All about the Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawsuit

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Researcher: Ariana Arce​

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Journalist: Aaron Vivanco

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Editor: Daniela Polo

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All about the Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawsuit

The Camp Lejeune Water Contamination lawsuit states that residents from this Marine Corps base were injured with dangerous chemicals found in drinking water.

As of today, there are thousands of cases filed in civil court or as administrative claims in the U.S Navy.

In this article, you will get all the information about the Camp Lejeune lawsuit. Learn how it all started, how the litigation is evolving and possible settlements for the victims.

Additionally, if you think that this case applies to you or a loved one, take legal action and reach out for a free consultation. One of our representatives will be ready to hear your Camp Lejeune claim.

What Caused the Water Contamination at Camp Lejeune?

Starting in the early 1980s, it was found that multiple water sources at the Camp Lejeune Marine base were contaminated with toxic chemicals.

Since its establishment in 1942, dangerous chemicals have been leaking into the water systems supplied by the Tarawa Terrace and Hadnot Point water treatment plants at Camp Lejeune military base.

These treatment plants provided water for housing, offices, schools, recreational areas, and a hospital for military personnel and their families.

People who used the water for drinking, bathing, cooking, and swimming were potentially exposed to risks. Many of the contaminated wells were closed in 1985 when cleanup efforts started.

Toxic Chemicals in Water

Camp Lejeune’s water supply was contaminated with carcinogenic chemicals from 1953 to 1987, as determined by the Marine Corps. The chemicals that detected were trichloroethylene (TCE) and tetrachloroethylene (PCE), which raised concerns.

These chemicals belong to a category known as “volatile organic compounds” (VOCs), typically used for dry cleaning. 

It is possible that the water wells were contaminated prior to the opening of Camp Lejeune. As a significant amount of water contamination was linked to a dry cleaner that operated prior to the establishment of the Marine Corps base camp.

However, there were several sources for the toxic water. The same chemicals were used for cleaning machinery and weapons. So, the contamination originated from both inside and outside of the Marine base.

Camp Lejeune water contamination health issues

The industrial chemicals found in the Camp Lejeune water supply are known to have toxic effects on the human body and have been associated with various illnesses.

Camp Lejeune lawsuit symptoms can include:

  • Back or chest pain
  • Cholera
  • Confusion
  • Cramping
  • Depression
  • Diarrhea
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Frequent infections
  • Headaches
  • Lack of coordination
  • Light sensitivity
  • Loss of appetite
  • Lumps in the body
  • Nausea
  • Night sweats
  • Numbness in legs
  • Pain or swelling in the affected area
  • Persistent fever
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Unintended weight loss
  • Vomiting
  • Weakness

If you have been exposed to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune and are experiencing any of these symptoms, schedule a visit with your doctor promptly.

Chemicals in Camp Lejeune Water-Linked to Cancer

Scientific evidence has indicated that chronic exposure to the chemicals TCE and PCE is associated with higher rates of certain types of cancer.

Furthermore, most cancer-causing chemicals found in the contaminated well water at Camp Lejeune have been linked to the following diseases, such as:

  • Leukemia
  • Breast Cancer
  • Kidney Cancer
  • Bladder Cancer
  • Multiple Myeloma, a disease that affects the plasma cells in the bone marrow. Individuals with this condition may experience difficulties in fighting off infections.
  • Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma is a form of cancer that affects the lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell.

These diseases are related to residential and workplace exposures to the drinking water contaminants at Camp Lejeune.

Scientific Studies about the Adverse Health Effects from Contaminated Camp Lejeune Drinking Water

The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) created models to assess the geographic extent and severity of water contamination at Camp Lejeune.

The study has helped inform possible service-connection for health effects of exposure and to make policy changes in favor of water contamination victims

Another study on the risk of Parkinson’s Disease among residents at Camp Lejeune found that Camp Lejeune veterans had a 70% higher risk of developing the disease.

Is There a Camp Lejeune Class Action Lawsuit?

There is currently no Camp Lejeune Class Action Lawsuit.

If Camp Lejeune Justice Act claims are not resolved within six months of being filed, it is possible to file a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina.

There is confusion about a Camp Lejeune toxic water lawsuit. Each claim will go to trial separately. This litigation is a challenge for the government and the courts.

Consequently, cases have only been consolidated for pretrial discovery. This will avoid confusion and duplication of efforts.

The Navy Did Not Act

The Navy was aware of the potential risks associated with toxic water exposure.

The lack of established clear drinking water standards may be a crucial point of contention in a Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit if the government’s lawyers bring it up.

Camp Lejeune Justice Act

As part of their efforts to resolve most of the claims, the U.S. government passed the Camp Lejeune Justice Act (CLJA), a recent law allows victims of water contamination, including civilians, veterans, and family members, to seek legal remedies for health issues related to water contamination on the base, which is a significant development.

This law was passed in August 2022, as part of the Honoring Our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act.

Those affected have the option to pursue legal action in Federal court if their claim is denied or if no decision is made within 6 months of filing the claim.

Who Qualifies for the Camp Lejeune Lawsuit?

To be eligible for a Camp Lejeune settlement payout under the CLJA, water contamination victims will need to provide documentary evidence that they resided or worked at Camp Lejeune for a minimum of 30 days from 1953 to 1987.

Marines and other military personnel are required to present their military service records as evidence of their presence at Camp Lejeune. Similarly, family members of Marines stationed at Camp Lejeune can utilize the same military service records to confirm their residency on the base.

Furthermore, civilian workers need to show proof of employment at Camp Lejeune, like social security employment history or other employment verification.

Deadline to file a Camp Lejeune Lawsuit

The Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 allowed victims of contaminated water at Camp Lejeune to file a lawsuit for their injuries within 2 years.

In consequence, the deadline to file a Camp Lejeune lawsuit is August 10, 2024, as mandated by statutes of limitations.

Not submitting a claim before the deadline will prevent you from receiving compensation for health issues related to the Camp Lejeune water contamination in the future.

How to file a claim for Camp Lejeune Water Contamination

The process for filing a Camp Lejeune lawsuit does not have to be complicated:

  1. You can file your claim with the Department of the Navy (DON) under the CLJA. The Navy can offer an elective settlement payout if you are able to meet certain criteria.
  2. If you do not accept this settlement offer or your claim is rejected, you have a clear path to civil court, where your lawsuit can award more compensation.
  3. This is where Legal Help Advisor comes in handy. We can connect you with the best lawyers for a Camp Lejeune Lawsuit.

It is crucial to find the proper legal representation to get a payout offer that can cover all your pain and suffering. Contact us and we will make sure you get the right attorney for your case.

Camp Lejeune Water Contamination settlement amounts

The settlement amount for each individual case may vary depending on factors such as the injuries sustained, diagnosed conditions, duration of time spent at the base, and other relevant elements.

Camp Lejeune lawsuit settlements may cover various damages, such as medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, and emotional damages.

Expected Camp Lejeune Lawsuit payout per person

As mentioned, the payout for victims exposed to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune takes into consideration injuries and evidence. This means it could be significant.

On November 11th, 2023, the U.S. Department of Justice reported that three individuals reached settlements totaling $ 850,000. Two of the three claimants have already received their settlements.

Early Settlement Program for Camp Lejeune claims

On September 6, 2023, after years of pressure by attorneys’ plaintiffs and other advocates, the government unveiled an early compensation program referred to as the “Elective Option” or “EO.”

The program aims to provide a quicker resolution for a specific group of individuals who have been affected by illnesses and diseases caused by the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune.

The proposal provides a variety of settlement options, ranging from $100,000 to $450,000, based on factors such as the type of injury, the duration of the claimant’s stay at Camp Lejeune, and the time between exposure and diagnosis.

Latest Camp Lejeune Lawsuit update

Since the one-year anniversary of the Camp Lejeune Justice Act has passed, veterans and their families keep seeking justice for injuries caused by exposure.

November 2023

The Department of Justice has made several offers to families through the Camp Lejeune Elective Option. The total number of claims filed has also increased, reaching over 117,000.

October 2023

On October 26, 2023, both parties issued a joint status update regarding ongoing discussions for global resolution.

According to the Court’s instructions, the Plaintiff’s Leadership Committee and the Government are required to have regular meetings to work towards a resolution and settlement process.

September 2023

This month, the government implemented a settlement program that provides compensation of up to $450,000 to eligible individuals.

The program included veterans from Camp Lejeune who allege harm from contaminated water at the Marine base in North Carolina.

We provide an update monthly to give you the latest news on the Camp Lejeune litigation. To get more information about past movements in this case, you can review or Camp Lejeune lawsuit update page.

Camp Lejeune Lawsuit FAQ’s

How did Camp Lejeune Water got contaminated?

Water contamination at Camp Lejeune was caused by various sources, including spills, leaks, and waste disposal sites. This resulted in water in the base housing and other buildings contaminated with Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs).

What are the symptoms of contaminated water at Camp Lejeune?

If you were exposed to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune, you could develop various severe health conditions. The initial symptoms of these illnesses can involve changes in behavior, cognitive functioning, or overall well-being.

Who qualifies for the Camp Lejeune lawsuit?

Individuals who meet certain criteria may be eligible to participate in the Camp Lejeune lawsuit.

  • Individuals who resided or worked on base for a minimum of 30 days between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987.
  • If you are experiencing health problems related to the contaminated water.

When will the Camp Lejeune lawsuit be settled?

As of today, we have the information that the government has settled 3 Camp Lejeune lawsuits for an amount of $ 850,000.

This serves as an indicator that the claims could be reaching a turning point. It is probable that the U.S. Department of Justice will continue resolving lawsuit through payouts for Camp Lejeune victims.

How much is the Camp Lejeune settlement per person?

According to the Department of Justice, the total amount demanded for the approximately 117,000 administrative claims currently filed is approximately $3.3 trillion.

The DOJ acknowledges that this is an unrealistic number but provides an example that it could be 1%. In that case, the amount would be $33 billion.

The settlement amount for each lawsuit will depend on numerous factors, such as the specific illness the victim was diagnosed with and the duration of their stay at Camp Lejeune.

How to file a Camp Lejeune lawsuit?

The Camp Lejeune Justice Act enables victims to submit an administrative claim with the Navy Judge Advocate General/Tort Claims Unit.

If the claim is not resolved within 6 months, victims can file a lawsuit in the North Carolina Federal Court.

Looking for the best lawyers for a Camp Lejeune Lawsuit?

At Legal Help Advisor, we connect you with the best lawyers for a Camp Lejeune lawsuit near you.

Our process is simple and to the point. Fill out our form and get a free consultation with a member of our team.

The best Camp Lejeune lawyers will never charge you money up front. They will only get paid if you win, so there are no risks in your case review.