The Camp Lejeune water contamination is the contamination of drinking water at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, in North Carolina, by industrial solvents. The contamination is believed to have occurred between 1953 and 1987, when the water supply was contaminated by fuel, dry-cleaning solvents, and other industrial chemicals. These chemicals are believed to have come from a nearby dry-cleaning business, a fuel tank farm, and a landfill. The contamination was estimated to have affected over 900,000 people who lived or worked at Camp Lejeune or the surrounding area during the affected time period.
It is believed to have caused various diseases like cancer, several birth defects, and miscarriages. In 2012, Congress passed the Honoring America’s Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act, which provides health care and disability benefits to veterans and family members who were exposed to contaminated water.
Veterans and active duty military members are still filing lawsuits through firms like Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers to receive compensation for the damages they suffered.
The most serious water contamination incident occurred in 1993 when the Marine Corps discovered that Camp Lejeune had been contaminated with a number of hazardous chemicals. The contaminants included:
- Trichloroethylene (TCE)
- Tetrachloroethylene (PCE)
- 1,2-Dichloroethane (1,2-DCA)
- 1,1,1-Trichloroethane (1,1,1-TCA)
The Marine Corps determined that the contaminants found in the water supply were linked to cancer and birth defects in children who were exposed to the contaminated water.
Sewage In The Drinking Water
In May 2012, the Department of Defense announced that two Marines stationed at Camp Lejeune had died from Legionnaires’ disease, a form of pneumonia caused by exposure to contaminated water. The deaths were the first reported cases of Legionnaires’ disease in the United States since 1992. The two Marines had both served at Camp Lejeune and were diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease after returning from a trip to Japan. The disease is caused by exposure to contaminated water.
In response to the Camp Lejeune water contamination, U.S. veterans and their families have filed numerous lawsuits against the U.S. government. In these lawsuits, veterans and their families allege that the military failed to protect them from the contaminated water, and that they suffered serious health consequences as a result. The majority of these lawsuits are seeking compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other damages.
In 2014, a class-action lawsuit was filed on behalf of veterans and their family members who were exposed to the contaminated water. The lawsuit seeks to hold the Department of Defense liable for failing to protect Camp Lejeune residents from the contaminated water. The lawsuit also seeks to establish a medical monitoring program to provide free medical care for those affected by the water contamination.
In 2018, the U.S. Senate passed legislation that provided health care and disability benefits to veterans and their family members who were exposed to the contaminated water. The legislation also provided for a fund to compensate victims for their medical expenses and for their pain and suffering.
Since then, several other lawsuits have been filed against the U.S. government for their failure to protect Camp Lejeune residents from the contaminated water. These lawsuits seek to hold the government accountable.
Who Is Eligible To Sue?
Those eligible to sue for the Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit include veterans, active duty marines, and family members who were stationed at Camp Lejeune between 1953 and 1987. Those eligible to sue must have been exposed to toxic chemicals in the water during their time at the base and must have suffered health problems as a result of their exposure. Additionally, the veterans or active duty marines must have been present at the base while the contamination occurred.
Family members of veterans or active duty marines may also be eligible to sue if they were present at the base during the period of contamination and suffered health problems due to their exposure to the toxic chemicals in the water. In order to be eligible to sue, family members must be able to prove that their health was directly impacted by their exposure to the contaminated water.
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides health care benefits to veterans and active duty marines who served at Camp Lejeune and were exposed to toxic chemicals in the water. The VA will cover medical expenses related to the exposure and provide disability benefits for those who suffer from illnesses related to the contamination.
The Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit is still pending and if you or a loved one were exposed to toxic chemicals at Camp Lejeune and have suffered from health problems as a result, you may be eligible to receive compensation.
Since the Camp Lejeune water contamination occurred over 30 years ago, many U.S. veterans and their families have filed lawsuits seeking compensation for their injuries. If you or a loved one are eligible to file a lawsuit, speak to an experienced legal team today.