Camp Lejeune Water Contamination

Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune is a U.S. Military training facility located on the coast of North Carolina. The United States Marine Corps base has housed and employed millions of people in Eastern North Carolina throughout its storied history.

Most of those stories are of patriotism, hard work, sacrifice, and honor. However, one Camp Lejeune story, in particular, is not a proud one.

For over 30 years, between 1953 and 1987, drinking water at Camp Lejeune was contaminated with dangerous chemicals linked to cancer, Parkinson's disease, birth defects, and more.

The Camp Lejeune Justice Act allows Marines, family members, and any civilian contractors harmed by the toxic water, which was supplied to the base for decades, to pursue compensation through administrative claims, and ultimately, lawsuits.

Those who lived or worked at Camp Lejeune for 30 days or more between 1953 and 1987 may be eligible to file a claim. Additionally, the decedents of the impacted person may qualify for a claim if the affected person is deceased. 

Contact us for a free consultation or chat with us on this page to see if you are eligible to pursue a claim instantly.

Our firm has its roots in Eastern North Carolina. We understand how devastating the effects of water contamination at Camp Lejeune can be; members of our law firm have been involved in the military life of Eastern North Carolina for decades and have seen the toll this has taken on our service members and their families. We are a trusted Eastern North Carolina law firm ready to help Marines, their families, civilian contractors, and other on-base personnel who have been impacted by the water contamination at Camp Lejeune.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What happened at Camp Lejeune?

For decades, the Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune water supply was contaminated with several dangerous chemicals. Service members, their families, non-military workers, contractors, and more were exposed to toxic water and subsequently developed life-altering medical conditions. The water contamination also impacted those stationed at Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) New River, just a few miles away.

Health care benefits and other forms of compensation were largely not afforded to those who suffered. The Camp Lejeune Justice Act allows victims to file administrative claims and lawsuits to seek compensation for what they've endured.

What is the Camp Lejeune Justice Act?

The Camp Lejeune Justice Act is a piece of legislation included in a larger bill that aims to compensate veterans for exposure to toxic chemicals. The Camp Lejeune Justice Act allows any person who was at Camp Lejeune for 30 days or more between 1953 and 1987 to file a compensation claim.

How do I file a claim for Camp Lejeune Water Contamination?

If you believe you may qualify for a lawsuit, reach out to our law firm as soon as possible. We are available to assist you both on our website and by phone at 1-800-998-1102. Use the chatbot on this page to see if you instantly qualify for a Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawsuit.

Where is Camp Lejeune?

Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune is located on the coast of North Carolina. Camp Lejeune is a one-hour drive from our New Bern and Wilmington offices, a ninety-minute drive from our Greenville office, and a two-hour drive to our Raleigh office. 

How much is a Camp Lejeune settlement?

It's too early to estimate how much a settlement for Camp Lejeune water contamination will be for an individual claimant. More information on settlement amounts will be available as the litigation progress is completed. Ultimately, the Act allows victims to ask a jury to award fair compensation for their claims if claims can't be settled. 

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What Was Found in the Water at Camp Lejeune?

Scientific and medical evidence has shown that drinking water sources that supplied Camp Lejeune and its resident housing were contaminated by toxic chemicals from various sources.

Some reports have noted that the water at Camp Lejeune was among the most contaminated and toxic in the country at the time. Yet, the military refused to acknowledge what was going on until the past decade or so, even with the base's Commanding General telling residents the contamination was of a "minute trace."

Where Did the Contamination Come From?

Tarawa Terrace Treatment Plant and Hadnot Point Treatment Plant are two facilities used in Camp Lejeune's water supply where the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) discovered rampant contamination spanning decades.

The ATSDR report found that Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) seeped into the water treatment plants that supplied the base and its residents. Camp Lejeune residents and workers drank, bathed in, cooked with, and used contaminated water for decades.

Certain chemicals in the water at Camp Lejeune were measured at levels up to 3,400 times the regulated safety standards. The ATSDR's findings expose the severity of the water contamination at Camp Lejeune. The following chemicals were present in the water at Camp Lejeune.

Tetrachloroethylene (PERC)

Tetrachloroethylene (PERC) is an industrial solvent most commonly used in dry-cleaning fabrics, as a metal degreasing agent, and for chemical manufacturing. PERC was found in the water at Camp Lejeune, likely leaking from a dry-cleaning shop off the base. Exposure to PERC can lead to various types of cancer and other major, deadly health impacts.

Trichloroethylene (TCE)

Trichloroethylene (TCE) is a chemical solvent used as a degreaser for metal machinery and in the production of other chemical agents. TCE is also used in wood finishes, paint removers, and stain removers. TCE has major health impacts if ingested: cancer, reproductive system and birth defects, immune system effects, and liver, kidney, and nervous system issues.

Vinyl Chloride

Vinyl Chloride was found in the water supplies at Camp Lejeune. This chemical is an important industrial compound used primarily in the production of PVC pipes. Exposure to Vinyl Chloride can lead to several health effects, including various cancers, central nervous system issues, and more.

Benzene

Benzene is another chemical that was discovered in the water supply at Camp Lejeune. Benzene, although naturally produced, is a common chemical used in manufacturing plastics and other synthetic materials. Long-term exposure to Benzene can have a dangerous effect on the bone marrow, red blood cell count, immune system, reproductive system, fetal development, and more.

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Health Effects from Contaminated Water at Camp Lejeune

Contaminated drinking water at Camp Lejeune has had several dangerous and deadly health effects. Leaking into the water supply that served the base and its residents, these chemicals were the direct cause of countless life-altering medical conditions and deaths.

The Veterans Administration released a list of presumptive conditions for Camp Lejeune. If you were diagnosed with one of the conditions on the list, the VA will presume that it is linked to water contamination at the base.

The toxic chemicals in the water at Camp Lejeune have been linked to the following health problems, diseases, and disorders:

Cancer

Cancer injuries associated with Camp Lejeune water contamination exposure include:

  • Bladder Cancer
  • Brain Cancer
  • Breast Cancer
  • Cervical Cancer
  • Esophageal Cancer
  • Kidney Cancer
  • Leukemias
  • Liver Cancer
  • Lung Cancer
  • Multiple Myeloma and other Myelodysplastic Syndromes
  • Ovarian Cancer
  • Prostate Cancer
  • Rectal Cancer
  • Soft Tissue Cancer

Non-Cancer

Non-cancerous injuries associated with Camp Lejeune water contamination exposure include:

  • Aplastic Anemia and other Bone Marrow Conditions
  • Cardiac Defect
  • Choanal Atresia
  • End-stage Renal Disease
  • Eye Defects
  • Hodgkin's Disease
  • Impaired Immune System Function
  • Liver Cirrhosis
  • Neurobehavioral Performance Deficits (i.e., delayed recall and deficits in visual perception), decreased blink reflex, and mood effects (i.e., confusion, depression and tension)
  • Neural Tube Defects
  • Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma
  • Neurological Effects (delayed reaction times problems with short-term memory, visual perception, attention, and color vision)
  • Oral Cleft Defects (including cleft lip)
  • Parkinson's Disease
  • Pregnancy and Newborn Issues including Miscarriage, Low Birth Weight, Fetal Death, Major Malformations, and Small for Gestational Age
  • Renal Toxicity
  • Scleroderma
  • Severe, Generalized Hypersensitivity Skin Disorder (an autoimmune-related disease) 

Other Possible Conditions

In addition, investigators are continuing to evaluate whether the following conditions have a causal link to the Water Contamination at Camp Lejeune:

  • Appendix Cancer
  • Autoimmune Diseases
  • Bile Duct Cancer
  • Extensive Tooth Decay
  • Female Infertility
  • Gallbladder Cancer
  • Hepatic Steatosis (Fatty Liver Disease)
  • Intestinal Cancer
  • Kidney Disease and Disorders
  • Pancreatic Cancer
  • Pregnancy and Newborn Issues including Birth Defect, Cognitive Disability, Congenital Malformation, and Conjoined Twins
  • Renal Toxicity
  • Sinus Cancer
  • Soft-tissue Sarcoma
  • Spinal Cancer
  • Thyroid Cancer
  • Other Cancers

If you have been diagnosed with any of the above health problems and were present at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 days between 1953 and 1987, contact us today for a free consultation.

Trusted Eastern North Carolina Counsel Accepting Clients for Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Claims

Our Camp Lejeune Lawyers are accepting clients for the Camp Lejeune Toxic Water Lawsuit and closely monitoring the legislative process related to the Camp Lejeune Justice Act so that we can quickly pivot to achieving justice for those harmed at the military base.

Ward and Smith has deep roots in North Carolina, and we are fully invested in securing rightfully owed compensation to veterans, their family members, and any other person harmed at no fault of their own at Camp Lejeune.

We promise to do our part in achieving justice for victims of water contamination at Camp Lejeune.

Reach out to the Camp Lejeune Attorneys from Ward and Smith today for a free consultation and case review, or use the chatbot on this page to see if you qualify for a lawsuit instantly.

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Camp Lejeune Justice Act

The Camp Lejeune Justice Act is part of a new bill that allows veterans, family members, and workers to file claims for compensation if they were exposed to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune between 1953 and 1987.

The Camp Lejeune Justice Act ensures that federal law overrides a North Carolina law that previously blocked legal action of this sort against the government. The claims for water contamination victims will be filed in the U.S. District Court: Eastern District of North Carolina.

The Camp Lejeune Justice Act is the most comprehensive piece of legislation related to the contamination events at Camp Lejeune.

Honoring Our PACT Act of 2022

The Honoring Our PACT Act (H.R. 3967) is a new law that "addresses health care, presumption of service-connection, research, resources, and other matters related to veterans who were exposed to toxic substances during military service." It was signed into law on August 10, 2022. 

The White House published a statement from President Biden on June 16, 2022, which unequivocally states his support for the legislation:

"I want to thank Chair Tester and Ranking Member Moran for their remarkable work to pass the PACT Act, and I urge the House to swiftly pass this bill so I can sign it into law right away."

This isn't the first time the Biden administration has addressed Camp Lejeune. The First Lady, Jill Biden, visited the base in September 2021 to meet with military families. 

Justice for Camp Lejeune Victims: A Long Time Coming

Legislative justice for Camp Lejeune victims has been long overdue. For decades, advocates and activists impacted by water contamination at Camp Lejeune have been attempting to seek justice in the form of governmental action and acknowledgment.

The Navy has repeatedly denied civil claims related to the contamination, the Veteran's Affairs Administration has done the same, and multiple bills, such as the Janey Ensminger Act, Honoring America's Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act, and others, have been ineffective or outright rejected.

The Honoring Our PACT Act and the Camp Lejeune Justice Act will right the wrongs of previous decisions and finally compensate victims for their injuries, damages, and losses.

Map of Camp Lejeune Disability Coverage Area

Map credit: Camp Lejeune: Past Water Contamination - Public Health (va.gov)

Do I Qualify for a Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawsuit?

If you were at Camp Lejeune for 30 days or more between 1953 and 1987, you might be eligible to file a claim.

According to the language in the Camp Lejeune Justice Act and in the Veterans Administration press release on presumptive conditions, anybody who resided at Camp Lejeune between those dates may be eligible: veterans, family members of military staff, non-military staff, civilian contractors, in-utero (unborn) victims, and families of deceased victims all may be eligible to file claims.

Gathering Evidence for Your Claim

If you believe you qualify for a Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawsuit, it's important to gather all evidence relating to your time at the military base and subsequent medical diagnoses. These are key documents that can help build your case:

  • Documents proving your time spent at Camp Lejeune
  • Military service records and authorizations (if applicable)
  • Medical records, medical bills, receipts, etc.
  • Healthcare information
  • Veterans Administration documents
  • Information on prior benefits claims or disability compensation

Assessing Your Damages

Damages in a Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawsuit vary depending on each particular case, but more generally, damages you may be able to recover in a claim may include the following:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages or reduced earning capacity
  • Pain and suffering or emotional damages
  • Loss of quality of life
  • Permanent disability and other life-altering health effects

One's ability to recover damages is reliant on their legal representation and the evidence they're able to produce. Get in touch with our legal team to learn more about your potential claim and what damages you may be entitled to.

About Ward and Smith, P.A.

We are a North Carolina law firm with deep roots in the Old North State. Our offices are located in Asheville, Greenville, New Bern, Raleigh, and Wilmington.

Our attorneys cover a wide range of legal practice areas and have decades of combined experience litigating on behalf of people harmed at no fault of their own. Ward and Smith's main objective is to center the client's needs and achieve justice by any means necessary.

In terms of the Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawsuit, several of our staff members have personal ties with the military base and intimate knowledge of the tragic situation that has unfolded over the past 50+ years.

We understand that thousands of veterans, families, workers, and more have been waiting far too long for justice, and we're here to help. We invite you to chat with us about your case today.

We are your established legal network with offices in Asheville, Greenville, New Bern, Raleigh, and Wilmington, NC.

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