Over a 34-year period, thousands of U.S. Marines and their families were exposed to incredibly dangerous and toxic water at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. Between 1953 and 1987, tainted water wells supplied thousands of Marine families that drank, bathed in, and cooked with this water. These Marines, Reservists, Guardsmen, contractors and their families have started coming forward to file Camp Lejeune claims.
How did the water become contaminated at Camp Lejeune?
The groundwater supply facilities that provided water were contaminated with runoff from a nearby dry cleaning company, underground storage tank leaks, industrial area spills and water disposal sites.
Camp Lejeune received contaminated water from three primary water plant facilities:
Tarawa Terrace Water Treatment Plant and Hadnot Point Water Treatment Plant provided the majority of contaminated water. Holcomb Boulevard Water Treatment Plant was mostly uncontaminated, except for when it received transfers from Hadnot Point between 1972-1985.
What were the effects of contaminated Camp Lejeune water?
Anyone who served, lived or worked near Camp Lejeune between January 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987, may have been diagnosed with any of the following conditions:
- Esophageal cancer
- Breast cancer
- Aplastic Anemia and other myelodysplastic syndromes
- Bladder cancer
- Kidney cancer
- Liver cancer
- Multiple myeloma
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
- Renal toxicity
- Female infertility
- Hepatic Steatosis (non-alcoholic fatty liver disease)
- Parkinson’s Disease
There are several illnesses and injuries not listed here that may have developed after Camp Lejeune water exposure.
In addition, children born to mothers exposed to contaminated water, even if they weren’t born there, may have been diagnosed with several conditions. These babies were four times more likely to develop birth defects such as spina bifida. In addition, these babies had a slightly elevated risk of childhood cancer.
The Camp Lejeune Justice Act
The Campe Lejeune Justice Act will allow certain individuals to sue and recover damages for harm from exposure to contaminated water. The bill makes it so that only individuals who were exposed to the water for at least 30 days are able to file a claim.
In other words, the bill prohibits the government from asserting immunity from litigation in response to lawsuits brought against by those eligible for these claims.
The bill passed the House of Representatives in May 2022, but has stalled in the Senate. It’s expected that this stall is temporary and the act will pass later this summer.
What benefits are available to Veterans who served at Camp Lejeune?
The VA is providing Veterans, Reservists and Guardsmen with compensation and healthcare.
The VA has long denied Veterans who served at Camp Lejeune any sort of assistance. For decades, the agency has said that there was no scientific evidence that links illnesses to chemical exposure to serving at the North Carolina base.
While the VA only recognizes eight diagnoses as presumptive conditions, there are several other illnesses and injuries that a Veteran or their family may be able to receive compensation for. Consulting with a legal professional may help maximize wrongfully denied claims.
We are Veterans Helping Veterans
The Veteran Legal Assistance Program is here to support Veterans and Active-Duty service members. We also want to keep Veterans and their families informed of the issues affecting them. If you are in need of legal assistance for a Camp Lejeune claim, contact the Veterans Legal Assistance Program to find out who we trust.
We’ve got your six.