What You Need To Know About Camp Lejeune

You’ve probably seen the flood of new law firm commercials regarding Camp Lejeune water contamination cases.  Camp Lejeune, located in Jacksonville, North Carolina is one of the largest US Marine bases and has been home to millions of Marines, their families, veterans, and civilians who worked on the base.

camp lejeune water contamination

During the 1980s, the base officials discovered that water contamination had been occurring since the 1950s. It was recently determined that the contamination was allowed by the US government in the form of military personnel who were not checking the water supply as they were supposed to. It was the Camp Lejeune authorities that were responsible for the water supply. Their failure led to an investigation into this situation and to the current decision by Congress to allow for claims now. But claims must be filed within the next two years. That is why there is a scramble to get the word out and get folks to file their claims in that time period.

According to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), people exposed to these contaminants developed a much higher risk of serious medical conditions later.

A study from the National Library of Medicine reports that this water was contaminated with a host of toxic substances including benzene, chloroform, and vinyl chloride in amounts far above permitted levels. All these chemicals are known human carcinogens and are responsible for cancers, birth defects, miscarriages, infertility, and a host of other serious health conditions.

Were You At Camp Lejeune?

Individuals who could be eligible for compensation because of the water contamination fall into one of four groups:

• Active-duty military personnel stationed at Camp Lejeune

• Families, children, and other dependents of military personnel stationed at Camp Lejeune

• Civilians and subcontractors employed on board Camp Lejeune

• Children who have been exposed to contaminants during pregnancy while at Camp Lejeune

If you fall into one of these categories and were stationed at the base for at least 30 days from 1953 through 1987, you may have suffered illness related to water contamination.

The chemicals leaked into water supplies through underground storage tanks and were intentional dumping into storm drains. People unknowingly drank this contaminated water and used it for hand washing, bathing, and other contact applications. More than a million people were exposed to this water between 1953 and 1987.

Even though the government took care of the contamination, the effects were not immediate. People who were exposed to the contaminated water developed serious medical conditions years after they left.

The Veterans Administration

As a law firm that handles veterans’ claims every day, we understand dealing with the VA on your own. Overworked caseworkers deny claims without notifying the veteran of what they might need or the benefits that might be available for them. According to Bill Herren of Herren Law, you can have virtually anything, any chronic condition, especially cancer because cancer of any kind could be related to that toxic water.  Also if you previously filed and were denied, because of the rule of you can’t sue the government, your claim can be refiled.

The VA has since authorized benefits to veterans, reservists, and guardsmen who were stationed at either Camp Lejeune or MCAS New River. The government website details you must have been stationed there for at least 30 days while on active duty, or in the National Guard or Reserves. It also names the following presumptive conditions as qualifying conditions: Adult leukemia, aplastic anemia, and other myelodysplastic syndromes, bladder cancer, kidney cancer, liver cancer, multiple myeloma, Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and Parkinson’s disease. Other presumptive conditions have since been added. Presumptive basically means it is presumed that this medical condition is related to the contamination and you do not need to prove it.  But as Herren has discussed, any chronic condition may be the basis for a claim. If you think you may have a claim, now is the time to explore it, given the current two-year window to file a claim.

What About Family Members?

Now family members have an opportunity to file a claim to recover compensation through the Camp Lejeune Justice Act. The Justice Act is part of the larger PACT Act, signed into law in August of 2022.

Spouses and children of veterans at Camp Lejeune and MCAS New River were also unknowingly exposed and later developed serious health conditions. These individuals are now able to file a claim for medical expenses and pain and suffering resulting from the water contamination. Furthermore, Camp Lejeune civilian workers may also be eligible to file a claim.

The act currently states the time frame is two years from the date of the signing, so all claims must be filed before the end date. That is why the sense of urgency.

Camp Lejeune Claim? Contact The Herren Law Firm Today

For more than 30 years, the Herren law firm has helped veterans and other disabled people with their benefits claims and appeals. We have extensive experience dealing with governmental agencies and the claims that are filed with them. We are in a position to help you file a claim.

If you or someone you know became ill after being stationed at Camp Lejeune, get in touch with us immediately.

Contact us today by calling (713) 682-8194 or using our online contact form our consultation is free, to discuss your situation.

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