Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawsuit

Working or serving in the Marines at Camp Lejeune between 1953 and 1987 may have exposed you or someone you love to dangerous, carcinogenic toxins due to contaminated water on the base. Now, as many as 1 million service members, families, and workers may develop deadly cancers and other illnesses due to their exposure to the toxic water in Camp Lejeune. 

The United States government has set aside $2 billion to compensate those affected, but filing a claim can require completing confusing and complex tasks. These cases require the experience and dedication of a mass tort lawyer from the start.

An experienced mass tort lawyer can help you file a claim and get the benefits and compensation you deserve. 

If you or someone you love became seriously ill or you lost a loved one due to the negligent conditions near Camp Lejeune, we can help you. Our law firm is investigating hundreds of Camp Lejeune water contamination injury claims. Let our Camp Lejeune water contamination lawyers examine your case and help you explore your legal options. 

The Camp Lejeune Water Contamination

Between 1953 and 1987, Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune received water contaminated with industrial solvents, benzene, and other chemicals. Servicemembers, workers, and families used this contaminated water for drinking, cooking, bathing, and other activities.

The Environmental Protection Agency recognizes these hazardous chemicals as known carcinogens.

As a result of their exposure, servicemembers and their families have suffered health problems, including cancer, liver disease, kidney disease, and reproductive disorders. Thousands of birth defects, cancer diagnoses, and other Camp Lejeune water contamination illnesses and conditions require health care benefits and compensation. 

Two facilities near Camp Lejeune supplied the contaminated water to residents and workers: the Tarawa Terrace Facility and the Hadnot Point Treatment Plant Facility. 

The Tarawa Terrace Facility began operations in 1952 and supplied the base with water contaminated with an industrial solvent known as PCE. By the 1980s, the levels of PCE reached 215 parts per billion. The EPA deems anything above five parts per billion unsafe for consumption or use. 

The Hadnot Point Treatment Plant Facility supplied water contaminated with tricholorethylene, or TCE. This contamination may have come from waste disposal sites and underground storage containers. In 1979, a fuel farm nearby dumped tens of thousands of gallons of oil into the ground, further contaminating groundwater. This fuel dump released numerous deadly and toxic carcinogens into the base and nearby communities' water supply. 

Illnesses and Health Conditions Caused by Contaminated Camp Lejeune Water

According to a recent CDC investigation, PCE and TCE are the two most common water contaminants found in Camp Lejeune’s water. They can cause severe health conditions and illnesses, including injuries to the organs and central nervous system when absorbed through the skin, ingested, or inhaled.

PCE, in particular, is causally linked to bladder cancer, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and end-stage renal disease.

TCE, on the other hand, is linked to birth defects, leukemia, liver cancer, Parkinson’s disease, and more. 

Environmental testing also found vinyl chloride in the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune. The industrial chemical is a gas causally linked to liver cancer, brain cancer, lung cancer, and liver cirrhosis.

Benzene also entered the water supply at Camp Lejeune through the Hadnot Point water system. This industrial chemical causes leukemia and other blood-related health issues.

Did the U.S. Military Know the Camp Lejeune Water Was Contaminated?

Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuits claim that the Navy knew about the health issues caused by the water contamination. They also claim that the Navy failed to prevent these contaminants from entering the water supply.

As early as the 1940s, the Navy knew about toxic chemicals in the water supply. After learning about the contaminated water, the Navy shut down multiple wells in the area. However, they did not close the wells or water supply at Camp Lejeune. They also did not warn Marines or their families once they discovered the toxins. 

Many Camp Lejeune lawsuits contend that leaders at the base knew about the water contamination. They also claim that these leaders had a duty to act on that knowledge and that they failed in those duties. Failure to warn of the dangers forms the basis for liability in these claims. 

The PACT Act and Camp Lejeune Justice Act 

In 2022, President Joe Biden signed the PACT Act into law. This law provides military veterans, civil servants, contractors, and their families with necessary healthcare benefits due to their exposure to toxic water at Camp Lejeune.

Congress incorporated the Camp Lejuene Justice Act into the PACT Act. This law allows service members and families to recover damages for harm and losses from exposure to contaminated water and toxins at Camp Lejeune.

To learn if you qualify for these benefits and compensation, discuss your case with an attorney. A mass tort lawyer at our law firm can determine your eligibility and file your claim.

Filing a Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawsuit

Within hours of passing the PACT Act and Camp Lejeune Justice Act, plaintiffs filed the first Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit in the U.S District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina. That lawsuit listed the United States of America as the defendant. Doctors diagnosed the plaintiff in this lawsuit with multiple myeloma in 2012 after serving at Camp Lejeune from 1984 to 1986.

Filing a claim can confuse anyone, but resources are available to help. The first step is to call our law firm. If we believe you have a case, our mass tort lawyers will file an administrative claim with the Judge Advocate General for the Department of the Navy. This must happen before you can proceed with any Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit. Once we file your claim, the Department of the Navy has six months to approve or deny the claim.

We can only file a Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit after filing a claim with the Navy Department’s Judge Advocate General.

To seek damages for water contamination at the Camp Lejeune Marine Corps base, you must have:

  • Lived, worked, or spent time at Camp Lejeune between August 31, 1953, and December 31, 1987
  • Lived, worked, or served at Camp Lejeune for a minimum of 30 cumulative days during that time.
  • Developed one of the diseases or conditions the CDC outlined

If you meet these conditions, or even if you don’t know if you do, we want to talk to you. You need a mass tort lawyer to help you sort through this new information and get you the benefits and compensation you deserve. 

Fighting against the U.S. government will not be easy. It will require hours of research, investigation, and discovery. Your mass tort attorney must examine medical records and speak with military and medical experts to build your case. Even then, it is an uphill battle to detail how your injuries and illnesses have affected your health and well-being. However, it is a battle we are prepared to fight!

What Damages Can I Recover Under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act?

You need to know what damages you suffered due to your illness to recover compensation for them. These damages may be short-term but can also be long-term as well, resulting in serious disabilities.

The Camp Lejuene Justice Act allows plaintiffs to recover damages. Those damages include:

  • Economic damages. These measurable and easy-to-quantify damages include: 
    • Medical bills
      • Ambulance rides
      • Surgeries
      • In-home care
      • Prescriptions
      • Prosthetic devices
      • Therapies and rehabilitation services
    • Lost income
    • Loss of future earnings and earning potential 
    • Permanent disability 
  • Non-economic damages. These are more difficult to prove because they’re subjective. While they may not be tangible damages, they can significantly affect a person’s quality of life. They include: 
    • Pain and suffering
    • Emotional distress
    • PTSD
    • Loss of enjoyment in life
    • Loss of consortium
    • Physical disfigurement and scarring emotional damages

Who Qualifies to File a Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawsuit?

Many injured men and women—including military service members, civilian workers, contractors, former residents, and their families—will likely file personal injury and wrongful death claims. To qualify, you must show that you spent at least 30 cumulative days at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina between August 31, 1953, and December 31, 1987, and developed a qualifying disease or condition. You do NOT need to prove that the water contamination caused your underlying condition. These are presumptive conditions.

VA Disability Benefit Claims for Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Cancers and Illnesses

Service members and veterans can seek disability benefits if they spent time at Camp Lejeune and were exposed to contaminated water. Filing a VA disability benefits claim can offset the cost of injuries and disabilities and provide veterans with up to $3,000 a month. 

A presumptive service connection exists between health conditions and exposure to Camp Lejeune contaminated water—you don’t need to prove that chemical exposure caused your illness, you only need to prove you worked, served, or lived on the base. This speeds up the process considerably and allows veterans a quicker way to get the money and benefits they need now.

To qualify for presumptive service connection, your mass tort lawyer must show:

  • Proof of your presence at Camp Lejeune or MCAS for at least 30 days between August 1, 1952, and December 31, 1987
  • No dishonorable discharge
  • Suffered from one or more of the following cancers or conditions:
    • Breast cancer
    • Female infertility
    • Miscarriage
    • Bladder cancer
    • Kidney cancer
    • Renal toxicity
    • Hepatic Steatosis
    • Esophageal cancer
    • Lung cancer
    • Leukemia
    • Multiple myeloma
    • Scleroderma
    • Myelodysplastic syndromes
    • Nonhodgkin’s lymphoma
    • Neurobehavioral effects
    • Parkinson’s disease

Even if you do not believe you qualify for presumptive service connection, you could qualify for VA disability benefits. Your attorney must provide evidence to build your case and help you get the benefits you deserve. Our mass tort lawyers can gather your medical records and documentation of your time at Camp Lejeune or working near the base. We can also collect proof of your exposure to the contaminated water, such as utility bills or records from on-base housing.

Contact Our Camp Lejeune Lawsuit Attorneys Today

If you or someone you love served at Camp Lejeune or worked near the base between 1953 and 1987, you may recover compensation from the United States government. 

Our law firm has a national reputation as one of the most aggressive and successful litigation law firms in the country. We are known for going up against large corporations, companies, and manufacturers and winning on behalf of injured consumers and citizens.

You can count on our mass tort lawyers to go up against the federal government, and we won’t back down. Our Camp Lejeune lawyers have the financial resources to handle any size case—big or small.

The law limits your window to file a Camp Lejeune lawsuit, so we encourage you to explore your legal options in a free consultation with our law firm as soon as possible. Don't hesitate to get started on your Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit today. Time is critical in mass tort litigation cases.

Filing a claim can leave people confused, but a mass tort lawyer is here to help you navigate it. If your claim is approved, you may receive compensation for medical expenses incurred due to your exposure, reimbursement for out-of-pocket medical expenses, and disability benefits. If your loved one dies due to their exposure, you may recover survivor benefits. 

We work on a contingency basis, so you don’t pay us unless we can collect compensation for you. This enables all consumers and families to seek justice.