Between 1953 and 1987, approximately one million people were exposed to contaminated water at the Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. This water contamination has been linked to several illnesses, and many victims have suffered severe consequences, including death.
Thanks to the Camp Lejeune Justice Act (CLJA), which was signed into law on August 10, 2022, as part of the Honoring Our PACT Act, those who suffered as a result of this contamination finally have the opportunity to collect compensation for their damages.
Diseases Linked to Contaminated Water at Camp Lejeune
The chemicals discovered in the water supply for Camp Lejeune have been linked to a wide variety of illnesses. These illnesses include several types of cancer, neurological disorders, and birth defects. Some of the cancers that have been shown to have a relationship with the toxins found in the water include:
- Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
- Multiple myeloma
- Liver cancer
- Bladder cancer
- Breast cancer
- Esophageal cancer
- Kidney cancer
- Lung cancer
- Cervical cancer
- Renal cancer
Those exposed to the water at Camp Lejeune between 1953 and 1987 have displayed a greatly increased mortality rate from cancer, along with other chronic illnesses. Some of the other diseases that are found at a much higher rate among those exposed to the contaminated water include:
- Parkinson’s Disease
- ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease)
- Immune disorders
- Myelodysplastic syndromes
- Aplastic anemia (and other bone marrow conditions)
- Neurobehavioral effects
- Brain damage
- Cardiac defects
- Fatty liver disease
- Hepatic steatosis
- Renal toxicity
- Birth defects
Exhaustive testing has shown that exposure to the chemicals in the Camp Lejeune water supply during the contamination period was particularly harmful to pregnant women. Those who were pregnant during their time of exposure faced a significantly higher rate of neural tube birth defects, including spina bifida.
What Chemicals Are Responsible for These Illnesses?
A wide variety of chemicals were found in the Camp Lejeune water supply, which exceeded the safety limit maximums as determined by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). However, the most prominent toxins were trichloroethylene (TCE), perchloroethylene (PCE), dichloroethane (DCE), vinyl chloride, and benzene.
Hadnot Point treatment plant was one of the two water treatment facilities supplying the camp with its primary source of driving water. The main chemical found at Hadnot Point was TCE, which registered at levels of 1,400 parts per billion (ppb), far exceeding the safety limit of five ppb. That means that the level of TCE in the water was 280 times the safety limit.
The other water treatment facility providing the base with its main source of drinking water was Tarawa Terrace. At Tarawa Terrace, the primary toxin was PCE, which was found at levels as high as 215 ppb, while this chemical also has a maximum safety level of five ppb. That means the level of PCE in the water was 43 times higher than the EPA safety limit.
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Who Is Eligible to Collect Compensation Under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act
The CLJA lays out the guidelines for who is eligible to seek compensation for damages suffered due to the contamination at Camp Lejeune.
According to the CLJA, you may pursue compensation if you were stationed at Camp Lejeune for 30 days or more between August 1953 and December 1987 and subsequently were diagnosed with one of the associated conditions listed above.
You must also be able to provide sufficient evidence to show that there is a likely causation between your exposure and your illness. If you meet these conditions, you should contact an attorney today to ensure you don’t miss out on your right to recover compensation.
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How to Collect Compensation if You Suffered an Illness After Exposure to the Toxic Water at Camp Lejeune
The CLJA enables victims of the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune to seek compensation. Until the CLJA was passed, several lawsuits filed in relation to this toxic event were dismissed due to statute of limitations laws, which prevented them from pursuing damages.
The CLJA has removed those obstacles, allowing victims of the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune to seek damages. When you hire a lawyer to help with your Camp Lejeune case, they will work with your medical providers to establish the causal relationship between your illness and your exposure.
Your attorney will then file a claim on your behalf with the U.S. Government Tort Claim Unit (TCU). After receiving your claim, the TCU will have 180 days to investigate and either attempt to settle or deny your claim. If your claim gets denied, you will be able to file a lawsuit to recover the compensation you deserve.
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Don’t Wait to Get Started on Your Injury Claim
Those seeking compensation must file their claim with the TCU before two years have passed. If you don’t meet this deadline, you will likely find that you are unable to recover compensation.
The government passed the CLJA as a means of providing victims with a way to recover compensation. However, they also want to wrap things up quickly and put this tragedy in the past.
Contact an experienced personal injury lawyer at White Law PLLC to get started with your claim today.
Call or text (517) 316-1195 or complete a Free Case Evaluation form