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Camp LeJeune Water Contamination

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Anyone who drank and bathed in contaminated water at Camp Lejeune or Marine Corps Air Station New River in North Carolina between 1953 to 1987 and suffered injuries or death from exposure to toxic chemicals in the water can now bring a claim within two years from when the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 becomes effective.

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Once the Camp Lejeune Justice Act (CLJA) becomes federal law (the bill is expected to be signed by President Joe Biden by July 2022), Camp Lejeune water contamination victims may finally be eligible for compensation. Many individuals who had their claims inappropriately denied or delayed can now file a Camp Lejeune lawsuit in federal court. Previously, North Carolina’s strict 10-year statute of repose denied most families the ability to sue in court.

Camp Lejeune is a huge Marine Corps base and military training facility on 250 square miles in Onslow County, North Carolina. Since 1942, military service members and their families, civilian employees and contractors worked there and called it home. Camp Lejeune had its own public water system with potable water: For at least 34 years -- from 1953 to 1987-- the public water supply at Camp Lejeune Marine Corps Base in North Carolina was contaminated with toxic chemicals that more than a million people drank and bathed in.

Contaminated Water at Camp Lejeune

In the 1980s, environmental testing at Camp Lejeune discovered that the water supply was dangerously contaminated. The Marine Corps determined that from approximately 1953 through 1987, the water had been heavily contaminated with volatile organic compounds and carcinogenic chemicals proven to be harmful to humans, including:
  • Benzene
  • Trichloroethylene (TCE)
  • Tetrachloroethylene
  • Perchloroethylene (PCE)
  • Vinyl Chloride (VC)
The chemicals TCE and PCE are in a class of chemicals called “volatile organic compounds” (VOCs), known to cause increased rates of certain types of cancer. VOCs are used for dry cleaning and much of the water contamination was attributed to an off-base dry cleaner that that opened in 1953:  One Hour Dry Cleaner allowed tons of toxic chemicals – notably PCE – to contaminate the water at Camp Lejeune. Other sources for the toxic water came from chemicals used to clean machinery and weapons.

TCE was commonly used as solvent and degreaser on metal military equipment. The EPA’s maximum safe level for TCE in potable water is 5 ppb. The Camp Lejeune water supply was contaminated with TCE as high as 1,400 ppb. TCE has been used as a solvent and also to kill insects as a fumigant. Human and animal studies show a link between a mother’s exposure to TCE during pregnancy and congenital heart defects – which are common from mothers who drank and bathed in the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune. 

Thousands of marines and civilians have suffered a range of severe illnesses and many have died from exposure to the contaminated drinking water. It has been linked to the following injuries and illnesses:
  • Aplastic Anemia
  • Bladder Cancer
  • Cardiac Defects
  • Kidney Cancer
  • Leukemia
  • Liver Cancer
  • Multiple Myeloma
  • Myelodysplastic Syndrome
  • Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma
  • Parkinson's Disease
  • Systemic Sclerosis/Scleroderma
  • Breast Cancer
  • Esophageal Cancer
  • - Female Infertility
  • - Hepatic Steatosis

Camp Lejeune Lawsuits

Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuits claim that the water supply at Camp Lejeune was contaminated between the 1960s and 1980s, and that the United States negligently caused injury or death by allowing contaminants into water supply and failed to warn people of side effects that included death.

As early as the 1940s, wells would sometimes be found with TCE, PCE, and other toxic chemicals.  When this happened, the water was deemed unpotable and the wells were shut down or restricted to non-drinking and non-culinary use. So the government and the Navy knew the water was contaminated.

More than 15 years ago, an expert for the federal government (defendant) in Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuits contended that environmental scientists and engineers did not address TCE, PCE, and other chlorinated solvents as potential soil and groundwater contaminants until the early 1980s.  Further, that expert stated there was a “prevailing belief” that chlorinated solvents would evaporate or be assimilated into the soil and not contaminate the water.

A former Marine and Camp Lejeune resident in the 1970s filed a PFAS water contamination lawsuit in May 2022 against manufacturers of firefighting foam. James Hart’s lawsuit claims that the use of firefighting foam on the base caused PFAS contamination in the water at more than 2,400 times the maximum safe limit and because of his exposure to PFAS he developed kidney cancer in 2017.

Today, the defendant, aka government, also designed a law allowing victims to bring compensation claims. Plaintiff attorneys believe that the government will offer a Camp Lejeune settlement before these lawsuits go to trial.
 

CAMP LEJEUNE WATER CONTAMINATION Legal Help

If you or a loved one has suffered similar damages or injuries, please fill in our form and your complaint will be sent to a lawyer who may evaluate your claim at no cost or obligation.
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CAMP LEJEUNE LEGAL ARTICLES AND INTERVIEWS

Marine at Camp LeJeune with Cancer Concerned about Children
Marine at Camp LeJeune with Cancer Concerned about Children
August 4, 2022
Raleigh, NC  Patrick and his wife spent three years at Camp LeJeune – long enough to develop health problems from contaminated water. “When I first heard about the contamination I was extremely concerned,” says Patrick. “None of us had heard about the toxic water until a few years ago, and now I am extremely mad.”
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Attorney Discusses Camp Lejeune Contaminated Water Lawsuits
Attorney Discusses Camp Lejeune Contaminated Water Lawsuits
August 12, 2022
Garden City, NY “Attorneys have been lobbying many years for the Camp Lejeune Justice Act and now we see an opportunity for justice, an opportunity for victims to file a Camp Lejeune lawsuit,” says attorney Gary Falkowitz.
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READER COMMENTS

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Served at Camp Lejeune 1970-71 1973. Contracted Ulcerative Colitis 2014 this is some really bad S++T I hear that people at the TOP have known about the water for quite some time. Too bad.

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