From the 1950s through the 1980s, as many as one million people living or working at the U.S. Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. Many were potentially exposed to drinking water contaminated with dangerous cancer- and disease-causing chemicals, such as industrial solvents, benzene, vinyl chloride and other chemicals.
Health officials say contaminants in the drinking water at Camp Lejeune likely increased the risk of cancers, adverse birth outcomes, and other dangerous conditions for residents, civilian workers, Marines and naval personnel. The identified source of the contamination was poor waste disposal practices at an off-base dry cleaning company.
Water supply wells were contaminated by multiple sources, including leaking underground storage tanks, industrial area spills, and waste disposal sites.
Joe Lyon is a highly-rated Toxic Tort Attorney and Camp Lejeune lawyer representing plaintiffs nationwide in a wide variety of civil litigation and VA claims. Contact our law firm if you need representation for a contamination claim.
According to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), many damaging chemicals and compounds were found in the Camp Lejeune water supply.
Some of these chemicals involved in the property contamination are known cancer-causing agents and include the following:
These chemicals have been linked with various medical conditions and severe injury, including different types of cancer.
Veterans who were exposed to contaminated drinking water, and suffered related illnesses while assigned to Camp Lejeune in North Carolina may now be able to receive government disability benefits totaling more than $2 billion.
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) began cash payouts in March 2016, available for eligible veterans stationed at the Marine base for at least 30 cumulative days between August 1953 and December 1987. Veterans must submit evidence of their diagnoses and service information.
Veteran Affairs Secretary Bob McDonald determined that there was enough “scientific and medical evidence” to make a reasonable connection between the toxic exposure and eight specific medical conditions.
According to the VA, about 1,400 disability claims related to Lejeune are already pending. The compensation covers active duty, Reserve, and National Guard members who developed one of eight diseases:
ABOUT THE LYON FIRM
Joseph Lyon has 17 years of experience representing individuals in complex litigation matters. He has represented individuals in every state against many of the largest companies in the world.
The Firm focuses on single-event civil cases and class actions involving corporate neglect & fraud, toxic exposure, product defects & recalls, medical malpractice, and invasion of privacy.
NO COST UNLESS WE WIN
The Firm offers contingency fees, advancing all costs of the litigation, and accepting the full financial risk, allowing our clients full access to the legal system while reducing the financial stress while they focus on their healthcare and financial needs.
Although the VA is naming eight specific cancers and illnesses in this phase of compensation, there may have been other injuries associated with the Camp Lejeune contamination.
The VA approved disability benefits to veterans based on evidence and ongoing research. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) secretary has said the water at Camp Lejeune was a “hidden hazard.”
The Department of Health and Human Services Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) determined that prolonged exposure to these chemicals increases the risk of certain health conditions.
Health officials say contaminants in the drinking water at Camp Lejeune likely increased the risk of cancers, adverse birth outcomes, and other dangerous conditions that include the above, but also the following:
Many affected Camp Lejeune veterans have lost their homes and the ability to work, primarily because of the disabilities caused by the illnesses they developed from toxic exposure. Two U.S. Senators are urging the government to expand compensation for victims, and called the incidence a “national problem.”
As many as one million American veterans, civilian workers and family members may have been exposed to the hazards of a contaminated water supply at Camp Lejeune from 1953 to 1987. Anyone who served or lived at the Jacksonville, North Carolina training facility could be at risk of developing health issues.
Those who may be eligible to seek benefits include the following:
If you believe that you or a loved one were injured or affected by contaminated water, you should take the following steps in preparation for legal action:
We understand if you can’t perform all of these tasks on your own, but don’t worry — it’s our job to gather evidence and ensure your case is ready for trial.
The Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 is a bipartisan bill aimed at ensuring that individuals who were harmed by water contamination at Camp Lejeune receive just compensation for their injuries and losses.
The U.S. Senate passed the Act as part of a group of bills called the “Honoring our PACT” Act. On August 10, 2022, President Biden officially signed the Camp Lejeune Justice Act into law. It allows military personnel and civilians to file in U.S. federal court for pain and suffering compensation related to Camp Lejeune diagnoses and treatments.
Previously, people who filed legal actions for Camp Lejeune toxic water injuries had their claims inappropriately dismissed, causing further delays and harm. However, the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022:
Our veterans, their families, and people working at military sites deserve far better treatment than what they received in the past. This new law will help provide justice for the challenges they previously faced.
Perchloroethylene (PCE) and trichloroethylene (TCE) were the primary contaminants found in the wells serving the two water systems in the Camp Lejeune area. The Tarawa Terrace water systems supplied family housing, unmarried service personnel barracks, base offices, schools, and recreational areas. The Hadnot Point water system served the base hospital and an industrial area of the base.
Groundwater at the Tarawa Terrace system became contaminated with PCE as a result of spills and improper disposal by an off-base dry cleaner nearby (ABC One-Hour Cleaners). This began as early as 1953. There may also have been other on-base sources contributing to the contamination of that system.
Contamination of the Hadnot Point water system involved multiple contaminants and sources and was more complex. The primary chemical found there was TCE. It is likely that on-base spills and leaks from storage tanks were the cause of contamination.
Water contamination claims can involve serious, long-term medical conditions and injuries. On top of this, the addition of military and veteran issues can make such cases even more complex. When dealing with these types of challenges, you need a lawyer with experience and a proven track record in handling such cases.
The Lyon Firm is proud to represent American veterans in disability claims, involving water contamination illnesses, cancers or any other toxic exposure disease. Contact Joe Lyon at (513) 381-2333 for a free consultation.
Toxic exposure cases help empower employees to fight for their right to be protected, satisfactorily informed, and to stay safe. They also bring awareness to challenge and higher the expectations of companies who are not serving their employees justly.
The following disability compensation benefits are available to Veterans:
Disability compensation is a monthly benefit paid to Veterans who are at least 10% disabled because of injuries or diseases that were incurred in or aggravated during active duty or active duty for training. A disability can apply to physical conditions, such as a chronic knee condition, as well as a mental health conditions, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). If you were on inactive duty for training, the disability must have resulted from injury, heart attack, or stroke. Your discharge from service must have been under other than dishonorable conditions.
Compensation varies depending on the degree of your disability. If you have dependents, an additional allowance may be added if your combined disability is rated 30% or greater. Your compensation may be offset if you receive military retirement pay, disability severance pay, or separation incentive payments.
VA presumes that some disabilities are due to military service. You may be eligible to receive service-connected disability benefits if you have a qualifying disability associated with certain conditions of service, such as:
A service-connected disability is related to an injury or disease that developed during or was aggravated while on active duty or active duty for training. VA also pays disability compensation for disabilities resulting from injury, heart attack, or stroke that occurred during inactive duty training.
VA disability benefits depend on your level of disability and stats of dependents. You can calculate what you think you may deserve at the VA Web site: https://www.va.gov/disability/compensation-rates/veteran-rates/
Compensation from a lawsuit or settlement may cover costs and expenses such as:
You can be eligible for VA benefits for as long as your service-related injury or disability is assigned to a compensable rating by the VA. Speak with an attorney regarding your eligibility for benefits and/or legal compensation.