From mid-1953 to 1987, Marines, their family members, and non-military personnel who were stationed at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina were regularly exposed to contaminated water. Testing later revealed that the water supply contained a range of harmful chemicals that have been linked to cancer and other serious diseases. Many of the contaminated wells were not retired until years after testing revealed the presence of dangerous toxins in the water supply.
If you lived or worked at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 days between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987, you could be entitled to recover compensation for losses you suffered through a new bill, the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022. The bill is currently making its way through Congress. Having already passed in the House with bipartisan support, it is expected to pass the Senate and be signed into law. Once that occurs, victims of contaminated water in Camp Lejeune will have the ability to bring a claim against the government in federal court.
If you were diagnosed with a serious medical condition, including cancer, after living at Camp Lejeune, contact Mass Tort Alliance’s Camp Lejeune lawsuit attorneys to discuss your case today. Take our quiz to see if you’re eligible for a mass tort lawsuit, or call us at to schedule a case review.
Testing revealed that the water supply at Camp Lejeune was contaminated by four primary chemicals, all of which are toxic to humans: TCE (trichloroethylene), PCE (perchloroethylene), vinyl chloride, and benzene.
Water at one facility on the base, the Tarawa Terrace Water Treatment Plant, was found to be contaminated with PCE when it was tested. This chemical is commonly used by dry cleaners, and in fact, the most likely source of contamination was an off-base dry cleaners called ABC One-Hour Cleaners. That company failed to properly dispose of its chemical waste, which allegedly led to the contamination.
TCE was discovered at significantly elevated levels in another treatment facility, the Hadnot Point Water Treatment Plant. The source is believed to be linked to underground fuel tank leaks and chemical spillage. Other chemicals, including PCE, benzene, and vinyl chloride were all found in the plant’s water supply as well. According to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), the water at Camp Lejeune became contaminated in the early 1950s and continued until wells containing contaminated water were shut down in 1985.
The side effects of exposure to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune include:
Were you diagnosed with any of these conditions after staying at Camp Lejeune for a minimum of 30 days during the specified time frame? If so, you could be legally entitled to pursue compensation should the proposed bill become law. If you are unsure whether you qualify, contact Mass Tort Alliance to discuss your situation.
Under The Janey Ensminger Act, veterans and their family members who lived at Camp Lejeune from 1953 to 1987 and were later diagnosed with a covered condition or a covered disability are currently eligible to seek medical services, hospital care, and nursing home care related to toxic exposure.
The Act, which was passed in 2012, established a “presumptive service connection” for certain illnesses that have been linked to water contamination at Camp Lejeune. The service connection simply means that victims don’t need to prove that their condition was directly caused by water contamination. Instead, they simply need to prove that they lived at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 days and developed a covered illness or disability.
However, The Janey Ensminger Act does not permit victims of water contamination at Camp Lejeune to file a lawsuit against the government or other negligent entities for losses the victim suffered. Until the Camp Lejeune Justice Act passes, there is no legal recourse for Marines and family members who were exposed to contaminated water on the base and were later diagnosed with a covered condition or disability.
In North Carolina, there is a statute of repose that is currently barring victims from filing a lawsuit. The statute of repose is similar to the statute of limitations in personal injury cases, except that under the statute of repose, the clock begins ticking when the alleged misconduct starts, rather than when the injury occurs, or the illness is diagnosed. In North Carolina, the statute of repose for polluters is just ten years, so the deadline to file a lawsuit passed long before victims were even aware that the water at Camp Lejeune was contaminated.
If the Camp Lejeune Justice Act passes in the Senate and is signed into law as expected, then any victim of water contamination at Camp Lejeune will have the opportunity to recover financial relief for any compensable losses they suffered.
However, there are some stipulations. The plaintiff in the case must have lived at Camp Lejeune for a period of at least 30 days between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987. The 30 days do not have to be consecutive. Another difference from the Janey Ensminger Act is that under the new bill, victims will also have to prove that their condition or disability was caused by the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune.
Parties that could possibly be held liable in a Camp Lejeune water contamination claim include the federal government, specific government agencies, businesses that may have contributed to the contamination, and other individuals or entities that caused water contamination at Camp Lejeune through negligence.
Because the contamination may have been caused by various factors, and because there are numerous potentially liable parties involved, the lawyers at Mass Tort Alliance highly recommend consulting with a Camp Lejeune lawsuit lawyer. An accomplished lawyer will have the resources to help you identify the liable party or parties and all possible sources of compensation.
Depending on the specifics of your case, you could be entitled to recover compensation for:
If your loved one passed away due to an illness that was caused by water contamination at Camp Lejeune, you could also be eligible to pursue compensation for wrongful death.
If the bill becomes law, Mass Tort Alliance will be ready to take legal action on your behalf. While the specific process for filing a lawsuit is not yet fully known, victims will be able to file a claim in the Eastern District of North Carolina.
The legal professionals at Mass Tort Alliance can document your financial expenses, quantify your non-financial losses, and determine the overall value of your claim. We will aggressively fight for your right to recover a fair settlement and help you hold the liable party or parties accountable for their negligence.
Even if the new bill passes, all it does is override the North Carolina statute of repose and give victims of water contamination at Camp Lejeune the ability to file a claim in federal court. To secure compensation, you must still be able to prove that you suffered compensable losses as a result of exposure to the toxins in the water on base.
While you are not required to be represented by an attorney during the legal process, you will have a significantly better chance of recovering a fair amount of compensation if you hire an attorney to handle your case. You need a seasoned trial lawyer who has extensive experience litigating mass torts and understands the intricacies of federal and state laws, as well as the details of the new Act. If you hire an attorney at Mass Tort Alliance, we will help you by:
We offer our legal services on a contingency-fee basis, meaning we don’t accept upfront legal fees. If you decide to hire one of our attorneys, you will not owe us a legal fee unless we win your case and obtain compensation for you. In other words, we only get paid if you get paid.
If you were exposed to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune for a period of at least 30 days (whether consecutive or non-consecutive), you deserve a chance to pursue compensation for expenses and non-financial losses you incurred. Mass Tort Alliance has a long track record of success in helping our clients recover financial relief from negligent entities. Contact a Camp Lejeune water contamination claim attorney at Mass Tort Alliance today. You can reach us by phone at . Take our free quiz to find out whether you’re eligible for a mass tort lawsuit.