Do I Need a Camp Lejeune Lawyer?
The House of Representatives passed the Camp Lejeune Justice Act in March of 2022, leaving many people asking, do I need a Camp Lejeune lawyer? If you’re asking the question, you may very well benefit from one.
The water of Camp Lejeune was contaminated with toxic chemicals from 1953–1987. Those living or working on the base were exposed to compounds linked to various cancers and other illnesses. The government’s first response to this contamination was to cover it up, leaving tens of thousands of people suffering, with no accountability and no help with medical bills and care.
The lifelong effects of the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune are horrifying. Someone needs to pay. The precedent must be set that people’s lives are of the utmost importance and that even the government must admit responsibility and compensate those who were injured.
Were you or a family member stationed or living at Camp Lejeune, and have you had severe health issues linked to toxic exposure? If so, you need to know your rights. Our attorneys may be able to help you recover the compensation you deserve. Speak with a Camp Lejeune lawyer today. Call Colling Gilbert Wright (800) 766-1000 for a FREE consultation.
What is a Camp Lejeune Lawsuit?
Camp Lejeune is a United States Marine Corps base in Onslow County, North Carolina. It was established in 1942 and stretches over 250 square miles. From 1953 to 1987, the wells at Camp Lejeune were contaminated with toxic chemicals typically found in cleaning solvents.
The Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry (ATSDR) explains, “The contamination of drinking water at Camp Lejeune started in the early 1950s, and the most contaminated wells were shut down in 1985.” The wells were contaminated with trichloroethylene (TCE), benzene, perchloroethylene (PCE), vinyl chloride, and other compounds. The ATSDR has been monitoring the drinking water at Camp Lejeune since the late 1980s.
More than a million people at Camp Lejeune—men, women, and children—drank, cooked with, and bathed in toxic water. And tens of thousands of Marines, civilian staff, and their family members have endured severe illnesses and cancers due to that toxicity.
The government and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) have covered things up, found loopholes, and denied responsibility. They haven’t done much to help those suffering terribly due to their negligence and lack of regard for those who selflessly served their country.
Camp Lejeune Justice Act
The Camp Lejeune Justice Act became Public Law No: 117–168 on August 10, 2022. Now, those exposed to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune (veterans, civilian employees, and their families) can finally pursue some relief. Part of the Honoring Our PACT Act, those affected can file claims in federal court for injury and wrongful death related to their exposure to the toxic water.
The Justice Act overrides the North Carolina strict 10-year statute of repose. The statute made it impossible for victims of Camp Lejeune’s water contamination to file claims because it required the suit be filed within 10 years of the wells’ contamination.
Veterans’ disability benefits may provide some monetary compensation and medical treatment for your illness. However, the VA has a short list of cancers and conditions it recognizes as linked to the contamination. They may deny your claim or give you a disability rating that doesn’t meet your needs. The Camp Lejeune Justice Act is the only way for individuals who became sick as a result of water contamination at the base to pursue legal compensation for their injuries.
There is hope for those who have been tragically injured or watched their loved one pass due to the toxic chemicals present in the water at Camp Lejeune. However, all suits must be filed by August 10, 2024, and it will take some time to collect all the evidence necessary to file. Contact a Camp Lejeune lawyer as soon as possible to determine if pursuing compensation is an option.
Who Can Join the Camp Lejeune Lawsuit?
You may be entitled to compensation for the effects of the toxic water at Camp Lejeune. There are two main criteria:
- Were you at Camp Lejeune between 8/1/1953 and 12/31/1987?
If you lived or worked at Camp Lejeune between those dates and for at least 30 cumulative days, you were likely exposed to toxic chemicals. Potential plaintiffs include—
- Service members
- Civilian employees
- Families of service members and/or civilian employees who lived on base
- Children who were exposed in-utero
- Have you developed any of the following cancers or other serious illnesses?
Having established exposure to the toxic water, did you suffer harm from that exposure? Cancers and illnesses related to exposure to trichloroethylene (TCE), benzene, perchloroethylene (PCE), and vinyl chloride include—
- Brain/CNS cancer
- Esophageal cancer
- Multiple myeloma
- Bladder cancer
- Liver cancer
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
- Kidney cancer
- Breast cancer
- Pancreatic cancer
- Prostate cancer
- Rectal cancer
- Lung cancer
- Thyroid cancer
- Other conditions & illnesses:
- Kidney damage & diseases
- Cardiac defects
- Neurobehavioral disorders
- Hepatic steatosis
- Myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS)
- Aplastic anemia
- Parkinson’s disease
- Contamination is also linked to—
- Female infertility
In addition to the devastating amount of fertility issues and miscarriages, in-utero exposure to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune is linked to severe effects on children. There were high rates of cancer, illness, and birth defects. Many children died far too young as a result of the toxic water. Some of the effects include—
- Cardiac birth defects
- Childhood cancer
- Childhood leukemia
- Cleft lip & palate
- Neural tube birth defects
- Cognitive impairments
- Congenital malformations
These lists may not be complete. If you have been diagnosed with cancer or another disease or condition and you worked or lived at Camp Lejeune during the specified time period, it is in your best interest to contact a Camp Lejeune lawyer to find out if you have a viable claim.
If you have previously been granted health and/or disability benefits for your illness linked to Camp Lejeune’s water contamination and you receive compensation through the Justice Act, it may be “offset” by prior payments and awards you received. However, know that this lawsuit will NOT affect your ongoing VA or government benefits. You can receive benefits and still file a lawsuit for your damages.
Why Should You File a Camp Lejeune Lawsuit?
No amount of money can make up for a life-altering illness or losing someone you love. However, compensation for medical expenses, pain & suffering, and more may help you survive financially while you recover or mourn.
It is also vital to hold the government accountable for its contemptible actions. The attempted coverup and deflection of blame regarding the water contamination at Camp Lejeune is reprehensible. Especially when you consider the sacrifices those men, women, and families made for their country.
Voice your outrage, pursue your rightful compensation, and set a precedent for the future—we will not sit back. We will fight for justice.
If you or members of your family have suffered illness or death due to exposure to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune, you may be entitled to damages for—
- Medical costs
- Pain & suffering
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Loss of society & companionship
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- And more
Many of those exposed to toxic water at Camp Lejeune lost their lives due to their illness. It is time to seek justice for them as well. You can pursue compensation through a wrongful death claim if you lost a family member because of the contaminated water.
Contact a Camp Lejeune Lawyer Today
Camp Lejeune lawsuits must be filed by August 10, 2024. The burden of proof in a lawsuit lies with the plaintiff. They must prove that they were present at Camp Lejeune at the specified time, have been injured, and that a causal relationship exists between those injuries and the water contamination.
A Camp Lejeune lawyer can help determine if you have a claim and collect evidence on your behalf. Through research, experience, and the assistance of medical experts, the skilled attorneys at Colling Gilbert Wright can effectively link the illnesses you have suffered to the toxic water that caused them. We will work diligently for justice and recovery of the full and fair compensation to which you may be entitled.
Contact our Camp Lejeune lawyers today for a FREE case review. Our firm serves clients in Orlando and other areas throughout Florida.