The water used for drinking, bathing, cooking, and washing dishes at Camp Lejeune became contaminated by toxins, exposing anyone who lived there from August 1st, 1953, to December 31st, 1987, to adverse health conditions. Some medical conditions those who lived at Camp Lejeune have experienced include leukemia, bladder cancer, and kidney cancer.
For a long time, Camp Lejeune contaminated water victims had no avenue to pursue compensation for damages, as the statute of limitations ran out before information about the contamination was revealed to the public. The Camp Lejeune Justice Act allows victims to file administrative claims to recover compensation for damages caused by the toxic water. However, there have been no settlements thus far, and Camp Lejeune toxic water victims have a long way to go before they see any compensation.
Contaminated Water at Camp Lejeune Caused Adverse Health Conditions
Camp Lejeune, a military base in North Carolina, is the home of troops preparing for combat with amphibious assault training. However, carcinogens contaminated the water at the military base through improper disposal of chemicals and leaks from underground storage tanks, waste disposal sites, and industrial spills. Some carcinogens found in Camp Lejeune’s water include perchloroethylene (PCE), trichloroethylene (TCE), vinyl chloride, and benzene.
Inhabitants of Camp Lejeune between August 1st, 1953, and December 31st, 1987, had no idea the water was contaminated. They were exposed to toxic chemicals that caused adverse health conditions at the time and in the years since they left the military base.
The following are some of the medical conditions caused by the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune:
- Brain cancer
- Bladder cancer
- Prostate cancer
- Ovarian cancer
- Lung cancer
- Cervical cancer
- Renal toxicity
- Choanal atresia
- Myelodysplastic syndromes
The Camp Lejeune Justice Act Allows Toxic Water Victims to Pursue Compensation
For a long time, North Carolina’s statute of repose disallowed Camp Lejeune toxic water victims from pursuing compensation for damages. It imposes a ten-year restricted window on personal injury claims, meaning victims had ten years from the date of the accident, injury, or illness to file a claim seeking damages. Since information regarding government negligence with the toxic water at Camp Lejeune didn’t come to light for many years, contaminated water victims were not allowed to pursue compensation for damages.
This all changed after the Camp Lejeune Justice Act was signed into law on August 10th, 2022. The Camp Lejeune Justice Act allowed people who lived or were in utero at Camp Lejeune between August 1st, 1953, and December 31st, 1987, for at least 30 days to file administrative claims to pursue compensation for toxic water damages.
Camp Lejeune Toxic Water Victims Having a Hard Time Recovering Compensation
Passing the Camp Lejeune Justice Act was a huge step in the right direction for Camp Lejeune toxic water victims to recover fair compensation for their damages. However, no Camp Lejeune contaminated water victim has received compensation for their damages as of yet. The process involves filing an administrative claim with the Department of the Navy.
After filing an administrative claim, a victim has to go through a six-month administrative claim process, which involves collecting evidence to prove they received an illness from the toxic water at Camp Lejeune. Victims of toxic water have the burden of proof, meaning they have to show through tangible evidence the relationship between Camp Lejeune’s water and their health conditions. So far, the Navy has not seen fit to offer a settlement to any Camp Lejeune toxic water victim during the administrative claim process.
Camp Lejeune Settlements and False Advertising
Despite the issues with Camp Lejeune toxic water victims not receiving settlements, many personal injury law firms have claimed to have earned settlements in advertisements. The commercials and advertisements have come under fire for misleading victims into thinking they have earned settlements when none have been reached so far. If you are a Camp Lejeune toxic water victim seeking legal representation, be wary of personal injury law firms boasting about earning settlements for Camp Lejeune toxic water victims, as that has yet to happen.
Six-Month Administrative Period Over for Many Toxic Water Victims
The Camp Lejeune contaminated water victims who filed administrative claims immediately after the Camp Lejeune Justice Act passed have gone through the six-month administrative claim process. They are now allowed to file civil lawsuits to pursue compensation for damages. Currently, about 200 civil lawsuits have been filed in the Eastern District of North Carolina Federal Court.
Even though Camp Lejeune toxic water lawsuits have been filed, there is still likely to be a long time before victims see compensation for damages. Although 200 civil lawsuits is a large number, that only represents a fraction of the people who filed administrative claims. Experts estimate that between 100,000 and 200,000 civil lawsuits could eventually be filed regarding Camp Lejeune’s contaminated water.
What Comes Next for Camp Lejeune Lawsuits?
Camp Lejeune toxic water plaintiffs have a long process ahead of them. The government still needs to create a system for processing the Camp Lejeune lawsuits. Currently, the plaintiffs remain in the dark about the next steps for recovering compensation for their damages. Over the next couple of months, they must remain in contact with their personal injury lawyer, as they can keep them up-to-date on how the lawsuits develop. The window for Camp Lejeune claims closes in August 2024, so be sure to file your claim before you lose your opportunity.
Update – Senators and Members of Congress Write Letter to DOJ and JAG
Recently, members of Congress and Senators wrote a letter to the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Navy Judge Advocate General’s Corps (JAG) concerning delays in settling lawsuits filed by veterans, military personnel, and their families related to injuries caused by the water contamination at Camp Lejeune Marine Corps Base.
These letters were addressed to The Honorable Carlos Del Toro, Secretary of the Navy, and Attorney General Merrick B. Garland of the U.S. Department of Justice.
The letter when on to say that over 45,000 claims have been filed and the Navy has taken no action to resolve a single claim. They also mention that some elderly and/or sick claimants have died without seeing a resolution to their case. The writers mentioned that “further delay is unacceptable [and] anything less is an injustice”.
The letter when on to ask a series of questions concerning what JAG and the DOJ plan to do about this. They have requested a response no later than June 9, 2023.
Contact The Russo Firm Today for Help With Your Camp Lejeune Lawsuit
The contaminated water at Camp Lejeune caused illnesses that resulted in economic damages, such as medical bills, lost wages, and lost earning potential. They can also cause reduced quality of life, as non-economic damages like loss of consortium, pain and suffering, and mental anguish affected victims. The personal injury lawyers at The Russo Firm can use their experience, expertise, and the firm’s resources to help you through the complicated process of a Camp Lejeune lawsuit. This could be a lengthy process, so putting your trust in a personal injury firm with a proven track record of helping clients earn fair compensation for their damages is vital. Contact The Russo Firm today for a free consultation to learn about our firm’s history and how we can help with your Camp Lejeune lawsuit at (561) 270-0913 or leave a message on our online contact page.