Many people underestimate the long-term effects that environmental disasters have on the general public. The destruction and negligence of agencies can cause people to experience long-term injuries they cannot recover from. One example of this type of disaster is the Camp Lejeune water contamination incident.
A negligent act that occurred in the 1950s and was not discovered until the 1980s still affects veterans and their family members today. Veterans exposed to contaminated water while living on Camp Lejeune have the right to sue for the damages they endured from the military base.
What Happened at Camp Lejeune?
From August 1953 to December 1987, several groups of people actively living on Camp Lejeune were exposed to contaminated water for decades. The military base contained eight water treatment systems during the same period. Two of the eight water treatment systems were contaminated with several dangerous chemicals.
Although the contaminated water systems were shut down in 1985, the damage was already done.
Who Was Responsible for Contaminating the Water?
The primary source of contamination was a nearby dry cleaning business off-base. For decades, the dry cleaning business dumped wastewater into the water systems that contained several types of chemicals used for dry cleaning. Although the Marine Corps maintains that the chemicals found in the water were not regulated, that is partly true.
Even though the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) did not regulate solvents like tetrachloroethylene (PCE), other organizations warned of the dangerous chemicals in the water. One of those organizations is the Department of Navy’s Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, which enforced regulations that barred dangerous substances.
What Were the Health Conditions Caused by Camp Lejeune Water Contamination?
As a result of the exposure to the water contamination, veterans and other people who lived at Camp Lejeune have developed several types of serious health conditions. Strong evidence suggests that most of these health conditions were aggravated by toxic water exposure. These health conditions include cancer, multiple myeloma, Parkinson’s disease, adult leukemia, and female infertility.
These health conditions are life-threatening and will require extensive medical care.
Can I File a Camp Lejeune Lawsuit if I Served at Camp Lejeune?
If you are a veteran who lived at Camp Lejeune between August 1953 and December 1987, you have the right to file a Camp Lejeune lawsuit. It is more than likely that if you develop a serious health condition, it is due to water contamination from the military base. Even if you have paid medical expenses related to your health condition, you can be compensated through your lawsuit.
If I Am a Family Member of a Veteran Who Lived at Camp Lejeune, Can I File a Camp Lejeune Lawsuit?
Yes. If you can prove that you also lived on Camp Lejeune around the same period, you would also be allowed to file a Camp Lejeune lawsuit. You would be responsible for showing proof of residence around that same period.
In addition to family members, you can also file a Camp Lejeune lawsuit if you were a civilian staff member or a military staff member who lived on the base around the same period.
What Compensation Can I Recover from My Camp Lejeune Lawsuit?
You can seek compensation for the past, current, and future medical expenses you paid concerning your illnesses. If your illnesses forced you to take time off from work, you could also sue for the wages you lost. This includes the current income you missed out on and the future income you will miss out on because of your condition.
You can also sue for the pain and suffering associated with your condition. If your condition is a severe condition such as cancer, it is probable that you will experience physical and mental pain. The physical and mental pain ranges from the physical discomfort you experience to the loss of enjoyment of life caused by your condition.
Compensation might not make everything better, but it can help you move forward in life, especially if you are unable to work due to your illness.
Should I Hire a Lawyer to Represent Me in my Camp Lejeune Lawsuit?
Absolutely. Hiring a lawyer will increase your chances of receiving the desired outcome. Because the Camp Lejeune water contamination incident happened decades ago, a large amount of scientific and medical evidence must be presented.
You do not want to be overwhelmed when gathering the best evidence for your case. You also want to give yourself additional legal protection against federal agencies. The federal agencies that you are suing have several resources that they can use at their disposal.
They can use these resources against you and attempt to bury your lawsuit. To prevent this situation from happening, you need the best lawyer at your side who is just as passionate about seeking justice as you are.
What Other Types of Compensation Do I Qualify For?
In addition to filing a lawsuit, you have the right to file for disability benefits through the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs. To receive the healthcare benefits, you must meet the following qualifications:
- You must have served for at least 30 days at Camp Lejeune between August 1953 and December 1987
- You must have a presumptive health condition
Some of the presumptive health conditions that you can receive disability benefits for include:
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
- Kidney cancer
- Breast cancer
- Bladder cancer
- Female infertility
- Lung cancer
- Renal toxicity
- Hepatic steatosis
- Neurobehavioral disorders
Contact a Camp Lejeune Lawsuit Lawyer Today
The toxic water exposure from Camp Lejeune has caused you or a family member to suffer from serious health conditions. Regardless of the organization's size, all parties whose negligence causes severe harm to others must be held accountable. Filing a lawsuit will help you or your loved one seek the justice you deserve.
Call a Camp Lejeune lawsuit lawyer as soon as possible to schedule a consultation. You have a limited window in which to file a claim for compensation, and if you fail to file on time, you lose out on the opportunity to recover that money.