Researcher takes sample of toxic water with a test tube

Camp Lejeune Toxic Water Lawsuits

Legally reviewed by

Summary

  • Military families stationed at the polluted Marine Corps base in North Carolina may be entitled to compensation for their illnesses through a Camp Lejeune toxic water lawsuit.
  • Camp Lejeune’s water was tainted with hazardous chemicals that cause numerous forms of cancer.
  • The water supply was unsafe for over three decades due to repeated contaminations from multiple sources.
  • Camp Lejeune families have a limited amount of time to pursue claims against the federal government to secure compensation for the costs of their severe health conditions.

Countless cases of cancer, debilitating chronic illness, congenital disabilities, and other alarming health conditions among veterans and their families have been traced back to their time at Camp Lejeune.

As it turns out, the military base had failed to prevent various chemicals from tainting the water supply, according to a slew of Camp Lejeune toxic water lawsuits. Decades later, we are finally aware of the devastating impact Camp Lejeune’s water has had on veterans and their families.

VetLaw is helping them take action. Our team has actively invested in recovering fair compensation for injured veterans for nearly ten years. We’ve tackled tough cases as veterans disability claims attorneys and represented vets in mass tort claims. 

At VetLaw, we have earned the trust of the military community by consistently delivering excellent results paired with outstanding service. Schedule a free consultation with us by calling (855) 738-6732 or submitting an online contact form today.

Why Choose VetLaw?

Camp Lejeune families have been waiting a long time to be acknowledged and fairly compensated in water contamination claims. To make sure that your Camp Lejeune settlement is worth the wait, set your claim up for success. First, start by hiring the exceptional team at VetLaw to represent your interests.

We understand that filing a VA disability claim can be a hassle under the best circumstances. At VetLaw, we want to make your experience as manageable as possible without sacrificing any of the compensation you rightfully deserve. 

Our team at VetLaw regularly appeals cases with the VA to get our clients access to their disability benefits. It’s safe to say that we aren’t easily deterred by labor-intensive cases or bureaucratic obstacles.

We take challenges in stride and negotiate relentlessly for the optimal outcome for our clients. It would be our privilege to act as your champion in a Camp Lejeune toxic water lawsuit. Let us help you move forward with the support you need.

VetLaw Client Reviews and Case Results Are a Testament to Our Skills

At VetLaw, we vigorously advocate for our injured clients until we secure a resolution that makes them whole. Our team has had great success helping veterans increase their disability ratings, establish service connections, appeal denied VA disability claims, and much more.

Working with VetLaw means working with the best, and we have the reviews to prove it. Here’s a sample of some recent VetLaw client testimonials.

“VetLaw gave me assurance that I was not alone in this process [and] that they are well qualified to help. VetLaw fights for Veterans.”

“They were courteous and extremely helpful. They [VetLaw] explained how they could help get what I deserve.”

Updates on the Camp Lejeune Toxic Water Lawsuits

As the parties negotiate Camp Lejeune toxic water lawsuits and administrative claims, VetLaw will continue to keep vets informed.

February 2024 – Government Report Confirms Increased Risk of Cancer

The big news this month is that the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry published its findings related to its investigation of Camp Lejeune’s water contamination between 1975 and 1985. The key takeaways are:

  • Both military service members and civilians were at a considerably greater risk of developing certain cancers after exposure to Camp Lejeune’s water.
  • The study uncovered several other types of cancer that are likely linked to exposure to Camp Lejeune’s toxic water.

Another significant update is that the court won’t allow jury trials for Camp Lejeune toxic water lawsuits filed under the CLJA. Plaintiffs are appealing that ruling.

Also, plaintiffs are still engaged in a showdown with the government’s legal team because they want the ATSDR’s water models to be released as a cohesive unit, instead of in parts. They argue that the government’s approach limits the value of the information.

How Camp Lejeune’s Water Became Contaminated and Made Veterans and Their Families Sick

There were multiple major failures that led to harmful levels of toxic chemicals in Camp Lejeune’s water supply. Specifically, the contamination period between August 1st, 1953, and December 31st, 1987. The main sources of contamination included the following.

  • Chemicals used by a nearby dry cleaning operation
  • Runoff from industrial chemicals the military used to clean its machinery and weapons
  • Chemicals leaked from storage containers in a basement on the base

What would happen is a toxic chemical would get absorbed into the soil on the base or make contact with a water source through runoff. The toxins were also distributed via the groundwater supply. That was linked to a well system servicing several areas, notably the on-base housing for military families. 

Every time someone used Camp Lejeune’s water to clean their food or dishes, wash their hands, drink, shower, and cook, they were taking in the pollutants in the tainted water supply. The contaminants continued to build up in their systems. Consequently, some developed illnesses like cancer after toxins interfered with normal cell growth.

A lackluster clean-up effort, the transient nature of the base’s population, and a lack of action from military leadership helped bury the true scope of the problem for many years.

Common Injuries and Illnesses Caused by Long-Term Exposure to Carcinogens and Other Toxins

The VA and the CDC maintain lengthy lists of health conditions associated with exposure to Camp Lejeune’s water supply. Many of the illnesses on these registries are life-threatening or chronic.

Camp Lejeune veterans, as well as the unborn children of women at Camp Lejeune, were at risk of developing health issues, including the following conditions. The first eight are listed as presumptive conditions for Camp Lejeune exposure by the VA.

  • Adult leukemia
  • Aplastic anemia and other myelodysplastic syndromes
  • Bladder cancer
  • Kidney cancer
  • Liver cancer
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Birth defects
  • Miscarriage and infertility
  • Lung cancer
  • Hepatic steatosis
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Thyroid cancer
  • Renal toxicity
  • Scleroderma

What Damages Veterans Can Claim in Camp Lejeune Toxic Water Lawsuits

For Camp Lejeune vets filing personal injury claims, the process of pursuing compensation works differently as compared to the VA disability claims system. You can read more about it on this Camp Lejeune personal injury claims page. The following are some examples of common damages in a Camp Lejeune toxic water lawsuit.  

Compensatory Damages for Camp Lejeune Families

Medical bills: The serious nature of plaintiffs’ health conditions means that many incurred staggering medical expenses to treat their illnesses, often over a period of years. Common medical costs include chemotherapy, radiation, surgery, medication, medical imaging, physical therapy, and hospitalization.

Lost wages and reduced earning capacity: The military requires its personnel to be physically fit, so getting sick from toxic chemicals in the water often meant being discharged. Not only did this cost families a source of income, but it also cost some service members their careers. 

For those who were working as civilians when they became ill, seeking treatment likely meant forfeiting part of a paycheck and potentially earning less over the long run if their injuries precluded them from holding certain roles.

Pain and suffering: Camp Lejeune plaintiffs may seek compensation for the physical and mental toll dealing with their illness has caused them over the years.

Loss of quality of life: Illnesses like cancer can keep Camp Lejeune plaintiffs from doing the things they love, like traveling, being active with their kids, or maintaining their hobbies. Serious health issues can also prevent an individual from performing simple tasks for themselves, like bathing or cooking, further harming their quality of life.

Funeral and burial expenses: As the Camp Lejeune toxic water contamination lawsuits progress, more of them are poised to become wrongful death claims. Sadly, plaintiffs continue to pass away due to age or illness.

Their survivors can recover compensation for damages like the costs of a headstone and casket. Additionally, survivors may be eligible for compensation for emotional costs like the loss of companionship.

Why Has It Taken So Long For Camp Lejeune Families to Recover Compensation?

Although the worst of the contamination supposedly ended nearly forty years ago, Camp Lejeune vets and their families have largely been barred from compensation for their ensuing injuries.

The VA didn’t list presumptive conditions for exposure to Camp Lejeune’s toxic water, making it much harder for vets to prove a service-connected disability and obtain benefits. Some Camp Lejeune claims were denied altogether.

The VA expanded coverage in 2012, but it was just a start. Additionally, the civilian family members of Camp Lejeune vets were excluded from receiving VA disability benefits for their own injuries, even though they were subject to the same risks living on base.

In effect, that left many with one other pathway for compensation: filing a personal injury lawsuit against the government. These are notoriously difficult for citizens to prove.

Plus, the government’s legal team has virtually unlimited resources as compared to individual plaintiffs. On top of that, many Camp Lejeune families didn’t develop health issues for several years or decades after exposure. As a result, the majority missed the deadline to file a personal injury claim in North Carolina. 

Camp Lejeune Justice Act Offers Vets a Second Chance at Getting Compensation

After going without the compensation they deserved for years, Camp Lejeune families are hopefully on the verge of receiving justice.

Thanks to the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 included in the PACT Act, Camp Lejeune families can file claims to recover compensation for damages. For example, damages may include medical bills, funeral and burial expenses, loss of quality of life, lost wages, and more.

Essentially, the government is accepting financial responsibility for the fact that the base’s water contained dangerous chemicals that created a health crisis among the people who lived and worked there. If a Camp Lejeune vet can prove they meet the criteria, then they should have an easier time obtaining compensation.

That being said, there is still a long way to go before the parties settle 1,400 Camp Lejeune toxic water lawsuits and over 160,000 administrative claims.

Why You Need to Hire VetLaw to Represent You in Your Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Claim

The Camp Lejeune toxic water lawsuits have several aspects to them that require an unusual combination of experience. Not only is this a mass tort issue, given the number of plaintiffs involved, but the claims also require knowledge of toxic exposure injuries.

An effective Camp Lejeune attorney should also have a background in working with the government. VetLaw checks all of these boxes. Our team has been representing clients harmed by toxic substances like Agent Orange for nearly a decade as North Carolina veterans disability attorneys.

We diligently accounted for the nuances of each claim no matter how large the issue became. Not only do we identify with veterans’ experiences and perspectives, but advocating for veterans has also helped our VetLaw team hone our skills in dealing with the federal government.

Additionally, we can provide the necessary resources and time to give your case the attention it deserves. VetLaw is the best choice for veterans looking to secure fair financial support in Camp Lejeune toxic water claims.

Trust the Camp Lejeune Toxic Water Attorneys of VetLaw to Handle Your Case

At VetLaw, we believe that justice is long overdue for Camp Lejeune Marine Corps veterans and their families who have already sacrificed so much. It’s our turn to have your back. The Camp Lejeune toxic water lawyers of VetLaw are committed to pursuing fair compensation for your losses.

Start the process of recovering the compensation you are entitled to by calling (855) 738-6732 or submitting an online contact form to schedule a free consultation with VetLaw. We’re more than happy to answer any questions you may have about qualifying for a Camp Lejeune toxic water lawsuit.


Frequently Asked Questions

What is the deadline for filing a Camp Lejeune toxic water lawsuit?

Camp Lejeune families have a limited amount of time left to file a claim. If you want to file a Camp Lejeune toxic water lawsuit, you need to do so by August 10th, 2024. The VetLaw team can help you determine if you qualify for a Camp Lejeune toxic water lawsuit or administrative claim.

Is there a multidistrict litigation for the Camp Lejeune toxic water lawsuits?

Yes, there is. Four federal judges in the Eastern District of North Carolina are handling the MDL given the number of claims. Judges Boyle, Dever, Flanagan, and Myers are sharing the workload.

What chemicals did researchers find in Camp Lejeune’s water supply?

The most notable toxic chemicals detected in Camp Lejeune’s water supply include:

  • TCE
  • PCE
  • Vinyl chloride
  • Benzene 
  • Other harmful chemicals, including arsenic

What is the PACT Act of 2022?

The PACT Act, formally known as the Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring Our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics Act of 2022, is a piece of legislation that tackles the issue of offering compensation to veterans who were subject to toxic exposure during their military service. 

This impacts a number of vets. Specifically, veterans who suffered Agent Orange exposure, worked near toxic burn pits, or served at Camp Lejeune may benefit. The law accomplishes a lot, but the highlights are:

  • Vets have easier access to disability benefits through the VA because the PACT Act added new presumptive conditions connected to toxic exposure
  • There’s new funding for claims related to toxic exposure, such as toxic burn pit claims
  • It temporarily overrode the statute of limitations for personal injury claims for Camp Lejeune vets and their families
  • The law also broadened VA healthcare benefits for vets with disabilities caused by toxic exposure