At the Camp Lejeune Marine Corps Base in North Carolina, nearly one million people were exposed to contaminated water between 1953 and 1987. This contamination is one of the worst cases of its type in U.S. history. It has been linked to the development of cancer and several other diseases in those who were exposed.
Unfortunately, due to North Carolina’s statute of repose law, victims have been unable to seek compensation for the damages suffered because of contamination. However, the Camp Lejeune Justice Act (CLJA) of 2022 looks poised to get passed into law this summer. This new legislation will allow victims to finally file lawsuits to recover compensation for their damages.
Give us a call or fill out our online contact form today to speak with a Camp Lejeune contaminated water attorney about your case.
Passing the Camp Lejeune Justice Act
Once the CLJA has been passed by Congress and signed into law by President Biden, victims of the Camp Lejeune water contamination will finally be able to move forward with lawsuits against the government and recover compensation.
What Happened at Camp Lejeune?
Camp Lejeune is a Marine Corps base located in Onslow County, North Carolina. The base serves Marine as well as operating as training grounds for several other branches of the U.S. Armed Forces. In the early 1980s, the Marine Corp began to test the water at Camp Lejeune in compliance with new Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations.
What they discovered was that the water was highly toxic, with contamination levels exponentially greater than those allowed by safety regulations. However, officials chose to bury the truth. They hid the results of this and future tests for years, including falsifying a report to the EPA in April of 1983, where they claimed there were no contamination issues at the base.
The Marine Corp eventually agreed to begin shutting down the contaminated water wells after EPA oversight expanded. However, this was too late for the hundreds of thousands of people who were exposed to the toxic water at the base between 1953 and 1987.
What Toxins Were Found at Camp Lejeune?
There were many different contaminants found in the Camp Lejeune water supply, including vinyl chloride and benzene. However, the two main water treatment facilities serving the base each had their own primary contaminant.
Trichloroethylene (TCE) was the main contaminant found at the Hadnot Point treatment plant. TCE is a liquid chemical without color or odor. The maximum acceptable level for TCE in safe drinking water is five parts per billion (PPB). The levels found at the Hadnot plant were as high as 1,400 PPB. That is 280 times the maximum limit.
Perchloroethylene (PCE) was the most prevalent contaminant discovered at the Tarawa Terrace water plant. PCE is a liquid chemical with a mild odor and no color. PCE was found in the water plant at levels as high as 215 PPB. That is 43 times higher than the maximum safety level at five PPB.
What Illnesses Have Been Linked to the Water Contamination at Camp Lejeune?
At contamination levels that high, it is no wonder that people developed serious medical conditions. The toxins found in the Camp Lejeune water supply have been linked to a wide array of health concerns, including cancers, neurological disorders, and birth defects. The many illnesses linked to these chemicals include:
- ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease)
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
- Lung cancer
- Liver cancer
- Bladder cancer
- Breast cancer
- Kidney cancer
- Esophageal cancer
- Cervical cancer
- Renal cancer
- Multiple myeloma
- Cardiac defects
- Fatty liver disease
- Hepatic steatosis
- Brain damage
- Neurobehavioral effects
- Immune disorders
- Myelodysplastic syndromes
- Aplastic anemia (and other bone marrow conditions)
- Birth defects (especially neural tube defects, like spina bifida)
- Renal toxicity
Who Is Eligible to File a Claim for Compensation?
Barring a dramatic change to the CLJA before it is signed into law, anyone who can prove they were exposed to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune for a total of thirty days between 1953 and 1987 may be eligible to claim compensation. In addition to exposure, you must have also later developed an illness linked to a toxin found in the water supply.
The CLJA gives potential claimants two years from the date the law takes effect to file a lawsuit. You can get started on your case while waiting for the legislation to be enacted by contacting a Camp Lejeune water contamination lawyer today.
What Steps Should I Take to Recover Compensation?
If you were harmed by the water supply at Camp Lejeune, the time has nearly arrived to finally recover the money you need and get the justice you deserve. The Camp Lejeune water contamination was one of the biggest health hazards in the history of the United States. Until now, it has also led to one of the most significant miscarriages of justice in the country.
Speak to a Camp Lejeune toxic water attorney today to get started building your case. The attorneys at disabledvets.com know the difficulties that Camp Lejeune victims have been dealing with for decades. We can help you prepare your case now so that when the CLJA passes, you will be ready to file a lawsuit as quickly as possible.
Give us a call or fill out our online contact form to get started with a free Camp Lejeune case review today. We’ll make sure everything is in order to get your lawsuit filed and finally get you the compensation you deserve.
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