Camp Lejeune is a Marine base in North Carolina that was home to nearly 200,000 military personnel and their families between 1953 and 1987. At the time, it was one of the largest military bases in the world. Unfortunately, as many as 2 million veterans and family members who lived at Camp Lejeune during this period may have been exposed to toxic chemicals. One is trichloroethylene (TCE), a carcinogen linked to liver failure and kidney disease when ingested over time.
In 2012, thousands of veterans filed lawsuits against several companies for making them sick by exposing them to the toxic water at Camp Lejeune. However, not everyone who lived on or visited the base during this time may be eligible for compensation. Before filing a Camp Lejeune toxic water lawsuit, here’s what you need to know so you can make an informed decision about how best to proceed:
What Caused Toxic Water at Camp Lejeune?
According to a study, only half of the world’s wastewater is treated, so it is no surprise that there are so many water contamination lawsuits. The contamination at Camp Lejeune was due to various sources, including military training exercises, equipment malfunctions, leaks, and contaminated well water. The contamination was so pervasive that it was never truly cleaned up. Over the years, studies have shown that there is still toxic water in the area.
The water became tainted soon after Camp Lejeune opened in 1957 and continued until it closed in 1994, when some veterans began reporting health problems related to their exposure to these toxins. Some people believe that because of how long soldiers served there (40-60 years), some veterans may not develop symptoms until later on in life or not at all.
Did the water cause my illness?
At least 2 billion people use contaminated water globally. It can be hard to tell if Camp Lejeune’s toxic water caused your illnesses. If so, it’s essential to know how you can determine this. To determine if the water caused your illness at Camp Lejeune:
- Look for signs of illness: Did you or a loved one experience any of the following symptoms? Headaches, dizziness, and vomiting, abdominal pain and cramps, diarrhea, memory loss, fatigue and abnormal weight loss, muscle aches, joint pain and swelling, rash or flaky skin around the nose or eyes (also known as periorbital eczema).
- Were you exposed? Check with medical records to see if there is evidence that shows when you were exposed to toxic chemicals from contaminated water at Camp Lejeune. If so, look for signs of illness in yourself or other people who lived on base during those times.
- Was anyone else sick? Find out whether others who lived at Camp Lejeune experienced similar health problems as yourself after being exposed to contaminated drinking water on base—and note how long they were sick. Have other toxins been linked to my illness? Research whether other toxins may have contributed to your current health issues.
How much time do I have to file a claim against the government?
The time limit for filing a claim against the government is two years from the date you were diagnosed with an illness. However, there are exceptions to this rule. For example, if you were exposed to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune before 1984 (when Congress first became aware of the contamination), you can file a claim until December 31st, 2012.
Can I sue the government?
Yes, you can sue the government, but it is not easy. To successfully sue a government entity such as the United States or its military branches (e.g., Department of Veterans Affairs), you must first prove that they were negligent in handling or cleaning up toxic water at Camp Lejeune, and this negligence resulted in your injuries.
The challenge is proving that you were harmed by their negligence when no one knows how long it took for them to get there or if they even knew about the problem before your exposure. If they did know about the problem sooner than another entity would have known, then your case becomes stronger but still not foolproof because some courts have ruled against plaintiffs who filed too many years after their exposure occurred.
Who can help me get compensation for my injuries?
If you think the toxic water may have hurt you at Camp Lejeune, it’s essential to talk with a lawyer who specializes in Camp Lejeune toxic water lawsuits. Many lawyers handle these cases, but not all are qualified to handle them correctly.
You should also make sure that they have handled enough cases similar to yours before so they can give an accurate estimate of what would happen if one were filed on behalf of yourself or loved ones with similar injuries caused by exposure to contaminated tap water at Camp Lejeune (or other bases).
We hope the information we’ve provided here has been helpful to you. Contaminated water is dangerous as in 2022 alone, there have been 2,592,896 deaths from dirty water and related diseases. The Camp Lejeune water contamination scandal is an important issue, and it’s essential that people get the help they need.