The drinking water at Camp LeJeune was contaminated with volatile organic compounds (VOCs) between 1953 and 1987. VOCs are associated with the risk of getting cancer, adverse birth effects and other severe health problems. During this time, more than one million Marines, their family members and civilian workers had already been exposed to the poisonous drinking and bathing water on the base.
The contaminated wells were shut down. Studies conducted on the Camp LeJeune toxic water concluded that it increased the risk of causing cancer and other diseases, and there have been over a thousand reported cases. However, the total effects of the contamination spread are still being investigated.
What are my rights if I drank the contaminated water?
The United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides disability benefits to veterans and their family members who suffered from medical conditions after drinking the tainted water on the base. Therefore, if you were exposed to the contaminated water, you could be eligible to receive VA disability benefits. However, the benefits will only cover your medical expenses and not any other losses that you have incurred.
In addition, according to the Camp LeJeune Justice Act (CLJA), if you were exposed to the contaminated drinking water on the base from 1953 to 1987, you could be eligible to file a lawsuit seeking financial reimbursement for the damages you have suffered. A CLJA lawsuit will enable you to seek compensation. Furthermore, if your family member died from a health condition and you believe it was connected to the poisonous substances in the water, then you may be eligible to file a wrongful death suit.
How much is my lawsuit worth?
The value of a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit is only determined on a case-to-case basis. However, if your health was negatively affected by being exposed to the bathing and drinking water, you may receive compensation for your medical expenses, grief and emotional trauma, lost income, and loss of consortium. If you pursue a lawsuit for your contaminated water exposure, you may get more financial compensation than what may be available through a VA disability claim or a workers’ compensation.
Who else can pursue the claims?
Those who are eligible to pursue the contaminated water claims include individuals who worked or lived at the base for at least thirty days between August 1953 and December 1987. That includes marines, veterans, and members of the military. It also includes their spouses, family members or children who lived with them at the base.
In addition, other people who can pursue the claims include mothers whose infants suffered fetal deaths or birth injuries, infants who were inside their mothers’ wombs for at least thirty days within the stipulated period, and civilian workers who lived and worked on the base.
If you were exposed to the dangerous substances in the drinking water and you developed a medical condition as a result, you can seek VA disability benefits to cater to your health expenses. Alternatively, you can file a lawsuit and seek financial compensation for all the damages you have suffered from using the harmful water on the base.