Camp Lejeune Linked to Cancer Due to Drinking Water Contamination
In 1982, scientists discovered that the drinking water at Camp Lejeune, a United States Marine Corps base in Jacksonville, North Carolina, contained toxic chemicals called volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
However, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) reports that water contamination at Camp Lejeune began in 1953. Until the late 1980s, polluted water harmed Camp Lejeune base employees, troops, and their families.
People who were in contact with hazardous VOCs in the water and have become ill can finally seek justice thanks to the Camp Lejeune Justice Act. The Justice Act is part of the Honoring Our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act which addresses health issues experienced by veterans and their families exposed to hazardous materials.
Veterans Exposed to Toxic Water Contamination
What Contaminants Were Present in the Water at Camp Lejeune?
The water at Camp Lejeune contained specific volatile organic compounds (VOCs), including:
- Trichloroethylene (TCE),
- Tetrachloroethylene (PCE)
- Vinyl chloride (VC)
The chemicals above are known to cause cancer, liver damage, kidney damage, and other illnesses.
Is There Scientific and Medical Evidence That Proves Camp Lejeune Water Contamination?
Yes, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) reports that water contamination at Camp Lejeune began in 1953. The drinking and bathing water at the U.S. Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, North Carolina, contained toxic chemicals known as volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Three water treatment plants supplying water to Camp Lejeune were contaminated with toxic chemicals. The contaminated water exposed Camp Lejeune residents to toxic substances until the late 1980s. Most contaminated wells and underground storage tanks were closed in 1985.
Camp Lejeune Injuries
Did the Water Contamination at Camp Lejeune Cause Cancer?
Scientific studies found that those who drank and bathed in Camp Lejeune contaminated water have a significantly increased risk of cancer and other chronic diseases. The following types of cancer are linked to the toxic chemicals in the Camp Lejeune water supply :
- Bladder cancer
- Breast cancer
- Esophageal cancer
- Kidney cancer
- Liver cancer
- Lung Cancer
- Multiple myeloma
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
Are Non-Cancer Health Conditions Linked to Camp Lejeune Water Contamination?
In addition to cancer, the hazardous chemicals in Camp Lejeune water have been linked to various serious diseases in people who lived near or were at Camp Lejeune.
- Aplastic anemia and other myelodysplastic syndromes
- Female infertility
- Hepatic steatosis
- Birth Defects
- Neurobehavioral effects
- Parkinson’s disease
- Renal toxicity
The neurobehavioral effects include:
- Decreased coordination
- Poor concentration
- Fine motor impairment
- Gross motor impairment
What is the Camp Lejeune Justice Act?
On August 2, 2022, the Senate passed the Camp Lejeune Justice Act. President Biden signed the new law on August 10, 2022. The Camp Lejeune Justice Act is part of the Honoring Our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act. The Honoring Our PACT Act addresses health problems experienced by Camp Lejeune veterans who were exposed to hazardous materials while serving.
Before the Justice Act was signed, Camp Lejeune water contamination victims had no recourse for justice, no opportunity to file claims, or the ability to seek compensation for the injuries inflicted.
Why Couldn’t Veterans File Lawsuits About Camp Lejeune’s Contaminated Water Until Now?
Camp Lejeune is on the coast of Eastern North Carolina. North Carolina has a ten-year statute of repose, meaning victims only had ten years from an incident to file a lawsuit. By the time people found out about the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune, ten years had already passed. Therefore according to North Carolina law, Camp Lejeune victims could not take legal action. The Camp Lejeune Justice Act is a game changer for veterans and family members who have suffered from the VOCs in Camp Lejeune’s water supply.
Who Is Eligible to File a Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawsuit?
The Camp Lejeune Justice Act allows base workers, military service members, and their families exposed to toxic water at Camp Lejeune between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987, to file a lawsuit. The claimant must have been at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 days (the days did not have to be consecutive).
Can I Sue on Behalf of a Deceased Family Member Who Was at Camp Lejeune?
Yes, if you are a spouse, child, or another family member of someone who died due to Camp Lejeune water contamination, you may file a Camp Lejeune lawsuit on behalf of the family member. The condition must be verified, and the time period must fit the legal requirements for filing a wrongful death suit.
How Do I File a Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawsuit?
The process for filing a Camp Lejeune Lawsuit is confusing. Therefore, we have broken down the process for you into six steps.
You must file with Veterans Affairs and be denied before filing a lawsuit. You may contact a lawyer you trust anywhere in the country who is accepting Camp Lejeune lawsuit cases. However, once a claim is ready for filing a lawsuit, your lawyer must file the suit in Federal Court in the Eastern District of North Carolina.
How Long Do I Have to File a Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawsuit?
You have two years since President Biden signed the act into law to begin the process of filing. He signed the act on August 10, 2022. If you filed with Veterans Affairs and are waiting for approval or denial, you have started the process.
You are required to file for the administrative remedy with Veterans Affairs prior to filing a lawsuit.
Get Legal Assistance for Your Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawsuit
From 1953 to 1987, almost a million veterans, their families, and civilian workers were exposed to potentially hazardous chemicals in the water supply at Camp Lejeune. These compounds might raise the likelihood of certain cancers and other health issues. The Camp Lejeune Justice Act allows individuals to seek legal remedies and recover compensation for water pollution caused by the United States government during this period.
If you or a family member were exposed to contaminated drinking water at Camp Lejeune and are now suffering from illness or if a family member has passed away due to exposure to VOCs, contact Gemma Law Associates for a free, no-obligation consultation. You might be able to obtain the compensation you deserve to cover medical expenses as well as other costs.
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