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What Caused Camp Lejeune Water Contamination

Injury Lawyer Team > Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawyer > What Caused Camp Lejeune Water Contamination
Camp Lejeune water contamination attorneys

What Caused Camp Lejeune Water Contamination?

The water supply at Camp Lejeune was contaminated with various chemicals for over 30 years. As a result, many Marines and their families have suffered from adverse health effects, including cancer, multiple myeloma, and neurological damage.

The Department of Veterans Affairs has recently begun providing disability benefits to those exposed to contaminated water. While this is a positive step, many veterans feel more needs to be done regarding treatment and compensation.

If you or someone you know was stationed at Camp Lejeune during this period, you might be eligible for benefits, treatment, and disability compensation. Our Camp Lejeune water contamination attorneys at Injury Lawyer Team, sponsored by Rosenfeld Law Offices, can help you navigate the claims process and get the compensation and VA benefits you deserve.

Contact us today to schedule a free consultation. All confidential or sensitive information you share with our legal team remains private through an attorney-client relationship.

A Long History Of Contaminated Water At Camp Lejeune And The Marine Corps Air Station

Camp Lejeune water contamination occurred over several decades, starting in the 1940s. The raw water at a treatment plant that supplied the base was contaminated with various chemicals, including vinyl chloride, trichloroethylene (TCE), and perchloroethylene (PCE).

TCE contamination at Camp Lejeune

In the early 1980s, the government agencies hired Grainger, Inc. to comprehensively test the Camp Lejeune water supply. These tests showed that the water was contaminated with various toxic materials, including vinyl chloride, TCE, and PCE.

The government has known about the contamination since the early 1980s but did not notify the public until 1997. Since then, several studies have been conducted on the health effects of the contamination. The most recent study, released in 2012, found a “probable link” between the contamination and several health conditions, including cancer.

In 2012, the Department of Veterans Affairs began providing disability benefits to veterans exposed to contaminated water. In 2016, a treatment plant was designed to remove the chemicals from the water supply.

A Dry Cleaning Company’s Toxic Chemicals

One study revealed that a local dry cleaning business used toxic chemicals (perchloroethylene or “PCE“) that had leached into the groundwater and had likely contaminated the wells used by two area residents. The State of North Carolina has acknowledged that PCE is a “likely human carcinogen.”

In December 2007, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) released a draft report on its public health assessment of the Camp Lejeune site. The ATSDR is an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The purpose of the public health assessment was to evaluate potential health impacts from past exposure to contaminants in water at Camp Lejeune.

The ATSDR concluded that past exposure to TCE and PCE in drinking water at Camp Lejeune could potentially cause adverse health effects. The specific health effects that could occur depend on several factors, including the length of time someone was exposed, the level of contamination, and individual susceptibility.

The agency also found insufficient evidence to conclude that past exposure to the other chemicals found in the Camp Lejeune water (benzene, vinyl chloride, and trichloroethylene) could potentially cause adverse health effects.

Leaking Storage Tanks

Another source of contamination at Camp Lejeune is leaking underground storage tanks (LUSTs). LUSTs commonly store petroleum products, such as gasoline and oil. Over time, these tanks can leak, allowing contaminants to enter the soil and groundwater.

The most recent study on the health effects of the water contamination at Camp Lejeune, released in 2012, found a “probable link” between the contamination and several health conditions, including cancer.

The study also found that exposure to the chemicals found in the water (TCE and PCE) can cause various adverse health effects, including cancer, fertility problems, and neurological damage.

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Honoring Our PACT Act of 2022 Update

The United States Congress is reviewing the Honoring Our Pact Act of 2022 to offer veterans, service members, and others stationed at Camp Lejeune financial benefits after developing severe conditions from the water contamination on the military base. The current bill states that:

“An individual, including a veteran (as defined in section 101 of title 38, United States Code), or the legal representative of such an individual, who resided, worked, or was otherwise exposed (including in utero exposure) for not less than 30 days during the period beginning on August 1, 1953, and ending on December 31, 1987, to water at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, that was supplied by, or on behalf of, the United States may bring an action in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina to obtain appropriate relief for harm that was caused by exposure to the water at Camp Lejeune.”

When  Congress passes the PACT Act, it will merge into the Camp Lejeune Justice Act, providing many more financial opportunities for injured victims to obtain aid from the VA.

The Camp Lejeune Justice Act

In 2012, present Barack Obama signed the Camp Lejeune Justice Act into law which granted benefits to veterans, active duty service members, and reservists exposed to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune.

The Camp Lejeune Justice Act also established a registry for those former residents and workers who may have been affected by the water contamination.

Trichloroethylene (TCE) in Camp Lejeune Water Contamination

Paid Health Care Expenses Provided by the Bill

In addition, the bill included a provision that waived any cost-sharing requirements, including deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments, for health care services related to the following 15 conditions:

  • Aplastic anemia/myelodysplastic syndromes
  • Adult leukemia
  • Bladder cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Female infertility
  • Kidney cancer
  • Liver cancer
  • Miscarriage
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Motor neuron disease/amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Rectal cancer
  • Scleroderma

The Camp Lejeune water contamination occurred over several decades, from 1953 to 1987. During that time, two water treatment plants on the military base supplied contaminated drinking water to Camp Lejeune residents and workers.

Coverage area map of Camp Lejeune Water Contamination

All Illnesses Believed To Be Associated With Camp Lejeune Water Contamination

Federal law provides various opportunities for VA benefits for those with elevated health risks who developed severe medical conditions after exposure to water contamination at Camp Lejeune.

However, the laws do not cover all types of cancers and medical conditions suspected to be caused by exposure to toxic chemicals from the Camp Lejeune water wells and treatment plans.

All conditions currently believed to be associated with exposure to TCE, PCE, benzene, and other contaminants in the drinking water at Camp Lejeune include:

  • Adult leukemia
  • Adverse birth outcomes
  • Aplastic anemia and other myelodysplastic syndromes
  • Breast cancer
  • Brain cancer
  • Bladder cancer
  • Cardiac defect
  • Cervical cancer
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Female infertility
  • Heart defect
  • Hepatic steatosis
  • Kidney cancer
  • Liver cancers
  • Liver diseases
  • Lung cancer
  • Miscarriage
  • Myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS)
  • Nephrotoxicity (kidney damage)
  • Neurobehavioral disorders
  • Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL)
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Plasma cell myeloma
  • Prostate cancer
  • Rectal, colorectal/colon cancers
  • Renal toxicity
  • Scleroderma
  • Other cancers

The Camp Lejeune water contamination continues to have a devastating impact on the lives of those exposed. The water contamination at Camp Lejeune has been linked to fertility concerns and miscarriages.

Several birth abnormalities and high childhood cancer rates have resulted from prenatal exposure to polluted water. Unfortunately, many children tragically died young due to the water’s poisonous chemicals.

Your Legal Rights If Harmed by Camp Lejeune Water Contamination

If you were exposed to contaminated water while working at Camp Lejeune or residing on the base, you might be entitled to compensation for your injuries. The Marine Corps has set up a fund to provide medical benefits to workers and residents harmed by the contamination.

You must provide medical proof of your exposure and injuries to receive benefits. Once your claim is approved, you will be eligible for medical care and monetary compensation for your economic losses.

Benefits for Service Members’ Families

If you were born at Camp Lejeune or were a dependent of a service member stationed there between 1957 and 1987, you may be eligible for benefits through the VA Department.

To receive benefits, you must provide documentation showing dependent relationship with the service member. You will also need to provide your birth certificate documentation showing you lived at Camp Lejeune between August 1, 1957, and December 31, 1987.

You may be eligible for healthcare and disability compensation if approved for benefits. The payment you receive will depend on your illness or injury severity.

If the Camp Lejeune water contamination has harmed you, you should seek legal guidance to ensure that you receive the full extent of benefits to which you are entitled.

Government Funds Allocated for Victims! Get Your Claim on File Now. Experience Lawyers

Paid Damages for those Affected by Camp Lejeune’s Water Contamination

The United States government is compensating workers exposed to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune and camp residents who became ill due to the exposure.

The government has also established a presumptive service connection for certain illnesses, meaning that if veterans can show that they were stationed at Camp Lejeune during the relevant period, they will be presumed to have been exposed.

While the government has taken steps to provide compensation for those affected by the contamination, many veterans and camp residents are still waiting for justice.

Obtaining VA Benefits: Validating Your Claim

The VA Department provides veterans a wide range of benefits, including healthcare, disability compensation, and education. To receive these benefits, veterans must first validate their claim.

The validation process can vary depending on the claimed benefit, but there are a few standard methods. One way to validate a claim is to provide documentation such as base housing records, paid medical care, expenses, or health records documenting qualifying health conditions.

Another way to validate a claim is through testimony from witnesses such as family members or friends. Finally, some claims can be validated through circumstantial evidence like birth defects or marriage licenses.

By following these steps, veterans can ensure that their claim will be properly validated and that they will receive their entitled benefits.

Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Verdicts and Settlement Amounts 

In recent years, the VA Department has made headlines for handling the water contamination crisis at Camp Lejeune.

The crisis began in the early 1980s when it was discovered that two water treatment plants on base were not correctly treating the drinking water, exposing service members and their families to toxic materials.

Over 17,000 Claims Have Already Been Paid

The VA has approved over 17,000 disability claims asking for benefits and paid over $600 million in health expenses.

However, many veterans and their families believe that the VA has not done enough to help those affected by the water contamination.

In particular, critics have argued that the VA has been slow to approve disability claims asking for benefits and has not provided adequate information about the health risks associated with the contaminated body of water.

The VA has defended its handling of the crisis, saying it is committed to providing benefits and medical care to those exposed to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune.

Benzene and toluene in Camp Lejeune Water

If you or any of your family members were affected by the Camp Lejeune water contamination, you might be entitled to disability aid, medical services, and health expenses.

Contact a VA-accredited attorney today to learn more about your rights.

How a Personal Injury Attorney Can Ensure You Receive Disability Benefits 

Were you exposed to contaminated water at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune? Were you diagnosed with a severe health condition like cancer, Parkinson’s, multiple myeloma, or other health problems?

A personal injury lawyer can ensure you apply and qualify for qualifying benefits by filling out the necessary paperwork, collecting evidence to support your claim, and building a solid argument on your behalf.

Civil workers and contractors who worked at Camp Lejeune between 1957 and 1987 could file a civil lawsuit for compensation. You may be eligible for benefits from the VA Department and paid health expenses for a covered condition respective to the mentioned date ranges.

The compensation could cover the cost of your:

  • Medical expenses
  • Hospital bills
  • Lost wages
  • Mental anguish, pain, and suffering

Contact our attorneys today to discuss your legal options if you were injured or became ill because of someone else’s negligence. We offer a free consultation, and you don’t pay any fees unless we recover compensation for you.

Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Injuries FAQs

Our specialized attorneys understand that many families have unanswered questions about receiving benefits when harmed by the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune. An Injury Lawyer Team attorney has answered some of those questions below.

Contact us today for additional information or to schedule a consultation to discuss your claim.

What is Camp Lejeune’s diagnosis?

According to the National Research Council, adverse health effects from drinking water at Camp Lejeune may include cancer, birth defects, and other serious health problems. Aids from the VA may be available for Marines and their family members who lived or worked at Camp Lejeune and developed any of several health conditions as a result of the contaminated water.

To be eligible for benefits, you must have a qualifying diagnosis. A few of the many conditions that may qualify for VA aid include:

  • Acute myeloid leukemia
  • Aplastic anemia
  • Bladder cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Childhood cancer
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Kidney cancer
  • Liver cancer
  • Leukemia
  • Mesothelioma
  • Non-Hodgkin lymphoma
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Prostate cancer
  • Multiple Myeloma
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Various birth defects

Children of veterans stationed at Camp Lejeune can file compensation claims, even if their time at the military base was during their mother’s pregnancy.

Do I have to prove my injuries were caused by the water contamination at Camp Lejeune?

No. Unlike many other injury claims, you do not have to prove that the contaminated water caused your injuries at Camp Lejeune. However, you will need to provide medical evidence to support your diagnosis.

There are strict deadlines for filing a claim based on the federal statute of limitation laws. If you do not file your lawsuit within the specified period, you may be barred from receiving benefits.

What should I do if I am diagnosed with a qualifying condition that proves I was harmed by Camp Lejeune water contamination?

Recent changes in federal law have created a massive multibillion-dollar fund to pay victims harmed by the Camp Lejeune Contaminated water supply. You must meet the 30-day notice requirement and file a claim to receive benefits.

This requirement means that if you lived or worked at Camp Lejeune for 30 days or more between 1957 and 1987 and have been diagnosed with one of the qualifying health conditions, you may be eligible for benefits. You will need to provide medical evidence to support your diagnosis.

You should also consider seeking legal representation to ensure you are fully compensated for your injuries. An experienced attorney can help you navigate the claims process and maximize your chances of receiving the total amount of entitled benefits.

I lived at Camp Lejeune with a close relative within the appropriate timeframe. How do I know if I am eligible for benefits?

If you are a veteran or family member and have been diagnosed with one of the conditions specified in the Camp Lejeune Justice Act, you may be eligible for benefits. To apply, you must provide medical evidence to support your diagnosis. You may also want to consider seeking legal assistance to ensure you receive the total amount of benefits to which you are entitled.

You will need to provide documentation showing a dependent relationship to the veteran (e.g., birth certificate, marriage license, tax return). If you are the spouse or child of a veteran stationed at Camp Lejeune during the relevant time, you may be eligible for benefits even if you did not live on base.

I was a National Guard member. Am I eligible for benefits if exposed to toxic chemicals at Camp Lejeune?

Yes. New laws provide benefits for disabled veterans and National Guard members who were exposed to contaminated water and later developed one of several specified health issues.

Many men and women in the National Guard were exposed to Camp Lejeune’s contaminated water supplies and were adversely affected decades after leaving military service. Nearly everyone at the military base for decades believed that the water at Camp Lejeune was safe to drink and use for bathing and washing laundry.

Is the water at Camp Lejeune safe to drink? Could the water contamination have caused my leukemia?

Former residents at the Marine Corps space Camp Lejeune residents have suffered severe injuries, deadly medical conditions, and cancers from the contaminated water wells that were declared unsafe in the mid-1980s. Camp Lejeune veterans and families affected by the toxic chemicals can seek and obtain financial compensation for their damages.

For decades, the federal government has been assessing potential health effects of exposure to TCE, PCE, volatile organic compounds, and other contaminants in the base’s water wells.

I worked as a civilian worker at Camp Lejeune decades ago and developed lung cancer! Are workers exposed to water contamination at Camp Lejeune entitled to financial compensation?

Yes, workers exposed to water contamination at Camp Lejeune Marine Corps Base may be entitled to financial compensation. The Camp Lejeune water contamination has been linked to severe adverse health effects, including cancer.

If you have developed cancer from exposure to contaminated water, you may be eligible for benefits separate from veterans’ benefits.

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Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer To Resolve Your Compensation Case If Harmed by Camp Lejeune Water Contamination

Do you suspect the past contamination from the Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune water supply led to your medical diagnosis involving a disease, cancer, or other condition? Our personal injury attorneys are legal advocates for families affected by the negligence of others.

Contact us today to schedule a free consultation to discuss receiving financial compensation for your medical expenses, rehabilitation, surgeries, lost wages, pain-and-suffering.

We accept all personal injury cases and wrongful death lawsuits on a contingency fee agreement. This arrangement ensures you do not pay any upfront legal fees until we resolve your case through a negotiated settlement or jury award.