Marines & Families Can Now Seek Justice for the Cancer, Birth Defects & Other Injuries Caused by the Toxic Drinking Water at Camp Lejeune, NC
Thousands of marines and families now have a path to justice after being severely hurt by the heavily contaminated drinking water at Camp Lejeune Marine Corps Base in North Carolina. The injured, along with those who have lost loved ones to deadly injuries, may be eligible to file Camp Lejeune claims, seeking financial recoveries for their trauma, suffering, and losses.
To help you figure out if you have a claim and how to move forward, we have put together this helpful guide on Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuits, breaking down how these cases work, who can pursue them, the filing deadlines, and more.
For additional information and confidential advice, contact our Camp Lejeune water contamination attorneys for a zero-cost, zero-obligation case evaluation. Marines Trust Guss.
At Stewart J. Guss, Injury Accident Lawyers, representing marines and their families in these claims is the least we can do to support the brave men, women, and children who have been harmed by this decades-long water crisis. We are honored to help them seek the justice and recoveries they deserve.
Background: How Toxic Water Exposure Occurred at Camp Lejeune
Contaminated water was first detected at Camp Lejeune in the 1980s when the Marine Corps discovered volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in at least two of the base’s eight water treatment plants.
According to reports from the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR):
- The VOCs included several highly toxic, cancer-causing chemicals from on-Base and off-base sources. These VOCs — including tetrachloroethylene (or perchloroethylene, PCE), trichloroethylene (TCE), benzene, and vinyl chloride — are colorless and odorless, making them virtually impossible to detect by sight or taste alone.
- The water treatment plants that were supplying the VOC-contaminated water were Hadnot Point and Tarawa Terrace. As ATSDR explains, those plants “have historically supplied finished water to the majority of family housing units at the Base.”
The table below highlights the specific VOCs found at each water treatment plant and the reported source(s) of contamination, based on ATSDR data.
* Measured in parts per billion (μg/L)
Experts say that Camp Lejeune water contamination occurred from August 1953 through December 1987 and that:
- Both drinking water and bathing water were tainted.
- It’s possible that the Base’s water wells were contaminated by off-site dry cleaners before Camp Lejeune even opened.
- There may have been other sources of contamination as well, like the chemicals and solvents used to clean weapons and machinery on the Base.
Based on that timeframe, authorities report that as many as 9,000,000 people — marines, their spouses, and children — may have been exposed to toxic water at Camp Lejeune.
Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Exposure: Quick Facts
ATSDR modeling and studies have attempted to dial in VOC exposure levels at Camp Lejeune, finding that:
- 18 months was the average duration of a marine’s stay at the Base.
- 6 liters of water/day for 3 days — and then 3 liters of water/day for the rest of the week — is roughly what a marine consumes when (s)he’s training at Camp Lejeune.
- Drinking 1 to 2 quarts of water/hour and showering twice/day are common practices for marines at Camp Lejeune when the weather’s warmer.
- The housing at Camp Lejeune that was most likely supplied with toxic water included Berkeley Manor, Hadnot Point, Hospital Point, Midway Park, Paradise Point, Tarawa Terrace, Watkins Village, and Knox Trailer Park (Frenchman’s Point).
If you or a loved one resided, worked, or was stationed at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 days (between 1953 and 1987), there are good chances that:
- You may have been exposed to contaminated water.
- You could have the right to file a legal claim and seek compensation for the injuries you or a loved one has suffered.
Camp Lejeune Tainted Water Injuries
Several illnesses, disorders, malignancies, and other injuries have been linked to the contaminated water that was at Camp Lejeune for more than 34 years.
Here is a closer look at some of the most common injuries reportedly caused by Camp Lejeune water contamination, broken down into the various types of cancers, non-cancer injuries, and birth injuries victims have sustained.
Cancers Caused by Contaminated Water at Camp Lejeune
While exposure to VOC-contaminated water can elevate the risk of developing cancer, it has also been tied to malignancies like (but not limited to):
• Bladder cancer
- Breast cancer
- Cervical cancer
- Colorectal cancer
- Esophageal cancer
- Kidney (renal) cancer
- Liver cancer
- Lung cancer
- Ovarian cancer
- Prostate cancer
- Multiple myeloma
- Myelodysplastic syndrome
- Non-Hodgkin’s LymphomaCamp Lejeune Tainted Water Injuries: Non-Cancer Trauma
Outside of malignancies, other injuries reportedly caused by the water contamination at Camp Lejeune have targeted the neurological system, the heart, the liver, the kidneys, the blood, and more. These injuries include (and are not limited to):
• ALS (Lou Gerhig’s Disease)
- Aplastic anemia
- Brain injuries
- Cardiac defect
- Fatty liver disease
- Hepatic steatosis
- Neurobehavioral effects
- Parkinson’s disease
- Plastic anemia
- Other bone marrow conditions
- Renal toxicity
- SclerodermaBirth Injuries & Defects from Camp Lejeune Water Contamination
Yet another tragedy resulting from Camp Lejeune’s toxic water has been the surge in birth injuries and defects, especially for babies exposed to the contaminated water in utero.
In fact, babies born to pregnant women who drank Camp Lejeune’s contaminated water are about four times more likely to have spina bifida (when compared to infants without that exposure).
In addition to spina bifida, other birth injuries and defects linked to Camp Lejeune water contamination include (and are not limited to):
- Cardiac defects
- Low birth weight
- Cleft palates and lips
- Fetal death
- An elevated risk of leukemia and other childhood cancers
- An elevated risk of adult cancers (later in life)
Who Can File a Camp Lejeune Contaminated Water Lawsuit?
Survivors and families can now file a Camp Lejeune toxic water lawsuit in federal court (U.S. Federal District Court in Eastern North Carolina).
Those who are generally eligible to pursue these Camp Lejeune toxic water claims include individuals who lived or worked at the Base for at least 30 days between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987. Specifically, that includes (and is not limited to):
- Marines, members of the military, and veterans
- Spouses, children, and/or other family members who resided at Camp Lejeune
- Mothers whose infants suffered birth injuries or fetal death
- Infants who were in utero at the Base (for at least 30 days)
- Others who worked on Base
According to legislators, the CLJA was enacted to provide a means for:
Su[ing] and recover[ing] damages for harm from exposure to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987… The [law] prohibits the U.S. government from asserting specified immunity from litigation in response to such a lawsuit.
To find out if you’re eligible to sue and to file a claim at no cost or obligation to you, contact a Camp Lejeune toxic water lawyer at Stewart J. Guss, Injury Accident Lawyers.
How Long Do I Have to File a Camp Lejeune Contaminated Water Claim?
Two years is the filing deadline for Camp Lejeune toxic water lawsuits. According to the CLJA, that two-year statute of limitations for Camp Lejeune claims starts on the latest date of the following three:
- The date on which the injury occurred
- The date of on which the injuries were diagnosed
- The date on which the CLJA was enacted
Victims who have had previous claims denied will also have 180 days from the date of denial to pursue action (under section 2675 of title 28, U.S. Code).
For many marines and families, that means that the window to file a Camp Lejeune lawsuit may close by 2024 — or much sooner.
Camp Lejeune Contaminated Water Compensation
Financial recoveries for Camp Lejeune lawsuits vary by claim and depend on several factors, including (but not limited to) the type(s) of injuries suffered and the losses victims have sustained as a result of those injuries.
Still, many Camp Lejeune claims will be eligible for compensatory damages that cover past and future losses, like (but not limited to):
- Medical care
- Lost earnings
- Diminished quality of life
- Loss of consortium
- Pain and suffering
- Funeral costs (for deadly Camp Lejeune injuries)
One of the best ways to recover full, fair compensation for Camp Lejeune lawsuits is to work with an experienced attorney.
Find Out More & Start a Camp Lejeune Contaminated Water Lawsuit
The Camp Lejeune water contamination lawyers at Stewart J. Guss, Injury Accident Lawyers are currently investigating these claims and representing folks just like you in these cases.
For confidential answers and a free, no-obligation case evaluation, talk to a Camp Lejeune toxic water attorney at Stewart J. Guss, Injury Accident Lawyers. We are ready to explain your rights and help you 24/7. CLICK HERE for your free Camp Lejeune lawsuit evaluation.