The Role of Legislation in Helping Camp Lejeune Veterans
If you were assigned to Camp Lejeune in North Carolina during the period of August 1953 to December 1987, you may be able to recover compensation if you contracted cancer. Many people have placed lawsuits in federal court for injuries they received from drinking water that was found to be contaminated at the North Carolina base. Mass tort lawsuits are those that include claims by numerous people who were injured.
What Issues Have Brought These Mass Tort Claims?
A large Marine Corps base covering more than 150,000 acres, Camp Lejeune has a population of about 50,000 people, including marines stationed there as well as their families. However, before the late 1980s, there were dangers in the drinking water. Camp Lejeune water was found to be contaminated with cancer-causing carcinogens. The water was found to contain two dangerous industrial solvents:
- trichloroethylene (TCE)
- perchloroethylene (PCE)
High levels of cancer-causing carcinogens found at the camp were much higher than the level considered safe. Why was the water so contaminated? A local cleaners close to the base was responsible for the PCE contamination. The TCE contamination was caused by vinyl chloride and benzene linked to the water treatment plant.
A preliminary study in 1997 conducted by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry reached the conclusion that the chemicals found in the water did not cause cancer. However, at the time the investigation was going on, the presence of benzene was not considered. The early report was rescinded by the agency in 2009 and the conclusion was reached that benzene was the dangerous cancer-causing chemical compound that potentially led to many serious health problems for veterans and their family members.
Around 800,000 gallons of benzene had leaked from fuel storage tanks into the groundwater. Not only the Marine base service quarters but the hospital were located nearby.
Serious Health Problems Associated With the Water at Camp Lejeune
Below are some of the health conditions that service members and their families suffered that may be associated with the contaminated water at the base:
- Kidney cancer
- Bladder cancer
- Multiple myeloma
- Liver cancer
- Adult leukemia
- Aplastic anemia and myelodysplastic syndromes
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
- Parkinson’s disease
Unable to Place Claims
Those injured by water contamination at Camp Lejeune were unable to place claims and obtain justice for their injuries until 2022 due to a law in North Carolina. The Camp Lejeune Justice Act (CLJA) passed in 2022, allows military members and their families to file lawsuits to recover compensation. By passing the CLJA, it ends the tradition of service personnel being unable to file federal lawsuits for injuries and wrongful deaths. President Biden signed the legislation into law, which allows lawsuits to go forward if the Marine or family member lived on the base for at least 30 days.
Diaz Law Firm – Upholding Your Right to Fair Compensation
The Diaz Law Firm upholds the rights of the injured nationwide to help them obtain the compensation they deserve. Contact us at (800) 459-2222 for a free consultation about your case. We are here to help you join our mass tort litigation to recover the compensation you need to move forward. You can also reach us online. Fighting for the injured is what we do. It’s all we do.