The United States Marine Corps’ negligence led to the water at Camp Lejeune, a military base in North Carolina, becoming contaminated with carcinogens. These harmful chemicals in the water there between August 31st, 1953, and December 31st, 1987, caused significant health problems like liver cancer, hepatic steatosis, and pancreatic cancer.
Some marines and marine family members living at Camp Lejeune suffered severe health problems from the toxic water and passed away from the complications. This qualifies as wrongful death, which is when one party’s negligent actions lead to the death of someone else. The Marine Corps failed to fix the water contamination issue at Camp Lejeune, leading to exposure to toxic chemicals that caused people to suffer life-threatening illnesses.
Marines and Their Families Exposed to Toxic Water at Camp Lejeune
From the 1950s until the 1980s, the water used for drinking, bathing, cleaning, and cooking at Camp Lejeune was contaminated by carcinogens. This occurred when mistakes at the two water treatment plants at the military base, Tarawa Terrace Facility and Hadnot Point, resulted in water contamination. This contamination happened because of improper disposal of dangerous chemicals and carcinogens leaking into the water supply.
The marines and their families used the water for nearly three decades without realizing anything was wrong. This exposed them and children in utero to dangerous chemicals that can cause significant health problems. Some of these health problems were so severe for people exposed to large quantities of toxic water that they passed away.
Adverse Health Conditions Caused by Camp Lejeune’s Toxic Water
Carcinogens are dangerous chemicals capable of causing cancer in living tissue. The contaminated water at Camp Lejeune contained carcinogens, such as perchloroethylene (PCE), trichloroethylene (TCE), vinyl chloride, and benzene. These harmful chemicals can cause cancer and other significant health issues that many people living at Camp Lejeune during the time of the contamination have suffered from.
The following are some health issues caused by contaminated water at Camp Lejeune:
- Breast cancer
- Lung cancer
- Brain cancer
- CNS cancers
- Cervical cancer
- Rectal cancer
- Pancreatic cancer
- Hepatic steatosis
- Ovarian cancer
- Renal toxicity
- Prostate cancer
- Myelodysplastic syndromes
- Soft tissue cancer
- Bladder cancer
- Esophageal cancer
- Birth defects
- Choanal atresia
- Eye defects
Have Camp Lejeune Toxic Water Victims Experienced Wrongful Death?
Wrongful death refers to a civil action personal injury victims can file when a liable party’s wrongful actions lead to the death of a loved one. Family members of the deceased can file a claim to pursue compensation for damages caused by the wrongful death.
In the case of Camp Lejeune victims, many people have passed away due to the complications of severe illnesses. Exposure to carcinogens can lead to cancer that can affect vital organs, reducing their capacity to operate properly. Camp Lejeune toxic water victims have suffered life-threatening illnesses, meaning their family members can file claims to pursue compensation for wrongful death damages.
Who Can File a Camp Lejeune Administrative Claim?
In most cases, the family members of someone who passed away due to the negligent actions of a reckless party can file a claim or lawsuit to pursue compensatory damages. Family members of those that died due to health complications because of exposure to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune could not file claims.
North Carolina has a rule called the statute of repose that disallows personal injury victims to file claims or lawsuits ten years after their exposure to harm. The contamination at Camp Lejeune was not discovered until well after that ten-year statute of limitations. However, the Camp Lejeune Justice Act was signed into law to eliminate this barrier and allow Camp Lejeune’s toxic water victims to pursue compensation for damages.
Specific requirements must apply to a case from someone to file a Camp Lejeune claim or lawsuit. The person affected by the water contamination must have lived at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 cumulative days between August 31st, 1953, and December 31st, 1987, and suffered a severe illness. If your loved one who passed away falls under these requirements, you could file a Camp Lejeune claim on their behalf to pursue compensation for wrongful death.
The Process for Pursuing Wrongful Death Damages Through a Camp Lejeune Lawsuit
Pursuing compensation for Camp Lejeune damages begins by filing an administrative claim with the Navy Judge Advocate General (JAG). This starts a six-month administrative period where you can negotiate a settlement with the Navy JAG. They may require you to send in evidence to prove you or a deceased loved one suffered economic and non-economic damages because of Camp Lejeune’s toxic water.
Currently, nobody has received a settlement after filing an administrative claim. After the administrative period, you can file a Camp Lejeune lawsuit in federal court. So far, over 200 Camp Lejeune lawsuits are pending in court, with much more expected to be on the way.
Should You Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer to Help With Your Camp Lejeune Lawsuit?
Recovering compensation for damages caused by a family member’s wrongful death can be complicated, especially for Camp Lejeune toxic water victims. There is a lot of paperwork to file and protocols to pay attention to. Having someone in your corner you can trust as you get involved in this process is vital for recovering fair compensatory damages.
Hiring a personal injury lawyer can help you with the Camp Lejeune lawsuit process, as they will have the knowledge and experience to advise you. They will understand the best way to handle the steps of an administrative claim and lawsuit. An experienced personal injury lawyer can put you in the best position to recover fair compensation to pay for economic losses and negative quality of life effects.
Contact The Russo Firm for Help With Your Camp Lejeune Lawsuit
The personal injury lawyers at The Russo Firm can help you pursue compensation for damages caused by a loved one’s untimely death. A loved one who passes away due to complications from an illness caused by Camp Lejeune’s toxic water can cause damages, such as wage-based losses, funeral costs, and loss of parental services.
Our personal injury lawyers have decades of experience helping those suffering after the wrongful death of a loved one. We wish to offer our support and expertise to help you through this rough period. Contact us for a free Camp Lejeune consultation at (561) 270-0913 or leave a message on our online contact page.