Camp Lejeune was a military base located in North Carolina. Between the 1950s and 1980s, the water at Camp Lejeune was contaminated by industrial solvents and other harmful substances. When people drank contaminated water from Camp Lejeune, they developed cancer, autoimmune disorders, and liver disease.
The effects of this contamination are still felt today as veterans and family members struggle to get medical treatment for illnesses caused by the contamination. A federal lawsuit is underway against several companies responsible for the contamination at Camp Lejeune.
What Is the Camp Lejeune Lawsuit?
The Camp Lejeune Lawsuit is a battle for justice and accountability. Some studies found that the water supplied at Camp Lejeune was contaminated with a few toxicants. The chemicals leaked into the groundwater and caused widespread contamination linked to many health problems among military service members who served there.
According to reports, the chemicals involved are trichloroethylene, benzene, perchloroethylene, and vinyl chloride. Exposure to these contaminants causes various health problems, including bladder cancer, leukemia, kidney cancer, liver cancer, etc. Once these study results were out, many veterans facing health results filed lawsuits against the government for not ensuring their safety.
Anyone who served at the location between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987, is eligible to file the Camp Lejeune lawsuit and get compensation if they suffer from health issues.
Camp Lejeune History
Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, is the largest Marine Corps base on the East Coast. Camp Lejeune was built in 1942 and used as a training facility for Marines. According to TorHoerman Law, the camp is also used by the I Marine Expeditionary Force (I MEF).
In 2022, President Biden signed legislation to provide medical care to veterans exposed to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune between 1953 and 1987. The contamination has been linked to illnesses, including cancer and other serious health problems like kidney failure or heart disease.
What Are the Health Effects of Camp Lejeune Water Contamination?
The health effects of exposure to chemicals at Camp Lejeune are still being studied, but several known consequences have resulted from the contamination. The most common cancers the victims develop are Bladder, breast, kidney, leukemia, lung, and lymphoma.
The effects can vary depending on which chemical was ingested, how much of it was consumed, and whether you were exposed as an adult or child. For example:
- In adults exposed to a toxic substance like TCE (trichloroethylene), symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, and memory problems may occur within 30 days of exposure. Children who ingest high levels of TCE through their mother’s breast milk during pregnancy or while breastfeeding post-birth will experience damage to their nervous systems at birth or during infancy, which could lead to permanent brain damage later in life.
- Multiple studies have confirmed that veterans living at Camp Lejeune between August 1, 1953, and December 1, 1987, are at a higher risk of developing cancers. For instance, a Jama Network of Neurology study found that exposed veterans had a 70% higher risk of developing Parkinson’s disease.
Who Is Eligible for Compensation in the Camp Lejeune Lawsuit?
If you were stationed at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 days between the above-mentioned dates, you may be eligible for compensation in the Camp Lejeune Lawsuit.
If your spouse or child was born with birth defects or faced health problems mentioned in any studies about the camp’s contaminated water, they, too, could be eligible for compensation in this case. At least 20,000 women were exposed to these chemicals during pregnancy.
Military personnel who served at Camp Lejeune but did not live there are also potentially eligible under certain circumstances.
How to Start Your Fight Against Camp Lejeune Lawsuit
While facing health problems due to exposure, taking the right steps for justice can be challenging for you. Here are some tips to help you start your fight for justice and compensation:
- Have a good lawyer on your side. Your attorney will be able to explain the legal process in detail and provide guidance on how best to proceed with your case if necessary.
- Know what type of claim you want to file, whether personal injury or property damage-related claims. This will affect what paperwork needs to be submitted with each claim form and other factors, such as the statute of limitations, which varies between states but generally ranges from two years up until ten years, depending upon when exposure occurred during service time.
- Understand what types of damages might apply in addition to medical bills. Lost wages due to physical injuries sustained during active duty service members’ careers at CLCMC, emotional distress, etc., are all damages that you should be compensated for.
Public Awareness and Advocacy
While the government has not yet issued an official apology, organizations are working tirelessly to ensure that Camp Lejeune’s toxic water victims receive the compensation they deserve. Advocacy groups have also raised awareness about this issue and pushed for accountability from those who caused it. If you want to help but don’t know where to start, here’s how:
- Get involved. Join a local chapter or volunteer with a national organization like TFTP. They need people willing to make phone calls, write letters and emails on behalf of victims’ families so they can focus on getting justice for all those affected by this tragedy.
- Spread the word. Share articles about Camp Lejeune online using hashtags like #JusticeforCampLejeuneVictims or #WaterIsLife, or simply mention them during conversations at work or school lunch tables. It only takes one person talking about something interesting enough times before other folks start listening too.
Lessons Learned and Future Considerations
The Camp Lejeune lawsuit is a battle for justice, accountability, and the health and well-being of our nation’s veterans and their families. The lessons learned from this case will continue to be applied as we fight for justice on behalf of those who toxic exposures at military installations across America have harmed.
We hope you have learned much from this article and are ready to act. The Camp Lejeune Lawsuit is a critical issue that needs to be addressed, and we want you to know there are ways for you to get involved.