Camp Lejeune Water Contamination

Veterans with health conditions caused by Camp Lejeune’s toxic water can file lawsuits for compensation and apply for disability benefits with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. A skilled personal injury attorney can review your case and guide you through the process of securing compensation for your injuries. 

Key Takeaways
  • Veterans affected by Camp Lejeune’s toxic water can seek compensation through lawsuits and apply for VA disability benefits, guided by a personal injury attorney.
  • The contamination, due to improper chemical disposal between the 1950s and 1980s, led to severe health conditions including cancers and neurological disorders.
  • Legal actions are supported by legislation like the Honoring America’s Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act and the Camp Lejeune Justice Act, allowing for compensation claims.

The United States has long known that incidents at Camp Lejeune between the 1950s and the 1980s resulted in residents’ development of severe disabilities and long-lasting, if not fatal, health conditions. In 2012, the United States acted to allow Camp Lejeune residents to take legal action against those parties whose negligence resulted in their losses.

Now, again, the United States has opened up veterans’ rights to legal action against those parties who breached their duty of care while overseeing operations at Camp Lejeune. If you were a resident of Camp Lejeune, either as an active-duty member of the armed forces or a resident, and you’ve endured unexplained health problems since your residence, you may have a right to legal action.

What happened to the water supply at Camp Lejeune?

Camp Lejeune is perhaps better known as Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune. The camp has been in operation since 1941. For years, marines, reserves, and their loved ones lived, bathed, and ate at the camp — under the impression that appointed parties were safely disposing of chemical substances that might otherwise endanger residents’ health.

This was not the case. Investigators discovered that between the 1950s and 1980s, the parties in charge of chemical maintenance had improperly disposed of volatile chemicals, thus endangering the health of everyone who lived at the camp during that time. 

Specifically, the water tables at and around Camp Lejeune were contaminated with trichloroethylene and perchloroethylene. These chemicals are considered volatile organic compounds and are most often used as dry-cleaning solvents and degreasers.

Health Conditions Caused by Contaminated Water at Camp Lejeune

Long-term exposure to volatile organic compounds can result in the development of lifelong health conditions, including several types of cancer. Other common conditions include:

  • Multiple myeloma
  • Aplastic anemia
  • Adult leukemia
  • Renal toxicity
  • Miscarriages and infertility

If you were a resident at Camp Lejeune between the 1950s and 1980s, you may also find yourself contending with unexplained dizziness, numbness, and muscle weakness. If you’ve developed Parkinson’s disease or non-Hodgkin lymphoma since your tenure at the camp, you may be entitled to compensation.

Filing a Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawsuit

Receiving VA benefits does not preclude you from filing a lawsuit and obtaining compensation through a legal settlement or court verdict. According to the VA, your benefits and health care will not be affected by a lawsuit, but, “the court awarded relief will be offset by the amount of any disability award, payment, or other benefit VA provided to you related to your exposure at Camp Lejeune.”

If you want to take legal action against the parties responsible for your injuries, you must prove that you are eligible for a contaminated water lawsuit. Specifically, your claim must indicate that:

  • You resided at Camp Lejeune during the years in which the water was contaminated.
  • You remained on the base during its contamination period for a minimum of 30 days.
  • You have medical records indicating that you suffered negative long-term health effects from chemical exposure.

Your personal injury attorney will estimate the value of your losses and pursue this compensation on your behalf.

How much compensation can veterans expect from a Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit?

No Camp Lejeune water contamination settlement amounts have been released at this point. Instead, the compensation to which you may be entitled will depend on the severity of the illness or injury you’ve suffered as a result of the toxic exposure you experienced at Camp Lejeune.

The economic losses you may be awarded include:

You may also be eligible for non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering and emotional distress. If you lost a loved one to Camp Lejeune chemical exposure, talk to your attorney about filing a wrongful death claim.

Remember that your settlement or award will be offset by any VA disability benefits you’ve received.
Your personal injury attorney will gladly discuss your expected compensation with you.

Legislation Supports Veterans Who Served at Camp Lejeune

On August 6, 2012, President Barack Obama signed the Honoring America’s Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act of 2012 to ensure that veterans who were exposed to contaminated water while stationed at Camp Lejeune and their families receive adequate medical care.

Moreover, the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 further protects veterans’ rights to legal action in the wake of Camp Lejeune’s alleged negligence by allowing people who were exposed for at least 30 days to “sue and recover damages for harm from exposure to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987.”

The 2022 PACT Act extended and expanded eligibility for VA health care for veterans with toxic exposures and those who served during the Vietnam era, Gulf War era, and Post-9/11 era.

military member saluting the us flag

Exercise Your Right To File Today

Veterans and their loved ones who suffered lifelong disabilities due to the negligence exhibited at Camp Lejeune now have the right to take legal action against those parties responsible for their losses.

If you or someone you care about wants to pursue a Camp Lejeune water contamination claim, enlist the help of a Camp Lejeune personal injury attorney.

For more information about filing a claim VA Disability benefits, visit the VA’s website.

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