The federal government is preparing to release a Camp Lejeune cancer study it recently authored at the tail end of this month. This is a long-awaited report that is expected to serve as yet another piece of evidence on top of what has already been amassed that shows our military’s and other parties’ negligence put our service members, their families, and civilian workers’ lives in danger.
The Release of the U.S. Marine Base Contamination Report Has Been a Long Time Coming
The plaintiffs’ counsel, representing more than 1,400 victims, previously told the Court that the study data was critical to forwarding their cases and alluded that they thought the government’s delay in releasing the document was intentional. However, the U.S. Magistrate presiding over the cases denied the plaintiff’s motion some weeks later because the study was still in the process of being peer-reviewed.
Although the attorneys for the victims, including service members and their spouses and children, had long been pushing for access to this study, on Jan. 17, they abandoned those efforts. Apparently, the plaintiff’s counsel backed off its demands for the document to urgently be made public shortly after the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, confirmed its plans to publish the report by the month’s close.
Data Expected To Be Contained in the Report
An epidemiologist who worked on the study admitted in November that they and their colleagues had identified abnormally high cancer rates among both service members and civilians who’d previously resided at Camp Lejeune. They also conceded that they’d attributed some of the cancers to the military base’s water supply.
This “leak” certainly doesn’t give any specific details regarding the report’s contents other than the broad conclusions provided above. However, the fact that esteemed scientists may have reached such conclusions, and the federal government is publishing those findings, is promising for victims harmed by the water contamination issue.
Background on the Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Issue
After many years of legal wrangling, the federal government finally admitted that testing had shown significantly high levels of certain chemicals that are known carcinogens in the Camp Lejeune water supply. Upon further investigation, federal regulators announced that toxic substances had leached into the military base’s water between 1953 and 1987, affecting an estimated 1 million service members, their families, and civilian workers.
President Biden signed the Honoring Our Promise To Address Comprehensive Toxics Pact (PACT) into law in August 2022. That legislation created a formalized path for claimants who’d gained exposure to the contaminated water while living or working on or near the Jacksonville, NC base, to file claims after receiving cancer or other health conditions, like miscarriage. Since then, there have been at least 160,000 administrative claims received.
How Claims Have Been Resolved So Far
As of mid-November 2023, at least three filers had already been paid a total of $850,000. At that point, approximately 117,000 claims had already been filed, which the government expected would result in $3.3 trillion in payouts. The latest estimates suggest that at least 160,000 have been filed, so it’s likely that damages are well in excess of just over $3 trillion from months ago.
Time To File Your Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Claim Is Running Out
The deadline for filing Camp Lejeune water contamination claims is August 2024, just over six months from now. If you previously were stationed at or employed to work on this North Carolina marine base between the early 1950s (specifically 1953) and late 1980s (1987) and you’ve since fallen ill, our legal team at Frost Law Firm, PC, is eager to speak with you. Call or write to our law firm for a free consultation with an experienced California Camp Lejeune water contamination lawyer so we can discuss your right to file a claim with you.