TheU.S. Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune is a military base on the east seacoast located in Jacksonville, North Carolina. Presently, it’s part of a combined installation with the New River Marine Corps Air Station. The base camp is home to marine expeditionary forces and other units.
Between the early 1950s and late 1980s, water impurity at this base camp may have exposed thousands of people to serious health pitfalls for decades. Service members and their families who lived on the base were drinking polluted water, and using it to bathe, cook, and wash their clothes.
Veterans who were living at Camp Lejeune during this period who later developed health conditions might be qualified for disability benefits. Our mass tort attorneys at Rueb Stoller Daniel are here to help you file a Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawsuit in San Diego.
With a new pending federal law, victims will soon be eligible to file a claim and obtain a payout for the detriment and damages they’ve suffered if they lived in Camp Lejeune between January 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987.
What Are the Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Claims?
Since its founding in 1942, Camp Lejeune has been a long-term or temporary home for thousands of military service members and their families. It’s been a place of work or home for thousands more contractors and workers.
In the 1980s, environmental testing at Camp Lejeune unveiled that the water going to these soldiers and civilians was dangerously defiled. The water was defiled with chemicals from a dry-cleaning company and the base water treatment installations in the area. The Hadnot Point and Tarawa terrace water treatment plants are among those in question. The impurity exposed residers to many times the ATSDR recommended safe limit for similar poisonous chemicals.
The Veterans’ Administration may have denied claims for disability or illness, but a new law pertained to as the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022, may allow you to file a claim and recover compensation if you lived at Camp Lejeune between 1953 and 1987 and developed cancer or other health conditions.
What Are the Causes for the Camp Lejeune Water Contamination?
According to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), multiple impurity sources were found. They included waste disposal spots and underground storehouse tanks. The poisonous chemicals present at Camp Lejeune are known as Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), and they make up items like degreasers and dry-cleaning agents.
A nearby dry-cleaning company was using similar detergents, which ended up polluting the groundwater. The surrounding areas also had waste disposal spots and industrial that contributed to the impurity. The ATSDR says that water wells supplying the base surpassed its set limits. The impurity was first discovered in 1982, though it took over three years for the wells to be shut down.
Latterly studies showed there are further than 70 other chemicals that caused health hazards. The most dangerous and abundant of these were as follows:
Trichloroethylene (TCE) and Perchloroethylene (PCE)
TCE is an artificial chemical used in the manufacture of hydrofluorocarbons. It was generally used as a degreaser and on military equipment. The Hadnot Point facility was heavily defiled with TCE.
Both TCE and PCE have been shown in several studies to raise the threat of developing several cancers, including liver and kidney cancers, along with some support for non-Hodgkin’s carcinoma and Hodgkin’s. Exposure to TCE is also potentially associated with cervical cancer. Certain data suggests associations between exposure to TCE with multiple myeloma and colon, prostate, and laryngeal cancers.
Dry cleaning and laundry work, which frequently involve using PCE and TCE, is also believed to be associated with pancreatic, kidney, esophageal, cervical, and lung cancers. There’s also growing support that they’re associated with prostate, bladder, and colon cancers.
Benzene is a known carcinogen that generally promotes both acute myeloid leukemia( AML), multiple myeloma, chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
This is a chemical produced by burning plastics like PVC pipes. It’s largely carcinogenic and can beget several forms of cancer, including angiosarcoma, colon cancer, and testicular cancer. Exposure to vinyl chloride has been shown to lead to 5 times greater rates of liver cancer, lung cancer, and angiosarcoma.
Studies involving workers exposed to toluene demonstrated an increased occurrence of cancers of the breasts, lungs, stomach, esophagus, colon, and particularly the rectum. Also, the substance is known to increase the threat of lympholeukaemia, lymphosarcoma, as well as non-Hodgkins and Hodgkin’s lymphoma in workers exposed to it.
While the poisons listed above were present in the highest amounts in the water at Camp Lejeune, numerous other largely carcinogenic poisons were also there. Some of these include mercury and other heavy metals, varied polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), pesticides, and others.
There might still be a way to support a connection if no research exists connecting your cancer to the poisons listed over. Reach out to us to schedule a free discussion with a class action lawyer and find out if you might have a case.
What Are the Side-Effects of the Water Contamination at Camp Lejeune?
The dangerous chemicals outlined over have been linked to several enervating health conditions. These include:
- Esophageal cancer
- Kidney cancer
- Bone cancer
- Bladder cancer
- Lung cancer
- Renal toxicity
- Female infertility
- Multiple myeloma
- Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
- Myelodysplastic syndrome
- Neurobehavioral effects
- Hepatic steatosis
If you lived at Camp Lejeune and you or a family member has developed the above conditions, you may be entitled to compensation by the VA, if you had past out-of-pocket costs as a result of medical care not covered by programs like deductibles or copays.
Qualifying family members include those where the sponsor (a qualifying veteran) was on active duty and served at Camp Lejeune for 30 days or more between August 1 1953 and December 31, 1987, lived on the base for 30 days or more within the same dates, or was a dependent or spouse of the veteran during the same period. This includes the infants born of women that were pregnant on the base during the same period.
What Is the Janey Ensminger Act and How Can It Help The Victims?
Following the disturbing discovery of the impurity of the Camp Lejeune water system from multiple sources, the U.S. Government and Marine officers understood prompt action needed to be taken. After several attempts by the members of the House Veterans’ Committees and the Senate requesting healthcare be handed to the victims, Jerry Ensminger joined the fight.
Jerry Ensminger initialized a petition to be given to the U.S. Government requesting that healthcare be provided to the veterans that had been exposed to the poisons. Jerry Ensminger was particularly connected to the terrible consequences of the impurity as his daughter, Janey, had developed cancer after spending some time in Camp Lejeune. Cancer took Janey’s life in 1985 while she was only 9 years old.
Jerry Ensminger’s work didn’t go unnoticed by the government. In fact, on July 18th, 2012, the U.S. Senate passed the Janey Ensminger Act, which honors both Jerry and his daughter Janey. The bill officially authorized the provision of medical services to both the veterans and their family members who had lived on Camp Lejeune from 1957 to 1987.
People who developed any form of disease or condition after staying at the Marine Base are entitled to healthcare. The House approved the Act on 31st July 31st, 2012 and it was signed by President Obama on August 6, 2012.
The Act applies to specific conditions and afflictions that are said to be linked to the pollutants present in the water at the camp. The medical care is provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs.
If you or a family member falls under the specific requirements and restrictions outlined by the Janey Ensminger Act, you should consider contacting Rueb Stoller Daniel about filing a Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawsuit in San Diego.
What Is the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022?
The Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 is a bipartisan bill co-sponsored by 4 Republicans and 5 Democrats meant to insure the people who suffered any ails or conditions after spending time at Camp Lejeune during the impurity period get compensated. The bill has developed into the Honoring Our PACT Act of 2022, which basically allows veterans and their families to seek justice for the different injuries and damages due to exposure to poisonous conditions.
The new law would ideally override the previous barriers to compensation for many veterans and their families who had been barred from pursuing compensation. It should also override the existing statute of limitations in North Carolina for such cases, and provide a new deadline for filing a claim (two years) once the bill passes into law.
Who Can File Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawsuit in San Diego?
The Janey Ensminger Act essentially presumes a “presumptive service connection” for certain conditions and illnesses associated with the water contamination at Camp LeJeune. This means that you are not required to prove that your condition was caused by exposure to the toxins. You only need to show that you lived on the Camp Lejeune base during the contamination period for at least 30 days and developed a condition.
All the people who resided at the base from 1953 to 1987, including those who were in utero during the period (the mother resided at the base) are eligible for medical services, hospital care, and nursing home care through the VA, for any illness or condition caused by exposure to these contaminants.
If you’re unsure whether you qualify, the best way to know if you’re eligible is to contact us today for a free case evaluation.
Questions About the Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawsuit? Contact Our Attorneys as Soon as Possible
If you or a loved one is suffering from a health condition linked to the Camp Lejeune water contamination, a lawyer can help make sure you receive the medical care and disability benefits you’re entitled to.
The San Diego class-action lawyers at Rueb Stoller Daniel can provide the research and expert opinion on the link between your condition and the water contamination, and work to help you receive the benefits you’re eligible for. If you applied for VA disability benefits and were denied, our team can help you file an appeal.