A few years ago, the people of North Carolina were shocked when scientists found Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) in Camp Lejeune’s water supply. Exposure to this contaminated water caused residents to develop serious illnesses.
Researchers found industrial solvents, degreasers, and seventy other hazardous chemicals in the surface and groundwater. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) state that public water supplies can become contaminated due to industrial waste disposal methods.
When Camp Lejeune victims discovered this, they filed personal injury lawsuits against the government. This blog will discuss the illnesses caused by water contamination, the eligibility criteria, and more.
Who Are Eligible for Compensation?
Veterans, workers, and military families who lived in Camp Lejeune for more than thirty days between 1953 and 1987 are eligible to file a claim. During that time, the residents drank the contaminated tap water and used it for washing clothes or utensils.
Subsequently, these residents developed chronic health issues due to prolonged exposure. They can raise claims if they have medical proof connecting their illnesses to Camp Lejeune’s contamination. Additionally, some workers living off base developed severe health issues.
Hence, TorHoerman Law suggests that plaintiffs keep medical bills, records, and proof of residence or work handy. Victims can file a lawsuit to seek compensation and healthcare benefits.
As of 2023, approximately 900 lawsuits were active against the federal government. Therefore, the best lawyers for the Camp Lejeune lawsuit are doing their utmost to bring substantial claims for the affected families.
The lawsuit has been ongoing for over ten years now. Recently, the Biden administration passed the Camp Lejeune Justice Act, which allows victims to file new lawsuits based on the extent of their exposure and its effects. Moreover, it overrides North Carolina statutes that previously barred victims from taking legal action against Camp Lejeune.
According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the estimated payouts could exceed USD 6.7 billion. However, plaintiffs had a bittersweet feeling about the Justice Act. Some thought that the government was 60 years too late in taking action.
Nevertheless, a veteran stated that this Act allows him to file cases and lowers the “standard of proof.” His entire family has incurable blood cancer, and the Justice Act empowers him to seek justice against those responsible.
Illnesses Associated With Camp Lejeune
Researchers discovered harmful chemicals such as benzene, perchloroethylene (PCE), trichloroethylene (TCE), and vinyl chloride in the water supplies at Camp Lejeune. Exposure to these synthetic chemicals can lead to the development of serious illnesses.
According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, individuals affected by the contamination at Camp Lejeune may have developed the following diseases:
- Bladder, kidney, and liver cancer
- Parkinson’s disease
- Multiple myeloma
- Myelodysplastic syndromes
- Aplastic anemia
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
- Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS)
If you or your family have experienced these issues, you possess sufficient scientific and medical evidence to file claims. Victims can obtain benefits and compensations through Veterans Affairs disability claims, Camp Lejeune Families Act, and the Class Action Lawsuit. Veterans affected by extremely severe diseases are eligible for monthly compensation.
Stories from Camp Lejeune: You Are Not Alone
According to StarNews Online, the stories from Camp Lejeune victims and their family members are heartbreaking. Some relatives recount stories about war heroes who succumbed to illnesses caused by the Camp’s water.
On the other hand, veterans talk about the slow and agonizing pain they have endured over the years. Many victims had lived healthy lives before the exposure to hazardous chemicals made them ill.
There is an ex-military personnel who served in Camp Lejeune from 1978-1979. During that time, he experienced foul-smelling water. At 54, he now suffers from neurological issues, tremors, severe fatigue, and more, rendering him medically disabled.
Another female officer who worked from 1983-1984 experienced severe complications while giving birth. One of her children was malformed while another one passed away at birth. Additionally, she had two miscarriages. In 1990, her twins were born with respiratory problems.
Ronald Walker, an ex-Camp Lejeune resident, developed state three cirrhosis even though he never smoked or used drugs.
The Bottom Line
Camp Lejeune has been in the news for decades due to the issue of water contamination. Harmful solvents and chemicals from industrial operations and disposal methods contaminated the surface and groundwater. As a result, individuals who lived there for more than 30 days between the 1950s and 1980s have developed various chronic health issues.
The illnesses include various types of cancer, ALS, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, Parkinson’s, and more. If you or your family lived there during that time and met the residency criteria, you may be eligible for a share of the USD 6.7 billion settlement.
It is important to note that today, Camp Lejeune’s water supply is safe to drink and use because of regular checks by the government.