The Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit is one of the most important legal cases in recent history. Thousands of service members and their families have been exposed to contaminated drinking water at this North Carolina military base, which was used as a training facility between 1953 and 1987.
This period saw more than half a million people pass through Camp Lejeune, many of whom were exposed to toxins like benzene and hexavalent chromium in the base’s water supply. And now, they may be eligible for compensation if they were diagnosed with one of several illnesses related to those chemicals.
In this guide, we’ll show you how to determine whether you’re eligible for compensation if you were stationed at Camp Lejeune between 1953 and 1987 and what steps you should take next.
Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune Was With Toxic Chemicals From the 1950s Through the 1980s
Camp Lejeune was a military base in North Carolina that provided services to the Marines. It is located near Jacksonville, Florida, on the Atlantic coast. The base has been around since 1942 and was used as a training center for troops during World War II. After the war ended, it became an active military installation with many service members stationed there.
Camp Lejeune was contaminated with toxic chemicals from the 1950s through the 1980s due to negligence from its government contractors who disposed of waste improperly at nearby landfills. Many people who lived or worked at Camp Lejeune were exposed to these chemicals in their drinking water, including Marines, sailors, and civilians.
If you served at Camp Lejeune between January 1, 1957, and December 31, 1987, you might be eligible for a Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit. The United States Marine Corps operated a base at Camp Lejeune for decades. It was the largest Marine base on the East Coast, but it has since been closed for a while.
During that time, the base’s water supply was contaminated with toxic chemicals, including benzene and perchloroethylene (PCE), known to cause cancer. Many veterans stationed at Camp Lejeune have developed illnesses due to their exposure to these chemicals. Others have died from those illnesses.
The federal government is responsible for providing medical care for veterans injured during their military service or from exposure to toxins while on duty. Suppose you believe you have been exposed to toxins at Camp Lejeune and developed an illness or injury due to your exposure. In that case, you may be eligible for compensation through this class action lawsuit against the federal government.
There Is a List of Illnesses That Are Included in the Suit
A list of illnesses is included in the suit, and if you have one of those illnesses, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit. The following list consists of some, but not all, of the illnesses that are included:
- Bladder cancer
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
- Neurobehavioral effects
- Renal toxicity
- Breast cancer
- Esophageal cancer
- Lung cancer
- Myelodysplastic syndromes
- Kidney cancer
For example, suppose your loved one had bladder cancer directly related to his time at Camp Lejeune between 1953 and 1987. In that case, they could have been eligible for compensation from the VA even though their medical records weren’t complete.
However, if your loved one had an esophageal tumor without any evidence showing that it was caused by exposure to contaminated water or chemical agents from Camp Lejeune, they would not be eligible to receive benefits from this program.
Know Your Eligibility
If you or a loved one were a resident of Camp Lejeune between 1953 and 1987, there is currently a lawsuit you can file called the Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawsuit.
The PACT Act, which offers compensation to veterans exposed to toxicants during duty, was signed by President Joe Biden in August 2022. Up to 1 million people who resided at or worked at Camp Lejeune between 1953 and 1987 were particularly relieved by the legislation.
If you lived on the base for at least 30 days during that time frame, you could be eligible to claim compensation from the federal government. You can also file if your loved one died due to exposure while stationed at Camp Lejeune.
If your claim qualifies, it will be processed by the Veterans Affairs Department (VA), which administers claims for veterans exposed to harmful chemicals like those found in water contaminated with toxic chemicals.
You Must Have Been at the Base for at Least 30 Days to File a Claim
You must have been on base for at least 30 days to file a claim. The Camp Lejeune Military Base drinking water was contaminated from 1953 until 1987. That means anyone stationed at the base during that period and later became ill can file a lawsuit against the government agency that owned and operated Camp Lejeune.
If you were a resident of Camp Lejeune between 1953 and 1987, you are eligible to file a claim. However, if you weren’t on base long enough or your illness developed after leaving service at the Marine Corps base, you may not be eligible. You should still consult with an attorney about your case so they can help determine whether it’s worth filing suit or not.
Hire an Experienced Lawyer to Know if Your Eligible
If you’re considering suing the government for Camp Lejeune water contamination, it’s essential to know that there are rules and regulations governing how to file a claim. Therefore, speaking with an experienced lawyer is necessary. According to IBISWorld, there are 62,881 personal injury lawyers in the US in 2023.
A lawyer will help you file your claim and understand your legal rights. They will also guide you through finding evidence that supports your claim and finding other people who were at Camp Lejeune who may have similar issues.
Considering Filing a Lawsuit Now
If you have health problems that could be related to being at Camp Lejeune, you must file a lawsuit now. In most cases, time is of the essence when filing a claim for medical expenses related to Camp Lejeune water contamination. If you wait too long, you may not be eligible for a settlement or won’t receive as much compensation as someone who filed sooner.
If you think your exposure to toxic chemicals at Camp Lejeune has caused health issues like cancer or kidney disease and want compensation for treatment costs, contact an attorney today so they can help determine if you can join the pending class action suit against the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
If you have a claim, the first thing to do is talk to an attorney. A lawyer can help you identify whether or not your injuries are related to Camp Lejeune water contamination and what types of compensation are available.
If you’re unsure about filing a lawsuit, it may be helpful for attorneys to review certain documents like medical records and service records to determine if there is evidence supporting your case.