Can Family Members Who Were Not Active Duty Recover Compensation With a Camp Lejeune Lawsuit?
Are you a Marine Corps veteran – or the family member of a veteran – who served at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, and then developed a serious medical condition? You should speak at once with a California Camp Lejeune claim attorney about your legal rights and options.
If you served at Camp Lejeune from 1953 through 1987, or if you lived there with a member of your family who was serving, you may now recover compensation for your medical expenses, pain, and other damages if you developed a serious health problem due to water contamination.
Contamination at several of the water treatment plants at Camp Lejeune has been linked to neurological disorders, fertility problems, cancer, and other serious medical conditions. Keep reading to learn more about what happened at Camp Lejeune and more about your rights.
What Was in Camp Lejeune’s Drinking Water?
Camp Lejeune, near Jacksonville, North Carolina, began operations as a U.S. Marine Corps base in 1942. In 1982, the Marines discovered that certain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) were in drinking water delivered by two of the base’s eight water treatment plants.
The Tarawa Terrace plant was contaminated primarily by PCE (perchloroethylene or tetrachloroethylene), while the Hadnot Point treatment plant was primarily contaminated by TCE (trichloroethylene). Benzene and vinyl chloride were also in the drinking water at the base.
TCE is used for cleaning metal parts. PCE is used for dry cleaning and metal degreasing. Vinyl chloride is used to manufacture polyvinyl chloride, and benzene is used to manufacture a variety of other chemicals. Exposure to these compounds may lead to serious medical conditions.
What Medical Conditions Have Veterans and Their Family Members Developed?
Our military veterans and their loved ones do not deserve to be exposed to hazardous and toxic chemicals while they are serving our country. Many of those who were exposed to water contamination at Camp Lejeune have developed medical conditions including but not limited to:
bladder, brain, breast, cervical, lung, prostate, renal, ovarian, and kidney cancer
infertility, birth defects, miscarriages, and low birth weights
neurological damage, neurobehavioral deficits, and Parkinson’s disease
How Can the Victims of Contaminated Water at Camp Lejeune Win Justice?
The contaminated wells and water plants at Camp Lejeune were shut down in the 1980s. However, as many as one million veterans, civilian staff, and their family members may have been exposed to contaminated drinking water at Camp Lejeune between 1953 and 1987.
Although the harm you may have suffered cannot now be undone, if you were at Camp Lejeune and developed a serious medical condition as a result of water contamination, a California Camp Lejeune claim lawyer will work to win the compensation you need and deserve.
In August 2022, President Biden signed the Camp Lejeune Justice Act (CLJA) of 2022. The CLJA substantially increases federal funding for veterans and their family members who were exposed to hazardous and toxic substances during their time of military service at Camp Lejeune.
What Does the Camp Lejeune Justice Act Provide?
The CLJA includes a provision for Camp Lejeune veterans, civilian staff, and their family members to file claims if they were exposed to water contamination at Camp Lejeune from August 1953 through December 1987 and developed a serious health condition as a result.
If you were at Camp Lejeune and developed a medical condition due to water contamination, contact a personal injury lawyer who will explain the legal process, protect your rights, and handle your lawsuit against those who allowed water contamination at Camp Lejeune.
You can’t always sue the government, which sometimes invokes “sovereign immunity,” but the Camp Lejeune Justice Act specifically prevents the federal government from claiming sovereign immunity to insulate itself from lawsuits based on water contamination at Camp Lejeune.
How Will Your Claim Be Handled?
If you believe – or have proof – that you are a victim of water contamination at Camp Lejeune, you must arrange at once to speak with a California Camp Lejeune claim attorney. The deadline for taking action is August 10, 2024, two years from the date President Biden signed the CLJA.
Your attorney will help you prepare a CLJA Claims Form by compiling medical records and other documents that prove you were at Camp Lejeune for at least thirty days from August 1, 1953, through December 31, 1987, and subsequently developed a serious health condition.
Your attorney will also document the damages you have suffered – medical bills and lost wages along with your personal pain and suffering – to determine the amount of compensation you should recover. The government then has 180 days to make a decision regarding your claim.
Will Your Case Go to Trial?
If your claim is denied, your attorney will file a lawsuit and take the federal government to court to recover your compensation. If the government responds to your claim with a settlement offer, your attorney will negotiate for the fair and complete compensation that you need and deserve.
Many Camp Lejeune water contamination cases will be settled out-of-court, but if your own case goes to trial, your California Camp Lejeune claim lawyer will explain to a jury how you were injured and will make certain that the jurors fully understand the extent of your injuries.
What Will It Cost You to Win Justice?
Your Camp Lejeune claim attorney will charge you no fee until and unless you are compensated with an out-of-court settlement or jury verdict. If, for any reason, you are not compensated at the end of the process, you will owe no attorney’s fee.
If you served at Camp Lejeune from 1953 through 1987, your attorney’s first step will be a no-cost, no-obligation evaluation of your injury claim. You will:
receive personalized legal advice
learn how the CLJA applies to your own case
be able to make an informed decision about whether to move forward with your claim
What’s Important to Remember?
This cannot be stressed strongly enough: The deadline for filing a claim under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act is August 10, 2024.
Whether your case is ultimately settled out-of-court or goes to trial, your Camp Lejeune claim attorney needs time to examine the evidence and to prepare the strongest possible case on your behalf.
If you or someone you love developed a serious medical condition after exposure to water contamination at Camp Lejeune, make the call to a Camp Lejeune claim lawyer now. If you and your lawyer can prove your claim, you will be compensated, and the law will be on your side.