Camp Lejeune Lawsuit: A Comprehensive Guide (2024)

Gene Glarosh

Contributor

Reviewed By Adam Ramirez, J.D.

Editor

Between 1953 and 1987, US Marine Corps leaders at Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, NC concealed the toxicity levels of the water from USMC personnel and their families stationed at the base. As a result, personnel members and their families suffered serious health conditions including neurological disorders, several types of cancer, miscarriages, and birth defects.

In 2022, the US government introduced The PACT Act, which includes the Camp Lejeune Justice Act. This opened the process for Marine personnel to pursue damages for health conditions suffered as a result of consuming and bathing in the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune. This includes settlement amounts distinct from VA benefits they may have already earned. If you haven’t received VA benefits, you would also be entitled to receive those as well.

USMC personnel and their families may be entitled to compensation if they have endured an injury or illness as a result of the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune between 1953 and 1987. To file a claim, you must have resided at Camp Lejeune for at least a 30-day period during this timeframe. You should use our online contact form to see next steps for securing compensation. We will continue to update our readers as new information develops.

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What is the Camp Lejeune Lawsuit?

The Camp Lejeune contaminated water lawsuit is an ongoing series of litigation between US Marine Corps personnel, their families, and the US Federal Government. If you were stationed at Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, NC for over 30 days between 1953 and 1987, you and your family may be entitled to Camp Lejeune compensation from the Federal Government due to the toxicity of the water at the base and the negligence assumed by USMC leaders and government officials. In the sections below, we’ll go over the history and context of these litigations, and what you can do to seek damages.

Water Contamination at Camp Lejeune

The origin of Camp Lejeune's water contamination traces back to the 1950s when toxic chemicals such as trichloroethylene (TCE), tetrachloroethylene (PCE), benzene, and vinyl chloride seeped into the base's drinking water. These chemicals, likely used for cleaning machinery and other industrial purposes, contaminated the groundwater beneath the base, which served as the primary water source for its residents.

Unbeknownst to those stationed at Camp Lejeune, the water they consumed, bathed in, and used for everyday activities was tainted with carcinogens and other harmful substances. For decades, this contamination persisted, resulting in widespread exposure among military personnel, their families, and civilian workers.

Impact Of Camp Lejeune Water Contamination

The health impacts of the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune have been profound and long-lasting. Marine Corps personnel and their families who were exposed to these toxins have reported a litany of serious health problems, including various forms of cancer, neurological disorders, reproductive issues, and developmental abnormalities in children born to affected parents.

Studies conducted by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) in 1997 and other organizations such as the EPA have established strong links between the contaminants found in Camp Lejeune's water and elevated rates of illnesses among those exposed. The toll on human lives has been immeasurable, with many families grappling with the loss of loved ones and enduring the physical and emotional burdens of chronic illnesses.

Camp Lejeune Contaminated Water Lawsuit

In the face of mounting evidence linking the base's contaminated water to severe health consequences, affected individuals began seeking legal recourse against the U.S. government and the responsible parties, including the Department of Defense and private contractors.

The legal battles surrounding Camp Lejeune have involved complex litigation, class-action lawsuits, and settlements negotiated over several decades. USMC personnel and their families have contended that the government and other entities failed to take adequate measures to prevent or address the contamination, neglecting their duty to safeguard the health and well-being of military personnel and their families.

In 2012, the US Senate enacted the Jamey Ensminger Act, which provided healthcare coverage for individuals exposed to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune. This legislation represented a significant milestone in acknowledging the plight of affected individuals and extending support for their medical needs.

In 2022, Congress introduced the Camp Lejeune Justice Act as part of The PACT Act. While the Jamey Ensminger Act authorized healthcare through the VA, the Camp Lejeune Justice Act allows for USMC personnel and their families to seek damages for their suffering due to the US government’s negligence. Settlements are currently being awarded to those who lived at Camp Lejeune between 1953 and 1987 for at least 30 days. If you or your family belongs to one of these groups, you may be entitled to compensation.

For the most current news and developments, please visit our Camp Lejeune updates page, where we regularly post the latest information and updates.

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Symptoms of Camp Lejeune Water Contamination

Along with these health conditions and their own respective symptoms, the Camp Lejeune water contamination has resulted in several other stand-alone symptoms. If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms below, you could be entitled to damages.

Birth Defects and Injuries

Serious conditions present at birth causing physical or mental disabilities.

Brain Damage

Long-term impairment to cognitive and physical functioning due to significant brain injury.

Cardiac Defect

Abnormality of the heart present at birth, impacting heart function.

Immune Disorders

Conditions disrupting the body's immune response, leading to frequent infections and complications.

Infertility

Inability to conceive after a year of regular intercourse without birth control.

Miscarriage

Spontaneous loss of pregnancy before the 20th week.

Myelodysplastic Syndromes

Blood disorders caused by poorly formed or dysfunctional blood cells.

Neurobehavioral Effects

Changes in behavior or cognition due to nervous system damage.

Renal Toxicity

Kidney damage caused by harmful substances or compounds.

Many of these conditions are life-threatening and have a profound impact on the lives of the people who experience them. Compensation is available, but only for those who are proactive in seeking legal help.

What diseases are associated with Camp Lejeune water contamination?

The following diseases are associated with Camp Lejeune water contamination: If you been diagnosed with one or more of these conditions, you may be eligible to seek damages from the US government:

ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease)

A progressive neurodegenerative disease affecting nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord.

Birth Defects and Injuries

Serious conditions present at birth that can cause physical or mental disabilities.

Brain Damage

Significant, long-term damage to the brain that can impair cognitive and physical functioning.

Cardiac Defect

Any abnormality of the heart that was present at birth.

Epilepsy

A neurological disorder causing frequent seizures due to abnormal brain activity.

Fatty Liver Disease (Hepatic Steatosis)

Buildup of fat in liver cells, impairing liver function.

Hepatic Steatosis

Another term for fatty liver disease.

Immune Disorders

Conditions that disrupt your body's immune response, leading to frequent infections and potentially serious complications.

Infertility

The inability to conceive a child after a year or more of regular sexual intercourse without the use of birth control.

Miscarriage

The spontaneous loss of a pregnancy before the 20th week.

Myelodysplastic Syndromes

A group of disorders caused by poorly formed blood cells or cells that don't work correctly.

Neurobehavioral Effects

Changes in behavior or cognitive function caused by damage to the nervous system.

Parkinson’s Disease

A progressive nervous system disorder affecting movement and coordination.

Aplastic Anemia and Other Bone Marrow Conditions

Conditions affecting bone marrow's ability to produce healthy blood cells.

Renal Toxicity

Damage to the kidneys caused by harmful substances or compounds.

Scleroderma

Rare autoimmune disease causing hardening of skin and connective tissues.

What Should I Do If I Was Affected by Camp Lejeune Water Contamination?

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with any of these conditions and were exposed to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune, you could be entitled to compensation. Reach out via ConsumerShield’s form to take the first step towards compensation.

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