What Happened at Camp Lejeune?
Camp Lejeune is a U.S. Marines Corps Base located in North Carolina, established in 1942.
In 1982, the Marine Corps discovered that there were toxic contaminants in the drinking water. These toxic contaminants, known as volatile organic compounds (VOCs), were present in two of the eight water wells on the base. Despite the Marine Corps’ findings in 1982, the contaminated water wells were not shut down until 1985.
Who Was Exposed to the VOCs?
From August 1953 to December 1987, as many as one million servicemembers, civilian employees, and family members are estimated to have been exposed to harmful levels of VOCs.
The Impact of Exposure to VOCs
The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) found that the effects of VOCs varied based on individual factors such as length and amount of exposure.
ATSDR found conclusive evidence linking exposure to VOCs to various medical conditions including the following:
- Cardiac Defects
- Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
- Kidney Cancer
- Multiple Myeloma
- Liver Cancer
- Bladder Cancer
- Parkinson’s Disease
Why Are We Hearing About Camp Lejeune Now?
On August 10, 2022, the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 was signed into law as a part of The Honoring our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics Act of 2022, or simply, the PACT Act. The Camp Lejeune Justice Act is comprised of five sections. The first section, §804, states the following:
“(Sec. 804) This section provides a federal cause of action for individuals who resided, worked, or were otherwise exposed (including in utero) for not less than 30 days to water at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987.”
Under this new legislation, both civilians and servicemembers who were at Camp Lejeune and exposed to harmful levels of VOCs between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987, are able to file a claim.
Individuals that previously filed a claim, and were denied, should refile a claim for consideration.
Filing a Camp Lejeune Claim
Filing a Camp Lejeune claim for yourself or your loved one(s) can be tricky. Here’s what you should know:
The first step in filing a Camp Lejeune claim is determining your eligibility for compensation.
If you are unsure of your eligibility, contact a water contamination attorney, or utilize resources such as this confidential 10-Question multiple choice questionnaire to determine whether or not you qualify for compensation.
File Your Claim For Your Civil Case
Once you have determined eligibility, you will need to file a claim.
Camp Lejeune cases are classified as civil cases, not disability cases. As a result, filing a Camp Lejeune claim will not affect any prior disability award.
Should I Speak With or Hire an Attorney?
In short, yes. Non-attorneys such as call-center employees, or other individuals unqualified to interpret and practice law, are not equipped to help you navigate our country’s complex legal system.
There are several reasons why speaking with or hiring an attorney is beneficial, but here are the key points:
Benefits of Speaking With an Attorney
Reputable attorneys typically offer a free, no-obligation consultation during which they can act as a resource and help you:
- Determine eligibility for yourself or loved ones.
- Understand the legal process ahead of you.
- Learn what the best approach is for your specific case – claims are not one-size-fits-all.
Benefits of Hiring an Attorney
Prior to the PACT Act, the Department of the Navy received and denied thousands of claims relating to harmful VOC exposure at Camp Lejeune, despite admitting that the contaminated water presumptively causes many types of cancers and serious medical conditions.
Given this historical precedent of inaction despite clear evidence of harm done, there is no reason to believe the Department of the Navy will properly value these post-PACT Act Camp Lejeune cases.
The primary benefit of hiring an attorney is that it will not be You vs. The Department of the Navy(‘s best lawyers).
The Department of the Navy will have the best legal representation that money can buy, so at the very minimum, you should have legal representation as well. At best, find an experienced Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Attorney that you can trust.
Why Choose Mann Blake & Jackson Law?
This Fight is Personal For Us
We are not only driven by a passion for protecting military servicemembers’, veterans’, and civilians’ rights, but we also have a personal connection to this case. While all of our lead attorneys are North Carolina natives, one of our partner attorneys, Shaun C. Blake, grew up in the 1980s spending his summers and holidays at Camp Lejeune with his grandfather, a retired Marine, and his grandmother, who provided food service as a civilian employee on the base for more than 34 years.
We Have a Successful Track Record
We are not afraid to go toe-to-toe with powerful government agencies and have secured over $100M in verdicts, settlements, and awards for our clients.
We Are Committed to Protecting and Servicing Our Clients
We've fought for whistleblowers. We've fought for catastrophic injury victims. We know this can feel like a daunting road, but we have the experience and know what it takes to provide you with the justice you deserve.
If you believe you may be eligible to file a Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit, or want to learn more, call us at (855) 615-2682 or contact us online to request a free, no-obligation consultation.