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Camp Lejeune Compensation & What You Need to Know

Camp Lejeune Compensation & What You Need to Know

If you or a loved one spent at least 30 consecutive days at Camp Lejeune between 1953 and 1987 and subsequently suffered harm, you may be entitled to significant compensation. First and foremost, there is a limited time for Camp Lejeune victims to file a claim. Under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2021 (CLJA), the “date of enactment” is August 10, 2022. Victims must file their claim within two years of the enactment date.

Under CLJA, Camp Lejeune victims have until August 10, 2024, to file a claim. Time is of the essence, and there are only a couple of years for justice to be served. Call 888-6LEJUNE (888-653-5386) to speak with a New York attorney who specializes in Camp Lejeune Toxic Water Claims.

What Happened at Camp Lejeune?

From the early 1950s to 1985, the drinking water at Camp Lejeune was contaminated with volatile organic compounds (VOCs) at levels hundreds of times higher than what is safe for human consumption. During this time, residents, military families, infants, and government personnel were exposed to chemicals known to increase the risk of cancer, birth defects, and other health problems.

Where Did the Water Contamination Come From?

The contamination at Camp Lejeune came from accumulated waste that was left in lots, forests, roads, and manmade dumps.

Tarawa Terrace consisted of several family housing units for the Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, located in North Carolina. Based on information gathering, data interpretations, and water-modeling analyses — it has been concluded that former Marines and their families who lived in this particular unit received drinking water primarily contaminated with tetrachloroethylene (PCE), a dry-cleaning solvent.

According to Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), the source of the contamination was the waste disposal practices at ABC One-Hour Cleaners, a small family-owned dry-cleaning business located off base. The toxic cleaning solvent, PCE, was improperly released into the soil and groundwater by the business’ septic tank system. Additionally, the PCE was improperly buried outside. These wastes were guided into the barracks, houses, offices, water wells, waterways, and water supply that was used on the base.

Symptoms/Diseases of Camp Lejeune

In addition to PCE found in the water, 499 radioactive items were discovered. The top three cancer-causing chemicals included:

  • Trichloroethylene (TCE) – A solvent used to clean metal parts.
  • Vinyl chloride (VC) – Over time, TCE and PCE in the groundwater degrade and become VC.
  • Benzene – A chemical that is often used to make plastics, resins, nylon, and synthetic fibers.

There are several symptoms and diseases that have been acknowledged due to the contamination. Currently, 16 health conditions are linked, including:

  • Bladder Cancer
  • Breast Cancer
  • Cervical Cancer
  • Esophageal Cancer
  • Kidney Cancer
  • Liver Cancer
  • Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
  • Adult Leukemia
  • Aplastic Anemia
  • Multiple Myeloma
  • Renal Toxicity
  • Scleroderma
  • Hepatic Steatosis
  • Infertility in Women
  • Lung Cancer
  • Neurobehavioral effects similar to ALS & Parkinson’s Disease

The above information is documented and accepted by the National Library of Medicine; these are proven side effects linked to the contaminants found at the camp.

Why Did it Take so Long to Discover?

Many factors contributed to a delayed response. The investigation began in the 1980s to determine how bad the water was. Trace chemicals were found, however, Camp Lejeune did nothing to investigate the source of contamination after receiving these results. According to St. Lawrence County Government:

William Neal Jr., chief of laboratory services for the Army lab doing tests, wrote in an Oct. 30, 1980 report, “Water highly contaminated.” He mentioned “strong interference” by an organic chemical. Neal kept testing the water, and his warnings escalated.

  • December 18, 1980: “Heavy organic interference. You need to analyze for chlorinated organics.”
  • February 9, 1981: “You need to analyze for . . . organics.”
  • March 9, 1981: “Water highly contaminated . . . (Solvents)!”

In The Fact Finding Panel chartered by the Commandant of the Marine Corps, the conclusions were that “Camp Lejeune drinking water was consistent with industry standards that existed at the time.” The government took this position on the water and held it for decades.

The Camp Lejeune Justice Act was introduced by the House in March of 2021 and eventually signed by the President on August 10, 2022.

What You Need for Your Claim

For eligibility, you need to show that you were a part of the Camp Lejeune community for at least 30 consecutive days between 1953 and 1987, regardless of the capacity. If you were in the military, you need your DD214 and if you were a minor, you will still need a copy of your parents’ DD214. If you were a government employee or an individual contractor employed or allowed to work on the base, you will need employment records showing that you were at Camp Lejeune.

Most importantly, you need a copy of your medical records. If you were a minor, then will not only need your records but your parents’ records and proof that they worked, lived, or operated on the base.

Call 888-6-LEJEUNE for Immediate Help

The toxic water at the Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune is a black eye on our dedicated military personnel, and the exposure to these dangerous chemicals baffles the mind to comprehend. If you or a loved one was stationed at Camp Lejeune and you were exposed to the toxic chemicals in the water, you deserve justice now.

If you are a New York resident, please reach out for a free no-obligation consultation. Speak with one of our expert attorneys at Silberstein, Awad, and Miklos today by calling our Camp Lejeune Hotline at 888-6-LEJEUNE