Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawsuit Attorneys
Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, located in Jacksonville, North Carolina, has been home to hundreds of thousands of marines, their families and civilian employees since it opened in 1941. Covering 235 square miles, the base contains several different housing areas, numerous facilities, training areas and logistical support for our armed forces and serves as an economic driver for the surrounding area.
The Marine Corps promotes the base as the “home of expeditionary forces in readiness, . . . [where] Marines and Sailors train, operate, launch and recover” and where the “facilities, services and support that meet the needs of our warfighters and their families” are provided. Unfortunately, however, for many Marines, their families and civilians who worked there between 1953 and 1987, Camp Lejeune represents the source of serious, unresolved health problems, pain, suffering and numerous life-altering challenges associated with contaminated water on the base.
If you or a beloved family member has suffered from the effects of the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune, the fight for justice is not over. You may have developed bladder cancer, kidney cancer, liver cancer, leukemia, multiple myeloma, Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, Parkinson’s disease or other neurological disorders. You may have experienced pain and anguish, been unable to work and help your family and been overwhelmed by the medical expenses you accumulated while seeking a diagnosis and treatment for your condition. You and your family may have been devastated by the dismissal of the MDL class action lawsuit in 2016 based upon North Carolina’s 10-year statute of repose.
Thankfully, help is here. Signed into law on August 10, 2022, the Honoring Our PACT Act allows people who were exposed to toxic water at Camp LeJeune between August 1, 1953 and December 31, 1987, to file claims against the government for compensation for the harm they’ve suffered.
The highly experienced trial attorneys of Boyers Law Group are ready to help you pursue the long-awaited justice you so greatly deserve. We have more than twenty-five years of successful experience helping people who have been injured by others’ negligent or wrongful actions get the full, fair compensation they deserve for their injuries and are committed to putting our experience, skill and resources to work for you.
For the understanding, tenacity and expertise you need, please contact our Camp Lejeune Water Contamination lawyers by calling 305-512-7600 or submitting the “Tell Us What Happened” form on our website.
How to File a Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Claim
To be prepared to file a claim under the PACT Act, you should discuss your case with, and get advice from, an experienced injury attorney. The trusted attorneys at Boyers Law Group are well versed in the historical record of water contamination at Camp Lejeune and the scientific evidence of the medical conditions it has caused, as well as relevant court cases and the disappointing dismissal in 2016 due to North Carolina’s 10-year statute of repose. We understand the historical, judicial significance of the PACT Act and want to help you navigate the federal legal system to achieve justice and obtain the substantial compensation you deserve for all of your and your family’s suffering and losses.
The first step in filing a claim is understanding the requirements for doing so. To be eligible under the terms of the PACT Act, you must meet two critical criteria:
- You or your loved one served, lived, worked or was in utero at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 days between August 1, 1953 and December 31, 1987.
- You or your loved one was subsequently diagnosed with cancer, birth defects or other health conditions that have been linked to the water contamination, including bladder cancer, kidney cancer, liver cancer, leukemia, multiple myeloma, lymphoma, or other neurologic conditions.
If you meet both these criteria, you are entitled to receive substantial compensation for a host of compensatory damages like past and future medical expenses as well as pain and suffering. These damages will, however, be offset by any VA disability benefits you may have already received.
We will thoroughly investigate your case to determine your eligibility, including collecting information about your length of time at the base and how the exposure to the contaminated water occurred, reviewing your medical records related to the medical condition you subsequently developed and analyzing other relevant information. We will then put together a well-documented claim detailing your medical condition, the evidence that the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune caused the condition and the many ways it has affected your life.
If necessary, we will help you through any administrative steps you might need to complete before filing a claim, and when the law permits, we will file your claim in federal court. This will begin the official lawsuit process.
Do I Need an Attorney to File a Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawsuit?
It is definitely in your best interest to work with an experienced, qualified attorney when pursuing a claim against the government. Filing a claim and lawsuit can be a very complex process requiring knowledge of the law and legal procedures. An experienced injury lawyer knows how to compile a strong case demonstrating the links between the Camp Lejeune water contamination and your injury and the numerous damages it has caused.
The Boyers Law Group attorneys handle these cases on a contingency-fee basis. That means you do not pay up front for legal services, and we only collect a fee from a successful administrative recovery, settlement or jury award.
What Illnesses Are Associated with Camp Lejeune’s Contaminated Water Supply?
Studies have repeatedly shown that between 1953 and 1987, the water supply at Camp Lejeune was contaminated with dangerously high levels of carcinogenic chemicals, particularly trichloroethylene (TCE), perchloroethylene (PCE) and benzene, three volatile, toxic organic compounds. Scientific and medical evidence has also linked exposure to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune with cancer, birth defects, neurological conditions and other injuries, including:
- Bladder cancer
- Kidney cancer
- Liver cancer
- Adult leukemia
- Multiple myeloma
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
- Aplastic anemia and other myelodysplastic syndromes
- Cardiac birth defects
- Parkinson’s disease
The VA considers these conditions to be presumptive injuries from the water at Camp Lejeune. However, other injuries might also have occurred, including: breast cancer, esophageal cancer, lung cancer, hepatic steatosis (fatty liver disease), scleroderma, infertility and neurological conditions.
If you or a loved one was exposed to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune and you have suffered one of these injuries, getting legal advice from an experienced attorney on your best course of action is definitely recommended. The proven trial attorneys at Boyers Law Group welcome the opportunity to help you understand the law and take appropriate action.
What Compensation Is Available for People Injured by Camp Lejeune’s Contaminated Water?
It is difficult to assess how much compensation people injured by Camp Lejeune’s contaminated water will be able to collect; however, what is known is that the amount you may receive will depend on the medical condition that developed, how the condition has impacted your life and your family and your attorney’s ability to make a strong case documenting all the damages you have suffered and linking them to the camp’s water contamination. You may well be entitled to substantial compensation.
Those who have been injured by the contaminated water will most likely get compensated for their physical pain and suffering, mental anguish, past and future medical bills, lost income and diminished earning capacity. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that Camp Lejeune settlement payouts will cost the government $6.1 billion over ten years, so funds to fully and fairly compensate each injured individual should be available.
Can I File a Claim on Behalf of a Deceased Family Member?
The new law will allow a legal representative of an individual who became ill from the toxic water to bring a claim against the government. Even if the victim died from seemingly unrelated causes, such as a heart attack, an aneurysm or a car accident, you may still be able to recover damages for the medical condition the deceased victim developed due to exposure to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune.
What Toxins Were Discovered in the Water at Camp Lejeune?
The water supply at Camp Lejeune from the 1950s to the 1980s was contaminated with high levels of two specific toxic chemicals: perchloroethylene (PCE) and trichloroethylene (TCE). Both of these chemicals are known as volatile organic compounds and are recognized as probable human carcinogens. Exposure to them has been linked to leukemia, renal cancer, bladder cancer, other cancers and birth defects.
Testing conducted in 1984 showed that in addition to high levels of TCE and PCE, the Camp Lejeune water also contained benzene and vinyl chloride. Ten contaminated wells were shut down in 1985 and the sources of the pollutants, as reported by the National Research Council, were later identified as being an industrial area, a dry cleaner, a fuel-tank sludge are, a transformer storage lot, a liquids disposal area, a former burn dump, and the original base dump.
What Happened with Previous Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawsuits?
In 2009, a group of Marines, their family members and former Camp Lejeune employees began filing lawsuits against the government under the Federal Tort Claims Act, 28 U.S.C. §§ 2671-2680, which allows people who are harmed by the negligent or wrongful conduct of a federal employee acting in an official capacity to file a claim with the government for compensation for their injuries. The claimants, eventually numbering more than 850 in a multidistrict litigation (MDL) class action brought in North Carolina, alleged that they had developed cancer and other serious diseases from Camp Lejeune contaminated water.
Sadly, in December, 2016, a federal judge in North Carolina dismissed all of the Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuits based on North Carolina’s 10-year statute of repose.
What Rules and Laws Have Been Passed to Help Victims of Camp Lejeune’s Toxic Water?
The law that will allow individuals injured by Camp Lejeune’s toxic water to sue for damages dates back to March, 2021. However, before then, on January 13, 2017, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) finalized a new rule that for the first time provided VA disability benefits to veterans who have one of the eight presumptive diseases (adult leukemia, aplastic anemia and other myelodysplastic syndromes, bladder cancer, kidney cancer, liver cancer, multiple myeloma, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and Parkinson’s disease) and served for 30 days or more at Camp Lejeune between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987.
Legislative actions following this ruling began in the spring of 2021:
March 26, 2021 The Camp Lejeune Justice Act (CLJA) was introduced in the House of Representatives. The bill would enable people harmed by exposure to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987, to sue the government and recover damages. The bill was referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary and later (October 19, 2021), referred to the Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties.
January 25, 2022 The Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 was introduced in the House of Representatives of the 117th Congress. The co-sponsors included 10 Democrats and 6 Republicans from 8 different states.
March 3, 2022 The CLJA was merged into a larger bill called the Honoring Our Pact Act and passed by the House of Representatives by a vote of 256 to 174. The Act is intended “to improve health care and benefits for veterans exposed to toxic substances and for other purposes.”
June 16, 2022 The Honoring Our Pact Act of 2022, also cited as the “Sergeant First Class Heath Robinsons Honoring our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics Act of 2022,” passed the Senate with an added amendment by a vote of 84 to 14.
July, 2022 Enactment of the PACT Act was delayed by an objection from the House of Representatives to the Senate’s amendment adding a tax provision. According to this blue slip privilege objection, only the House has the authority to add a tax provision. On July 13, 2022, the House passed the Act as an amendment to other legislation.
August 2, 2022 After defeating the measure it had previously passed, the Senate finally approved it with minor amendments to the larger bill’s budgeting process.
August 10, 2022 President Biden signed the bill into law.
Florida Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawyers Will Fight for You
If you or a loved one were injured by exposure to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987, now it the time to prepare your claim against the government. The experienced water contamination injury attorneys at Boyers Law Group are ready to help you get a head start on preparing a strong claim for the substantial compensation you rightfully deserve.
For the experience, expertise and powerful representation you need, call us at 305-512-7600 or submit the “Tell Us What Happened” form on our website. We are committed to providing compassionate, outstanding personal attention and passionately pursuing justice for you and your family.