What's At Issue in the
Camp Lejeune Lawsuit?

Between August 1953 and December 1987, the Marine Corps Base Camp at Camp Lejeune and the Marine Corps Air Station at New River in North Carolina had dangerous water quality issues. It is alleged that these issues might have caused certain major health conditions to arise.

Two water wells on the base were shown in 1985 to have carcinogenic chemicals present in them, including:

  • Vinyl chloride
  • Perchloroethylene (PCE)
  • Benzene
  • Trichloroethylene (TCE)

The VA has offered healthcare for this issue for veterans and their families, but any civilian workers & contractors or those who were later dishonorably discharged are not eligible for VA coverage. But recently, Congress passed a bill allowing people who were affected by water contamination at Camp Lejeune to sue the government for compensation.

This means that many people who previously had no recourse can now hold the government accountable for their exposure to toxic chemicals.

Who May Be Affected By Water Contamination at Camp Lejeune?

Anyone who came in contact with water at Camp Lejeune between August 1953 and December 1987 is potentially at risk. This includes people who drank, bathed in, or worked with water on base.

What Are Some of the Medical Issues That Have Been Claimed?

Strong evidence exists that exposure to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune has caused major health issues, up to and including death. The VA recognizes the following conditions as arising from this exposure:

  • Adult leukemia
  • Aplastic anemia and other
  • Myelodysplastic syndromes
  • Bladder cancer
  • Kidney cancer
  • Liver cancer
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  • Parkinson’s disease

However, this is not a complete list. Other claimants have experienced additional medical conditions, including:

  • Other cancers, including breast, cervical, esophageal, and lung
  • Kidney issues
  • Hepatic steatosis (fatty liver)
  • Infertility
  • Neurodegenerative diseases, such as ALS

What To Do If You Think You
Have a Claim

If you believe you or a loved one has been harmed by contaminated water at Camp Lejeune, there are specific steps you should take.

If you lived at Camp Lejeune as a member of the armed forces or if you lived there because a family member was stationed there, you might be eligible to have your medical costs covered by the VA. However, if you received a dishonorable discharge, you will not qualify.

In addition, the VA only acknowledges eight conditions as being caused by exposure to toxic chemicals at Camp Lejeune. They're the first list of bullet points in the previous section.

If you lived or worked at Camp Lejeune as a civilian, if you were a member of the armed forces who developed a condition not on the VA's list, or if you were dishonorably discharged, you may be able to sue the government for payment of your medical bills stemming from exposure to toxins.

No matter what category you fall into, you should consult a qualified attorney as soon as possible to determine your next course of action. Your attorney will be able to provide you with advice tailored to your specific situation.

What's the Current Status of the Lawsuit?

On August 10, 2022, the President signed the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022. This legislation opens the door for people who lived or worked at Camp Lejeune to sue the government to cover their medical bills.

However, the clock is ticking for people who want to recover damages. Any claimant who wants to bring a suit will need to do so by August 10, 2024, as the bill only allows for suits to be filed for two years after it was passed.

This means that it's incredibly important to get things started as soon as you can.

How Much Compensation is Available?

No lawsuits brought under this Act have been settled, so it's impossible to say how much compensation victims will receive. The government is estimating that it will pay out $6.7 billion in damages. It's likely that the settlement amount will be based on these factors, among others:

  • The severity of the medical condition
  • The length of the medical condition
  • Actual costs to treat the condition, including projected future costs
  • Pain and suffering

What Are the Next Steps?

If you believe you were harmed because of contaminated water at Camp Lejeune, time is of the essence. You only have a certain amount of time to file a lawsuit, and the clock is already ticking down. It's in your best interest to contact an attorney or law firm that has experience with this sort of case as soon as possible.

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