UPDATE: On August 10, 2022, President Joe Biden signed this bill into law.
Weitz & Luxenberg attorneys are preparing to file lawsuits on behalf of people who are sick and either worked, lived, or served in the military at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, North Carolina. Illnesses that are linked to these exposures include certain cancers and other serious health conditions.
The lawsuits accuse the federal government of supplying drinking water contaminated with toxic chemicals to the base. To be eligible to file a lawsuit, you must have been on the base and exposed to the contaminated water between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987.
A New Law Allows Compensation
A new law is under consideration in Congress that allows you to file a lawsuit in U.S. federal court to obtain compensation. Compensation is for your pain and suffering as a result of your illness and medical expenses related to your diagnosis and treatment.
Even if you are a veteran who was denied disability by the Veterans Administration related to your service at Camp Lejeune, you may qualify for compensation. This opportunity is due to the new proposed law.
There will be time limits for filing a lawsuit. If you were diagnosed more than two years ago, the time period for bringing your lawsuit is two years from the date the Camp Lejeune law is enacted. But the bill also contains other requirements that have shorter time frames, so if you were at Camp Lejeune during the relevant time period you should contact an attorney now.
The new law essentially opens a window of time to allow you to file a claim for your injuries, but you should do so now. The new time period you can file in is short.
Water Contamination from Toxic Chemicals
Studies over the decades have found contamination in the water supply on the Camp Lejeune Marine base at dangerously high levels. The contamination involves dozens of toxic chemicals, including volatile organic compounds (VOCs) such as the dry-cleaning solvent perchloroethylene (PCE), and the degreaser trichloroethylene (TCE). (1)
“It’s been almost 7 decades since Camp Lejeune veterans and their families, as well as civilian workers, were exposed to dangerous chemicals in their drinking water without an admission from the government that you were being exposed,” says Robin Greenwald, a partner at W&L and co-chair of our Environmental and Consumer Protection Unit.
“If you were at Camp Lejeune, these toxins were in your drinking water and therefore in your bodies. You drank it, bathed in it, and used it to cook your food. Now you discover it is what made you so sick,” she adds.
“Our law firm believes that you deserve compensation for your suffering, especially because you became sick while you and your family members were serving our country. We are going to fight on your behalf to get you the full compensation you deserve,” Ms. Greenwald emphasizes.
Illnesses from Drinking Water at Camp Lejeune
According to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, “there was undoubtedly a hazard associated with drinking the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune.” (2)
Veterans and their family members who spent at least a month at Camp Lejeune have been diagnosed with and are suffering from a wide range of sicknesses. (3) Some of the illnesses associated with exposure to the chemicals found in the Camp Lejeune drinking water are:
- Bladder cancer.
- Breast cancer.
- Esophageal cancer.
- Kidney cancer.
- Liver cancer.
- Lung cancer.
- Myelodysplastic syndromes.
- Multiple myeloma.
- Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma.
Other Serious Diseases
- Cardiac defect.
- Fatty liver disease (hepatic steatosis).
- Female Infertility.
- Neurobehavioral effects.
- Parkinson’s disease.
- Renal toxicity.
Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2021
This proposed bill allows you to file a lawsuit to recover damages for the harm you suffered at Camp Lejeune. The bill states it is designed, “To provide for recovery by individuals who were stationed, lived, or worked at Camp Lejeune, for certain actions of omissions by the United States.” (4)
You must have been exposed to contaminated water at the Marine Base for at least 30 days and sometime during the period August 1, 1953 and December 31, 1987. Often, the federal government can claim immunity from a lawsuit. This bill prohibits that from happening.
The bill was introduced in March of 2021. It passed the House of Representatives a year later, in March of 2022. As of May 18, 2022, the bill is waiting for approval by the Senate.
Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune Information
The mission at Marine Corps Base Camp is “to maintain combat-ready units for expeditionary deployment.” The community, both on base and nearby, has a population of approximately 170,000 people.
Community members include those on active duty, dependents, retirees, and civilian employees. “The base generates almost $3 billion in commerce each year, coming from payrolls and contracts to support the structure required to train and equip our modern Marines.” (5)
The base is composed of 156,000 acres with 11 miles of beach “capable of supporting amphibious operations, 34 gun positions, 50 tactical landing zones, three state-of-the-art training facilities for Military Operations in Urban Terrain and 80 live fire ranges to include the Greater Sandy Run Training Area. (6)
Reach Out to W&L for Help
If you became sick from being exposed to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune, you need and deserve a team of intelligent, experienced, compassionate, and hard-working attorneys to get you the compensation you deserve. Weitz & Luxenberg attorneys have those qualities and have decades of experience in fighting for clients harmed by toxic chemicals.
Our team has the skills to help you, and have brought lawsuits against large organizations and corporations for almost four decades. We are a national firm and are able to secure successful outcomes for our clients across the country.
We would love the opportunity to discuss your case and see what we can do for you. Reach out to us now at (855) 972-2045 for a free consultation. You could also submit our online form.
Success in Handling Toxic Contamination Lawsuits
In 2021, Weitz & Luxenberg attorneys achieved settlements in the millions of dollars for residents in long-standing environmental lawsuits. We were successful in getting compensation for water contamination lawsuits in Petersburgh and Hoosick Falls. Due to their exposure to toxic chemicals, our clients received compensation for any negative health effects.
Ms. Greenwald was co-lead counsel for a 2020 settlement against Monsanto Company. That lawsuit successfully obtained compensation for clients suffering from Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma from their exposure to Monsanto’s weed killer Roundup.
The W&L team also earned a $423 million settlement for municipal clients whose drinking water supplies across the country were contaminated with the gasoline constituent MTBE (methyl tertiary butyl ether). We successfully fought a legal battle with the largest oil companies in the country.