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Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawsuit

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August 2022 UPDATE: On August 10, 2022, President Biden signed the Honoring our PACT Act of 2022, which included the provisions of the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022, into law. The new legislation will allow thousands of individuals who were exposed to contaminated water on the Camp Lejeune base to sue the government for damages. The legislation will allow military and former military families to seek compensation despite the North Carolina statute of repose that previously limited the time period during which victims could bring an action against the federal government.

Health effects related to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune include:

  • Bladder Cancer
  • Breast Cancer
  • Cervical Cancer
  • Esophageal Cancer
  • Kidney Cancer
  • Liver Cancer
  • Lung Cancer
  • Ovarian Cancer
  • Stomach Cancer
  • Multiple Myeloma and other myelodysplastic syndromes
  • Adult leukemia
  • Aplastic anemia and other bone marrow conditions
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Renal toxicity
  • Birth defects and birth injury
  • Miscarriage
  • Neurobehavioral effects
  • Other Cancers

YOU HAVE LIMITED TIME TO FILE YOUR CLAIM

What You Should Know

 

Over a million people lived and worked at Camp Lejeune from 1953 to 1987. Tens of thousands of them have died or are suffering.

 
 
 

During the years 1953-1987, water supplies at Camp Lejeune (North Carolina) were found to be contaminated with a number of hazardous chemicals linked to a range of serious health conditions, including cancer, birth defects, ALS, and other potentially life-threatening injuries. 

Camp Lejeune opened in 1942 as a Marine base in Jacksonville, North Carolina. In 1982, the Marine Corps discovered volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in drinking water provided by two treatment plants on base, according to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR).

The ATSDR believes that exposure to these contaminants from the 1950s to February 1985 caused adverse health effects. In particular, the contamination may have exposed base residents to trichloroethylene (TCE), tetrachloroethylene (PCE), benzene, and vinyl chloride. These substances “likely increased the risk” for certain types of cancers, ATSDR said.

The two treatment plants with contaminated water were Tarawa Terrace and Hadnot Point. The source of contamination at Tarawa Terrace was ABC One-Hour Cleaners, an off-base dry cleaner.

In 1989, Camp Lejeune and the dry cleaners became EPA Superfund sites, according to ATSDR. Various sources, including leaking underground storage tanks, industrial area spills, and waste disposal sites, contaminated the supply wells at Hadnot Point, the ATSDR said.

The ATSDR conducted several studies beginning in the 1990s designed to determine the effects of the contamination, including reproductive studies, water modeling, and mortality studies.

Over one million people lived at Camp Lejeune within this time period: active duty and former military service members, families, non-military staff, and others.

If you, a family member, or a loved one has suffered health effects as a result of the water contamination at Camp Lejeune, you may be eligible to participate in the Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawsuit.

 

What was Found in the Water at Camp Lejeune?

 

The Camp Lejeune water contamination incident is one of the worst cases of water contamination in US history.

Over three decades, Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune was supplied with water that was contaminated with volatile organic compounds (VOCs):

  • dry cleaning solvents
  • degreasers
  • chemicals used on heavy machinery
  • almost seventy (70) other toxic substances

The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease (ATSDR) has deeply studied water contamination at Camp Lejeune and its related health effects. The agency has published numerous pages detailing the links between water contamination and a host of often fatal illnesses.

Where did the toxic chemicals in the water come from?

The water contamination spanned the entire area: base housing and buildings, and also Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) New River. MCAS New River is located very close to Camp Lejeune.

Sources of the contaminated water include two of the eight water treatment facilities that supplied Camp Lejeune and surrounding areas with water: Tarawa Terrace Treatment Plant and Hadnot Point Treatment Plant.

Toxic Substances that Contaminated Drinking Water at Camp Lejeune

Leaking from waste disposal sites, underground storage tanks, businesses near the base, and from military operations, toxic chemicals made their way into drinking water sources used by upwards of a million people over 30+ years.

Studies on the water at Camp Lejeune discovered various toxic chemicals, including:

  • Tetrachloroethylene (PCE or PERC)
  • Trichloroethylene (TCE)
  • Vinyl Chloride
  • Benzene

Tetrachloroethylene (PCE or PERC)

The industrial chemical tetrachloroethylene, also known as PCE or PERC, has been used in a variety of applications, including dry-cleaning fabrics, degreasing metal machinery, and manufacturing other chemicals. In recent years, however, studies have linked exposure to PERC to an increased risk of bladder cancer, multiple myeloma, or non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, as well as neurobehavioral effects.

PERC likely made its way into water supplies from a dry-cleaning business near the base.

Trichloroethylene (TCE)

Trichloroethylene (TCE) is a chemical used as a degreaser for metal machinery. Exposure to TCE can potentially lead to kidney cancer, non-hodgkin lymphoma, other cancers, and cardiac effects.

Vinyl Chloride

Vinyl chloride is a colorless gas that is used in the production of many plastic products, including PVC pipes and wire coatings. Historically, vinyl chloride was also used in products like makeup, refrigerants, and household consumables. Heavy exposure to vinyl chloride has been linked to multiple myeloma, liver cancer, and other cancers.

Benzene

Benzene is an organic compound found in a number of industrial chemicals. Chronic exposure to benzene has been linked to cancer. There is a strong association to acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and other forms of leukemia.

 

Health Issues related to Camp Lejeune Water Contamination

Water contamination at Camp Lejeune can result in a number of serious health effects. Scientific and medical evidence points to various toxic chemicals found at Camp Lejeune to conditions such as cancer, birth defects, and more.

Health effects related to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune include:

  • Bladder Cancer
  • Breast Cancer
  • Cervical Cancer
  • Esophageal Cancer
  • Kidney Cancer
  • Liver Cancer
  • Lung Cancer
  • Ovarian Cancer
  • Stomach Cancer
  • Multiple Myeloma and other myelodysplastic syndromes
  • Adult leukemia
  • Aplastic anemia and other bone marrow conditions
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Renal toxicity
  • Birth defects and birth injury
  • Miscarriage
  • Neurobehavioral effects

In 2012, the Department of Veterans Affairs released a list of presumptive conditions related to water contamination at Camp Lejeune. The conditions on the list include cancer, kidney disease, and liver disease.

Veterans who served at Camp Lejeune during the relevant time period may be eligible for disability benefits from the Veterans Administration.

Action from the Federal Government for Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Victims

While exposure to glyphosate may lead to certain types of cancers, Monsanto has also been accused of falsely marketing Roundup as “safer than table salt” and “practically nontoxic” to humans, birds, and fish. They have also been accused of failing to warn the public of increased risks of developing certain types of cancers due to exposure to Roundup’s active ingredient.
Despite current dealings to settle as of May 2020, Bayer will continue to sell Roundup in the United States for backyard and farm use without any safety warnings.

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Economic damages — including past and future medical bills, and lost earnings — as well as noneconomic damages for losses such as mental pain and suffering, are potentially available from a Roundup lawsuit. The actual compensation a plaintiff is eligible to receive depends on the specific details of their case.
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If you were diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma after regularly using Roundup, our attorneys may be able to help you. For a free legal consultation, call 833-PUSHWIN or submit a case review form. It costs nothing to get started, and we get paid only if your case is successful.

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What Toxic Substances Were In The Water At Camp Lejeune?

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) were found in the water serving the base housing and a variety of other buildings.

These VOCs included:

  • Dry cleaning solvents

  • Degreasers

  • And almost seventy (70) other hazardous chemicals

Scientific and medical evidence has linked these chemicals present in water to a number of serious health conditions.

The sources of contamination at Camp Lejeune are varied, but the sources of a few chemicals can be pinpointed.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), water from the Tarawa Terrace Treatment Plant was primarily contaminated by PCE (perchloroethylene or tetrachloroethylene), which reportedly originated from a dry cleaning business off-base.

The following four (4) chemicals were found in Camp Lejeune water sources:

1. Tetrachloroethylene (PCE Or PERC)

Tetrachloroethylene (also known as Perchloroethylene) is an industrial chemical used in:

  • Dry-cleaning fabrics

  • Degreasing metal machinery

  • Manufacturing other chemicals

  • Producing paint

  • And more

Exposure to Tetrachloroethylene can lead to bladder cancer and other health effects.

2. Trichloroethylene (TCE)

Trichloroethylene (TCE) is used as a degreaser product for metal machinery.

Ingested, inhaled or absorbed through the skin, exposure to Trichloroethylene (TCE) can potentially lead to:

  • Kidney Cancer

  • Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma

  • Other cancers

  • Cardiac effects

3. Vinyl Chloride

Vinyl Chloride is an odorless gas used in the production of many plastic products including PVC pipes and wire coatings.

Vinyl Chloride was previously used in products like makeup, refrigerants, and household aerosols.

Vinyl chloride has been heavily linked to liver cancer and other cancers.

4. Benzene

Benzene is an organic compound commonly used in industrial chemical operations.

In the ATSDR assessment, it was found that consuming water contaminated with Benzene is linked to Leukemias and Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma.

Benzene may also be linked to Multiple Myeloma.

How Did The Camp Lejeune Justice Act Come About?

The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) and the Department of Defense found that upwards of one million people present at Camp Lejeune were exposed to contaminated water that can lead to devastating health effects.

Years prior to these recent developments, a number of lawsuits were filed over water contamination at Camp Lejeune.

Over 850 cases were consolidated into an MDL, but the lawsuits were dismissed due to a North Carolina law known as a statute of repose, which stated that legal action could not be brought since the alleged water contamination occurred more than three (3) years prior to filing suit.

The resulting public outrage led to the proposal of the Camp Lejeune Justice Act years later.

The Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 was passed in the House of Representatives by a 256 to 174 vote, sending it to the Senate for majority approval.

If passed by the Senate, President Biden must sign it into law.

Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma is one of the most common cancers in the United States. Nearly 80,000 people will be diagnosed with NHL in 2020. Symptoms of non-Hodgkin lymphoma include swollen lymph nodes, abdominal pain and swelling, chest pain, fever, persistent fatigue, and unexplained weight loss. B-cell Lymphoma is the most common form of NHL and accounts for about 85% of cases while T-cell Lymphoma accounts for roughly 15%.
Symptoms of leukemia include fever, chills, frequent or severe infections, swollen lymph nodes, enlarged liver or spleen, recurrent nosebleeds, and easy bleeding or bruising.

Who Can File A Claim In The Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawsuit?

As stated in the Veterans Administration release and the Camp Lejeune Justice Act, anybody who resided at the marine corps base for at least thirty (30) days, while the Camp Lejeune accident was occuring, may be eligible to file a claim.

This includes active duty and former service members, family members living on base, non-military staff, families of deceased, and even in-utero victims who were not yet born when their mother was residing at Camp Lejeune.

It’s important to note that if you were dishonorably discharged, you may not be eligible for disability benefits or disability compensation.

Families of dishonorably discharged military personnel are also not eligible to file suit or apply for benefits.

Gathering Evidence

Quality evidence is the cornerstone of any successful personal injury or mass tort case.

Evidence relating to water contamination can include a number of documents relating to your or a loved one’s time spent at the marine corps base.

Evidence in a Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit may include:

  • Documents proving residence at Camp Lejeune

  • Military service records indicating dates and locations served

  • Medical records and diagnoses

  • Medical bills

  • Travel records

  • Health care information

  • Records on disability benefits or VA compensation benefits

Hiring A Lawyer And Assessing Damages

When you have gathered pieces of key evidence, a lawyer will help you to refine your case and assess damages.

Damages are any losses, both physical and mental/emotional, that a person incurs as a result of an injury at no fault of their own.

Damages are the total amount the defendant is liable to pay to the plaintiff to compensate for the damage that they have caused.

Damages in a Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit may include:

  • Medical bills

  • Pain and suffering

  • Lost wages

  • Disability benefits

  • Loss of companionship, consortium, enjoyment of life, and earning capacity

  • Permanent disability

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