Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawsuit

Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawsuit Overview

Camp Lejeune is a United States Marine Corps base located in North Carolina.

Established in 1941, it has served as a training ground for Marines preparing for deployments all over the world.

Between 1953 and 1987, the Camp Lejeune water supply was contaminated with a range of toxic substances.

As a result, over one million people who lived or worked at Camp Lejeune were exposed to the contaminated water and subsequently put at a higher risk for dangerous health effects such as cancer and birth injury.

Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawsuit; Camp Lejeune Lawsuit

If you, a family member, or a loved one were present at Camp Lejeune during this time period and have since suffered adverse health effects, you may be eligible to file a Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit.

The Camp Lejeune Justice Act allows those exposed to contaminated water at the Marine Corps Base the right to sue and recover damages.

The Camp Lejeune Justice Act aims to provide much-needed compensation for victims and their families.

If you believe you may have a claim, contact us for a free consultation or use the chatbot on this page to see if you qualify for a Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawsuit instantly.

Table of Contents

Lawsuit Updates

  • March 2024 Updates:

    The lawsuit concerning Camp Lejeune continues to progress.

    Recently, on March 12th, the Eastern District Court of North Carolina made a decision that favored the plaintiffs to some extent.

    It involved the directive for the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) to provide its Water Modeling Project File in the original format.

    This modeling is crucial for ATSDR to recreate the conditions of the water system at Camp Lejeune before March 1987, aiming to pinpoint the areas and periods affected by VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) in the drinking water.

    The case encompasses more than 1,500 legal actions under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act.

    These actions are centered on the damages caused by contaminated water at the military base from August 1, 1953, to December 31, 1987.

    The main contention was about the format in which the Modeling Files were to be supplied.

    The plaintiffs contended that converting these files would strip them of their original structure — which includes folders, subfolders, and critical cross-references — rendering them ineffective.

    They particularly noted that the Geographic Information System (GIS) and water modeling files would lose their functionality if altered from their native format.

    The defense conceded that converting some of the modeling files as per the standard Electronic Stored Information (ESI) protocol might not preserve them properly.

    They agreed to provide these files in their original format as needed.

    The court’s ruling mandates that these critical Modeling Files must be kept in their original, organized format to maintain their functional and evidentiary value for the lawsuit.

    This decision underscores the importance of flexibility in managing ESI production standards to ensure the materials’ usefulness and relevance in legal proceedings.

    If you or someone you know resided or worked at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 days between 1953 and 1987, you might be eligible to submit a claim related to Camp Lejeune. 

    For a free consultation or to quickly check if you qualify for a claim, consider contacting our legal team or using the chatbot available on this page.

  • February 2024 Updates:

    The Camp Lejeune Lawsuit continues to unfold. 

    On February 26, 2024, key documents crucial for the ongoing Camp Lejeune Lawsuit were filed in the Eastern District of North Carolina.

    The Track 2 Discovery Plan Order (CMO 9) sets forth a discovery strategy for the lawsuit’s second phase: 

    • Track 2 targets plaintiffs with claims of prostate cancer, kidney disease, lung cancer, liver cancer, and breast cancer.
    • This approach divides the litigation by types of illness, aiming to streamline both the discovery phase and the trial proceedings.
    • The goal is to achieve early settlements for prevalent conditions, establishing a model for handling and potentially settling the diverse claims under the CLJA.

    The Proposed Order for Expert Examinations of Plaintiffs details a consensus between the Plaintiffs’ Leadership Group (PLG) and the government:

    • It proposes to simplify discovery by permitting the government to waive its right to conduct expert medical exams under specific conditions, thereby minimizing unnecessary medical evaluations.

    The Joint Motion to Amend CMO 2 Regarding Expert Examinations of Plaintiffs intends to modify an earlier case management order (CMO 2) to improve the process for expert examinations of plaintiffs:

    • The parties came to an agreement on how to notify each other about expert examinations, addressing previous ambiguities that could slow down the discovery process or unfairly disadvantage one party by not giving ample time to react or prepare for similar evaluations.
    • The amendment to Case Management Order No. 2 aims to clarify and improve this part of the litigation process.

    Case Management Order No. 10, addressing the Defendant’s request to change CMO 2, partially approves and partially denies the requested changes:

    • It emphasizes the court’s decisions to extend the Track 1 discovery period, uphold the option for plaintiffs to opt out, and mandate all plaintiffs filed in North Carolina Federal Court to submit Short Form Complaints.
    • Additionally, it postpones the decision on procedures for notifying about medical expert exams, playing a key role in maintaining the unique nature of each CLJA lawsuit while promoting a systematic and faster resolution of cases.

    These four court documents significantly impact the Camp Lejeune Litigation, especially for cases in the North Carolina Federal Court, by providing a structured method for managing discovery and trials with the ongoing use of “track” systems and defined orders for expert exams.

    In the short term, these strategies are designed to make the legal proceedings more efficient and reduce delays, especially by implementing Short Form Complaints to standardize claims in the North Carolina Federal Court.

    Over the long term, these changes are expected to lead to a quicker resolution of cases, all while ensuring the distinctiveness and integrity of each plaintiff’s claim within the broader litigation framework.

    Our legal team continues to welcome claims from individuals who spent at least 30 days at the Marine Corps base between 1953 and 1987.

    For a free consultation, contact our Camp Lejeune Lawyers, or use the chatbot on this page to instantly check if you’re eligible to file a Camp Lejeune claim.

    We’re committed to assisting you.

  • February 2024 Updates:

    On February 21, 2024, the federal government asserted that plaintiffs in the Camp Lejeune lawsuit need to prove their illnesses directly resulted from the contaminated water at the Marine Base.

    The Eastern District of North Carolina handled nearly 1,500 cases under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act, which simplified the legal process for those exposed to polluted water at the base from 1953 to 1987.

    Despite the reduced burden of proof set by congress compared to traditional tort cases, the government insists plaintiffs must show a direct connection between their health issues and the contaminated water.

    The government argued that simply showing a minimum presence at the base and suffering from a related illness does not suffice, as it might lead to compensation without specific proof.

    Plaintiffs are trying to link various health conditions to the high levels of contaminants found in Camp Lejeune’s water.

    They claim the Act’s 30-day exposure requirement is meant to make it easier for those harmed by the toxic water to litigate.

    Plaintiffs, represented by various lawyers, are seeking compensation from the government, defended by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Division attorneys.

    The core of the Camp Lejeune Water Litigation v. U.S. case, taking place in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina, is the government’s demand for plaintiffs to prove their illnesses are due to the base’s tainted water.

  • February 2024 Updates:

    On February 14th, lawyers representing the plaintiffs in the Camp Lejeune case sought to challenge a previous court decision that denied them a jury trial.

    They submitted a supporting memorandum to request the certification for an appeal of the court’s decision, which had favored the defendant’s request to dismiss the plaintiffs’ demand for a jury trial.

    This action refers to a court order dated February 6, 2024, where the court accepted the government’s argument to eliminate the jury trial request, stating that plaintiffs under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act (CLJA) do not have the right to a jury trial in cases against the government.

    The plaintiffs contend that this decision hinges on a significant legal issue that is open to debate and that an expedited appeal could accelerate the resolution of their claims.

    The Plaintiff’s Leadership Group (PLG) is urging for a prompt higher court review of the decision to deny a jury trial.

    It is important to recognize that this appeal is limited to only two specific lawsuits and does not affect other plaintiffs’ rights to appeal following a final court judgment.

    The purpose of this selective appeal is to focus the court’s review on these two cases exclusively, aiming to maintain efficient trial management and smooth progress of the overall litigation.

  • February 2024 Updates:

    February 1st, 2024:

    A recent government study has unveiled that individuals, both military and civilian, who resided and worked at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina during the mid-1970s and ’80s face an elevated risk of being diagnosed with specific cancers when compared to those stationed at a similar military base in California during the same time frame.

    This research, conducted by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), has the potential to broaden the range of medical conditions for which veterans and civilians from Camp Lejeune can receive government compensation.

    One noteworthy finding from the study is that male breast cancer was notably more prevalent among individuals who were exposed to the contaminated water.

    This comprehensive investigation monitored the health of over 400,000 service members and other individuals and identified an increased likelihood of various cancers linked to exposure to the harmful chemicals present in Camp Lejeune’s water supply.

    These cancers include polycythemia vera, myelodysplastic and myeloproliferative syndromes, cancers of the esophagus, voice box, thyroid, soft tissue, marginal B-cell lymphoma, and certain types of lung cancer.

    The research indicated elevated risks for civilians, albeit with slightly different patterns compared to military personnel.

  • January 2024 Updates:

    January 19th, 2024:

    The Camp Lejeune Justice Act (CLJA) has prompted a fraud alert from both the Justice Department and the Department of the Navy.

    Government reports have indicated instances where fraudulent parties have attempted to obtain money or personal information from claimants.

    To ensure the safety and authenticity of the process, here are some key points to remember as advised by the Justice Department and the Navy:

    1. Neither the Justice Department nor the Navy will ever ask for money or payment from you.
    2. If you have legal representation, direct all inquiries to your attorney for verification.
    3. Authentic emails from the Navy will originate from CLClaims@us.navy.mil. You can forward any email you receive to this address to verify its authenticity.
    4. In the event of a phone call from someone claiming to be from the Camp Lejeune Claims Unit (CLCU) or offering assistance with your claim and you are uncertain, request the person’s name and position, and then call the CLCU at (757) 241-6020 to verify.
    5. If you have legal representation, rest assured that the Justice Department and Navy will not contact you directly; they will only communicate through your attorney.

    The CLJA, a part of the Honoring our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics Act, was established in August 2022 to provide potential compensation to veterans who suffered injuries due to exposure to toxic water.

    This act encompasses veterans who resided on the base between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987, and includes various medical conditions such as adult leukemia, aplastic anemia, bladder cancer, kidney cancer, liver cancer, multiple myeloma, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, Parkinson’s disease, and other myelodysplastic syndromes.

    For this purpose, the Congressional Budget Office has allocated $6.7 billion to cover settlements and legal expenses.

    Compensation amounts will vary, ranging from $100,000 to $1 million, and distribution will follow a tiered system that relies on proving a medical condition’s link to the contamination.

    January 2nd, 2024:

    The parties in the Lejeune litigation sought a deadline extension for proposing a Settlement Master, as no candidate names have been put forth since the court’s request on December 11, 2023. This brief extension is not anticipated to impede progress on the Settlement Questionnaire or affect the overall timeline.

    Additionally, both the Government and Plaintiffs recently submitted their suggestions for Track 3 trial cases on January 1, 2024, with the Government also filing a motion to amend the Case Management Order for further deadline delays.

  • December 2023 Updates:

    December 28th, 2023:

    U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert B Jones has issued a mandate, requiring individuals involved in the Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuits to provide their birth dates and Social Security numbers.

    Plaintiffs express concerns about sharing such sensitive data due to the prevalence of social security number scams and identity theft associated with this legal battle.

    This request deviates from the standard “initial disclosures” as per the Federal Rules of Procedure.

    Judge Jones is following the directive of North Carolina judges to streamline the progress of these cases efficiently.

    The court’s objective is to accelerate the resolution process and extend settlements to more victims impacted by the water contamination.

    The submission of birth dates and Social Security numbers is intended to facilitate the government’s prompt investigation of claims, and this rationale is challenging to dispute.

    December 4th, 2023:

    Judges overseeing Camp Lejeune lawsuits in North Carolina have sanctioned a designated information form, referred to as a DPPF, for select plaintiffs involved in early evidence gathering (Track 1 Discovery Plaintiffs).

    These individuals must complete the DPPF within 45 days of selection or after the rule’s establishment.

    December 1st, 2023: 

    In the Eastern District of North Carolina, Camp Lejeune lawsuits under the CLJA are evenly distributed among four federal judges.

    Out of 1,433 CLJA complaints, 14 cases have been dismissed—11 voluntarily and three involving litigants representing themselves (pro se cases).

    The breakdown of cases among judges is as follows: Judge Dever with 357 cases, Judge Myers overseeing 370 cases, Judge Boyle handling 343 cases, and Judge Flanagan assigned 363 cases. The distribution demonstrates a relatively equal allocation of the Camp Lejeune lawsuits among the judges in the district.

  • November 2023 Updates:

    November 30th, 2023:

    The Department of Justice has identified 16 cases eligible for settlement under an Executive Order (EO), with injuries ranging from kidney cancer to leukemia.

    Out of these, two offers were rejected, six expired, and eight are pending.

    The Navy has submitted 62 administrative claims under the EO, and 44 are under DOJ review. Of these, 13 claimants meet the EO criteria, resulting in settlement offers. Four offers have been accepted, including a $250,000 payout for a Parkinson’s Disease case and settlements of $300,000 each for non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and two Leukemia cases. The total disbursement for the accepted offers is one million dollars.

    November 15th, 2023:

    More than a year after the federal law allowing compensation for individuals affected by contaminated water at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune was enacted, the U.S. government has begun offering settlements and making payments.

    According to court records, three individuals have accepted settlements totaling $850,000, with two of them having already received their payments.

    The government has issued 23 settlement offers thus far, while a substantial number of administrative claims (over 117,000) and lawsuits (1,300) related to water contamination at the base are still pending.

    These claims assert health issues, including cancer and miscarriages, attributed to the polluted water.

    It’s estimated that the collective cost of these claims could potentially reach $3.3 trillion.

    Furthermore, an unpublished study has indicated elevated cancer rates among those who resided at Camp Lejeune, which could lead to an increase in claims.

    These settlements are part of an elective option that offers predefined amounts based on the nature of the illness and the duration of exposure.

    This approach aims to expedite resolutions outside of the administrative or legal processes, with payments ranging from $100,000 to $550,000.

    The initiation of the Camp Lejeune claims process was set in motion by the Honoring our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act, signed by President Joe Biden in August 2022.

    The act acknowledged potential harm to as many as one million people due to water contamination that occurred between 1953 and 1987.

    Additionally, the public is still awaiting the release of a significant “cancer incidence study” conducted by an agency within the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regarding the health impacts of exposure to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune during the 1950s to the 1980s.

    Despite the study’s conclusion several months ago and its external peer review, it has not been made public yet.

    This delay could have implications for over 1,100 lawsuits seeking compensation for individuals who suffered health issues due to exposure to the tainted water.

    The study, initiated in 2015, aimed to investigate cancer cases among those exposed to the contaminated water and provide scientific evidence for the lawsuits.

    The PACT Act of 2022 made it possible for individuals harmed at Camp Lejeune to file damage claims with the Navy and, if unresolved, pursue lawsuits in federal court.

    The delay in releasing the study has raised concerns among veterans and advocates who believe it is essential for establishing the causal link between exposure to contaminants at Camp Lejeune and various diseases.

    Some diseases, such as kidney and liver cancer, have stronger associations with the pollutants, while others, like breast cancer, have weaker connections.

    There are allegations that the study’s release is being delayed, possibly by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Navy, as it may provide stronger scientific evidence for diseases currently categorized as “Tier 2” or lower.

    Critics argue that the CDC and its agency, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), should prioritize public health over protecting the government from lawsuits.

    November 13th, 2023:

    The U.S. government’s position regarding the selection of a “legal representative” for claims related to the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) within the context of the Camp Lejeune Justice Act has given rise to complexities.

    There is an ongoing debate about whether this representative should be designated not only by an out-of-state court but also be required to establish an additional estate in North Carolina.

    The plaintiffs hold a contrasting view and argue that the CLJA, particularly Section 804(b), permits a “legal representative” to initiate legal proceedings, conforming to the conventional definition of someone handling a deceased person’s estate.

    They maintain that it is inappropriate to apply FTCA provisions to CLJA actions because the FTCA does not encompass federal causes of action like those under the CLJA or injuries sustained by servicemembers during their service.

    The CLJA is characterized by its distinct federal standards, including a waiver of sovereign immunity, suggesting that FTCA regulations should not generally be applicable to CLJA cases.

    November 6th, 2023: 

    The Camp Lejeune Status Conference, initially slated for November 7, 2023, has been called off. The next conference at Camp Lejeune is now planned for November 21, 2023.

    November 3rd, 2023:

    In the 3M earplug lawsuit in federal court, Judge M. Casey Rodgers identified fraudulent schemes as scam activities where scammers targeted potential claimants for a mass settlement fund by seeking personal information, mimicking the settlement procedures.

    While this pertains specifically to the 3M case, similar deceitful tactics are now surfacing in the Camp Lejeune water contamination litigation.

    The Camp Lejeune case gained notoriety due to water supply contamination with toxic chemicals at the Marine Corps Base in North Carolina from 1953 to 1987.

    President Joe Biden’s signing of the Honoring Our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics Act (PACT) allowed lawsuits previously barred by time limitations.

    Over a thousand lawsuits were filed, and the Department of the Navy initiated an administrative settlement procedure known as the “elective option” to manage the surge in claims.

    This process is designed to facilitate compensation without prolonged litigation.

    However, scammers are taking advantage of this situation by mimicking the legitimate process to lure claimants through emails, phone calls, and fraudulent websites, with the intention to pilfer personal information or money.

    Deceptive activities include promising significant payouts, requesting “filing fees,” or misleading claimants into providing sensitive information through phony forms.

    Moreover, certain plaintiff lawyers’ marketing tactics might be exaggerating the potential case outcomes, creating false expectations and potentially misguiding clients about the intricacies of the litigation.

    This situation underscores a dual warning: potential claimants must remain vigilant against fraudulent activities and should grasp the true complexities of the case when interacting with plaintiff lawyers and law firms involved in the litigation.

  • October 2023 Updates:

    October 30th, 2023:

    The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has unveiled a proposal to ban all uses of trichloroethylene (TCE), a cancer-causing chemical commonly found in manufacturing and numerous water sources and properties worldwide.

    Notably, Camp Lejeune, a Marine Corps base in North Carolina, had significant TCE contamination between 1975 and 1985, leading to a 70% higher risk of Parkinson’s disease among affected Marines.

    TCE, a solvent used in industry since the 1920s, is linked to health issues like cancer, liver damage, and nervous system problems.

    The EPA’s proposed rule would take effect in a year for consumer products and most commercial uses, with stricter worker protections.

    The EPA’s action follows a January revision stating that TCE presents an unreasonable health risk.

    The proposal seeks to ban most TCE uses in manufacturing and commercial and consumer product processing, with exceptions for specific applications.

    The EPA is accepting public comments on the proposed rule for 45 days.

    October 27th, 2023:

    An initial status conference is slated for Monday, October 30th at 11:00 a.m. in Greenville, NC.

    Following that, subsequent status conferences are planned for the first and third Tuesdays of each month at 10:00 a.m. at a location to be determined.

    Representatives like Plaintiffs’ Lead Counsel, Government Liaison, Co-Lead Counsel, Liaison Counsel, or their delegates are required to appear in person until further notice.

    Other attorneys can participate via telephone, with dial-in details to be provided later.

    The Parties are expected to meet, confer, and jointly submit status reports after the initial status conference, covering various updates, agreements, discovery, and settlement endeavors.

    October 2nd, 2023: 

    While many Camp Lejeune claimants are considering participating in the early settlement program, the court handling the Lejeune cases in litigation has announced that trials will commence next year. To streamline the trial process, the cases will be categorized into different “tracks,” each focusing on specific diseases.

    Currently, we are aware of the cases included in Track 1, which encompass non-Hodgkin lymphoma, liver cancer, kidney cancer, bladder cancer, and Parkinson’s disease. However, the composition of Tracks 2 and 3, as well as the timing of their determination, remains uncertain.

    October 16th, 2023:

    North Carolina judges modified Case Management Order #2 shortly after its initial entry.

    This order primarily addresses discovery-related matters and imposes the requirement that both parties convene monthly meetings to discuss proposed agreements and keep the Court updated on their progress regarding these proposed agreements.

    Furthermore, the order anticipates trial dates for the Lejeune case scheduled for the following year.

    The recent changes include the following:

    Section JV .D. has been revised to clarify that, despite the temporary suspension of all CLJA actions on individual dockets, defense attorneys are still obligated to formally notify the court when they become involved in a specific CLJA case.

    Section VI. has been amended to explicitly state that any attorney representing a plaintiff in an individual CLJA case must formally introduce themselves to the court.

    Additionally, if an attorney is not already authorized to practice in this court, they must follow the steps outlined in the Court’s order dated April 24, 2023, which includes submitting a special request (pro hac vice motion) for each individual CLJA case they are involved in.

  • September 2023 Updates:

    September 28th, 2023:

    The first track will include non-Hodgkin lymphoma, liver cancer, kidney cancer, bladder cancer, and Parkinson’s disease

    September 20th, 2023:

    The government is taking steps to limit legal fees in the Camp Lejeune toxic water cases. They have introduced new regulations that cap lawyers’ fees at 20% for administrative settlements and 25% for litigation payouts.

    This move comes after the government launched an early resolution program to expedite compensation for those affected by water contamination.

    September 13th, 2023: 

    A federal judge in West Virginia rejected a law firm’s motion to appeal his decision regarding the dismissal of a Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) lawsuit against them. The lawsuit originated from unwanted calls made by Camp Lejeune lawyers looking for new clients. The judge ruled that the TCPA applied to a woman primarily using her cell phone for residential purposes.

    The judge deemed the appeal premature, upholding that the telemarketing calls to the woman were lawful under the TCPA.

    September 6th, 2023:

    Although Congress passed the CLJA with the clear goal of compensating Camp Lejeune victims, it seems that the Department of Justice (DOJ) is actively working to hinder the trial process.

    In a recent joint report presented to the court, the plaintiffs have pointed out that the DOJ is categorizing the Lejeune cases as “early-stage” torts, advocating for a deliberate and gradual progression through the legal proceedings.

    The DOJ’s objective is to resolve the majority of these claims through settlements before they go to trial. Furthermore, the DOJ is intent on prolonging the legal process as it establishes the procedures for offering Camp Lejeune settlements.

    September 5th, 2023: 

    Another extension by the DOJ has been requested to respond to Camp Lejeune lawsuits.

    The DOJ and Camp Lejeune plaintiffs’ attorneys have collaborated on a plan for handling the cases, which they submitted to the four judges on August 28, 2023. The requested extension to October 2, 2023 is being sought to align the deadline for ongoing investigations with the proposed case management plan.

    September 1, 2023: 

    Both parties in the ongoing Camp LeJeune litigation submitted a joint status report outlining their agreement on most procedural aspects, which closely resemble MDL procedures.

    Two key disagreements persist: the method for selecting plaintiffs for trials and the timeline for discovery and trials. The dispute centers on which diseases should be included in Track 1 of the litigation. Plaintiffs advocate for including bladder cancer, kidney cancer, leukemia, Parkinson’s disease, and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, while the government favors including only kidney cancer, leukemia, and Parkinson’s disease.

  • August 2023 Updates:

    August 23, 2023:

    The progression of the Camp Lejeune litigation remains steadfast, and a court report from August 18 includes multiple important updates.

    The Plaintiffs’ Leadership Group came together to nominate individuals for both the Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee (“PEC”) and the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee (“PSC”). These selections were subsequently presented to the court on July 27, 2023.

    The report further outlines that between August 16 and 17, the Science and Experts Subcommittee convened, making substantial achievements in demonstrating the scientific proof that supports the litigation. The committee also said it succeeded at securing certain experts to testify.

    The report also mentioned that the short-form complaint’s final draft is almost complete. This will contribute to streamlining individual cases and enhancing the efficacy of pre-trial procedures.

    Taking steps to keep both the court and the general public well-informed, Plaintiffs’ Lead and Co-Lead Counsel have furnished a status report along with the launch of an informative website. The website functions as a hub for disseminating critical updates, schedules, and overarching information pertinent to the ongoing litigation, with the aim of informing all stakeholders.

    August 1st, 2023

    Individual case deadlines have been pushed until September 1st, 2023 after plaintiffs’ council and JAG collaboratively sought an extension.

    Both parties have been engaging in productive discussions, covering vital aspects like global case management, database creation, and optimizing document requests.

    By granting this extension, they aim to concentrate on formulating a master pleading process to encompass all cases.

    The target date for submitting the proposed Global Case Management Order is set for August 28, 2023.

  • July 2023 Updates:

    July 5th, 2023:

    The U.S. Department of Justice is urging judges in the Eastern District of North Carolina to expedite the consolidation of thousands of lawsuits related to water contamination at Camp Lejeune. The government has responded to less than 20% of the cases, with a looming deadline.

    The government’s legal team is currently managing close to 1,000 cases, with 663 of them still awaiting responses.

    Anticipated growth in the number of cases is likely as more affected veterans file claims under the PACT Act.

    July 17th, 2023

    There have been 1,067 cases filed in the Eastern District of North Carolina since the eligibility for filing civil lawsuits under the CLJA (Camp Lejeune Justice Act) began in February.

    This number surpasses the total count of civil cases filed in the district throughout the entirety of 2022.

    July 28th, 2023

    The court has seen a modest increase of 39 new Camp Lejeune civil lawsuits filed in the past month, marking a continuation of the declining trend in CLJA case volumes since claimants’ eligibility began.

    The fluctuating monthly numbers indicate the ongoing impact of the CLJA and its effect on the rate of new filings in court.

  • June 2023 Updates:

    June 6th, 2023:

    The district court judges responsible for handling lawsuits over contaminated water at Camp Lejeune are taking a stance in order to effectively manage the large caseload.

    District Judge James Dever has urged the government’s defense attorneys to address claims administratively before resorting to court proceedings.

    Although aggregated settlements save time, attorneys worry they may compromise their clients’ rights to a formal day in court.

    In an effort to streamline the process, judges overseeing the Camp Lejeune contaminated water lawsuits have instructed the creation of a database similar to the one used in the 9/11 settlement case.

    The database aims to handle the overwhelming number of claims, which currently exceeds 65,000.

  • May 2023 Updates:

    May 1st, 2023:

    A Camp Lejeune class action lawsuit is taking shape, resembling an MDL.

    A master complaint and a master answer or responsive pleading will be established.

    The court will coordinate various processes such as discovery, expert motions, dispositive motions, bellwether selection, trials, and settlement negotiations.

    A database will also be created to gather crucial information from each plaintiff and the defendant.

    May 5th, 2023:

    The growing number of Camp Lejeune toxic water lawsuits puts pressure on the Department of Justice (DOJ).

    U.S. District Judge Terrence Boyle rejects the DOJ’s request for more time to respond, emphasizing that eight months is sufficient to prepare.

    The urgency to formulate reasonable settlement offers to victims is highlighted.

    May 9th, 2023:

    The Navy faces criticism for its lack of action on Camp Lejeune Justice Act (CLJA) claims.

    Despite receiving over 45,000 claims in the past nine months, none have been reviewed for settlement due to the absence of a portal system for electronic document submission.

    Frustration among veterans, lawyers, and judges grows as the Navy is urged to take action.

    May 11th, 2023:

    A proposed class action lawsuit is filed against certain law firms involved in the Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuits.

    The plaintiff alleges violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, claiming that the firms repeatedly called her despite her number being on the Do Not Call Registry.

    May 16th, 2023:

    A new study definitively links Parkinson’s disease to the toxic water at Camp Lejeune, providing strong evidence of the connection.

    May 17th, 2023:

    Legislators demand an explanation from the Navy regarding the lack of progress in resolving toxic-water contamination cases at Camp Lejeune Marine Base.

    The pressure increases following a report revealing that none of the approximately 45,000 claims have been settled, and an online platform for managing the cases is not yet operational.

    Legislators call for swift adjudication, expressing concern over the delay and the potential termination of the MDL due to scientific evidence challenges.

  • April 2023 Updates:

    There is a surge in the number of Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuits being filed in the Eastern District of North Carolina.

    Attorneys representing both the U.S. government and plaintiffs are suggesting that the cases be consolidated under one judge or that the Court manages pretrial proceedings in a coordinated manner.

    This would not constitute a true class action lawsuit, but it would have many similar features.

  • March 2023 Updates:

    March 1st, 2023:

    A lung cancer lawsuit was filed against the United States Navy by the daughter of a former Camp Lejeune resident who was diagnosed with lung cancer and passed away in 1996 after being exposed to the toxic water at the base from 1953 to 1957.

    The daughter filed an administrative claim for compensation under the CLJA, but it was constructively denied because the Navy did not act on this lawsuit or any other administrative claims that have been filed.

    March 6th, 2023:

    22 new civil lawsuits were filed under the CLJA in the Eastern District of North Carolina, bringing the total to 179 Camp Lejeune lawsuits since the start of this month.

    Comparatively, there are only 15 non-Camp Lejeune civil cases currently pending in the same court.

    March 20th, 2023:

    Since the first claims brought under the CLJA became eligible to bring civil cases over one month ago, 260 Camp Lejeune civil lawsuits have been filed in the Eastern District of North Carolina.

    The weekly volume of new Camp Lejeune civil cases has more than doubled each week since the start of this month.

    There is still no indication of whether these cases will be consolidated.

  • February 2023 Updates:

    February 1st, 2023,

    It was reported that more than 15,000 compensation claims had been filed with the Navy JAG Tort Claims Unit since the enactment of the Camp Lejeune Justice Act (CLJA) in August 2022.

    News outlets speculated that as many as 500,000 claims could be filed before the 2024 deadline.

    February 8th, 2023:

    It was reported that the deadline for the Navy to resolve claims filed under the CLJA was set to expire that week.

    Thousands of victims had already filed claims, and the Eastern District of North Carolina was expected to receive a surge of civil lawsuits.

    February 13th, 2023:

    The deadline for the Navy to take action on administrative claims expired, and a surge of civil cases was reported in the Eastern District of North Carolina.

    In just three days, 79 new CLJA cases were filed, with the volume expected to increase.

    February 14th, 2023:

    The Navy JAG reported that more than 20,000 administrative claims had been filed under the CLJA, with over 100 lawsuits filed in North Carolina.

    On February 16, 2023, it was reported that nine new CLJA civil lawsuits were filed in the Eastern District of North Carolina, bringing the total number of lawsuits to 112.

    On February 22, 2023, the VA Office of the General Counsel issued a statement to remind victims that filing a claim or lawsuit under the CLJA would not negatively impact their ability to receive disability benefits for injuries related to the Camp Lejeune water.

    Over the last ten years, the VA had received 102,265 disability claims related to the toxic water at Camp Lejeune.

    February 27th, 2023:

    It was reported that 158 civil lawsuits had been filed under the CLJA in the Eastern District of North Carolina since the earliest claimants became eligible to file after the six-month deadline on their administrative claims with JAG expired.

    While this number was relatively small, it was expected to increase dramatically in the following months. Some lawyers were taking a wait-and-see approach, keeping these claims on the administrative docket for longer.

  • January 2023 Updates:

    The United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has begun processing PACT Act benefits claims for veterans who were exposed to toxic chemicals during their service.

    This legislation, passed in August 2022, is the first of its kind to provide benefits and legal options for victims of water contamination at the U.S. Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune.

    Since the law was passed, over 200,000 claims have been submitted.

    However, it is believed that there are thousands more veterans who were put at risk of serious illnesses, such as cancer, as a result of the contamination.

    Contact us for a free consultation, or use the chatbot on this page to see if you qualify for a Camp Lejeune claim instantly.

Discovery of Toxic Substances in Camp Lejeune Water

For years, the residents of Camp Lejeune drank, cooked with, and bathed in water that was contaminated with a host of dangerous chemicals.

The water used by residents and families living on the base was contaminated with volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which have been linked to a number of serious health conditions.

boiling water over a camp fire

The sources of the contamination are varied, but one the most likely culprit is a dry cleaning facility that operated on the base for many years.

Since the facility closed, the levels of VOCs in drinking water have decreased dramatically.

However, the damage has already been done, and the residents of Camp Lejeune are now facing a range of health problems.

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) Studies of Camp Lejeune Water Contamination

The presence of VOCs and other toxic chemicals in the contaminated drinking water at Camp Lejeune was first discovered in 1982.

Since then, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) has been investigating the potential health effects of exposure to the water.

The ATSDR has found scientific and medical evidence that the chemicals can cause a number of serious health problems, including many types of cancer.

The health effects of exposure to the contaminated water are especially serious for infants and children, who are more susceptible to the toxic effects of the chemicals.

It is incredibly important for people who were exposed to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune to be aware of the potential health risks.

Chemicals Found in Water Sources at Camp Lejeune

A variety of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and other dangerous chemicals were found in drinking water that supplied base housing and buildings at the Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune and Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) New River.

MCAS New River is located just minutes away from Camp Lejeune.

The potential sources of these chemicals include the aforementioned off-base dry cleaner, military disposal of industrial chemicals, and more throughout 30+ years of recorded contamination.

Tetrachloroethylene (PERC)

Tetrachloroethylene, also known as perchloroethylene, PCE or PERC, is a powerful industrial solvent.

It’s used in a variety of applications, including dry-cleaning fabrics, degreasing metal machinery, and manufacturing other chemicals.

PERC is also a common ingredient in paint strippers, spot cleaners, and adhesives.

greasy metal machinery

Although it’s an effective cleaner, PERC poses a serious health risk to humans.

Exposure to high levels of PERC can lead to bladder cancer, liver cancer, and kidney cancer.

In addition, PERC exposure has been linked to birth defects and other pediatric health risks.

PERC contamination at Camp Lejeune can be traced to Tarawa Terrace Treatment Plant and Hadnot Point Treatment Plant.

Trichloroethylene (TCE)

Trichloroethylene, or TCE, is a chemical solvent commonly used as a degreaser for metal machinery.

TCE can be incredibly dangerous to human health.

health problems after toxic exposure

When ingested, inhaled, or absorbed through the skin, TCE can potentially lead to kidney cancer, non-hodgkin lymphoma, and other cancers.

In addition, exposure to TCE has been linked to cardiac effects such as arrhythmias and heart failure.

TCE at Camp Lejeune can be traced to Hadnot Point Treatment Plant.

Vinyl Chloride

Vinyl chloride is a synthetic compound used in the production of many consumer products, from food containers and water pipes to cosmetics and cleaning products.

Despite its widespread use, vinyl chloride has been linked to a range of serious health problems, including liver cancer, hepatic steatosis, brain cancer, and other cancers, as well as certain neurobehavioral effects.

Studies have also found that exposure to vinyl chloride can damage the nervous system, cause birth defects, and lead to fertility problems.

Benzene

Benzene is a colorless, flammable liquid with a sweet smell.

It is used as a solvent in the chemical industry and is present in crude oil, gasoline, and cigarette smoke.

Benzene is classified as a human carcinogen, and exposure to high levels of benzene can cause leukemia and other blood cancers.

crude oil residue

The ATSDR has conducted an assessment of the health effects of benzene, and their findings indicate that consuming water contaminated with the chemical has been linked to leukemias, non-hodgkin lymphoma and multiple myeloma.

These findings are concerning, and further research is needed to better understand the health risks associated with Benzene exposure.

Health Issues related to Camp Lejeune Water Contamination

With over 70 chemical contaminants found in the water at Camp Lejeune, it can be difficult to tell just how many medical conditions have resulted from toxic exposure.

The scientific and medical evidence thus far suggests that those who were exposed to Camp Lejeune water contamination are at an increased risk for the following health problems:

  • Bladder Cancer
  • Prostate Cancer
  • Breast Cancer
  • Cervical Cancer
  • Esophageal Cancer
  • Kidney Cancer
  • Liver Cancer
  • Lung Cancer
  • Ovarian Cancer
  • Stomach Cancer
  • Multiple Myeloma and other myelodysplastic syndromes
  • Adult leukemia
  • Aplastic anemia and other bone marrow conditions
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Renal toxicity
  • Birth defects and birth injury
  • Miscarriage and fetal death
  • Neurobehavioral effects

The United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced a list of presumptive conditions related to water contamination.

The VA will now allow members of the armed services who were stationed at Camp Lejeune during the relevant time period to seek compensation for these conditions.

The Camp Lejeune Justice Act

The Camp Lejeune Justice Act is a new bill, part of the Honoring Our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act, that has recently been signed into law by President Biden.

The Camp Lejeune Justice Act allows individuals who were exposed to toxic water at the base between August 1, 1953 and December 31, 1987 to file a claim and recover damages for any harm they suffered as a result of the exposure.

lawmakers passing a law

The new law would override current North Carolina law that bars actions such as these.

This is a significant step forward for those affected by the toxic water at Camp Lejeune, and it will provide much-needed compensation for those who have been suffering for years without any recourse.

For years, no help or benefits were afforded to veterans exposed to volatile organic compounds and other toxic chemicals during their time at Camp Lejeune.

Now, veterans, their family members, civilian workers, and any other person who was exposed to contaminated drinking water at Camp Lejeune may be eligible to file a claim for compensation.

What is the Honoring Our PACT Act?

The Honoring Our PACT Act is the bill that encompasses the Camp Lejeune Justice Act. The PACT Act provides new VA benefits to people exposed to toxic chemicals during their military service.

The PACT Act also outlines presumptive conditions for a number of situations in which military personnel were exposed to dangerous chemicals, including at military burn pits in the Middle East, Agent Orange Exposure, and more.

The Honoring Our PACT Act went through many legislative hurdles in order to be signed into law, but now over 3 million military service members are able to get the health care benefits and compensation they rightfully deserve.

Previous Attempts by the Federal Government to Provide Benefits to those affected by Water Contamination

In 2012, Congress passed the Honoring America’s Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act (H.R. 1627) in order to provide benefits to those who had been exposed to tainted water.

H.R. 1627 granted health care benefits and disability benefits to veterans and their family members who met certain standards, as well as VA compensation benefits for veterans.

While the bill has helped many people, some have argued that it does not do enough to address the long-term health effects of the exposure.

In particular, some families have been left without any financial assistance if they do not meet the eligibility requirements for health care benefits or disability benefits.

Moreover, the VA compensation benefits are only available to veterans, not to their family members.

As a result, some families are still struggling to get by after being exposed to toxic chemicals in drinking water.

In 2017, Congress passed an additional statute that granted more benefits and expanded upon the conditions associated with exposure.

The amended statute associates even more presumptive conditions with contaminated water exposure.

None of these legislative actions have been as forward-thinking or comprehensive as the newly passed Camp Lejeune Justice Act.

How are Claims for the Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawsuits Submitted?

The claims process for a Camp Lejeune water lawsuit is handled first by an administrative claim process, and if not settled through that administrative portion, they will then be handled in a judicial process through the North Carolina courts, particularly the U.S. District Court: Eastern District of North Carolina.

claim form

The administrative claim process entails submitting a Camp Lejeune Justice Act (CLJA) Claim Form.

The claim form can be found on the U.S. Navy Judge Advocate General (JAG) website.

Who Can File a Claim for Water Contamination at Camp Lejeune?

Active duty and former military personnel, family members living on base, civilian workers, families of deceased, and even in-utero victims who were not yet born when their mother was residing at the base may be eligible to file Camp Lejeune lawsuits.

It’s important to note that if you were dishonorably discharged, you may not be eligible for disability benefits or disability compensation.

The release and act also notes that if you have a service-connected disability, you may be able to receive free health care and prescriptions through the VA.

If you think you may be eligible, it’s in your best interest to file a claim as soon as possible.

Who is Liable for My Injuries?

The liable parties may include the United States Navy, other governmental or regulatory agencies, businesses that may have contributed to contaminating water supplies, and any other group that may have contributed to an injury or diagnosis.

What are the Average Camp Lejeune Settlement Amounts?

Specific dollar amounts for Camp Lejeune settlement payouts are not yet available.

Camp Lejeune victims seeking legal help should be wary of any website advertising certain numbers for settlement amounts.

We will soon know the average settlement amount for Camp Lejeune lawsuits once the administrative and judicial processes for filing claims becomes clearer.

Hiring a Lawyer for Your Camp Lejeune Lawsuit

Hiring legal representation that understands the attorney client relationship and can effectively fight for rightful monetary compensation is essential in a Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawsuit.

An attorney will help you gather evidence, add up your total damages, and put together a strong claim for compensation.

hiring a Camp Lejeune lawsuit lawyer

Evidence

Evidence is important in any personal injury or mass tort case, and the water contamination at Camp Lejeune is no different.

Evidence for your or case may include:

  • Documents proving residence at Camp Lejeune
  • Military/Marine Corps service records indicating dates and locations
  • Medical records and diagnoses of certain diseases
  • Medical bills
  • Travel records
  • Health care information
  • Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits records
  • Records on disability benefits or disability compensation

Damages

Damages in a Camp Lejeune water contamination case may include:

  • Medical bills and costs
  • Lost wages or lost earning capacity
  • Loss of enjoyment of life and other intangible factors
  • Permanent disability and life-altering medical conditions

TruLaw: Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Attorneys

If you, a loved one, or a family member was exposed to toxic chemicals in water at Camp Lejeune, consider contacting TruLaw for a free consultation and to discuss your legal options.

We’re connected to the leading Camp Lejeune lawyers and understand the devastating impacts that toxic water contamination has brought to people who lived on the base.

Camp Lejeune victims deserve justice and compensation for their exposure to dangerous, toxic chemicals. Our Camp Lejeune attorneys can help attain that justice.

Contact us or use the chatbot on this page to see if you qualify for legal action instantly.

Written By:
Jessie Paluch
Jessie Paluch

Experienced Attorney & Legal SaaS CEO

With over 25 years of legal experience, Jessie is an Illinois lawyer, a CPA, and a mother of three.  She spent the first decade of her career working as an international tax attorney at Deloitte.

In 2009, Jessie co-founded her own law firm with her husband – which has scaled to over 30 employees since its conception.

In 2016, Jessie founded TruLaw, which allows her to collaborate with attorneys and legal experts across the United States on a daily basis. This hypervaluable network of experts is what enables her to share reliable legal information with her readers!

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