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Camp Lejeune Lawsuit: Seeking Justice for Contaminated Water Victims

Camp Lejeune Lawsuit: Seeking Justice for Contaminated Water Victims

For decades, the water supply at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina was contaminated with hazardous chemicals, leading to severe health issues for service members, their families, and civilian employees. This article explores the background of the Camp Lejeune water contamination, the health impacts, and the legal avenues available for victims seeking justice.

Contact us by either using the online form or calling us directly at 414-253-8500 to learn more.

Understanding the Camp Lejeune Water Contamination

From the 1950s to the 1980s, the water at Camp Lejeune was contaminated with volatile organic compounds (VOCs) such as trichloroethylene (TCE), perchloroethylene (PCE), benzene, and vinyl chloride. These chemicals are known to cause serious health problems, including cancer, neurological disorders, and birth defects.

Key Contaminants

  1. Trichloroethylene (TCE): A solvent used for cleaning metal parts.
  2. Perchloroethylene (PCE): A dry cleaning agent.
  3. Benzene: A component of gasoline.
  4. Vinyl Chloride: Used in the production of PVC plastic.

Sources of Contamination

The contamination stemmed from multiple sources:

  • Leaking underground storage tanks
  • Waste disposal sites
  • Industrial area spills
  • Improper waste disposal practices by dry cleaning businesses
Health Impacts of Camp Lejeune Water Contamination

Health Impacts of Camp Lejeune Water Contamination

The toxic water at Camp Lejeune has been linked to numerous health conditions. According to studies, exposure to the contaminated water has led to increased risks of:

  • Cancers: Including leukemia, bladder cancer, kidney cancer, liver cancer, and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.
  • Neurological Disorders: Such as Parkinson's disease.
  • Reproductive Issues: Including miscarriages and birth defects.
  • Other Illnesses: Such as aplastic anemia and renal toxicity.

Impact on Families

The contamination affected not only service members but also their families. Children born to mothers who drank the contaminated water have higher rates of birth defects and childhood cancers.

Legal Avenues for Victims

Legal Avenues for Victims

Victims of the Camp Lejeune water contamination have legal options to seek compensation for their suffering. The government has acknowledged the contamination and its impacts, and several laws and programs have been established to assist victims.

The Camp Lejeune Justice Act

The Camp Lejeune Justice Act allows individuals exposed to contaminated water for at least 30 days between 1953 and 1987 to file claims against the federal government. This act provides a path to compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other damages.

VA Disability Benefits

Veterans and their family members may also be eligible for disability benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The VA recognizes several diseases as presumptive conditions for those exposed to Camp Lejeune's contaminated water, simplifying the process for receiving benefits.

Filing a Lawsuit

In addition to claims through the Camp Lejeune Justice Act and VA benefits, victims may pursue civil lawsuits against responsible parties. An experienced attorney can help navigate the complexities of these lawsuits, ensuring that victims receive the compensation they deserve.

Steps to Take if Affected

Steps to Take if Affected

If you or a loved one were stationed at Camp Lejeune and have suffered health issues related to the water contamination, it is crucial to take the following steps:

  1. Gather Documentation: Collect military service records, medical records, and any other documents that can support your claim.
  2. Seek Medical Attention: Ensure you receive proper medical care for your conditions. This also helps document your health issues.
  3. Consult an Attorney: An experienced attorney can guide you through the legal process, helping you understand your rights and options.
  4. File Claims Promptly: Time limits apply to filing claims, so it is essential to act quickly.
How an Attorney Can Help with Your Camp Lejeune Lawsuit

How an Attorney Can Help with Your Camp Lejeune Lawsuit

Navigating the legal landscape of a Camp Lejeune lawsuit can be complex and overwhelming, especially for those dealing with serious health issues. An experienced attorney with experience in environmental law and personal injury can provide invaluable assistance.

Experience in Environmental Law

Attorneys with experience in environmental law understand the intricacies of cases involving hazardous substances and can effectively navigate the legal system. They will:

  • Evaluate Your Case: Determine the strength of your claim and the potential for compensation.
  • Gather Evidence: Collect and organize essential documents, such as medical records, military service records, and expert testimony.
  • File Claims: Ensure all claims are filed correctly and within the legal deadlines.
  • Negotiate Settlements: Engage with the responsible parties to negotiate fair settlements.
  • Represent You in Court: If necessary, advocate on your behalf in court to secure the compensation you deserve.

Maximizing Compensation

An attorney can help maximize your compensation by considering all potential sources of recovery, including:

  • Medical Expenses: Past, present, and future medical bills related to your illness.
  • Lost Wages: Compensation for time missed from work due to illness.
  • Pain and Suffering: Damages for physical pain and emotional distress.
  • Punitive Damages: In cases of gross negligence, additional damages intended to punish the responsible parties.
Resources and Support for Camp Lejeune Victims

Resources and Support for Camp Lejeune Victims

Various resources and support systems are available to those affected by Camp Lejeune's water contamination.

Veterans Affairs (VA) Resources

The VA provides numerous resources for veterans, including:

  • Health Care Services: Specialized medical care for conditions linked to the contamination.
  • Disability Compensation: Financial support for veterans with presumptive conditions.
  • Counseling Services: Mental health support for veterans and their families.

Support Groups and Advocacy

Several organizations offer support and advocacy for Camp Lejeune victims:

  • The Few, The Proud, The Forgotten: An organization dedicated to supporting victims and raising awareness about the contamination.
  • Marine Corps Community Services (MCCS): Provides resources and support for Marines and their families.
Taking Action: Your Path to Justice

Taking Action: Your Path to Justice

If you or a loved one has been affected by the Camp Lejeune water contamination, taking action is essential. Here are the steps to ensure your path to justice:

  1. Contact an Experienced Attorney: Reach out to a knowledgeable attorney who can help you understand your legal rights and options.
  2. File Your Claims: Ensure all claims are filed promptly and accurately, whether through the Camp Lejeune Justice Act, VA benefits, or civil lawsuits.
  3. Seek Medical and Emotional Support: Utilize available resources to manage your health and well-being.
  4. Stay Informed: Keep up-to-date with ongoing developments in Camp Lejeune lawsuits and related legal matters.
Contact an Attorney for Camp Lejeune Lawsuits

Contact an Attorney for Camp Lejeune Lawsuits

Navigating the complexities of Camp Lejeune lawsuits requires experienced legal guidance. If you or a loved one have been affected by the water contamination at Camp Lejeune, contact Heritage Law Office for assistance. Our knowledgeable attorneys are committed to helping victims secure the compensation they deserve. Contact us by either using the online form or calling us directly at 414-253-8500 to learn more.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What is the Camp Lejeune Justice Act?

The Camp Lejeune Justice Act is a law that allows individuals who were exposed to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 days between 1953 and 1987 to file claims against the federal government. This act provides a legal pathway for victims to seek compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other related damages.

2. What health conditions are associated with the Camp Lejeune water contamination?

Exposure to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune has been linked to numerous health conditions, including various types of cancer (such as leukemia, bladder cancer, and kidney cancer), neurological disorders like Parkinson's disease, reproductive issues including miscarriages and birth defects, and other illnesses such as aplastic anemia and renal toxicity.

3. Who is eligible to file a Camp Lejeune lawsuit?

Individuals who lived or worked at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 days between 1953 and 1987 and have suffered health issues related to the contaminated water are eligible to file a lawsuit. This includes veterans, their family members, and civilian employees who were stationed at the base during that time.

4. What types of compensation can victims receive from a Camp Lejeune lawsuit?

Victims can receive various types of compensation, including coverage for medical expenses (past, present, and future), lost wages due to illness, damages for pain and suffering, and potentially punitive damages in cases of gross negligence by responsible parties.

5. How can an attorney assist with a Camp Lejeune lawsuit?

An attorney can provide crucial assistance by evaluating the strength of your claim, gathering necessary evidence, filing claims within legal deadlines, negotiating settlements, and representing you in court if needed.

Contact Us Today

For a comprehensive plan that will meet your needs or the needs of a loved one, contact us today. Located in Downtown Milwaukee, we serve Milwaukee County, surrounding communities, and to clients across Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, and California.

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