If you or someone you know has suffered from exposure to the Camp Lejeune water contamination, you may be entitled to financial compensation. For three decades, the water at Camp Lejeune Marine Corps Base in North Carolina was contaminated with dangerous chemicals and substances. Those who lived or worked at Camp Lejeune during that time may have been exposed to these dangerous substances. Victims who have suffered from this unfortunate incident may wonder about compensation for Camp Lejeune water contamination. In this blog, our Michigan personal injury lawyers cover all you need to know about the Camp Lejeune contamination claims.
At Lipton Law, we take great pride in fighting for the rights of Camp Lejeune victims. Many have suffered terrible diseases and cancers as a result of their exposure to the contaminated water supply. Camp Lejeune residents deserve justice and compensation for their suffering. We’re here to act as advocates on behalf of victims and fight for the financial compensation they deserve. To schedule a free consultation with our Camp Lejeune lawyers, please call our office at 248-557-1688 today.
What Happened to the Camp Lejeune Water Supply?
In the early 1950s, two of the eight water treatment plants at Camp Lejeune began contaminating the water with toxic substances. Examples of these substances include trichloroethylene (TCE), tetrachloroethylene (PCE), benzene, vinyl chloride, and even heavy metals. The contamination lasted for a total of 346 months, from November 1957 to February 1987.
This means that Camp Lejeune residents during that 30-year period could have been exposed to unsafe levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and other toxic chemicals. Those whose water supply came from either the Hadnot Point Treatment Plant or the Tarawa Terrace Treatment Plant were at a particularly high risk of exposure. These two water treatment facilities were heavily contaminated with TCE, PCE, benzene, and vinyl chloride, primarily. The contamination resulted from improper waste disposal practices, leaking storage tanks, and industrial spills.
What Chemicals Were Present in the Water at Camp Lejeune?
Many volatile organic compounds and toxic substances were found in the water at Camp Lejeune. However, four chemicals had particularly high concentrations: PCE, TCE, benzene, and vinyl chloride.
- PCE and TCE: These two chemicals are frequently used in dry cleaning solutions, industrial solvents, and in the production of other fuels and solvents. They are both examples of volatile organic compounds, which tend to evaporate easily.
- Vinyl chloride: This is a colorless gas with a mild odor at room temperature. It can somewhat dissolve in water, and it does not occur naturally. When other chemicals, such as PCE and TCE, degrade with time, they can break down into vinyl chloride. Vinyl chloride is a chemical used to make many different products, such as various plastics, wire coatings, PVC pipes, and packaging.
- Benzene: This is a colorless liquid with a mild odor at room temperature. It evaporates quickly and can somewhat dissolve in water. Benzene is widely used to make a variety of products, including plastics, nylon, detergents, dyes, lubricants, solvents, and many others.
Hadnot Point Treatment Plant Contamination
At Hadnot Point, the main contaminant was TCE. PCE, vinyl chloride, DCE, and benzene were also found at this treatment plant in varying concentrations.
Tarawa Terrace Treatment Plant Contamination
At Tarawa Terrace, the main contaminant was PCE. However, over time, PCE will degrade into other chemicals, such as TCE, DCE, and vinyl chloride. Benzene was also detected but at a number lower than the current United States standard.
Health Problems Related to Camp Lejeune Water
Camp Lejeune victims have suffered from a wide range of diseases and cancers as a result of their exposure to contaminated drinking water. Below, we outline some of the diseases and health problems caused by the dangerous chemicals in Camp Lejeune’s water supply.
- Kidney cancer
- Bladder cancer
- Lung cancer
- Neurobehavioral problems
- Parkinson’s disease
- Non-Hodgkins lymphoma
- Breast cancer
Keep in mind that this is not an exhaustive list. If you developed cancer or another health condition as a result of the Camp Lejeune water contamination, you might have a valid claim.
What to Expect From Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Cases
It can be difficult to predict what your case is worth without looking at the facts of your claim. We’ll first begin by determining whether or not you have a valid Camp Lejeune water lawsuit. If so, we will then examine your medical records related to the contamination, as well as the other damages you suffered.
Our experienced Camp Lejeune lawyers will evaluate your case and explain the process for submitting claims for settlement consideration. Family members of those who lost their lives from the contamination may have a right to claim damages for wrongful death.
To learn more about the Camp Lejeune settlement claims, we recommend speaking with an experienced personal injury lawyer.
August 2022 PACT Act Updates
As of August 10th, 2022, the PACT Act has historically expanded VA benefits for veterans and their family members. The Act codifies access to healthcare and VA benefits for veterans and families who suffered from exposure to toxic substances or burn pits. Importantly, it expands VA benefits and health care benefits for military veterans.
Toxic exposure has been an unfortunate reality for many military and Marine Corps veterans, but they have not always gotten the health care benefits they deserve for their losses. The PACT Act aims to rectify this, making it easier for victims to receive medical treatment and file for Camp Lejeune compensation.
Camp Lejeune Settlement Budget
The Honoring Our PACT Act of 2022 allotted around $6.7 billion for veterans affected by the Camp Lejeune water contamination. President Joe Biden signed the bill into law on August 2, 2022. Now, many victims are partnering with a Camp Lejeune lawyer in order to fight for the compensation they deserve for their exposure to toxic substances.
If you suffered health problems or losses from the contamination at the Marine Corps base, we highly recommend speaking with qualified Camp Lejeune attorneys. You may be able to recover compensation for your existing losses, as well as medical treatment for any ongoing problems.
How Will Camp Lejeune Settlement Amounts Be Determined?
Many factors contribute to the value of Camp Lejeune settlements. Below, we list some questions your attorney will likely ask while valuing your claim.
- How severe were your medical problems?
- Will you need ongoing or future medical care?
- Have you lost a loved one to the contaminated Camp Lejeune water?
- Have you been disabled as a result of the contaminated water?
These are just a few examples of how we will evaluate the potential worth of your Camp Lejeune water claim.
What Is the Average Payout for Camp Lejeune Lawsuits?
Currently, we have no way of knowing what the average Camp Lejeune water contamination settlement amounts will be. Much of the value of these claims hinge on the seriousness of your related medical problems. It’s important to speak with a toxic exposure lawyer before you pursue a lawsuit for drinking contaminated water.
Do I Need a Lawyer for a Camp Lejeune Claim?
It isn’t required that you have an attorney for Camp Lejeune cases, but they will be extremely difficult to handle on your own. Even for those who have experience with personal injury lawsuits, the Camp Lejeune claims will require a significant amount of scientific and medical evidence. Hiring an attorney is your best bet for securing fair Camp Lejeune settlement payouts.
Also, you’ll want to work with an attorney who has experience with federal law. These Camp Lejeune cases involve the federal government, which means you’ll need skilled litigators on your side. At Lipton Law, we have extensive experience in reaching fair settlements and taking cases to court when necessary. If you are a Michigan resident who suffered damages from the Camp Lejeune water contamination, we’re here for you.
Who Qualifies for a Camp Lejeune Lawsuit Settlement?
In order to qualify for a Camp Lejeune water contamination settlement, plaintiffs must meet the following requirements.
- They lived or worked at Camp Lejeune Marine Corps Air Station for at least 30 days.
- They lived or worked there between 1953 and 1987.
- Also, they must have been diagnosed with one of many conditions traceable to Camp Lejeune water contamination.
It is also possible to file a claim if you or your baby suffered birth defects related to the contamination at Camp Lejeune. Certain chemicals named in the cases have the ability to pass through the placenta, which can lead to reproductive issues and birth defects for those exposed.
How to File a Camp Lejeune Claim
Before you can file a lawsuit under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act, you must do the following.
- Be able to prove that you were at Camp Lejeune Marine Corps Base for at least 30 days between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987.
- Show that you actually suffered from one of the presumptive illnesses caused by the contaminated drinking water.
- Speak with a Camp Lejeune lawyer about your case. They will determine whether or not you qualify for a claim. They will also be able to assist you in filing your Camp Lejeune water contamination claim properly.
Damages in a Camp Lejeune Claim
Due to the nature of the illnesses caused by the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune, damages in these cases are projected to be fairly high. Camp Lejeune veterans, family members, and workers may be able to receive compensation for the following.
- Loss of a family member (wrongful death)
- Lost wages or loss of earning capacity
- Current and future medical bills
- Pain and suffering
- Mental and emotional damages
Evidence for a Camp Lejeune Claim
While preparing for a Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit, you’ll need to gather as much evidence as possible. Below, we list some crucial pieces of evidence that you can use for your claim.
- Military service records (DD Form 214)
- School documentation for children
- Insurance documents
- Medical records
- Medical diagnoses
- Doctors’ notes about your symptoms
- Testing and imaging results
- Treatments or surgeries you have had
- Medications you were prescribed
- Any other supporting documents
Why Choose Lipton Law for Your Camp Lejeune Claim?
At Lipton Law, our first priority is always the client. Since 1964, we have advocated on behalf of injured Michigan residents in their personal injury cases. Veterans, residents, and workers at Camp Lejeune deserve compensation for the suffering they have endured. Contaminated water has the potential to cause serious health problems, including kidney cancer, bladder cancer, and many other types of cancer.
We are dedicated to carefully evaluate your claim, determining whether or not you have a case, then litigating on your behalf. We also refuse to settle for lowball payouts. If you suffered injuries or illnesses because of the toxic water at the Camp Lejeune base, our attorneys are here to fight for your legal right to fair compensation.
File a Camp Lejeune Claim With a Michigan Lawyer
Lipton Law is one of the premier personal injury law firms in Michigan. We pride ourselves on our passion, experience, and track record of success in our cases. If you developed cancer or another serious illness from the water at Camp Lejeune, you may wonder what to do next. Our Michigan toxic tort lawyers will fight tooth and nail to secure a recovery on your behalf. To schedule a free consultation with us about your case, please call our Southfield law office at 248-557-1688 today.