Camp Lejeune is a training ground used by the United States Marine Corps, located in North Carolina. Established in 1941, this military base is where a number of Marines and their families make their homes. Military bases like this are owed a duty of care by the United States government. This duty is to ensure the wellbeing of everyone residing on the base.
However, during the years of 1953 to 1987, it was found that the water source where the camp procured its drinking water, was contaminated with dangerous chemicals. For those that lived there during that time, these chemicals have led to long-term preventable injuries and the development of serious conditions.
If you, your family, or someone you loved lived at Camp Lejeune during these times, and have developed conditions related to contaminated water, you should contact a Maryland Camp Lejeune lawsuit lawyer as soon as possible. You may be entitled to recover your damages and you may be eligible to pursue compensation.
If you are suffering from preventable health conditions, it is fair to be angry and you have every right to hold the government accountable via a Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit.
Here at Peter Angelos Law, we have been fighting on behalf of victims like you for over 50 years. We have won some monumental cases, such as our record-breaking $4.5 billion dollar settlement win against the state's tobacco giants. We are not scared of taking on huge corporations or the government when they have wronged our clients.
It does not matter how far away you have moved from the camp, or how long it has been, if you lived there for any period of time and you have suffered injuries as a result of the contaminated water, you are eligible to make a claim.
We can help you to pursue the recovery of all your damages. This includes your medical bills and your lost income if you have had to take time off work because of your illnesses. We can help you investigate, build your case, speak to witnesses and negotiate a fair and reasonable settlement. It also places pressure on the liable party and may prevent others in the future from suffering further injuries.
We have served the state of Maryland for over 50 years, and over these years, we have developed and honed our skills. Our law firm has a long history of successful cases, fighting aggressively and without rest for clients just like you.
Our experience means we are uniquely prepared when it comes to handling complex legal cases, including entities like the U.S government. We have handled similar cases for other Camp Lejeune victims, so give us a call today at 410-705-2405.
How Did The Water Get Contaminated at Camp Lejeune?
The growing number of Camp Lejeune lawsuits are based upon the fact that the Camp Lejeune drinking water source was contaminated by hazardous chemicals. These chemicals include volatile organic compounds, oil, fuel and particularly dangerous toxins, such as Trichloroethylene, Tetrachloroethylene, Benzene, Vinyl chloride, and Trans-12 trichloroethylene.
Studies and research into these chemicals have linked them with a severely increased risk of developing injuries and health conditions if ingested.
The water source was contaminated by two of the local water treatment facilities. These facilities were responsible for supplying drinking water to the camp.
The two treatment plants that are responsible are:
- Hadnot Point
- Tawawa Terrace
The first treatment plant, Hadnot Point, was found to have contaminated the water supply with large amounts of TCE or trichloroethylene. This contamination was blamed on several different sources. The first was a number of leaking underground storage tanks and waste disposal sites. The second was the constant spills of industrial chemicals and the disposal storage area.
The TCE found in the Camp Lejeune water was found to be a staggering 280 times what is currently considered a safe level. Victims that are exposed to these levels of TCE are at a drastically higher risk of developing cancers in the kidneys and liver.
The second plant, Tarawa Terrace, was found to have contaminated the water with PCE or perchloroethylene. This contamination was found to have come from poor waste disposal procedures, practiced by the local dry cleaning firm, ABC One-Hour Cleaners.
The levels of PCE found in the water were found to be 43 times higher than what is now considered safe. Exposure to PCE can lead to the development of bladder cancer and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.
Health Conditions Associated With Contaminated Water at Camp Lejeune
If you were stationed on the Camp Lejeune military base between the years of 1957 and 1987, the water you drank and bathed in every single day was contaminated. While this would not have caused immediate health risks, if you are now suffering with various health conditions, there is a strong chance that they were caused by this contaminated water.
Many of the victims of the contamination have not stepped forwards and made Camp Lejeune claims. This is because many of those victims may associate their health conditions with their age or chance.
But how do you know if your health conditions were due to the contamination? Well, the nature of your health condition may be the biggest clue.
Toxic water exposure at Camp Lejeune has been associated with:
- Birth defects and miscarriage.
- Cancers include (but are not limited to) breast cancer, bladder cancer, esophageal cancer, liver cancer, kidney cancer, lung cancer, brain cancer, prostate cancer, rectal cancer, pancreatic cancer, breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and cervical cancer, and adult leukemia.
- Aplastic anemia.
- Spina bifida.
- Multiple myeloma.
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).
- Parkinson’s disease
- Cardiac defects.
- Multiple myeloma.
- Kidney disease.
- Neurobehavioral Effects.
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
- Other serious medical conditions.
While this is a list of the many conditions that can be associated with the contamination, it is by no means a comprehensive one. If you have suffered a serious health complication, and you were based in Camp Lejeune during the years 1957 and 1987, you should speak to an attorney.
Who Can File Camp Lejeune Water Lawsuits?
Recently, an act called the Honoring Our PACT Act was announced.
This act includes the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022. This act addresses the preventable health conditions that numerous veterans are now suffering due to being exposed to toxic and dangerous chemical substances during their service.
Until this act was passed, the victims of these types of contaminations, which included families and children that had suffered serious injuries, deformations, deaths and serious injuries, had no legal recourse that allowed them to pursue compensation. Even though this suffering was caused directly by the negligent actions of the water treatment plants near the base.
Under this new law, anyone who was harmed by contaminated water sources near to the Camp Lejeune military base, after being based, working or living on the camp for at least 30 days, is able to make a claim. This claim is allowed to be made outside of the usual channels, so victims do not need to claim through Veteran Affairs.
This applies to the following:
- Military service members.
- Civilian workers.
- Family members who also lived at Camp Lejeune
- Family members who have suffered due to a loved one's health issues that resulted from contaminated water at Camp Lejeune
It also removes the ability to assert immunity from the federal government. Usually, under North Carolina state statutes, these kinds of claims are not able to be made when 10 years have passed but this act overrides these statutes. This allows for victims who were unable to bring a claim before, to bring a claim and pursue compensation.
If you have any doubts, are unsure if you qualify or are eligible to make a claim or whether your injuries were caused by the water contamination, you should get in touch with our team at Peter Angelos Law.
We offer a free initial consultation and case evaluation to all new clients, and we work on a contingency fee basis. This means you can pursue your claim in confidence without worrying about upfront fees or being left worse off if you lose.
Justice For Military Service Members
If you were part of the Marine corps, and you were serving at Camp Lejeune while on active duty, you may also be entitled to claim VA disability benefits. These benefits are designed to provide direct payments to any veteran who has suffered injuries while on duty.
Now, with the new Camp Lejeune justice act, veterans also have the option to pursue compensation through a traditional lawsuit. You are entitled to bring a claim even if you are currently receiving benefits through the VA system.
The experienced personal injury attorneys here at Peter Angelos have experience in helping veterans investigate the roots of their injuries. We will look to establish the link between your illnesses and conditions and the contaminated water you were exposed to at Camp Lejeune justice act.
We help our clients recover the damages they have suffered, including all medical costs, future medical expenses and lost income. An attorney will also be able to work out what your pain and suffering is worth and will pursue it from the at-fault party.
Justice for the Families of Camp Lejeune Marines
While much of the focus of these acts is to protect and compensate the many veterans who were serving during that period, it also covers the family members who were stationed on base too. This means that the family members, who were not able to claim through the VA benefit system now have a way of pursuing compensation for their illnesses.
The federal government has recognized that the family members of the veterans that served at Camp Lejeune have also suffered from the contaminated water and has now allowed the victims to combine their lawsuits into a mass tort.
The Federal Tort Claims Act, allows victims that are seeking compensation via a lawsuit to combine their lawsuits into a single case if the at-fault party is the same. After acknowledging that the families of the veterans serving at Camp Lejeune meet these criteria, the tort is now underway.
A Camp Lejeune lawsuit lawyer from Peter Angelos can determine whether you are eligible to join this ongoing lawsuit and fight to claim the compensation you deserve.
What Are The Benefits of Mass Tort Action?
By combining their lawsuits, the victims of a mass tort take advantage of their strength in numbers. This often increases the chances of success against larger, powerful entities, such as a chemical company.
Proving Harm was Caused by Water Contamination at Camp Lejeune
There are a lot of different illnesses that can be linked to the chemical found in the water at Camp Lejeune. However, these conditions can occur on their own, and you will need to prove that the illness occurred due to the contamination in your claim.
This is where your Maryland Camp Lejeune attorney will be a massive assistance to your case. They can seek your medical records that date back as far as possible and will investigate these. They may even draw upon expert help from a medical professional. This will include looking at how long you served at the base.
How Much Can I Expect to Receive From a Camp Lejeune Lawsuit?
The amount of compensation that will be awarded if you win your case will be different for every victim. It will depend on numerous factors, including the damages you have suffered, the seriousness of your injuries and illnesses and the reputation and skill of your attorney.
The best way to maximize the amount that you may be entitled to, is to seek representation from the most skilled attorney you can find. One with experience in winning cases just like yours.
The first stages of placing a value on your compensation, are to calculate what the damages you suffered are worth. Your attorney will need to look at your economic and your non-economic damages and they will need as much evidence as they can.
These damages include:
Medical Bills Past and Future
If you are successful in your claim, you will be able to recover all of your medical expenses, past and future.
This means that all of the medical bills you have suffered relating to the conditions you have developed from the contaminated water will be included.
It also means that your future medical bills will be compensated. If you are going to require a long period of treatment, physical therapy or surgeries, your attorney will work with a medical expert to truly understand what this looks like so they can pursue it in the claim.
In most cases of a preventable injury, the victim has to take time off work to some degree. For most victims, this means a drop in earnings or lost income.
If your case is successful, your attorney will help you recover all of the wages you have lost in the past. If you are going to require time off in the future to receive treatment, they will factor this in.
If your injuries have meant that you will never be able to work in the same capacity again, your attorney may look to financial experts who can help them calculate what a life-time of lost earning potential will cost you. They may then attempt to recover this too.
Pain and Suffering
These damages are subjective and will need to be decided by your attorney. Pain and suffering damages are designed to compensate victims if they have been put through physical pain and emotional suffering due to someone else's negligence.
The most tragic outcome of the contaminated water found at Camp Lejeune, is that several veterans, or their family members, have lost their lives due to the conditions they developed as a result.
If you have lost a loved one due to preventable injuries, you should consider filing a wrongful death lawsuit. This can help you pursue financial security while you deal with the tragic aftermath of the death of your loved one.
Why File a Camp Lejeune Lawsuit in Maryland
The water contamination problem at Camp Lejeune is one of the worst cases of water contamination ever seen in the United States. So much so that the Environmental Protection Agency has had to label the base a major polluter.
There were numerous pollutants knowingly pumped into the water at Camp Lejeune, including industrial wastewater, oil, and toxic chemicals. This has led to the deaths and serious injuries suffered by numerous veterans and their families.
Back in 1980, there were reports about how the fuel tanks that had been buried had the potential to cause contamination but the tests were not carried out until 1982. By 1984, disposal techniques were altered and corrected but the damage was long done by this point.
As a veteran serving our country and the families who loved and lived with them, you deserve safe harbor and protection from our government. Sadly, this was not the case, and the thousands of victims who are suffering due to this negligence are a terrible reminder.
Camp Lejeune Lawsuit FAQ
Contact Peter Angelos for a Free Consultation Today
Camp Lejeune has been recognized as one of the worst contaminated water problems in US history and has led to the development of countless injuries and even the death of several veterans. If you were living in the camp between the years of 1953 and 1987, for more than 30 days, and have developed an injury or illness, you may be owed compensation.
A Camp Lejeune compensation attorney at Peter Angelos will help you to investigate your case. They will look at your medical records and discuss your case with medical experts. They may also help you seek disability benefits through the VA system or help your family members to join the mass tort.
It is important that your attorney has an in-depth knowledge of the medical issues you may be facing.
At Peter Angelos we are uniquely prepared to handle your case, having served personal injury victims in the state of Maryland for over 50 years.
When you have representation from one of our attorneys, you send a message that you will not accept less than what you deserve. We have a long history of case victories to draw upon and will build a robust strategy tailored to your unique situation.
Contact us now at: 410-705-2405.