Camp LeJeune, a military base located in the eastern district of North Carolina, exposed millions of military personnel and their families to dangerous chemicals through their drinking water supply. For years, those individuals consumed and used contaminated water, which has now been linked to many serious health conditions and life-long illnesses. When families make the commitment to serving the United States military, they trust that they will be cared for by those they have vowed to protect. Unfortunately, those exposed to harmful toxins found in the water are still living with the side effects of long-term chemical exposure.
Thanks to the Camp LeJeune Justice Act and the PACT Act, the veterans exposed and their families can finally receive appropriate relief for their illnesses caused by water contamination. The Camp LeJeune injury attorneys at Ashenden & Associates understand the sacrifice so many men and women make when joining the military. The chemicals that those military members and their families were exposed to due to the Camp LeJeune water contamination were an unnecessary danger which the military attempted to cover up for years.
What Happened at Camp LeJeune Marine Corps Base?
From 1953 until 1987, military personnel and their family members that lived at Camp LeJeune drank, cooked with, and bathed in toxic water. It has since been discovered that chemicals from a nearby dry cleaning business and leaking underground oil tanks contributed to the toxic water source that supplied thousands of families.
The first reports of contaminated water at the eastern district of the North Carolina military base began around 1981 when the military began testing the base’s water sources. Those tests found the presence of toxic chemicals like benzene, perchloroethylene (PCE), vinyl chloride, and trichloroethylene (TCE) in the water at Camp LeJeune. However, it wasn’t until 1985 that the military shut down all the water wells that fed into Camp LeJeune. During these three decades, millions were exposed to contaminated water containing these and other harsh chemicals that are now known to cause various types of cancer and other long-term illnesses.
Almost forty years since the water supplies were shut down, the families of those affected by the Camp LeJeune water contamination are now able to pursue legal action and receive financial competition for their losses thanks to the passing of the Camp LeJeune Justice Act of 2022.
Health Complications From Camp LeJeune Contaminated Water
Medical evidence has proven that long-term exposure to chemicals like the ones found in the Camp LeJeune contaminated water supply has been linked to many serious medical conditions and illnesses. Some of those medical conditions are:
- Various forms of cancer, including brain cancer, breast cancer, bladder cancer, esophageal cancer, lung cancer, liver cancer, kidney cancer, pancreatic cancer, prostate cancer, and rectal cancer
- Birth defects, as well as fertility issues and miscarriages
- Cardiac defects
- Aplastic anemia
- Heart attacks
- Dental issues
- Non-hodgkin’s lymphoma
- Multiple myeloma
- Parkinson’s disease
- Myelodysplastic syndromes
- Neurological and mental disorders
The list above includes only some medical conditions related to exposure to the chemicals found in Camp LeJeune contaminated water. There are many more health conditions that can be caused by long-term chemical exposure. Even if your or your loved one’s illness is not listed, you could still be able to file a Camp LeJeune water contamination lawsuit. To learn more about filing Camp LeJeune claims, contact a Sandy Springs legal representative from the Ashenden & Associates law firm.
What is the PACT Act?
In 2022, the PACT Act was passed to broaden the health care benefits available to veterans exposed to toxic chemicals during their service. The Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics Act has become the most significant expansion of health care benefits in the history of Veterans Affairs. Before this law passed, veterans exposed to harmful chemicals were unable to receive health care benefits for their illnesses.
Over the years, military service members were unknowingly exposed to dangerous chemicals like Agent Orange, chemicals in burn pits, and clean-up sites that contained high radiation levels. With the PACT Act, veterans exposed to harmful chemicals during the Vietnam War, Gulf War, and post-9/11 can now apply for health care and disability benefits for their medical conditions.
The PACT Act also includes these additional benefits:
- The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) staff members that handle lab tests, specimen collection, and other screenings are well-educated and trained.
- Expanding the tests and screenings performed on veterans that could have been exposed to chemicals, like those found in the water at Camp LeJeune
- Updating verbiage and definitions of toxins and the process of gathering evidence to verify exposure
What is the Camp LeJeune Justice Act?
The Camp LeJeune Justice Act of 2022 was part of the larger Honoring Our PACT Act which added medical benefits for former military service members that were exposed to harsh chemicals. The Camp LeJeune Justice Act was specifically designed for the military and their family members exposed to the chemicals in the contaminated water at Camp LeJeune.
This act allowed the military and their family members the ability to pursue legal action if they spent more than 30 days at Camp LeJeune between August 1953 and December 1987. The passing of the Camp LeJeune Act of 2022 was long overdue judicial relief for these military members and their families battling medical conditions and long-term illnesses caused by the contaminated water at Camp LeJeune.
Military families can still seek financial compensation if their loved one has since passed away from an illness linked to long-term chemical exposure from water contamination at Camp LeJeune. If you’re interested in learning more about filing a Camp LeJeune wrongful death claim, contact Ashenden & Associates today.
Who is Eligible to File a Camp LeJeune Water Contamination Lawsuit?
The Camp LeJeune Justice Act of 2022 finally offered the appropriate relief for military members and their families that were exposed to harmful chemicals from the Camp LeJeune water contamination. Even family members of those who have passed away from their illnesses can still file a Camp LeJeune lawsuit because of this bipartisan bill.
Those eligible to file a Camp LeJeune lawsuit must meet the below eligibility requirements set forth by the federal government.
- Military records proving that you or your family member lived or worked for at least 30 days at Camp LeJeune (consecutively or non-consecutively)
- Lived or worked at Camp LeJeune between August 1, 1953, to December 31, 1987
- The health condition developed as a direct result of toxic exposure from Camp LeJeune contaminated water.
If you believe you or your loved one is eligible for compensation because of the Camp LeJeune Justice Act of 2022, contact a Sandy Springs attorney to learn more.
Damages for Camp LeJeune Water Contamination
A legal representative from Ashenden & Associates can help you recover damages for the harm caused by the contaminated water at Camp LeJeune. You could be entitled to financial compensation for the following:
- Medical bills
- Permanent illness or disability
- Physical therapy
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earning capacity
- Emotional distress
- Pain and suffering
- Funeral and burial expenses if exposure to the contaminated water supply at Camp LeJeune resulted in wrongful death
When filing a Camp LeJeune lawsuit, acquiring legal representation from a law firm with experience handling even the most complex cases is essential. The harm caused to so many men and women while they lived or worked at Camp LeJeune should not have happened had the appropriate measures been taken when the contamination was initially discovered. This is why seeking compensation is so important for those who were affected. The Camp LeJeune attorneys at Ashenden & Associates are prepared to help you fight against our own government in order to receive appropriate relief and recover compensation.
Determining Camp LeJeune Settlement Amounts
The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that they will spend over $6.1 billion between 2022 and 2023 on Camp LeJeune claims and other related cases. Several factors will be evaluated when determining your settlement amount when pursuing a Camp LeJeune lawsuit.
Some of the circumstances the courts will consider include:
- Time spent at Camp LeJeune: You or your family member must have lived or worked at Camp LeJeune for at least 30 days during the exposure time frame. The amount of time spent at the military base can also impact your settlement amount.
- Medical history: The courts will review medical records to determine if you or your family member had underlying health issues prior to the toxic exposure from Camp LeJeune.
- Medical expenses: Some illnesses caused by chemical exposure are worse than others and require more extensive treatments and medical care. If you or your loved one needed long-term care in relation to your medical condition, this can increase the amount of compensation you could be entitled to.
- Lost wages or earning potential: If you or your loved one could not work or continue working due to your water contamination-related health condition, you could receive more financial compensation than those who could continue working.
Since so many men and women were exposed to the dangerous toxins in the drinking water at Camp LeJeune, it’s important that you’re able to prove a direct connection from your illness to the contaminated water. Hiring an experienced attorney can help you through the legal process and ensure that you have all the information necessary to prove your Camp LeJeune claim is crucial to the success of your case.
Call Sandy Springs Camp LeJeune Lawyers at Ashenden & Associates Today
Thanks to the passing of the PACT Act and the Camp LeJeune Justice Act of 2022, military members and their families can recover compensation for the health issues they’ve suffered due to the Camp LeJeune water contamination. If you believe that you or your loved one qualifies to file a claim due to toxic chemicals found in the drinking water at Camp LeJeune, the Sandy Springs personal injury attorneys at Ashenden & Associates are here to help.
Throughout the legal process, your attorney will evaluate your military and medical records in order to strengthen your Camp LeJeune water contamination claim. The attorneys at Ashenden & Associates understand the importance of this long overdue judicial relief that these laws provide. To schedule a free consultation with a Camp LeJeune water contamination attorney, contact our law offices today by calling 770-394-8909.