Virginia Camp Lejeune Lawyer
The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) estimates that up to one million military service members, civilian workers, and their families might have been exposed to toxic water at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. If you or a loved one were also exposed to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune and are suffering long-term health effects as a result, you are likely entitled to compensation.
The Law Offices of Dr. Michael M. Wilson, MD, JD & Associates is here to help you pursue the compensation you deserve. Our team of medical malpractice attorneys has helped our clients recover more than $100 million in compensation for their injuries. As a physician and lawyer, Dr. Michael Wilson is uniquely equipped to handle your Camp Lejeune water contamination case too. Call our law firm today for a free consultation.
- How Was the Groundwater at Camp Lejeune Contaminated?
- What Toxic Chemicals Were Found in the Groundwater at Camp Lejeune?
- What Negative Health Effects Can Exposure to These Chemicals Cause?
- What Is the Camp Lejeune Justice Act?
- Who Is Eligible to Sue for Injuries under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act?
- Is There a Deadline for Filing a Camp Lejeune Toxic Water Lawsuit Claim?
- Contact a Virginia Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawsuit Lawyer
How Was the Groundwater at Camp Lejeune Contaminated?
For years, Camp Lejeune supplied its tap water by pumping groundwater to be processed at its on-site treatment plants. Over the decades, the groundwater at Camp Lejeune became contaminated by volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Two of the eight water treatment plants on the base were heavily affected:
- Tarawa Terrace – The water at the Tarawa Terrace treatment plant was contaminated by chemicals dumped at a commercial dry-cleaning facility located off-base.
- Hadnot Point – The water at the Hadnot Point treatment plant was contaminated by multiple sources, including leaking underground storage tanks, industrial area spills, and waste disposal sites.
These treatment plants provided water to barracks and multiple family housing units at Camp Lejeune. Individuals housed at the facilities used the water for everyday activities like drinking, cooking, and bathing.
What Toxic Chemicals Were Found in the Groundwater at Camp Lejeune?
Measured in parts per billion (ppb), the concentration of toxic chemicals in Camp Lejeune’s tap water fluctuated between 240 to 3400 times normal levels. The impacted wells were primarily contaminated by the following chemicals:
- Perchloroethylene (PCE) – PCE is a dry-cleaning solvent that was detected in the drinking water at 215 ppb.
- Trichloroethylene (TCE) – TCE is an industrial degreaser that was detected in the drinking water at 1,400 ppb.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the maximum concentration of either of these chemicals deemed safe for human consumption is 5 ppb. Many other toxic chemicals have also been detected in Camp Lejeune’s groundwater.
What Negative Health Effects Can Exposure to These Chemicals Cause?
The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) assessed the health effects of exposure to the toxic chemicals found at Camp Lejeune. They found evidence linking the chemicals to numerous sicknesses and other negative health effects, including:
- Aplastic anemia
- Bladder cancer
- Brain cancer
- Breast cancer
- Cardiac defects
- Cervical cancer
- Choanal atresia
- End-stage renal disease
- Esophageal cancer
- Hodgkin’s lymphoma
- Kidney cancer
- Liver cancer
- Liver cirrhosis
- Low birth weight
- Lung cancer
- Multiple Myeloma
- Myelodysplastic syndromes
- Neural tube defects
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
- Oral cleft defects
- Ovarian cancer
- Parkinson disease
- Prostate cancer
- Rectal cancer
- Severe, generalized hypersensitivity skin disorder
- Soft tissue cancer
If you were exposed to the toxic water at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, and are suffering negative health consequences as a result, you are likely entitled to compensation. Do not wait to speak with an attorney.
What Is the Camp Lejeune Justice Act?
Individuals exposed to Camp Lejeune’s toxic water previously faced many obstacles when seeking compensation for the negative health consequences they suffered as a result. In an effort to solve this problem, Congress recently gave victims a new path to secure accountability and compensation by passing the Camp Lejeune Justice Act. Among other things, this law prohibits the federal government from claiming immunity to lawsuits seeking compensation.
Victims seeking compensation through the new law must provide evidence of a causal connection between their sickness and Camp Lejeune’s toxic water. They must prove either that a connection exists or “is at least as likely as not.” Among other things, the following evidence may be used to establish a causal connection:
- Medical records
- Military service records
- Employment records
- Residency records (such as tax records, bank statements, utility statements, voter registration, etc.)
Importantly, the new law is the “exclusive remedy” for harms caused by the facility’s toxic water. In other words, once an impacted individual secures compensation through the Camp Lejeune Justice Act, they may not seek further compensation under any other law.
Who Is Eligible to Sue for Injuries under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act?
Eligibility to secure compensation under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act is very broad. Any individual “who resided, worked, or was otherwise exposed (including in utero exposure)” to the facility’s toxic water may be eligible. This includes service members, their families, non-military staff, and government contractors working on the site.
However, the eligibility requirements are also very specific. Exposure must have occurred between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987. Further, exposure must have lasted for 30 days or more. Individuals who fail to prove that they meet these requirements will be ineligible to receive compensation.
Is There a Deadline for Filing a Camp Lejeune Toxic Water Lawsuit Claim?
Yes. The Camp Lejeune Justice Act was signed into law on August 10, 2022. Victims of Camp Lejeune’s toxic water must file a claim within two years after this date. Therefore, time is of the essence.
Victims must also exhaust their remedies available through federal agencies before filing a lawsuit. If their claim is denied by the appropriate federal agency, they have 180 days to file a lawsuit under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act. Any claim brought under the new law must be filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina.
Contact a Virginia Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawsuit Lawyer
If you or a loved one were exposed to the contaminated waters at Camp Lejeune and are suffering negative health consequences as a result, you are likely entitled to compensation. However, your route to compensation is governed by strict legal deadlines. Do not wait to speak to an attorney.
The Law Offices of Dr. Michael M. Wilson, MD, JD & Associates is ready to review your case, evaluate your options, and fight for the compensation you deserve. Dr. Wilson and his team of experienced medical malpractice attorneys are a phone call away. Call today for a free consultation.