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Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawsuit: Everything You Need to Know

Last Updated:
September 4, 2023
Kay Nicole

Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawsuit: Everything You Need to Know

Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, located in North Carolina, has an upsetting history many might not know. The base witnessed water contamination between 1953 and 1987, exposing countless service members and their families to harmful chemicals. Those affected and the general public must understand the depth of this issue and how they can claim legal compensation.

Navigating the complexities of filing a lawsuit for those affected by Camp Lejeune water contamination can be challenging, but ensuring that affected parties receive justice is essential. The following information will prove invaluable if you or someone you know was at the base during the abovementioned period. Stay with us to learn about filing the Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit and the ongoing fight for justice.

Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Overview

Between 1953 and 1987, the drinking water at the Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina was contaminated. In 1982, the Marine Corps discovered that the water at the base was contaminated.

The sources of this water contamination spanned from industrial spills to leaking underground storage tanks and even waste disposal sites, with one prominent source being the waste disposal practices of ABC One-Hour Cleaners, an off-base dry cleaning company.

Chemicals found

  • Benzene
  • Tetrachloroethylene (also known as Perchloroethylene)
  • Trichloroethylene
  • Vinyl chloride

As a result of these contaminants, numerous individuals who lived or worked at Camp Lejeune during this period have reported severe health problems, including cancer, heart disease, miscarriages, and congenital disabilities. Those who believe this contamination might have affected them or their loved ones must contact a reputable Camp Lejeune law firm. It will help them get justice and receive rightful compensation.

Eligibility Criteria for Filing a Camp Lejeune Claim

Specific criteria must be met to determine if you or your loved one is eligible to file a lawsuit in connection to the Camp Lejeune water contamination. Meeting these criteria strengthens your case and ensures that justice is rightfully sought.

Period of Stay or Work at Camp Lejeune

To file a lawsuit, you or your loved one must have lived or worked at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 days between 1953 and 1987. This period is when the water was contaminated completely.

Provisions for Deceased Loved Ones

If a family member who stayed or worked during the mentioned period at Camp Lejeune has passed away, provisions in the act permit the surviving family to file a claim on their behalf.

Selecting Legal Support

Pursuing justice for the damage done due to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune isn't merely about filing a lawsuit. It's about ensuring that you have the best legal support by your side. A strong legal team can significantly influence the outcome of your case.

Choosing a Camp Lejeune attorney should be based on criteria to ensure the most favorable verdict or settlement.

Moreover, having a legal team specialized in this area ensures that all nuances of the case are addressed. They understand the intricate details and historical context, providing a distinct advantage.

Criteria for Selecting Camp Lejeune Attorneys

  • Free Legal Case Reviews: A reputable attorney must assess your case without any charges before committing.
  • Track Record of Success: Look for attorneys or firms with a history of winning similar cases or securing favorable settlements.
  • Experience and National Presence: An attorney or firm with a national reputation and extensive experience in contamination-related cases is preferable.
  • No Upfront Costs: Your chosen legal team should work on a contingency basis.
  • Expertise with VA Claims: Knowledge of VA claims adds another layer of expertise, ensuring all possible avenues for compensation are explored.

Camp Lejeune Lawsuit Filing Procedures

Legal representatives are indispensable in this journey. They provide the necessary expertise, ensuring that claimants understand their rights and the legal framework of the Camp Lejeune Justice Act.

Therefore, securing justice requires a structured approach. Attorneys play an instrumental role in guiding affected parties through the legal path. Here's what the process generally entails:

Steps to File a Lawsuit

  • Determining Eligibility: The first step is ascertaining your qualifications before initiating legal action. This generally means having lived or worked at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 days between 1953 and 1987 and being afflicted by related health issues.
  • Case Building: This phase involves gathering evidence, medical records, and other pertinent documentation to construct a compelling case.
  • Lawsuit Filing: Once the case is ready, the attorney will officially file the lawsuit, marking the commencement of the legal pursuit.
  • Negotiation with Defendant: In many cases, before a lawsuit reaches court, there might be attempts to resolve the matter amicably, involving settlement discussions.
  • Court Presentations if Necessary: Should negotiations not culminate in a resolution, the case may proceed to court, where evidence will be presented, and the attorney will fight for justice.

Settlement Insights

Lawsuits concerning the Camp Lejeune water contamination can vary in their outcomes. However, understanding potential results can help set expectations.

General Lawsuit Outcomes: While no Camp Lejeune lawsuits have concluded, history shows that water contamination lawsuits can result in either court verdicts or settlement agreements.

Financial Payouts: Based on other water contamination lawsuits, settlements have reached significant figures:

  • Hoosick Falls, NY: $65 million
  • Petersburgh, NY: $23 million
  • Tennessee River: $12 million

It's worth noting that each case is unique, and amounts can vary based on the specifics of each lawsuit.

Factors Influencing Settlement Amounts: 

Various factors come into play when determining settlement amounts. These include the severity of the health condition, the extent of exposure, medical expenses, and other related damages. Experienced attorneys can provide insights tailored to individual circumstances.

Final Words

The repercussions of the Camp Lejeune water contamination have spanned decades, affecting countless lives both directly and indirectly. With the Camp Lejeune Justice Act's introduction, a renewed opportunity for justice exists.

If you or your loved ones are affected, stepping forward now isn't just about personal compensation. It’s also about ensuring such tragedies are met with the accountability they deserve.

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