From August 1, 1953, to December 31, 1987, toxic substances contaminated the water at Camp Lejeune and the neighboring Marine Corps Air Station at New River. The Marine base, located in North Carolina, saw over one million residents and workers during that time. Many of those people contracted severe illnesses and diseases due to exposure to the harmful water supply.
The Camp Lejeune Justice Act became law on August 10, 2022. This law allows those who suffered adverse effects from drinking or bathing in the toxic water at Camp Lejeune. If you think you or a loved one qualifies, you’ll want competent legal representation. Jason Stone Injury Lawyers is waiting to assist you.
What Happened to the Water at Camp Lejeune?
Toxic chemicals found their way into groundwater sources at Camp Lejeune. These hazardous substances came from junkyards, fuel depots, and a dry cleaning business. In addition, the military regularly buried materials known to be potentially radioactive and dumped industrial wastewater and oil into storm drains.
Marine Corps officials knew about the dangerous chemicals in the water as early as 1974 but failed to report it or do anything to correct the problems. In fact, different sources warned that the water had dangerously high contamination levels.
Neither civilians nor most military personnel knew of the contamination and used the tap water for everyday activities, including washing dishes and clothes, drinking, cooking, and brushing their teeth.
What Was in the Water?
Testing showed several harmful chemicals in the water supply, including:
- Benzene — found naturally in gasoline and crude oil and used in several manufacturing processes.
- Methylene chloride — a chemical solvent.
- Tetrachloroethylene/ Perchloroethylene — used in dry cleaning.
- Trichloroethylene — used in household cleaning products, refrigerants, metal degreasing solvents, and dry cleaning.
- Vinyl chloride — a gas formed by some of the other substances breaking down.
When exposed to these chemicals, humans can contract severe health-related conditions, including death.
What Diseases Did the Contaminated Water Cause?
Those at Camp Lejeune during the specified period contracted multiple illnesses. Lawsuits mention several of these, including:
- Cancers: bladder, breast, cervical, esophageal, kidney, leukemia, liver, lung, myelodysplastic syndrome, multiple myeloma, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, ovarian, and stomach
- Cardiac defects
- Infertility for women, congenital disabilities, birth injuries, and miscarriages
- Neurobehavioral effects
- Parkinson’s disease
- Renal toxicity
Many of these issues develop over time, so you may not have connected your disease to toxic water exposure at Camp Lejeune until recently. The symptoms and illness severity victims experience varies, depending on several factors:
- How exposure occurred (surface exposure by touching or internal consumption)
- When the exposure took place
- How long the exposure lasted
If you were at Camp Lejeune and had these or other illnesses, you might qualify to receive compensation in a civil lawsuit against the Marine Corps. Contact Jason Stone Injury Lawyers for assistance.
Who Can Participate in the Lawsuit?
If you meet the following qualifications, you may qualify to file a claim:
- You worked or lived at Camp Lejeune for 30 or more days from August 1953 to December 1987. This applies to service members, their families, and civilian personnel.
- You had exposure to the toxic water.
- Your mother was carrying you and met the first two criteria.
- You became ill with a disease caused by that exposure.
If you’re unsure about your eligibility, don’t wait. Better Phone Stone ®. Our personal injury law team knows the details of the Camp Lejeune Justice Act and can help determine if you qualify.
How Long Do You Have To File?
Affected people have two years to file a civil suit. The U.S. District Court: Eastern District of North Carolina will handle these suits in a consolidated mass tort. However, that doesn’t mean you must hire an attorney in North Carolina. Better to find a lawyer with a track record of successfully handling personal injury lawsuits.
What Compensation Can You Receive?
A North Carolina law prevented many people from seeking compensation after exposure to toxic water at Camp Lejeune, but the Camp Lejeune Justice Act supersedes that law. If you or a loved one can prove certain things, you may now recover damages for things like:
- All medical expenses related to your disease or illness
- Lost wages or diminished earning capacity
- Permanent disability
- Loss of the ability to enjoy life
- Adverse effects on personal relationships
- Pain and suffering
- Expenses related to hiring a caregiver
The amount you can recover depends in part on how severely your disease affects you. Everyone affected won’t get the same amount of compensation. You’ll need several kinds of documentation to prove the extent of your economic and non-economic damages. Your attorney can help with this.
What Do You Need To Prove?
The first eligibility requirement is that you or your loved one was present at Camp Lejeune or MCAS New River for 30 or more days from August 1953 to December 1987. To prove that, you can use things like:
- Military records for yourself or an immediate family member if you lived with them on post
- Employment history
- School records
- Birth certificate
Next, you’ll need to show that you contracted a disease because of exposure to the toxic water and the economic damages you suffered. You may need to provide:
- Medical records detailing your illness
- Receipts for medical expenses, including hospital stays, surgeries, treatments, therapy, prescription medications, transportation costs, and necessary medical equipment
- Letters from your physicians describing your treatment
- Proof of nursing home or rehabilitative residential care
For non-economic damages like pain and suffering, the amount of compensation can depend on how severely your disease or illness impacted your life. Attorneys will discuss this with you and help you gather the proper types of evidence.
For instance, some of these situations are more serious than others and may qualify for more compensation:
- Being unable to work as a result of your disease
- Losing a child or having a child with life-long health conditions related to exposure to the toxic water
- Having a permanent disability
- Being inconvenienced by needing multiple surgeries and treatments
- A family member losing their life
- Developing a mild illness that goes away quickly
What If You’re Unsure?
Because many of the illnesses caused by exposure to contaminated water don’t show up immediately, you might not know if yours is related to Camp Lejeune. If you were there during the period covered by the Camp Lejeune Justice Act and have an illness or disease that might qualify, contact Jason Stone Injury Lawyers. Our team can investigate your issues to see if you can file a claim.
How Can Jason Stone Injury Lawyers Help You?
No matter where you are, we can assist you in filing your Camp Lejeune Justice Act claim. All our clients benefit from our Stone Cold Guarantee ®. A few of our promises are:
- We don’t get paid until you get paid.
- Your consultation is free — There’s No Obligation, Just Information ®.
- You can speak to one of our representatives 24/7.
- We will respond within 24 hours.
- You’ll get case updates every two weeks.
Every attorney at Jason Stone Injury Lawyers is knowledgeable and can competently assist you in filing your claim for compensation. We focus on our clients’ needs and provide dedicated customer service. We’ll explain the Camp Lejeune Justice Act and its implications and help determine your eligibility.
Remember that you only have two years to file your claim, so contact us today. Gathering your documents and evidence can take time, so don’t wait.