You may have been exposed to drinking water contaminants if you’ve served at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. Scientific and medical evidence has demonstrated a link between exposure to these contaminants and the development of life-altering diseases later in life.
If you have experienced contaminated drinking water-related health conditions, you may be able to get disability benefits. Camp Lejuene water contamination lawsuit specialists recommend contacting Fasig | Brooks to explore your rights to additional VA benefits, damages, and more that you may be entitled to under the PACT Act and other protections in place for veterans like you.
Camp Lejeune Water Contamination History
Camp Lejeune serves as a base for Marine Corps and a military training facility. It’s massive and covers nearly 250 square miles in Onslow County, North Carolina. It has been used by various branches of the armed forces since its inception in 1942. Camp Lejeune has been a temporary or permanent home for thousands of military service members and their families.
Thousands of civilian employees and contractors have called Camp Lejeune home as well. Since it is so large, Camp Lejeune had its own public water system to supply its military and civilian inhabitants with water. Environmental testing in the 1980s exposed that the water supply going to Camp Lejeune residents and employees was dangerously contaminated.
Ever since, personal injury lawyers and the victims they represent have been trying to combat toxic water contamination cases and secure the benefits guaranteed to them for their service and Camp Lejeune-linked health concerns.
Contamination at Camp Lejeune
The Marine Corps found that from 1953 to 1987, the water supply to Camp Lejeune had been heavily contaminated with volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and carcinogens. Some of the most troubling and harmful cancer-causing chemicals found include trichloroethylene (TCE) and tetrachloroethylene (PCE).
These chemicals are called VOCs. They are commonly used for dry cleaning and much of the water contamination was attributed to an off-base dry cleaner. The dry cleaning service existed before the Marine base was opened, which means the water wells were contaminated before Camp Lejeune opened.
However, the investigation found that there were multiple sources of toxic water. Since these chemicals are also used to clean machinery and weapons, water contamination came from on and off the Marine base. With all of this contamination in Camp Lejeune’s water supply, those exposed have a potential Camp Lejeune lawsuit on their hands.
If you served at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune or Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) in North Carolina, you may have had contact with contaminants in your drinking water. Speak with Fasig | Brooks about how we’ve helped fellow service members to recover damages in contamination at Camp Lejeune cases.
The Response To Contamination at Camp Lejeune
The government’s veteran affairs department was slow to respond but was well aware of the problem. As early as the 1940s, wells could be found with TCE, PCE, and other toxic chemicals. However, many argue that environmental scientists and engineers did not address TCE, PCE, and other chlorinated solvents as potential soil and groundwater contaminants until the early 1980s.
That same government also created the Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics Act, also known as the PACT Act, which allows for veterans affairs benefits to those who have experienced personal injury as a result of contamination at Camp Lejeune. The government understands how culpable they are for your injuries and that’s why Fasig | Brooks is standing by to offer assistance.
Camp Lejeune Justice Act
Camp Lejeune allows certain individuals to sue and recover damages for harm from exposure to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987. These lawsuits are only available to individuals who were exposed to the contaminated water for at least 30 days.
The act, signed into law by President Joe Biden, prohibits the U.S. government from asserting specified immunity from litigation in response to a lawsuit. The Camp Lejeune Justice Act also prohibits an individual who brings these actions from bringing another claim against the U.S. government.
Camp Lejeune’s Duty
An experienced attorney can help you establish your Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit. This lawsuit will seek to prove how the contaminated water supply at Camp Lejeune negligently caused injuries or wrongful death. Since the U.S Marine Corps allowed contaminants into the Camp Lejeune water supply without warning people, when they should know these water issues could cause awful side effects that included death, they can be found liable under US personal injury laws.
Cancerous Chemicals in Camp Lejeune Water
The chemicals that polluted Camp Lejeune’s water supply are very poisonous to the human body and have been linked to cancer, birth defects, and neurologic disorders. Scientific and medical evidence has shown that chronic exposure to these chemicals can cause increased rates of cancer.
The types of cancer that have been scientifically linked to the consumption of harmful chemicals contaminating the water at Camp Lejeune include:
- Aplastic anemia
- Bladder cancer
- Brain cancer
- Breast cancer
- Esophageal cancer
- Kidney cancer
- Liver cancer
- Lung cancer
- Multiple myeloma
- Myelodysplastic syndrome
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
Exposure to contaminated water in Camp Lejeune has also been linked to other non-cancerous but also dangerous conditions. These include:
- ALS (Lou Gerhig’s Disease)
- Birth defects
- Birth injuries
- Brain injuries
- Cardiac defect
- Fatty liver disease
- Hepatic Steatosis
- Infertility and miscarriage
- Neurobehavioral effects
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Plastic anemia and other bone marrow conditions
- Renal Toxicity
The CDC reported that children who were born to mothers that lived on Camp Lejeune or drank the water had four times the rate of birth defects, such as spina bifida. The CDC also found that children who were exposed to the contaminated Camp Lejeune water during fetal gestation had an increased risk of developing childhood cancers like leukemia and also have a higher risk of developing adult cancer.
If you or someone you love has experienced any of these injuries and you spent some time at Camp Lejeune, then you may be entitled to benefits. Speak with an experienced attorney at Fasig | Brooks for a free consultation today.
Camp Lejeune Justice Act Benefits
If you want to recover damages for harm from exposure to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune between 1953, and 1987, you may be eligible for disability benefits if you meet all of the requirements.
To receive these benefits you must have:
- Served at Camp Lejeune or MCAS New River for at least 30 cumulative days from August 1953 through December 1987
- Discharged honorably when you separated from the military
- Have a diagnosis of adult leukemia, Aplastic Anemia, and other Myelodysplastic Syndromes, bladder cancer, kidney cancer, liver cancer, Multiple Myeloma, Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, Parkinson’s disease
The Camp Lejeune Justice Act benefits cover the following servicemen:
The Camp Lejeune Justice Act (CLJA) provides health care and compensation in the form of payments. If you want to receive these benefits you’ll need to file a claim for disability compensation and provide the following supporting documentation:
- Military records showing you served at Camp Lejeune or MCAS New River for at least 30 days from August 1953 through December 1987 while on active duty, or in the National Guard or Reserves, and
- Medical records stating that you have one or more of the illnesses on the presumptive conditions list
Camp Lejeune Settlements and Lawsuits
The CLJA gives individuals, or their survivors, who lived or worked at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 days the right to file civil lawsuits in the Eastern District of North Carolina to seek damages for injuries caused by the contaminated water. Fasig | Brooks can help you get started on a Lejeune water contamination lawsuit today to secure the VA benefits you deserve.
Before filing a lawsuit, Section H of the CLJA requires all claimants to go through a six-month administrative claim process. A prospective plaintiff must first submit their claim to the “appropriate federal agency.” Said federal agency has a strict six-month deadline to either accept or deny their claim. Once their claim is denied, or the six-month deadline expires, claimants can file a lawsuit in federal court.
Since Congress passed the CLJA to ensure that victims of Lejeune water contamination get financial compensation for their valid injuries, and President Biden has made it clear that he strongly supports the idea of compensating deserving veterans, Fasig | Brooks expects the CLJA claims process to proceed smoothly.
The Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA), provides a legal means for government victims to be properly compensated for damages they’ve incurred. Camp Lejeune water contamination claims under the CLJA fall under the jurisdiction of the Department of the Navy (Navy) because the Navy was the agency with ultimate responsibility for the USMC base at Camp Lejeune.
For 30 years, millions of Marines and their families drank and bathed in contaminated water. Since then, thousands of Marines and their families have suffered severe illnesses and some have perished. However, thanks to the CLJA, victims may now be able to file a claim and get a Camp Lejeune settlement payout or jury award for the harm that has been done to them if they lived or worked near Camp Lejeune between 1953 and the late 1980s.
If you want compensation for the harm done at Camp Lejeune, contact our lawyers and tell us about your claim today. Fasig | Brooks will use their experience in federal tort claims to help you recover a settlement in your Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit claim to recover VA benefits, damages, and more.
Camp Lejeune Lawsuit FAQ
Great harm was caused as a result of the toxic water supply at the Camp Lejeune Marine Corp base. The U.S. government is now taking strides to help correct all that they’ve done wrong by providing benefits to those harmed. However, securing those benefits will not come automatically.
Read on for some of the most frequently asked questions about your Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit:
How did victims get exposed to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune?
Exposure to contaminated water happens in several ways:
- Bathing water
- Cooking with contaminated water
- Drinking toxic water
- Using contaminated water for cleaning
Which chemicals were found in the Camp Lejeune water supply?
Two specific chemical compounds found contaminating the water supply at Camp Lejeune from 1953 to 1987 were Perchloroethylene (PCE) and Trichloroethylene (TCE). PCE caused most of the water contamination and the injuries and deaths that followed at Camp Lejeune. PCE is used in the drying and cleaning industry to clean fabrics. PCE targets the central nervous system, liver, and kidneys and accumulates in fat cells.
Tetrachloroethylene caused many birth defects at Camp Lejeune. The peak level of TCE contamination in 1985 in the Camp Lejeune water supply was 215 ug/L, which is 43 times the safe level. EPA’s maximum safe level for TCE is 5 ppb. The Camp Lejeune water supply was contaminated with TCE as high as 1,400 ppb.
What other chemicals were found in the Camp Lejeune water supply?
Mercury was also found in the water supply and may have come from water pressure meters at the facility that was removed in the 1980s. Vinyl chloride and benzene, toxic chemicals that can cause many of these same injuries as PCE and TCE, were also found on the base.
Which water treatment plants supplied contaminated water to Camp Lejeune?
According to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), specific VOCs and toxic chemicals were found in two of the eight water treatment plants that supplied the Marine Corps Base.
The Tarawa Terrace Treatment Plant and Hadnot Point Treatment Plant pumped chemicals into the drinking water at Camp Lejeune for years. This resulted in several health issues and deaths for people of all ages.
Are Veterans and their family members’ health care covered?
Veterans who served at Camp Lejeune or MCAS New River for at least 30 cumulative days from August 1953 through December 1987, and their family members, can get health care VA benefits.
The Camp Lejeune Justice Act provides for any of these 15 conditions:
- Bladder cancer
- Breast cancer
- Esophageal cancer
- Female infertility
- Hepatic steatosis
- Kidney cancer
- Lung cancer
- Multiple myeloma
- Myelodysplastic syndromes
- Neurobehavioral effects
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
- Renal toxicity
How do family members and surviving relatives get benefits?
Family members have to file a claim for disability compensation and provide evidence proving their relationship to the Veteran who served on active duty for at least 30 days at Camp Lejeune (like a marriage license, birth certificate, or adoption papers).
You’ll also need a document proving that you lived at Camp Lejeune or MCAS New River for at least 30 days from August 1953 through December 1987 (like utility bills, base housing records, military orders, or tax forms).
Medical records that show you have one of the 15 conditions listed above, the date the illness was diagnosed, treatment details, and evidence that you paid health care expenses for your claimed condition.
Is there a Class Action Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawsuit?
There have been two Camp Lejeune class action lawsuits filed in 2011 and 2022. New legislation allows for claimants to secure benefits and eradicates the statute of limitations placed by North Carolina laws.
Who is liable in Camp Lejeune Lawsuit?
The defendant being sued in a Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit is the U.S. Federal Government.
What is the Camp Lejeune settlement amounts claimants can expect?
Many Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuits involve cancer, which can lead to a larger settlement award. The average settlement amounts many attorneys see in class action lawsuits involving cancer range from $150,000 to $750,000. Parkinson’s disease settlement cases could reach $500,000.
There will be Camp Lejeune settlement payouts that are higher and lower than this range. However, the more evidence you can provide of your losses and damages, the larger the settlement you’ll be entitled to. Our Camp Lejeune attorneys understand the litigation progresses and can update you on your Camp Lejeune settlement amount as we go.
Since the government has allocated $6.7 billion to pay Camp Lejeune settlement amounts and jury payouts, your final settlement number could go up or down. The real total settlement compensation will hinge on the total number of filed claims, the details of your claim, and your legal team.
How do attorneys get paid in Camp Lejeune lawsuits?
First, our Camp Lejeune lawyers will not receive a fee until after you receive a settlement. So you will not put up any money or risk losing money. The Federal Tort Claim Act caps the number of contingency fees a lawyer can receive at 25%.
Who is eligible for a Camp Lejeune Lawsuit?
The Camp Lejeune Justice Act (CLJA) gives thousands of former Lejeune residents, employees, and soldiers a legal remedy for bringing a civil lawsuit against the federal government for injuries caused by the Camp Lejeune water contamination.
This group of eligible plaintiffs under the CLJA includes:
- Military personnel stationed at Camp Lejeune
- Family members of Marines who lived in on-base housing at Camp Lejeune
- Marines who worked or were assigned to Camp Lejeune
- Civilian employees who worked at or near Camp Lejeune
- Anyone else who was exposed to the Lejeune water
- Surviving family members or “legal representatives” of those who passed away because of water at Camp Lejeune
Eligibility extends to anyone who can prove that they lived or worked at Camp Lejeune for more than 30 days between the 1950s and 1980s. Employees at Camp Lejeune may include civilian employees, government contractors, and military personnel who worked at the base but did not live there.
Are individuals who died years ago eligible under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act?
Yes, you can bring a Camp Lejeune wrongful death claim for someone who died many years ago. The most recent Camp Lejeune laws increase the eligibility for claims that have been barred by the N.C. statute of limitations.
How do you file a Camp Lejeune Toxic Water lawsuit?
There is a new federal law passed by Congress that gives the victims of Camp Lejeune water contamination the legal right to bring civil lawsuits and seek financial compensation for their injuries.
Our experienced lawyers have carefully reviewed the CLJA and can provide answers on who’s eligible, what benefits are provided, and what’s the procedure for bringing these types of suits.
Filing claims for Camp Lejeune Water Contamination involves an administrative process and a judicial process if things are not settled through the administrative process. Fasig | Brooks can submit a claim form to the Judge Advocate General (JAG) of the Navy’s Tort Claims Unit (TCU).
Do I need a lawyer to file a CLJA claim?
Claimants can file their claims Pro Se, meaning without legal representation, but it’s highly recommended that you file claims with legal guidance. The Navy JAG will not answer your legal questions. The amount of compensation you’re eligible for could be affected by the legal representation you decide on. Don’t sell yourself short.
If your claim form is denied, claimants are usually asked to substantiate their claim with further evidence and information. The experienced attorneys at Fasig | Brooks can help claimants with this process when their claim is denied. You don’t have to go up against the U.S. government all by yourself. Skillful attorneys are standing by to assist.
What can Camp Lejeune Victims sue for?
Individuals who can prove that they lived or worked at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 days between 1953 and 1987 have the right to file a tort lawsuit seeking a verdict or settlement payout against the United States government.
The lawsuit alleges that they suffered physical harm or injuries that were caused or associated with exposure to the water at Camp Lejeune. Lawsuits not related to alleged exposure to the toxic water at Lejeune or not involving physical injuries are not allowed.
What do water at Camp Lejeune victims have to prove to get a settlement payout?
Individuals who meet the qualifying criteria under the CLJA, do not automatically qualify for settlement compensation. However, these individuals have the right to file a lawsuit for their alleged injuries. To get financial compensation, plaintiffs will need to prove that their injuries were caused by the contaminated water at Lejeune.
The CLJA does establish a lower burden of proof. The CLJA provides that Lejeune plaintiffs can satisfy their burden of proof with a scientific study concluding that their alleged injury can be linked to exposure to the water at Camp Lejeune.
How did the Camp Lejeune Justice Act get passed?
The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) and the Department of Defense found that there were one million people present at Camp Lejeune. That means millions were potentially exposed to contaminated water and that led to devastating health effects.
Several lawsuits were filed over water contamination at Camp Lejeune. Over 850 of those 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 years before the suit.
Public outcries led to the proposal of the 2022 Camp Lejeune Justice Act. In 2012, Congress passed H.R.1627 – Honoring America’s Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act, which granted some benefits to both veterans and family members who were exposed if they met certain standards.
This bill provided health care benefits to a family member, but not VA compensation benefits.
In 2017, Congress passed an additional statute that granted more benefits and expanded upon the conditions associated with exposure at the base.
The Camp Lejeune Justice Act is different from previous bills because it provides health care and disability benefits while providing a legal route for affected individuals to seek financial compensation for their exposure-related medical issues.
How do I file a Camp Lejeune lawsuit?
Plaintiffs who meet the qualifying criteria under the CLJA can file their lawsuit by contacting one of our attorneys. Fasig | Brooks provides legal assistance to victims and can help them file a Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit. Our Camp Lejeune lawyers offer a free consultation to answer your questions about Camp Lejeune justice.
Section (g) of the CLJA clarifies that before any eligible plaintiff can file a civil lawsuit, they first must comply with 28 U.S.C. § 2675. This means plaintiffs need to file a “claim” for the alleged injuries with the “appropriate federal agency” first and have that claim denied before they can bring a civil suit. When claims are submitted, federal agencies have six months to approve or deny them.
For a Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit, the appropriate federal agency is the U.S. Government’s Department of Defense. In most situations, filing this sort of claim with a federal agency is just a formality that plaintiffs go through before filing their lawsuit.
For Camp Lejeune lawsuits, however, the DOD may offer settlement amounts to resolve what appear to be legitimate claims. The new legislation offers a much faster route for victims to get financial compensation. Let Fasig | Brooks help you get the compensation guaranteed to you under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act.
What are the deadlines for filing a CLJA claim?
Section (j) of the CLJA creates a special statute of limitations deadline for Camp Lejeune victims who want to bring claims under the CLJA. Under § (j)(1), the general statute of limitations to file suit for claims by Lejeune victims is two years after the date on which “the harm occurred or was discovered.”
Victims of the water at Camp Lejeune who have developed cancer, suffered birth defects, or been diagnosed with another condition possibly related to the Lejeune water, will need to file their claims within the two-year deadline.
How do Camp Lejeune’s wrongful death claims function?
The new CLJA allows tort claims to be brought on behalf of former Camp Lejeune residents or employees that are now deceased because of injuries related to the water contamination. The suits can be brought against the U.S. by their surviving family members.
North Carolina Gen. Stat. § 28A-18-2 allows the estate of a deceased person to bring a wrongful death claim against any person that negligently or intentionally caused the death of the decedent. Since North Carolina is unlike other many other states, which allow wrongful death claims to be brought by any close family member of the decedent, only the personal representative of the decedent’s estate can bring a claim.
If the wrongful death claim is successful, the settlement proceeds or damages are distributed to the decedent’s heirs. Our attorneys have helped wrongful death victims recover the following damages:
- Medical expenses
- Pain and suffering of the decedent
- Loss of the decedent’s income, personal services, and companionship
- Funeral expenses
What are survival actions and can they are brought in a Camp Lejeune Justice Act case?
A survival claim recovers for pre-death injuries that are separate and distinct from the wrongful death claim. North Carolina law only allows the personal representative of the decedent’s estate to bring survival claims. Fasig | Brooks can help you to file a survival claim in addition to your wrongful death claim, when necessary.
How can Fasig | Brooks help me with my Camp Lejeune Water contamination lawsuit?
Our lawyers believe that this new legislation wants Camp Lejeune water contamination victims to receive fair settlement amounts for the harm that has been done while they or a family member was serving our country. It’s a known fact that the water at Camp Lejeune was horrible for its residents.
Our Camp Lejeune lawyers are offering legal assistance to individuals who were harmed by exposure to Camp Lejeune contaminated water. If you served, lived, or worked at the Camp Lejeune Marine Corps base in North Carolina for at least 30 days between the years 1953 and 1987 and were subsequently diagnosed with leukemia, bladder cancer, kidney cancer, liver cancer, multiple myeloma, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, or any other conditions, speak with us right away.
Contact our Camp Lejeune attorneys today for a free consultation to discuss your Camp Lejeune water contamination claim and settlement. Success to us means that we’ve helped you secure a settlement check for the full value of your claim. We also want to make sure you have a plan of action to move forward in your life.