legal representation for these claims.
Obtaining your medical records will provide key evidence to support that your illness or health condition was linked to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune. For claimants who are veterans, the VA maintains records back to the 1960s. Our lawyers can help procure your medical records that are needed to support your claim.
Can I Sue for Injuries if I am Not a Veteran?
Yes, recovery for injuries from Camp Lejeune water is not limited to veterans. Any individual who lived or worked to the water at Camp Lejeune in the specified timeframes is able to file a lawsuit. The individuals could include civilian workers, family members, and contractors.
What Burden of Proof Will Be Needed to Win My Claim?
The burden of proof required for Camp Lejeune civil lawsuits will be different that other civil cases. According to the Camp Lejeune Justice Act, plaintiffs must be able to prove that the water at Camp Lejeune and their illness is “at least as likely as not.” This is a lower burden of proof than in other types of cases, and it will make it easier to prove that an illness or health connection is associated with the contaminated water at camp Lejeune
What is the Deadline for Filing a Claim?
The date of enactment for the Camp Lejeune Justice Act (CLJA) is August 10, 2022. Therefore, victims will have two years from this date to file a lawsuit. You have until August 10, 2024, to file a claim. However, in order to gather evidence and give your case the best possible chance for recovery, our lawyers recommend reaching out much sooner than that. Use the form on the bottom of this webpage to start the process today.
Contact the Wieand Law Firm about a Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawsuit
Consult an attorney for a free consultation to learn more about your legal rights. Toxic exposure to chemicals has been shown to have devastating health effects and leave victims grappling with expensive medical expenses. The Philadelphia personal injury lawyers at the Wieand Law Firm, can seek compensation for your injuries. Call 215-666-7777 or send us a message via the online form for a free consultation.