Did You Live or Work Near Camp Lejeune Between 1953 and 1987? Get Help Filing a Camp Lejeune Lawsuit from a Veteran Law Firm.
If you answered yes and have dealt with serious medical conditions, you may qualify for a Camp Lejeune Lawsuit. Our legal team is assisting people who may have been exposed to toxic substances in the water, including the following:
- Civilian contractors
- Children in utero
The Carlson Law Firm is a Veteran-Owned and Operated Law Firm dedicated to ensuring Veterans receive everything they deserve when they’ve been hurt or denied compensation. Contact us at 800-359-5690 to discuss how we can help. We offer free, no-obligation case reviews to discuss your legal options. Find out how our Camp Lejeune Lawyers can assist with your claim.
What are the Camp Lejeune Lawsuits About?
The Camp Lejeune lawsuits refer to legal actions taken by veterans and their families against the U.S. government due to water contamination issues at the Camp Lejeune military base in North Carolina. These lawsuits stem from incidents occurring from the 1950s through the 1980s, during which people at the base were exposed to contaminated drinking water containing volatile organic compounds, including trichloroethylene (TCE), perchloroethylene (PCE), benzene, and other harmful chemicals.
The contamination was believed to result from leaking underground storage tanks, industrial activities, and improper disposal of solvents and other chemicals. The polluted water allegedly led to serious health issues, including cancer, birth defects, and other illnesses among the people living on the base during that period.
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We are a veteran owned and operated law firm dedicated to serving our fellow vets. If you lived or worked near Camp Lejeune between 1953 and 1987 and have dealt with serious medical conditions, you may have a legal claim.
Video: Help from a Camp Lejeune Lawyer
What caused the Camp Lejeune Water Contamination?
Water contamination at Camp Lejeune was caused by leaks and spills from various sources, including:
- Leaking underground storage tanks
- Industrial area spills
- Wastewater disposal sites
In the early 1980s, as required by new Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards, the Marine Corps began monitoring Camp Lejeune water quality for volatile organic compounds (VOCs). According to the federal government, the Marine Corps didn’t discover VOCs until 1982. The VOCs included dry cleaning solvents, degreasers, and about 70 other hazardous chemicals.
Honoring Our PACT Act of 2022 Expanded VA Benefits
President Joe Biden signed the Honoring Our PACT Act of 2022 into law on August 10, 2022. The law expands VA health care and benefits for Veterans exposed to burn pits, Agent Orange and other toxic substances. Additionally, it adds to the list of health conditions presumable caused by exposure to these substances.
The PACT Act allows our Camp Lejeune attorneys to help you recover damages such as:
- Medical costs (past, present and future)
- Lost wages
- Future lost income
- Health and disability benefits
- Pain and suffering
- Wrongful death compensation on behalf of a lost loved one
With the PACT Act in place, Veterans stationed at Camp Lejeune between 1953 and 1987 can file a compensation claim.
What are the 6 Steps to Filing a Camp Lejeune Claim?
If you or your family were at Camp Lejeune, these are the steps you’ll need to take to file a lawsuit :
1. Gather Documents that Prove you were at Camp Lejeune
First, prepare your documentation to prove you were at Camp Lejeune between Aug. 1, 1953 and Dec. 31, 1987. Valid proof of your presence can be established through military records, work documents, affidavits, or other forms of documentation that verify your stay during the specified period.
2. Consult with a Lawyer
Before moving forward, consulting with a lawyer with extensive experience handling toxic torts—particularly water contamination cases— is wise. A lawyer can guide you through the following steps to ensure they’re done right. Our legal team can ensure you have the necessary documentation and advise you on presenting your case in the best possible way. Additionally, a Camp Lejeune Lawyer can assist in presenting the initial claim and advising on actions to take if a claim is denied.
3. Document Your Illness
With the help of your attorney, it is essential to secure medical records demonstrating that you or a family member has suffered from one of the illnesses presumed to be linked to the water contamination at Camp Lejeune. Having robust medical documentation is vital in supporting your claim.
4. File a VA Claim
Initiate your claim with the Veterans Affairs (VA) by utilizing one of the following methods:
- Filing online via the VA.gov website
- Seeking the assistance of a Veterans Service Officer (VSO)
- Visiting a VA Regional Office for guidance and assistance in filing your claim
5. Wait for the VA’s Decision
After filing your claim, there will be a waiting period for the VA to process and complete it. As of July 2022, the average waiting time was 125.3 days (note that the exact duration can vary).
6. Proceed with Legal Action if Necessary
If the VA denies your claim, it’s time to take legal action. With the help of your chosen lawyer, proceed to file a lawsuit in the federal court in the Eastern District of North Carolina. Ensure that the lawyer you choose is trustworthy, with strong client reviews. Most lawyers offer free consultations; you shouldn’t have to pay for an initial consultation. Your lawyer will guide you on the next steps and represent you in court to ensure your case is strongly presented.
A Camp Lejeune lawyer can help you determine the documentation you need to file a claim.
Can I file a Camp Lejeune claim if I was denied before?
Yes. As long as it passes the Senate, the Camp Lejeune Justice Act will override North Carolina’s statute of limitations for injury claims. Ultimately, the PACT ACT will allow those previously barred from seeking justice a two-year window to file a claim.
I’m a family member who lived at Camp Lejeune; what documentation do I need for a claim?
Family members who lived on or near the Marine Corps Base may also file a Camp Lejeune claim. In addition to proof that you lived on or near the base, your family must provide documentation showing your dependent status or relationship to the service members. To prove your relation, you can use the following:
- Military ID
- Marriage License
- Birth Certificate
- Adoption papers
If you are a family member who suffered serious medical conditions after living at Camp Lejeune, contact our firm at 800-359-5690 for assistance in filing a Camp Lejeune Lawsuit.
How long do I have to file a Camp Lejeune Claim?
Camp Lejeune toxic water victims have two years from when the bill passes or 180 days after receiving a denial of an initial Camp Lejeune claim to file a lawsuit under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act. It is extremely important that you act now. The time to file these claims is limited, so ensure your voice is heard. A skilled Camp Lejeune Lawyer can help you recover the compensation owed to you and your loved ones.
Source of Water Contamination at Camp Lejeune
Camp Lejeune received water from the Tarawa Terrace Water Treatment Plant, Hadnot Point Water Treatment Plant, and Holcomb Boulevard Water Treatment Plant in North Carolina.
Camp Lejeune water contamination primarily resulted from contaminants at Tarawa Terrace and Hadnot Point. Dangerous contaminants mostly didn’t affect the Holcomb Boulevard supply except for when it received transfers from Hadnot Point between 1972 and 1985.
PCE and vinyl chloride contaminated the Tarawa Terrace water supply. PCE is a colorless liquid, most commonly used for dry cleaning. It wound up in Tarawa Terrace as a result of waste disposal practices of an off-base dry cleaning company. The Agency for Toxic Substance & Disease Registry (ATSDR) indicated that the Tarawa Terrace Treatment plant consistently exceeded EPA-contaminated standards for PCE between 1957 and 1987.
Similarly, TCE, PCE and refined petroleum products such as benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylenes contaminated the Hadnot groundwater supply. The source of Hadnot Point groundwater contamination was largely underground storage tank leaks, industrial area spills and water disposal sites.
Side Effects of Contaminated Water Exposure
Currently, legislation is making its way through Congress that will clear a path for Marine Corps members, civilian contractors and their families who lived, served, or worked at Camp Lejeune for more than 30 days to recover monetary damages for several illnesses and health conditions.
Those diagnosed with one or more of the following may be able to pursue compensation:
- 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
*This is not an exhaustive list of health conditions related to Camp Lejeune. In reality, ingesting toxic water can result in a variety of illnesses. Contact The Carlson Law Firm for a free consultation no matter what your medical diagnosis.
In addition, children born to mothers who drank the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune were four times more likely to develop birth defects, such as spina bifida. Further, these babies had a slightly elevated risk of childhood cancers.
It doesn’t matter how long ago you were diagnosed—a free consult with an attorney as soon as possible will help you determine if you, your spouse, or your children are eligible for a Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawsuit.
My Loved One Died. Can I file a Camp Lejeune Claim on their behalf?
Yes. A wrongful death lawsuit may be an option if you lost a loved one to a medical condition and they served at Camp Lejeune. Contact our firm at 800-359-5690 to schedule a free consultation today.
Will I need a lawyer to file a claim?
Technically no. However, because these are incredibly complex legal matters, it’s important that you have someone on your side with knowledge and experience to ensure your claim is processed as quickly as possible with little hiccups. These cases will involve extensive paperwork that requires expert knowledge of the law. Your attorney will know the right paperwork to file, medical records to submit, and other materials you’ll need for a successful claim.
Who will be eligible for a Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Claim?
Anyone who lived, served, or worked on the Camp Lejeune base for at least 30 days between 1953 and 1987. This includes adults, children, and even children who were in utero at the time.
Diagnosed with a condition listed above? If one of your parents was a Marine, ask your parents about your possible exposure to Camp Lejeune water.
What is the Camp Lejeune Presumptive Diseases Rule?
The Camp Lejeune Presumptive Diseases Rule is a document released by the VA. It states the eight diseases presumed to be service-connected and explains who is eligible for disability compensation. The rule went into effect on March 14, 2017.
What does “presumption of service-connection” mean?
“Presumption of service-connection” means that the VA automatically assumes the listed illnesses were caused by military service. In other words, as long as an eligible service member can prove they have one of these eight diseases, they are entitled to disability compensation.
Get the Help You Deserve
Justice for victims of Camp Lejeune contaminated water is long overdue. If you served, lived or worked on the Camp Lejeune base for at least 30 days between 1953 and 1987, we can help.
Our personal injury lawyers are helping Camp Lejeune victims from all 50 states. We’re available 24/7 to discuss your legal options.