Were you at Camp Lejeune between 1953 and 1987? Did you or someone you love develop cancer or another serious disease after you were there? If so, you have legal recourse, and you should discuss the matter as quickly as possible with a California Camp Lejeune claim lawyer.
From 1953 through 1987, toxic chemicals contaminated the water supply at Camp Lejeune. That contamination exposed civilian and military personnel and their children to hazardous chemicals, causing cancers and other life-threatening diseases as well as serious birth defects.
If you were pregnant at Camp Lejeune in those years, your child may have a birth defect. If your child has a birth defect because you or your wife served there, a California Camp Lejeune claim attorney can help you recover compensation for your medical expenses and related losses.
How Was Camp Lejeune’s Water Contaminated?
In the 1980s, the Marines found that dangerous chemical compounds were contaminating the water at two of Camp Lejeune’s several water treatment plants. The dangerous compounds included perchloroethylene, tetrachloroethylene, trichloroethylene, benzine, and vinyl chloride.
The contaminated water plants and wells were closed down in the late 1980s, but up to a million veterans, their families, and civilian staff had already been placed at risk by contaminated water. What legal recourse do those veterans, civilians, and their families have?
In 2022, the Camp Lejeune Justice Act (CLJA) was signed into law. The law considerably boosts federal funds for veterans, civilians, and their families who have suffered with health issues as a result of their exposure – or their mother’s exposure – to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune.
Who is at Risk for Camp Lejeune-Related Birth Defects?
The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, a federal public health agency under the Department of Health and Human Services, surveyed the parents of 12,598 Camp Lejeune babies from 1999 through 2002 to identify potential cases of birth defects and childhood cancers.
To qualify for the survey, the mother had to reside on base during the pregnancy, and the child had to be born from 1968 to 1985. Survey participants reported cases of spina bifida, anencephaly, cleft lip, cleft palate, leukemia, and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Women exposed to Camp Lejeune’s contaminated water while they were pregnant are at a higher risk of giving birth to a child who has a birth defect. Camp Lejeune children who were born with birth defects are also at risk for developing other serious medical conditions as they grow older.
When Should You Speak to an Attorney?
If your child was born with a birth defect because you or your wife was pregnant at Camp Lejeune, or if your child’s health has been damaged because of exposure to water contamination at Camp Lejeune, arrange at once to speak with a California Camp Lejeune claim attorney.
If you were at Camp Lejeune, or if your mother (when she was pregnant with you) was at Camp Lejeune, and if you developed a medical condition due to contaminated water, a California Camp Lejeune claim lawyer will fight for the monetary compensation you deserve and need.
The Camp Lejeune Justice Act provides for veterans, civilians, and their loved ones to file claims if they were subjected to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune between August 1953 and December 1987 and subsequently developed a severe health condition.
However, the victims of Camp Lejeune water contamination must contact a claim lawyer immediately to begin the legal process. Under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act, the deadline to file a claim is August 10, 2024.
How Are Victims Compensated?
If you or your mother was at Camp Lejeune from 1953 to 1987, your lawyer will provide a no-obligation, no-cost evaluation of your claim. The first time you meet with your lawyer, you will:
- Obtain personalized legal guidance and advice
- Find out how the Camp Lejeune Justice Act will apply in your case
- Gain the knowledge to make an informed decision about whether to file a claim
The lawyer who handles your Camp Lejeune water contamination claim will charge no fee for services unless and until you recover compensation. If you are not compensated at the conclusion of the process, you will owe no lawyer’s fee.
You’ll need to have proof you were at Camp Lejeune between 1953 and 1987, and you will also need to produce your medical records as proof of your medical condition.
How Can You Obtain the Proof You Need?
Your medical providers should have your records and make the copies you need. Your Camp Lejeune claim attorney can have medical experts review your records and provide testimony or a written statement on your behalf.
You’ll also need your DD Form 214, the record of your military service. If you can’t find it, request a copy of your DD Form 214 from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, or request a copy online from milConnect (https://milconnect.dmdc.osd.mil/milconnect/).
What Else Should You Know?
Veterans who intend to file a Camp Lejeune water contamination claim must have been honorably discharged. Relatives of those veterans must prove that they are related by producing a marriage license, a birth certificate, adoption papers, or a similar legal document.
Your Camp Lejeune claim lawyer will prepare your claim and will help you locate the military and medical documents that prove your claim. After your claim has been filed, the Camp Lejeune Justice Act gives the government 180 days to investigate and grant or reject your claim.
Will a Court Appearance Be Required?
If a settlement is offered to you, your attorney will negotiate for the compensation you need and deserve. If your claim is denied, your attorney will file a lawsuit for you and take the matter to court to recover your compensation. If a trial is required, you may have to appear in a courtroom.
As mentioned above, August 10, 2024 is the deadline for filing a Camp Lejeune contaminated water claim, so you must begin the legal process now. Whether your claim goes to court or you accept a negotiated settlement, your lawyer needs time to develop the strongest case possible.
If you or one of your loved ones developed a severe medical condition due to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune, make a call right now to a Camp Lejeune claim lawyer. If your injury claim prevails, you will recover compensation for your medical costs and other related losses.