On this page, we’ll answer 31 questions about the Camp Lejeune Lawsuit, provide an overview of the water contamination at camp lejeune, cover who is eligible to file a Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit, and much more.
Camp Lejeune is the “Home of Expeditionary Forces in Readiness.”
The Marine Corps Base was established in 1942.
It borders the Atlantic Ocean in North Carolina and wraps around the New River tidal estuary.
It’s a 156,000-acre facility containing multiple smaller camps, including:
The miles of coastline, a mix of pine forests, and calm river shores allow the military members’ amphibious and ground training.
Sailors and marines use the area to operate, train, recover, and launch.
Warfighters and their families can also meet their needs with support, facilities, and services provided by the base camp.
The facility’s mission is to support the Marine Corps Base, a major Navy Command, Coast Guard Command, and various Marine Corps commands.
It is home to the 2nd Marine Logistics Group, 2nd Marine Division, 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force, and various other support commands and combat units.
There are also multiple career-level and entry-level schools on the grounds.
Many servicemembers train at the camp at some point in their careers.
Since its founding, eight (8) water distribution systems have supplied Camp Lejeune:
One of the primary water contaminants at Camp Lejeune was a dry-cleaning solvent called tetrachloroethylene (PCE).
Other contaminants included trichloroethylene (TCE), vinyl chloride, and benzene.
A dry-cleaning company off base is responsible for the chemicals entering the water.
Those chemicals contaminated the Hadnot Point, Tarawa Terrace, and Holcomb Boulevard water systems.
ABC One-Hour Cleaners used improper waste disposal practices.
The waste leaked into the water supply on the base, releasing the chemical into groundwater and soil from the septic tank.
It also poisoned a water treatment plant serving a housing community with 6,200 residents.
In 2017, the dry-cleaning site was demolished, leaving only the foundation behind.
It is awaiting federal cleanup as an EPA Superfund Site.
The dry-cleaning business isn’t the only facility responsible for the contamination.
High levels of TCE were found in the Hadnot Point water system.
It served recreational areas, schools, barracks, and the hospital on base.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), five parts per billion (ppb) is the acceptable level of TCE in drinking water.
Hadnot Point contained as much as 1,400 ppb of the contaminant.
The water treatment plant for the housing community contained up to 215 ppb of PCE.
A National Research Council report found multiple possible contamination sources, including industrial site spills and leaks from underground storage tanks.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) placed Camp Lejeune on its Superfund program’s National Priorities List on October 4, 1989.
A joint effort between the Navy, the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (NCDEQ), and the EPA aimed to eliminate the contaminated water at the base camp.
It took multiple years and several phases to clean the specific contaminants in many areas.
The first phase focused on eliminating toxic storage tanks, dangerous liquids, batteries, contaminated soil, and drums.
Electrical resistance heating and chemical oxidation helped eliminate the contaminants in the ground and water.
Camp Lejeune is open and running despite the assumption that they would shut down operations.
The base holds approximately:
The Superfund program requires the NCDEQ, EPA, and Navy to review their cleanup policies and activities every five years to verify proper completion.
The 2020 review found several areas where the level of contaminants appeared to be higher than allowable and proposed action plans to assess and address those concerns.
The next scheduled review is in 2025.
President Joe Biden signed the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 into law in August 2022.
It allows military veterans, their families, and people who lived or worked at Camp Lejeune base camp for at least 30 days between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987, to pursue legal action against the U.S. Government for toxic exposure.
Lawsuits can include harm suffered by toxic exposure by children in utero at the camp.
Typically, immunity laws prohibit anyone from filing a lawsuit against a government agency or its employees.
However, the Act waives immunity so anyone harmed by toxins in the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune can seek compensation from the government.
The new law also overrides North Carolina’s statute of repose, which prevented anyone from filing a claim more than ten years after the exposure that caused the harm.
The Camp Lejeune Justice Act allows two years from the date the Act was passed for bringing a tort action against another party.
The Camp Lejeune Justice Act is part of the PACT Act. The PACT Act includes:
A more comprehensive law called the Honoring Our PACT Act includes the Camp Lejeune Justice Act.
It expands health care and benefits for military veterans exposed to toxic substances during active-duty service.
On August 10, 2022, President Joe Biden signed the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 into law.
It allows veterans and their families harmed by toxic exposure at the base camp to pursue compensation from the government.
The deadline to file a lawsuit is August 10, 2024.
According to the Act, an individual, including a veteran or their legal representative who worked, lived, or otherwise was exposed to contaminated water from Camp Lejeune for at least 30 days between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987, is entitled to pursue legal action in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina.
Eligible individuals can seek compensation for harm that:
Family members of veterans who served or lived at the U.S. Marine Corp Base Camp Lejeune for no less than 30 days between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987, are eligible for benefits under the Camp Lejeune Family Member Program.
The President signed the Honoring America’s Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act of 2012 on August 6, 2012.
Under the law, the Department of Veterans must provide healthcare to veterans on active duty at Camp Lejeune during the specified period who were potentially exposed to benzene, industrial solvents, and other contaminants in drinking water.
The law also reimburses eligible family members for healthcare expenses related to qualifying illnesses or medical conditions, including:
You are eligible to file a lawsuit for compensation under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 if you meet these two requirements:
You must have proof of a qualifying medical condition from the exposure. Acceptable proof can include:
You can also provide other documents that prove you were at the base during the required timeframe and diagnosed with a qualifying medical condition from toxic exposure.
Pregnant women who lived at Camp Lejeune during the water contamination period could file a lawsuit for birth defects if their children were born with congenital disabilities.
Children might also be able to pursue legal action for their medical conditions when they turn 18.
Family members of military veterans who served at Camp Lejeune and civilians living or working at the base might also qualify for compensation under the Act.
You can pursue benefits through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) or compensation under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022.
If you want to recover disability benefits, visit the VA’s website or a nearby VA office.
You must prove you served at the base camp between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987, for 30 days or longer, weren’t dishonorably discharged, and have one of the eligible presumptive conditions.
The VA will provide monthly compensation for your medical care and related expenses if your claim is approved.
You might also receive healthcare benefits, job retraining, cash benefits, and other financial assistance.
To sue the government for compensation under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act, you must file your lawsuit with the United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina.
The financial award you receive might compensate you for your:
Family of military veterans who died from exposure to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune can also file a lawsuit.
The compensation available for an illness caused by water contamination at Camp Lejeune will depend on the type of disease and symptoms plaintiffs have.
Diseases fall under multiple tiers based on the strength of scientific evidence associated with the illness or cancers from the contaminated water.
Tier one includes cancers, such as:
Tier two includes diseases such as:
The average settlement for tier one cases might be over $500,000.
Exceeding $1,000,000 in jury verdicts for tier one is possible.
This group has strong scientific data linking Camp Lejeune’s contaminated water with various types of cancers.
Although less scientific data is available for tier two conditions, recovering a significant financial award is possible.
The average settlement for tier two cancers could be around $250,000 to $500,000.
The Camp Lejeune Justice Act provided $6.7 billion in benefits for veterans, family members, and other workers for the harm they suffered from toxic water contamination.
The VA also set up a $350 million fund for healthcare benefits for those individuals.
A service member diagnosed with kidney cancer after exposure to toxins at Camp Lejeune received $100,000 in disability benefits in 2022.
Another award in 2021 went to a veteran who worked at Camp Lejeune in the 1980s.
He received $1.1 million in VA benefits for his bladder cancer diagnosis.
You don’t necessarily have to hire a lawyer to file a claim or lawsuit to recover money for your water contamination injuries.
It’s not a legal requirement. However, you should.
Seeking compensation for injuries from water contamination is a complicated process.
It requires meeting strict deadlines, completing legal documents, and following required court procedures.
If you make a mistake, you might lose your case.
An experienced personal injury attorney is familiar with all laws and procedures for pursuing compensation for injuries.
You won’t have to worry about handling any of the legal aspects of your case when you hire an attorney.
They can take over each step and complete them on your behalf.
You can file a Notice of Disagreement (NOD) if the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) approves your claim for less compensation than you are entitled to or denies your claim.
A NOD is a form you submit to appeal the VA’s decision on your claim.
You must file your appeal within a specific timeframe to pursue additional action.
You have one year from the date on the VA’s rating decision to file your Notice of Disagreement if:
You should receive the NOD form with the VA’s decision.
The form allows you to explain why you disagree with the decision and provide supporting documentation.
The amount of time it takes to receive a response regarding your Notice of Disagreement depends on various factors, including the review process you choose.
The two types of review processes are:
The review process can last for several months to a year or longer.
It depends on the circumstances of your case.
Typically, the more evidence you submit with your appeal, the faster the VA can review everything.
If you provide incomplete or incorrect information, it can delay the entire process.
Multiple groups of people can file a lawsuit for the harm they suffered at Camp Lejeune.
Every person who files must have had exposure to contaminated water at the base camp for at least 30 days between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987.
Qualified groups include:
You must also have proof of a condition from the toxic exposure, such as:
Yes. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides health care, disability, and other benefits to veterans and their families.
Veterans are entitled to disability if they are diagnosed with a presumptive condition from toxic exposure at Camp Lejeune.
The monthly payments depend on the severity of the disability based on a disability rating between one percent and 100 percent.
However, just being on the base without a subsequent qualifying disability does not entitle a person to compensation.
Healthcare benefits are also available to veterans and their families who lived on base during the specified period and have a qualifying condition.
These benefits pay for doctor’s appointments, prescriptions, and other medical services.
Families of veterans might also be eligible for survivor’s benefits.
Survivors’ benefits compensate families of veterans who died from a condition related to water contamination at Camp Lejeune.
Surviving spouses, children, and parents can receive a monthly payment.
Benefits also cover funeral and burial expenses.
A one-time payment to survivors is available if the deceased veteran had unpaid benefits owing at the time of their death.
No. Once the disability rating is processed and service connection is established, veterans aren’t subject to copays for medical services or hospital care.
Eligible active duty, National Guard, and reserve members must have one or more of the conditions below from exposure to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune:
Studies show a link between toxic chemicals at Camp Lejeune between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987, and multiple birth defects.
Exposure to chemicals such as benzene, vinyl chloride, and tetrachloroethylene contaminated the water many pregnant women drank.
Unborn babies are more sensitive to toxic exposure.
According to a study in 2013, 12,598 expectant mothers living at Camp Lejeune, babies born to women exposed to the water contaminants had a higher risk of birth defects, especially if the exposure occurred during the first trimester.
Trichloroethylene exposure increases the chance of heart defects and neural tube defects.
In 2015, the Committee on Review of Clinical Guidance for the Care of Health Conditions Identified by the Camp Lejeune Legislation also confirmed exposure could lead to congenital disabilities.
A federal study found the rate of childhood cancer from toxic exposure at the camp was 15.7 times higher than the national average.
Researchers discovered benzene and tetrachloroethylene could cause various forms of cancer in children, such as non-Hodgkin lymphoma, leukemia, and lymphoma.
Mothers who lived at Camp Lejeune reported stillbirths and miscarriages that could be linked to the contaminated water.
Medical researchers discovered a connection between low testosterone and exposure to endocrine disruptors.
The endocrine system consists of various organs and glands regulating multiple bodily functions by releasing hormones and chemical messengers the endocrine system produces.
Endocrine disruptors interfere with regular hormone activity.
Sexual function and reproduction are two primary functions of the endocrine system.
Testosterone is a hormone that contributes significantly to a male’s body density, sex drive, and the development of sex characteristics.
Toxins from the water at Camp Lejeune are endocrine-disrupting chemicals.
Researchers found hormone disruption from the chemicals getting into the water, leading to male reproductive issues, including low testosterone.
Chemicals, drugs, and environmental or industrial toxic agents can lead to renal toxicity.
Renal toxicity is a decline in kidney function.
The kidneys filter waste and other harmful substances from the blood.
These vital organs are vulnerable to environmental toxins due to their high metabolic activity, high blood flow, and possible active reabsorption and concentrations of toxins.
Tetrachlorethylene (PCE) and trichloroethylene (TCE) are two carcinogenic chemicals found in the water at Camp Lejeune.
Exposure to high levels of these substances can lead to severe medical issues, including kidney damage.
Researchers found an association between toxic exposure and various types of renal diseases.
An increased risk of kidney failure is also possible.
An accurate number of fatalities from exposure to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune isn’t available.
However, estimates show exposure to toxic chemicals occurred in over one million people.
Studies also prove exposure caused cancer diagnosis in tens of thousands of people and premature death.
The primary causes of death include:
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) includes esophageal cancer on the list of presumptive conditions associated with Camp Lejeune water contamination.
The number of diagnoses is unclear.
However, researchers found a link between esophageal cancer and exposure to toxins in the water.
The National Research Council (NCR) released a report in 2009 on the consequences of exposure to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune.
According to a report, an association exists between exposure to chemicals in the water and higher rates of esophageal cancer.
The VA convened a special committee of leading scientific and medical experts in 2012.
The committee assesses evidence about diseases linked to water contamination and formulates opinions from their assessments.
The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry published results of multiple long-term cancer and mortality incidences.
One of its earlier findings showed a strong link between the toxic water at Camp Lejeune and incidents of esophageal cancer.
The studies determined a higher rate of esophageal cancer in residents and employees exposed to chlorinated solvents found in the water.
Yes. Scientific studies show a link between chemicals in the water at Camp Lejeune and a higher chance of developing prostate cancer.
The evidence reviewed in studies suggests that vinyl chloride, trichloroethylene, perchloroethylene, and benzene are among the toxic substances responsible for the contaminated water.
The Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine published an article showing an elevated risk of prostate cancer from exposure to trichloroethylene.
During its assessment, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry also found an association between prostate cancer and contaminants in the Camp Lejeune water.
Neurobehavioral effects are evidence of conditions that affect how the brain communicates with the nervous system.
The effects can be changes in memory, mood, attention, and personality.
Motor dysfunction can also occur.
The symptoms of neurobehavioral problems depend on the severity of brain damage but can include:
You might be able to reverse the effects of short exposure or exposure to low levels of chemicals.
However, prolonged exposure can have long-term consequences, making severe brain damage permanent.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) link toxic chemical exposure at Camp Lejeune to neurobehavior effects.
According to a published study by Environmental Research, neurobehavior deficits can occur from long-term exposure to low concentrations of trichloroethylene (TCE).
The maximum level of TCE considered safe in drinking water is five parts per billion (ppb).
However, the levels found at Camp Lejeune averaged approximately 366 ppb.
There were also levels exceeding the safe limits for benzene, vinyl chloride, and perchloroethylene (PCE).
The symptoms of exposure to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune vary depending on the condition the exposure caused.
Some symptoms appear immediately after exposure, while others don’t start until years later.
The four major toxins found in the water include:
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), acute exposure to TCE can cause immediate symptoms, such as:
Long-term exposure to TCE can lead to symptoms such as:
Symptoms associated with PCE exposure include:
Chronic PCE exposure might lead to symptoms such as:
Vinyl chloride exposure can cause immediate symptoms, such as:
The long-term effects of chronic vinyl chloride exposure include:
Acute benzene exposure can cause symptoms such as:
The complications experienced from chronic exposure to benzene include:
No. The U.S. military in Thailand, Vietnam, and the Korean DMZ used Agent Orange to destroy vegetation.
It is a poisonous herbicide linked to certain medical conditions, such as Non-Hodgkin lymphoma, bladder cancer, Parkinson’s disease, and lung cancer.
Although Agent Orange wasn’t stored at Camp Lejeune, it was stored at other bases in the U.S. Military veterans exposed to the dangerous chemical can pursue benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for conditions such as:
Parris Island is a military installation used for training.
However, it isn’t located at Camp Lejeune. It is an island in Port Royal, South Carolina.
United States Marine Corps recruit training occurs on the 8,095-acre installation. Recruits living to the east of the Mississippi River report there for their initial training.
Recruits living west of the river train at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, California.
However, they can train at Parris Island by special request.
Approximately 17,000 United States Marine Corps recruits train at Parris Island annually.
Training includes a thirteen-week process of adapting to a Marine Corps lifestyle cut off from the civilian world.
Drill instructors provide training on various subjects, such as:
Training also emphasizes combat effectiveness and physical fitness.
Trainees must meet a fitness standard to graduate, including passing a Combat Fitness Test and a Physical Fitness Test.
A minimum combat-oriented swimming qualification, curriculum standards, and a 54-hour simulated combat exercise are also requirements.
No. Cherry Point is one of the country’s largest air stations.
It is located in Havelock, North Carolina, and is home to the Navy’s Fleet Readiness Center-East, the largest industrial employer in eastern North Carolina, and the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing.
The United States Air Force 614th Airborne Control and Warning Squadron established an Air Defense Command station on July 1, 1957, at Cherry Point.
Initially, the station functioned as a warning station and Ground-Control Intercept (GCI).
The squadron’s role at the GCI station was to guide aircraft toward unidentified intruders the radar scopes detected.
In 1960, the Marine Corps retained one radar for base air traffic control for many years.
However, the facility closed in August 1963 due to budget reductions and a general draw-down of antiaircraft radar sites.
Camp Gilbert H. Johnson is a satellite camp of Camp Lejeune.
It’s located in Jacksonville, North Carolina, on Montford Point.
The site is known as the training site for the “Montford Point Marines,” the first African Americans to serve in the Marine Corps.
Camp Johnson is home to the Marine Corps Combat Service Support Schools.
The site is for formal resident training for servicemembers in various support military occupational specialties, such as:
The Field Medical Training Battalion at Camp Johnson trains corpsmen and religious program specialists of the Navy.
The primary location for the U.S. Marine Corps helicopter base is the Marine Corps Air Station New River.
It is near Camp Lejeune in the eastern part of Jacksonville, North Carolina.
Initially, the air station was a stretch of farmland purchased in 1941.
Camp Lejeune officials searched the area for an existing airfield to keep aircraft for amphibious operations.
A member of Marine Glider Group 71 concluded the Marine Corps could benefit from the farmland.
Units of the USMC aviation crew receive aircrew training at the base.
New River stations around 6,000 airmen, Marines, and sailors.
It also employs over 600 civilians to meet the demands of operating the tiltrotor Air Station and Corps’ only East Coast rotary wing.
Yes. President Joe Biden signed the Promises to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act into law.
It allows veterans, their families, and civilians to file lawsuits for injuries from water contamination at Camp Lejeune.
If you believe your medical condition is due to exposure to toxic chemicals while living or working at Camp Lejeune between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987, you should consult an experienced lawyer immediately.
You might be entitled to compensation for your medical treatment and other expenses.
You can pursue benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs or legal action against the government for the harm you suffered from water contamination at Camp Lejeune if you were stationed there or lived there for 30 days between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987.
However, being aware of scams is crucial.
The Better Business Bureau found increased scams related to Camp Lejeune lawsuits.
Phishing scams in the form of social media posts, texts, and emails are common.
You must be careful while looking for assistance with your case.
Some attorneys claim they want to help injured veterans, and others charge ridiculous legal fees or misrepresent the fees they charge.
Despite this, the injured veteran might not get the benefits they expect.
Be careful of solicitations from people suggesting they’re from veterans’ assistance groups.
Ensure that the group is legitimate before spending your time and money and providing them with your personal details.
Although Camp Lejeune commercials can be irritating, they are necessary.
The contaminated water at the military base between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987, affected a significant number of people.
Reaching victims needing legal representation is possible with advertisements, but without ads, they might not realize they could be eligible for benefits.
Since many don’t have a lawyer or know how to pursue compensation, tv commercials help provide the information they need.
Removing yourself from an email list can be challenging.
However, you can avoid seeing those emails in your inbox.
Use a filter if you don’t want to see emails about the Camp Lejeune lawsuit.
Your email provider will flag irrelevant or fraudulent messages and move them to your spam folder.
You can also unsubscribe from emails you don’t want to receive.
There might be an unsubscribe link in a Camp Lejeune lawsuit email.
If there is, click on it and select the option to unsubscribe from all future emails.
However, confirm the email comes from a legitimate sender.
Spammers send emails like this to verify someone’s email address for future correspondence.
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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Camp Lejeune’s water contamination issue spanned several decades starting in the 1950s. Exposure to these chemicals has been linked to various serious health issues, including cancer, organ diseases, and death.
Research is increasingly suggesting a link between the use of Tylenol during pregnancy and the development of neurodevelopmental disorders, such as autism and ADHD, in infants.
Legal action is being taken against manufacturers of Aqueous Film-Forming Foam (AFFF), a chemical used in fighting fires. The plaintiffs allege that exposure to the foam caused health issues such as cancer, organ damage, and birth and fertility issues.
Here, at TruLaw, we’re committed to helping victims get the justice they deserve.
Alongside our partner law firms, we have successfully collected over $3 Billion in verdicts and settlements on behalf of injured individuals.
Would you like our help?