In the late 20th Century, a number of toxic chemicals were found in the water supplies in North Carolina in Camp Lejeune. Almost all chemicals that contaminated the water at Camp Lejeune were linked with a multitude of medical conditions, such as cancer, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), congenital disabilities, and other life-threatening diseases.
Unfortunately, the Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune wasn’t an isolated place. Instead, more than one million people were residing at Camp Lejeune at the time when its water was contaminated.
Among them were non-military staff, active duty military service members, former service members, their families, and others.
After waiting for decades, victims of Camp Lejeune have started receiving recognition, as recently, the U.S. government passed the Camp Lejeune Justice Act. As per this act, individuals who suffered from severe health conditions due to exposure to the toxic water at Camp Lejeune can claim compensation by filing a lawsuit.
Were you or any of your loved ones harmed by the toxic water at Camp Lejeune? Read this guide till the end to know more about Camp Lejeune contaminated water lawsuit and the steps to filing one.
Toxins Found in the Water at Camp Lejeune
Toxins discovered in the water at the Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune are as follows:
1. Trichloroethylene (TCE)
TCE or Trichloroethylene is often used as a degreaser, a substance that removes grease for metal machinery. Exposure to this toxin may lead to non-Hodgkin lymphoma, kidney cancer, and cardiac diseases.
2. Tetrachloroethylene (PCE or PERC)
Also known as PERC or PCE, Tetrachloroethylene is used for degreasing equipment, dry-cleaning fabrics, and various other applications. Individuals exposed to this chemical may suffer from non-Hodgkin lymphoma, multiple myeloma, bladder cancer, and a host of neurobehavioral issues.
Benzene is an organic compound found in a variety of industrial chemicals. Prolonged benzene exposure has been related to cancer, including acute myeloid leukemia.
4. Vinyl Chloride
Popularly used in manufacturing plastic products, this colorless gas may lead to liver cancer and multiple myeloma.
Health Issues Linked to Exposure to the Toxic Water at Camp Lejeune
Because the water at Camp Lejeune is heavily polluted with toxins, several studies link it to dozens of health issues. They are as follows:
- Non-Hodgkin lymphoma
- Multiple Myeloma and other myelodysplastic syndromes
- Renal toxicity
- Aplastic anemia and other bone marrow conditions
- Esophageal cancer
- Bladder cancer
- Ovarian cancer
- Parkinson’s disease
- Congenital disabilities and birth injury
- Kidney cancer
- Cervical cancer
- Neurobehavioral effects
5 Steps to File Your Camp Lejeune Water Lawsuit
Any service men or women and families who served in Camp Lejeune for at least 30 days during 1953-1987 can recover damages by filing a Camp Lejeune contaminated water lawsuit.
As the statute of limitations for Camp Lejeune lawsuits is two years, lawyers of several law firms like TorHoerman Law are helping people file their claims.
The Camp Lejeune water contamination lawyers at TorHoerman Law have been in the field for quite some time, which means they are up-to-date about the recent developments in the litigation. What’s more, the firm offers a free, no-obligation consultation in regard to the Camp Lejeune lawsuit.
That said, here’s how you can file your Camp Lejeune lawsuit:
Step 1: Gather Evidence to Prove You Were at Camp Lejeune
Prior to filing a lawsuit, make sure you have documents that prove you were residing at Camp Lejeune between 1st August 1953 and 31st December 1987. Documents such as military service records, affidavits, work documentation, and so on will prove your presence at the camp.
Step 2: Prove Your Illness
In order to receive compensation, you need to prove that you contracted one of the presumptive illnesses due to exposure to the polluted water at Camp Lejeune.
Step 3: File a VA Claim
File a disability claim with VA or Veterans Affairs either online, by visiting a regional office, or by asking a VSO or Veterans Service Officer to help you.
Step 4: Hire a Lawyer
In case your claim is denied, hire a personal injury lawyer who is experienced enough to help you file a solid case so that you can win fair compensation.
Step 5: File Your Lawsuit
With the help of your lawyer, submit your claim at the federal court in North Carolina (Eastern District).
Veterans and their families and non-military staff who developed life-long diseases because of exposure to the polluted water at Camp Lejeune deserve justice. As per the act passed by the government in favor of Camp Lejeune victims, individuals can file lawsuits up to August 2024.
Bear in mind that winning fair compensation without legal help is challenging, so we suggest you avoid filing a VA claim. Instead, take the help of a lawyer from the get-go, and you’ll secure fair compensation for the damages sustained.