For decades, hundreds of thousands of military personnel and their families stationed at the Camp Lejeune military base in North Carolina were exposed to contaminated water. Between 1953 and 1987, servicemen and their families drank, cooked with, and bathed in water laced with dangerous chemicals. The chemicals found in the water at Camp Lejeune have been linked to serious, and sometimes deadly injuries, including various types of cancer. As a result of this exposure, dedicated military personnel and their families have suffered from, or are at an increased risk of suffering from, many debilitating diseases and other health conditions.
EXTREME LEVELS OF TOXIC CHEMICALS
Testing of the water supply performed at Camp Lejeune revealed that the base’s water sources were highly contaminated from at least 1953 through 1987. The testing showed the water was contaminated with volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and other carcinogenic chemicals. One VOC, Perchloroethylene (PCE), was found present in the water at levels over 43 times the safe legal limit for human exposure. Another VOC, Trichloroethylene (TCE), was found at levels nearly 700 times the Environmental Protection Agency’s maximum safety limit. In addition to VOCs, Camp Lejeune’s water supply was found to be contaminated with benzene and vinyl chloride. The contamination levels were so high that in 1989, the EPA designated Camp Lejeune as a Superfund site and added it to the National Priorities List of known releases of hazardous substances.
ASSOCIATED MEDICAL CONDITIONS
The toxic chemicals found in Camp Lejeune’s water have been linked to a variety of cancers and health problems. If you or your loved ones were diagnosed with, or experienced any of the following, after your time at Camp Lejeune, you may be eligible for compensation:
- Bladder cancer
- Breast cancer
- Esophageal cancer
- Hepatic steatosis
- Kidney cancer
- Liver cancer
- Lung cancer
- Multiple myeloma
- Myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS)
- Neurobehavioral effects
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL)
- Parkinson’s disease
- Renal toxicity
COMPENSATION MAY BE AVAILABLE
On January 25, 2022, “The Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022” was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives. This law would allow military service members, their families, and other civilians harmed by exposure to the water at Camp Lejeune to seek compensation for their injuries. The bill continues to have bipartisan support as it makes its way through the House and Senate. It is widely expected to be signed into law by President Biden as part of a larger legislative initiative supporting our country’s armed forces. Under the bill, individuals who were stationed, living, or working at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 days between 1953 and 1987 may qualify for compensation. Once the bill is passed, Camp Lejeune water contamination victims will be able to finally seek the justice they deserve.
SMB’s Toxic Tort team, led by partner Larry Cohan, has represented water contamination victims and victims of other toxic chemical exposures for over 40 years. Mr. Cohan and his team continue to fight on behalf of people who have been injured, advocating for clean water for all of us, and ensuring that those responsible for polluting our water are held accountable. SMB is currently investigating cases on behalf of individuals who were stationed at, lived on, or worked at Camp Lejeune between 1953 and 1987, and who have experienced negative health effects. Our team will guide you through the litigation process and will fight for you. SMB is committed to obtaining the results you need and deserve.