The Camp Lejeune water contamination scandal has become one of the most famous cases of toxic water in the United States. Let us take a look at exactly what the scandal is and some things that members of the military need to know.
What is the Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Scandal?
Between 1953 and 1987, the drinking and bathing water used by military personnel, their families, and workers at the Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune was highly contaminated. However, the problem was only brought to light in the mid-1980s. It is believed that the contamination affected the water from two of the water wells on the military base in Jacksonville, North Carolina. The most prominent pollutants that have been discovered are volatile organic compounds like perchloroethylene and the degreaser trichloroethylene. Though, over seventy chemicals have been identified as pollutants in the water at Camp Lejeune. Furthermore, the harmful contaminants were found to be between 240 and 3,400 times the safe levels. Many of the people who were located at the base during the period of contamination later developed serious health problems, including:Internal organ damage.Central nervous system problems.Bladder cancer.Non-Hodgkin lymphoma.End-stage renal disease.Liver cancer.Leukemia.Parkinson’s disease.Birth defects.Victims claim that the United States Marine Corps concealed knowledge of the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune and did not act properly to notify the people who were affected or to resolve the problem. Therefore, many victims are filing personal injury lawsuits.
What You Need to Know
If you are a member of the U.S. military and you served at Camp Lejeune during the period of contamination and later developed one of the specified cancers or other health problems linked to the contaminants in the water, you are entitled to join a Camp Lejeune class action lawsuit to seek compensation. If you are a family member of a loved one who died due to a health problem caused by the Camp Lejeune water contamination, you also have the right to pursue compensation. Thankfully, things are starting to move forward with Camp Lejeune lawsuits. On September 6, 2023, the U.S. government announced it has started a system to settle thousands of claims and lawsuits. People who were residents at or working at Camp Lejeune during the period of contamination and who were later diagnosed with one of the health conditions outlined in the Elective Option guidelines are now eligible to receive a settlement of between $100,000 to $550,000. However, many lawyers believe the settlement amounts being offered are too low. Therefore, many victims are continuing to pursue compensation through the courts. If you are a victim or the loved one of a deceased victim, it is highly advisable that you speak with Camp Lejeune lawsuit attorneys before you decide to accept a settlement offer. With professional legal guidance, you can assess your situation and determine the best course of action for you. And if you decide to file a claim, an experienced lawyer will help to guide you through the entire legal process, file your claim with the correct government department, and file a lawsuit on your behalf.
Thankfully, the water at the Camp Lejeune military base is now regarded as safe to drink, bathe in, and use for any other purpose. While that is good news, it will do little to comfort anyone who resided on the base during the period of contamination and later developed a serious health problem. But at least victims can now receive a settlement or join a lawsuit to seek compensation.