New Bill Will Allow Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Victims to Seek Compensation

 

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As of June 16, 2022, Congress has passed the Camp Lejeune Justice Act as a part of the Honoring Our PACT Act of 2022 with bipartisan support. This legislation includes a key provision that will finally allow military members, their families, and other groups like civilian contractors to seek compensation for serious and fatal illnesses caused by contaminated water at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. 

What's Next for the Camp Lejeune Justice Act?

The bill is currently awaiting approval from President Joe Biden, who has indicated his intention to sign the Honoring Our PACT Act of 2022 into law as soon as possible. Under this new law, Camp Lejeune water contamination victims will be able to bring water contamination lawsuits against the United States government to seek damages for costs like medical bills, reduced earning capacity, pain and suffering, and even wrongful death. Once the bill becomes law, the clock starts on the time allotted for Camp Lejeune water contamination victims to be able to file a personal injury lawsuit. Dolman Law Group has a team of seasoned water contamination lawyers standing by to assist you in filing a Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit to get the compensation you are entitled to receive.

What Happened at Camp Lejeune?

For over three decades, toxic chemicals like trichloroethylene and benzene polluted the water supply of Camp Lejeune, one of the military's most important Marine Corps bases on the eastern seaboard. There is evidence that the U.S. military was aware of the potential for rampant contamination of the water supply, but failed to act. 

Toxic Chemicals Like PCE, TCE, and Benzene Poisoned Camp Lejeune's Water Supply

One of the major sources of contamination was a dry cleaning business located next to the base. The chemicals used in its operation, particularly Perchloroethylene (PCE), made their way into the groundwater and were distributed through Camp Lejeune's own wells. The well water system at Camp Lejeune serviced not only the worksites, but also the family housing units, magnifying the scope of the exposure. Camp Lejeune's facilities also contributed to the contamination of the well water system. Leaking containers in basements, a massive oil spill, and reckless disposals released dangerous industrial chemicals like benzene, vinyl chloride, and Trichloroethylene (TCE) into the water supply. Chemicals like benzene are known carcinogens and accumulate with each exposure. Unbeknownst to the military service members and their families who used the polluted water to bath, cook, and drink, these chemicals were entering their bodies and doing lasting damage. As a result, many service members, their families, and others who lived and worked on the base developed cancer, serious illnesses, fertility issues, and had children with birth defects.

How Does the Honoring Our PACT Act of 2022 Help Camp Lejeune Families?

The Camp Lejeune Justice Act, contained in the Honoring Our PACT Act of 2022, rectifies a legal situation that had previously prevented Camp Lejeune families from suing the government for their negligence in order to recover damages. It will effectively override a North Carolina law that imposed a strict statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits.

Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Survivors Fought for the Right to Seek Damages

A North Carolina statute of repose prevented most Camp Lejeune water contamination victims from seeking damages, as the 10-year period allotted by the legislature to file a claim expired long before many people ever became sick or even recognized the connection between their illness and the water contamination. Additionally, military families were excluded from obtaining disability benefits for themselves as a result of the water contamination. After decades of campaigning by activists like Jerry Ensminger, Congress passed legislation that offered a way for the families of military service members to receive what amounted to disability benefits for injuries incurred at Camp Lejeune. This compensation was woefully inadequate for many families who have endured years of loss. The new Camp Lejeune Justice Act, as a part of the Honoring Our PACT Act, will enable military veterans and their families to exercise the right to seek compensation for exposure to toxic chemicals in the water supply.

Injuries and Illnesses Caused by Water Contamination at Camp Lejeune

The high levels of toxic chemicals found in Camp Lejeune's water supply have been linked to many forms of cancer, birth defects, and other debilitating illnesses. While the U.S. military was aware of the potential connection for decades, this information was not made widely public until the 1990s or later. In some cases, this negated the opportunity for preventative screenings or early diagnoses, compounding the number of lives lost due to Camp Lejeune's tainted water supply.  For many Camp Lejeune families, a diagnosis meant enduring brutal chemotherapy treatments, invasive surgeries, losing function or quality of life, and sometimes even losing a spouse or child. The physical and emotional toll of the experience of Camp Lejeune families who were sicked by the base's contaminated water cannot be overstated. 

Types of Cancers Linked to Camp Lejeune Water Contamination:

  • Kidney cancer
  • Non-Hodgkin lymphoma
  • Hodgkin's disease
  • Bladder cancer
  • Leukemia
  • Liver cancer
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Breast cancer
  • Cervical cancer 
  • Esophageal cancer 
  • Lung cancer
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Prostate cancer 
  • Rectal cancer 
  • Brain cancer
  • Soft tissue cancer

Non-cancerous personal injuries and illnesses:

  • Aplastic anemia 
  • Myelodysplastic syndromes
  • Impaired immune system 
  • Neurological effects 
  • Neurobehavioral performance deficiencies
  • Severe hypersensitivity skin disorder
  • Liver cirrhosis 
  • End-stage renal disease
  • Parkinson disease
  • Scleroderma

Birth Defects and Conditions Related to Exposure to Contaminated Water:

  • Low birth weight 
  • Fetal death 
  • Major malformations/disfigurement
  • Miscarriage 
  • Neural tube defects
  • Oral cleft defects 
  • Small for gestational age
  • Choanal atresia 
  • Eye defects
  • Cardiac defects

What Damages Can I Recover in a Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawsuit?

Military service members, their families, and anyone who lived or worked at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 days between 1953 and 1987 will likely be able to collect damages if their illness or injury can be linked to the contaminated water. Damages may be economic in nature, such as the cost of chemotherapy or surgery. Economic damages have a predetermined value and are typically more straightforward to compensate. Camp Lejeune water contamination victims will also be eligible to sue for non-economic damages under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act. Non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering or loss of companionship, typically encompass emotional, intangible losses. A water contamination lawyer will be able to help you calculate the total value of your losses in order to recover maximum compensation.

Examples of Damages in a Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Claim:

  • Medical bills
    • Lab Tests
    • Ambulance Rides
    • Surgeries
    • Hospital Stays 
    • Medication
    • Home Healthcare Services
    • Physical or Occupational Therapy
  • Job-related losses
    • Lost Wages
    • Lost Earning Potential
    • Costs of Job Retraining
    • Missed Promotions
    • Inability to Continue Career
  • Pain and Suffering
  • Loss of Consortium
  • Physical Disfigurement/Scarring
  • Permanent Disability

Why Should I Hire a Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawyer?

A CDC investigation indicates as many as 1 million people may have been effectively poisoned with contaminated water on the Camp Lejeune Marine Corps base. The fact that the government is deliberately creating a path for Camp Lejeune water contamination victims to pursue compensation indicates their intention to settle. To ensure that your individual needs are considered, you need an advocate who is familiar with class-action lawsuits and claims involving water contamination. At Dolman Law Group, we have seen firsthand how a tragedy like a cancer diagnosis or the loss of a child can have a ripple effect throughout every part of a person's life, from their finances to their mental and physical health. Attempting to tackle a Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit on your own could likely result in you receiving an inadequate settlement. Additionally, the Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuits are based on negligent actions that took place decades ago. This means you will need a capable personal injury lawyer to meticulously document the connection between your or your loved one's injuries and the toxic chemicals present in Camp Lejeune's water supply through medical records and other forms of documentation.

Why Choose Dolman Law Group to Handle Your Water Contamination Lawsuit?

Dolman Law Group has been on the frontlines of seeking damages for groups like firefighters who have developed cancer after repeated exposure to toxic AFFF firefighting foam, so we have ample experience handling these types of personal injury lawsuits. Our water contamination lawyers are sought-after by injured clients for their highly effective negotiating tactics, strategic legal insight, and diligent work ethic. Former Dolman Law Group clients are consistently satisfied with our services and consequently recommend us to their friends. What puts Dolman Law Group a cut above other personal injury law firms is our ability to consistently recover maximum compensation through relentless negotiation and dedicated service. If you believe you have been a victim of water contamination at Camp Lejeune but are unsure about how to proceed, the water contamination lawyers of Dolman Law Group are ready to help you seek damages in a water contamination lawsuit.

Contact Dolman Law Group For Help With Your Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawsuit

Personal Injury Attorney
Matthew Dolman, Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawyer
Dolman Law Group is seeking people who have developed cancer or other serious illness while working, living, or were in utero at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 days during the contamination period of 1953 to 1987. Our team has the resources and knowledge of water contamination claims to face off against the government and succeed. When the Honoring Our PACT Act is signed into law, you will have the right to pursue compensation for damages like medical bills, funeral expenses, loss of companionship, and lost wages in a Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawsuit. We are prepared to take your Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit to trial if we believe that you are not being offered a fair settlement for the losses you have endured.  With our award-winning water contamination attorneys on your side, you can rest assured that your Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit will receive the attention and effort it needs to produce a fair settlement. You can reach us by phone at 866-932-3641 or contact us through our website anytime. The Dolman Law Group works with local counsel in any jurisdiction outside Florida for the purpose of filing lawsuits in jurisdictions wherein we are not licensed.  Thus, we will follow each State's ethical rules to ensure a local attorney is involved.

Matthew Dolman

Clearwater Personal Injury and Insurance Attorney

This article was written and reviewed by Matthew Dolman. Matt has been a practicing civil trial, personal injury, products liability, and mass tort lawyer since 2004. He has represented over 11,000 injury victims and has served as lead counsel in over 1000 lawsuits. Matt is a lifetime member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum for resolving individual cases in excess or $1 million and $2 million, respectively. He has also been selected by his colleagues as a Florida Superlawyer and as a member of Florida’s Legal Elite on multiple occasions. Further, Matt has been quoted in the media numerous times and is a sought-after speaker on a variety of legal issues and topics.

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