“Camp Lejeune Disability Benefit Coverage Area”. Veteransdisabilityinfo. March 12, 2017, https://news.va.gov/35977/vas-rule-establishes-presumption-service-connection-diseases-associated-exposure-contaminants-water-supply-camp-lejeune/
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Camp Lejeune Disability Coverage Map
Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawsuit
In North Carolina, Camp Lejeune Marine Corps Base is home to over 34,000 people. It is the largest Marine Corps base on the East Coast, which means it is integral for Marine expeditions. The Camp Lejeune water contamination from 1957 through 1987 led to links between the contamination and serious illness in residents.
Those exposed to the toxic substances may be entitled to compensation for their losses. The toxic exposure lawyers at JT Legal Group are here to represent affected veterans and their families.
If you or a loved one have served, lived, or worked at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune or Marine Corps Air Station New River in North Carolina for 30 days or more, you may have been exposed or had contact with toxins such as Trichloroethylene (TCE), Perchloroethylene (PCE), Benzene, Vinyl chloride, and other compounds.
Medical and Scientific tests have shown evidence that exposure to these toxins during military service and the development of diseases at a later time were associated with the contaminants in the water in camp Lejeune.
If you have a current diagnosis of any one of the conditions listed below, you may be eligible to get disability benefits.
How do I know if I’m Eligible?
- You have served at Camp Lejeune or Marine Corps Air Station for at least 30 days between August 1953-December 1987.
- You were a resident or lived within the affected area for at least 30 days between 1953-1987.
- You worked on or near the affected area for at least 30 days between 1953-1987.
- You were not Dishonorably discharged when you left the military.
Camp Lejeune Lawsuit Timeline
- 1941: Camp Lejeune officially becomes a Marine Corps base.
- 1951: The Tarawa Terrace well field is built.
- 1953: One Hour Dry Cleaner opens across the street from Tarawa Terrace. We now know that the business allowed chemicals to contaminate the water. Much of the contamination was within the Tarawa Terrace drinking water.
- 1979: From the Hadnot Point Fuel Farm, approximately 20,000-30,000 gallons of oil leaked into the ground.
- 1984: Benzene, PCE, and TCE are found at the Hadnot Point Water Well. These are all probable human carcinogens.
- 1985: All contaminated water sources that were still operational were shut down.
- 1989: The Environmental Protection Agency declares Camp Lejeune to be a Superfund site. “Superfund” is another term for the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA). It allows for the cleanup of contaminated sites. Also, it forces responsible parties to either participate in the cleanup or reimburse the cleanup costs.
- 1990: PCE is the main contaminant of concern detected in the Tarawa Terrace drinking water system. Although contaminated wells have been removed from the Tarawa Terrace water system, on-and -off site groundwater is contaminated.
- 1998: ATSDR completes its first study on health of children born from 1968-1985 whose mothers were exposed to contaminated drinking water during their pregnancy. This study is published in 2001 in the American Journal of Epidemiology.
- 1999-2002: ATSDR Parent Phone Survey. ATSDR conducts a telephone survey of 12,598 parents of children born to women who were pregnant while living at Camp Lejeune from 1968-1985. Survey is designed to identify and confirm all reported cases of selected birth defects and childhood cancers in children exposed in utero to VOC-contaminated drinking water.
- 2003: ATSDR’s 2002 Telephone survey finds 106 children with specific birth defects and some types of childhood cancer.
- 2004-2005: Past Camp Lejeune water-quality sampling data are very limited. ATSDR begins historical reconstruction of Tarawa Terrace and Hadnot Point water treatment plan service areas to determine where and when certain areas at Camp Lejeune received VOC-contaminated drinking water.
- 2005: ATSDR begins Exposure to Volatile Organic Compounds in Drinking Water and Specific Birth Defects and Childhood Cancers study. which evaluates groups of children with and without health effects. Telephone interviews gather information about residence, other health factors and amount of water mothers drank during pregnancy.
- 2008: President George Bush signs a bill. The bill requires further investigation of the contaminated Camp Lejeune water.
- 2016: More than 800 water contamination lawsuits are filed through the Federal Tort Claims Act. They are all dismissed under North Carolina’s statute of repose, which is 10 years.
- 2018: All appeals are denied. Thousands of Camp Lejeune victims now have no compensation.
- 2021: In the United States House of Representatives, the Camp Lejeune Justice Act is introduced as a new bill. After being sent to committee, it stalls.
- 2022: A new Camp Lejeune Justice Act (CLJA) is introduced to the House. It is a bipartisan bill with 16 co-sponsors.
- The bill passes through the house of representatives, then goes to the Senate.
- On May 25th, 2022, the CLJA and the Honoring Our Pact Act were read in the Senate. They go on the Senate Legislative Calendar.
- The Camp Lejeune Justice Act is approved by the Senate on August 2, 2022. President Joe Biden signed the bill into law on August 10, 2022. Claimants now have two years to file a lawsuit to seek compensation.
What Caused the Water Contamination?
The contamination is believed to have come from both on and off of the Marine base. Additionally, much of the contamination came specifically from an off-base dry cleaner business. This business was open before the base itself opened. Therefore, it is likely that the water wells were already contaminated when Camp Lejeune opened.
Before the realization that Camp Lejeune’s water was not safe, there were instances where wells were found to be contaminated with PCE and TCE which are common industrial insolvents. When this contamination was discovered, the water was labeled not safe for consumption. The contaminated wells were either shut down or restricted in the early 1940s.
Therefore, it is unlikely that officials were unaware of the dangers of PCE and TCE. Many Camp Lejeune lawsuits will allege that the United States federal government was aware of the contamination.
Despite their awareness, they failed to warn people of the potential dangers of the water. And despite their awareness, the government did nothing about these potentially lethal contaminants.
Residents and veterans exposed to the water contamination at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune are at higher risk of increased rates of specific types of cancer. Particularly, exposure to PCE and TCE is known to cause these increased cancer rates. Below, we list the cancer types linked to the chemicals involved in the water contamination.
- Liver cancer
- Breast cancer
- Lung cancer
- Kidney cancer
- Esophageal cancer
- Bladder cancer
- Multiple myeloma
- Ovarian cancer
- Prostate cancer
- Cervical cancer
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
- Myelodysplastic syndrome
Camp Lejeune may link to other health issues other than cancer.
- Birth defects
- Adult leukemia, aplastic anemia, and other myelodysplastic syndromes
- Fatty liver disease
- Parkinson’s disease
- Birth injuries
- Cardiac defects
- Brain injuries
- Renal toxicity
- Hepatic steatosis
- Spina bifida
- Bone marrow conditions
- Neurobehavioral issues
Is There A Class Action Lawsuit?
Not at the moment. However, there was a class-action suit filed in the past, but it was dismissed due to North Carolina’s 10-year statute of repose.
The CLJA 2022 has now been signed into law. Victims and their families have already begun to file lawsuits. It is crucial to remember that victims have only two years to file and seek compensation.
How do I get started with a claim?
JT Legal Group can help you manage and get started with your claim. We have helped many that have been injured or affected in fire claims and gas leak claims.
In our most recent Porter Ranch Gas Leak claim where the leak emitted over 100,000 tons of methane gas, we were part of the 2.8 billion settlement that helped those affected in the area.
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