The Camp Lejeune lawsuit is a legal battle being fought by the victims of contaminated water at the US Marine Corps base in North Carolina. The base was home to hundreds of thousands of service members, their families, and civilians over the years, many of whom have suffered serious health problems due to exposure to toxic chemicals in the water.
This lawsuit is one of the largest toxic tort cases in US history and has been ongoing for nearly two decades.
The lawsuit, which was filed in the early 2000s, seeks compensation for the victims and holds the US government responsible for the contamination.
The case is based on the argument that the government failed to adequately monitor and regulate the use and disposal of hazardous chemicals at the base, resulting in the widespread contamination of the water supply.
According to AboutLawsuits, there are a number of Camp Lejeune lawsuits pending as of February 2023, and it is expected that a flood of Camp Lejeune toxic water lawsuits will be filed in the coming weeks as the 180-day administrative evaluation period on the thousands of claims proposed to the US government immediately after President Biden signed the Camp Lejeune Justice Act into law on August 10, 2022, expires.
The plaintiffs, who include former service members, their family members, and civilians who lived or worked at Camp Lejeune, claim that the exposure to toxic chemicals in the water caused serious health problems, including cancer, birth defects, and immune system disorders.
The Contamination of Camp Lejeune
A range of hazardous compounds polluted Camp Lejeune, including solvents such as trichloroethylene (TCE) and perchloroethylene (PCE), as well as benzene and other damaging contaminants.
The source of the contamination was primarily two on-base industrial sites, one of which was a dry cleaning operation that used TCE, and the other was an off-base fuel storage facility.
The contamination was widespread, affecting the base’s water supply for decades and potentially exposing hundreds of thousands of people to toxic chemicals.
The Camp Lejeune Families Act of 2012
The Camp Lejeune Families Act of 2012 is a legislative act that offers health care benefits to qualifying military men and their families who were exposed to polluted water at the US Marine Corps facility in North Carolina.
The act, which was signed into law by President Barack Obama in 2012, recognizes the suffering of the victims of contaminated water at Camp Lejeune and provides a measure of compensation for their losses.
Under the act, eligible service members and their families can receive health care benefits through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for certain conditions that are associated with exposure to toxic chemicals in the water.
The conditions covered by the act include cancers of the liver, kidney, bladder, and other organs, as well as birth defects and infertility.
The Camp Lejeune lawsuit is backed by a wealth of scientific and medical evidence, including studies, reports, and test results that clearly demonstrate the link between the contaminated water and the illnesses suffered by the victims.
For example, a study conducted by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) found that people who lived or worked at Camp Lejeune between 1957 and 1987 had an increased risk of developing certain cancers and other health problems. This and other evidence have been presented in court to support the victims’ claims.
The US Government’s Response
The US government has consistently denied responsibility for the contamination of Camp Lejeune, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. The government had argued that the contaminants were present in the water before the military took control of the base and that they were not responsible for cleaning up the site.
However, internal government documents and testimony from former military officials have shown that the government was aware of the contamination and the health risks it posed but failed to take adequate measures to protect the health and safety of the people living and working at the base.
The Impact on Victims
The victims of contaminated water at Camp Lejeune have suffered greatly, both physically and financially. Many have developed serious health problems, including cancer, birth defects, and immune system disorders, and have been unable to work and provide for their families.
The Camp Lejeune lawsuit seeks compensation for these losses, as well as for the ongoing medical expenses that the victims will incur for the rest of their lives. In addition, the lawsuit seeks recognition of the suffering that the victims have endured and a formal apology from the US government for its failure to protect them.
The Camp Lejeune lawsuit is an important case that highlights the human cost of toxic exposure. The victims of contaminated water at the US Marine Corps base have suffered greatly, and it is only right that they are compensated for their losses.
The lawsuit, and the evidence that supports it, serve as a powerful reminder of the importance of protecting our service members, their families, and our communities from harmful chemicals and pollutants.