ACCEPTING CAMP LEJEUNE CASES NATIONWIDE

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December 15, 2022
Legal Review By: Kelly Peterson, PhD Medical Review By: John Boxberger, PhD

Do you qualify to file a Camp Lejeune lawsuit?

  • Were you or a family member at Camp Lejeune for 30 days between 1953 and 1987?
  • Is there a serious health issue from exposure to water at Camp Lejeune?

If you answered ‘yes’ to both questions, we believe you qualify. Call us now at 585.460.2193 to talk to someone about your case or submit your information online. We are accepting cases nationwide.

LATEST NEWS ON CAMP LEJEUNE WATER CONTAMINATION

December 15, 2022: FREE CAMP LEJEUNE LAWSUIT WEBINAR WITH ATTORNEY ROBERT KING

Attorney Robert King will be hosting a FREE live webinar on December 15th at 4:00pm EST to discuss the latest updates on the Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit, as well as answer some of the most frequent questions regarding the lawsuit. There will also be a Q&A session. If you or a loved one suffered a long-term illness or disease due to toxic exposure at Camp Lejeune, or if you are looking for more information, get registered for our webinar now! REGISTER HERE

October 25, 2022: UPDATE FROM THE OFFICE OF THE JUDGE ADVOCATE GENERAL REGARDING RECORDS (CLJA)

Today, the Office of the Judge Advocate General sent a notice to attorneys with an update regarding personnel and federal employment records needed for submitting initial administrative claims, as well as the possible future requirements to substantiate a claim.

FROM THE OFFICE OF THE JUDGE ADVOCATE GENERAL: The Department of the Navy, the Department of Justice, and the National Personnel Records Center, a division of the National Archives and Records Administration, are working together to find a global solution regarding the gathering of personnel and federal employment records for those CLJA claimants having military ties. To date, the NPRC has received thousands of personnel and/or federal employment records requests from CLJA claimants seeking records to substantiate their CLJA claim. As a practical matter, it is not feasible for the NARA to complete the volume of record requests received in the time needed for initial filing of CLJA claims. In order to expedite the claims process, the DON will not require claimants to provide military personnel and/or federal employment records at the time of the initial filing of the administrative claim. Records needed for substantiating the claim may be requested at a later time on a case-by-case basis based on the Navy’s evaluation of the claim. Such substantiation request, when necessary, will not be made by DON until after the upcoming electronic portal has been launched by the OJAG Admiralty & Claims Division. At that time, where substantiation is needed, claimants and/or their designated representatives will be notified to provide those substantiating documents to DON, and the claimant can then work with NARA to obtain records as needed to substantiate their claim.

October 7, 2022: Camp Lejeune Toxic Water News – Robert King appears on the American Veterans National Podcast

Robert King recently travelled to Washington D.C. to appear as a special guest on the AMVETS Podcast with National Executive Director Joseph Chenelly to discuss Camp Lejeune water contamination and its plague on veterans and their families. CLICK HERE to listen

October 3, 2022: Camp Lejeune Toxic Water News – Motion Denied

Two federal judges have denied Plaintiff’s motion to consolidate cases for illnesses caused by exposure to toxic water at Camp Lejeune. Nearly two month have passed since the Camp Lejuene law was passed and Plaintiffs are seeking answers about how the claims will proceed in court. Plaintiffs want to know who will be the judge, what the rules will be and what the schedule will be going forward.

September 19, 2022: Camp Lejeune Toxic Water News – Notice of Claim Update

We are now a little over one month into the two year window to file a claim under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act. The Department of the Navy Indicates that approximately 5,000 administrative claims were filed in the first month. In order to file an administrative claim a victim must show at least 30 days at Camp Lejeun, toxic exposure and an illness related to the toxic water exposure. Proof of time at the base can be shown with military forms like the DD 214 or other types of documents like photographs. Toxic exposure is nearly certain in some residence locations or jobs, and medical records are necessary to prove a qualifying illness.

August 18th, 2022: Robert King of King Law speaks at AMVETS National Conference

Robert King of King Law was invited to speak about the Camp Lejeune toxic water lawsuits at the AMVETS National Conference in New Orleans, LA. He discusses why the Camp Lejeune Justice Act is critical legislation what it means to all veterans and their families. Watch the video below to hear more:

August 10th, 2022: Camp Lejeune Justice Act Signed into Law by President granting victims of toxic water a Camp Lejeune the right to bring a claim

The President has signed the PACT Act, the bill which contains the Camp Lejeune Justice Act. Biden called the signing of this bill the “most significant law our nation has ever passed to help veterans who were exposed to toxic substances.” For more than three decades, veterans, their families, and others who lived or worked at Camp Lejeune between 1953 and 1987 were exposed to toxic chemicals in the water supply. Many people who were present at Camp Lejeune and were exposed to the water by drinking, cooking, and bathing have developed serious conditions such as cancer, Parkinson’s disease, kidney disease birth defects, miscarriage’s, neurological issues, cardiac problems, and many other serious health concerns. These individuals can now begin the process of filing a civil claim and a lawsuit in federal court to receive a financial settlement.

Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Background Information

From 1953-1987 the United States Marine Corps (USMC) training facility at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina exposed service members, their families, and civilian workers to contaminated drinking, cooking, and bathing water.

Industrial waste, pesticides, solvents, and other chemicals were buried in the ground or dumped into storm drains. These toxins leeched into the water supply and have been linked to cancer, birth defects, miscarriages, and other health problems. In many cases, the chemical concentrations were thousands of times higher than safe levels. The United States government knew about the contamination and failed to act.

It is estimated that more than one million civilian workers, military service members, and their families may have been exposed to the contaminated water supply. Victims may now be eligible to receive lump sum financial settlements under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022.

On this page:

Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawsuit Lawyers

As early as 1953 the water supply at Camp Lejeune became contaminated. Hazardous chemicals and volatile compounds poisoned the water supply for more than 30 years. These toxins filtered into the groundwater from junkyards, fuel supplies, and a dry cleaner located near the base.

It wasn’t until 1982 that the military and the U.S. Government discovered the contamination. Cancer causing toxins such as trichloroethylene (TCE), tetrachloroethylene (PCE), and vinyl chloride (VC) were detected in the water used for drinking, cooking, and bathing. More than 1 million civilian workers, military personnel, and their families were exposed to what some scientists call the largest water contamination disaster in the nation’s history.

The Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 is a bill which allows victims of water contamination at Camp Lejeune to file lawsuits in federal court to recover a financial settlement for damages. The bill was signed into law in August of 2022, by the President.

Widows of veterans like Dawn Green in the video above are just one of the many tragic stories caused by the water contamination at Camp Lejeune. With the Camp Lejeune Justice Act, a widow like Dawn is able to file a lawsuit for the pain and suffering his husband’s death has caused. These stories continue to fuel the passion King Law feels for helping the Camp Lejeune victims.

Call King Law at (585) 535-9114 or fill out the form on this page to get started on your claim.

What Caused the Camp Lejeune Water Contamination?

Contaminated water draining from pipe at Camp Lejeune

Beginning in the early 1980’s it was discovered that several water supplies at the Camp Lejeune Marine base became contaminated with toxic chemicals. As early as the opening of Camp Lejeune in 1942, dangerous industrial compounds began to seep into the water systems supplied by Tarawa Terrace and Hadnot Point water-treatment plants. These plants served enlisted-family housing, barracks, administrative offices, schools, and recreational areas, and the hospital.

Water from the Tarawa Terrace water treatment plant, which began operation in 1952, was primarily contaminated by the waste disposal practices at ABC One-Hour Cleaners, an off-base dry cleaning establishment. This plant provided water to:

  • Tarawa Terrace family housing
  • Knox trailer park

The Tarawa Terrace plant was shut down in 1987.

Water from the Hadnot Point water treatment plant, established during the construction of Camp Lejeune in 1942, was contaminated primarily by leaking underground storage tanks, industrial waste, and other disposal sites. More than 800,000 gallons of fuel may have leaked in the ground. This plant generally served:

  • Mainside barracks
  • Hospital Point family housing
  • Family housing at Midway Park, Paradise Point, and Berkeley Manor until June 1972

Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Map

Much of the contamination came from the Tarawa Terrace and Hadnot Point water treatment plants. Anyone who used the water for drinking, bathing, cooking, and even swimming, was potentially exposed. Most of the contaminated wells were shut down in 1985 when cleanup efforts began.

What chemicals were in the water at Camp Lejeune?

The water supply at Camp Lejeune was contaminated by hazardous chemicals, volatile organic compounds, and other dangerous toxins such as fuel, oil, and degreasers for over 30 years.

Numerous studies have been done by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease (ATSDR) that link exposure to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune to many diseases, including several types of cancer.

The primary chemicals found in the water were:

  • Tetrachloroethylene (PCE)
  • Trichloroethylene (TCE)
  • Vinyl chloride
  • Benzene
  • DCE (trans-1,2-dichloroethylene)

Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Chemicals and Levels

Tetrachloroethylene (PCE)

Former Marines and their families who lived in Tarawa Terrace family housing between 1957 and 1987 were exposed to drinking water contaminated with the dry-cleaning solvent tetrachloroethylene (PCE). Levels of PCE in the drinking water during this period were 43 times higher than the amount currently allowed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under the Safe Drinking Water Act. Studies suggest a link between exposure to PCE for extended periods may lead to an increased risk of illnesses, including bladder cancer, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma or multiple myeloma.

Trichloroethylene (TCE)

The Hadnot point plant, mostly contaminated by the dumping and burial of volatile chemical compounds, was found to have TCE (trichloroethylene) as the main contaminant. TCE is used primarily to make refrigerants and other hydrofluorocarbons, as well as a degreasing solvent for metal equipment. Maximum TCE level detected in drinking water was 1,400 parts per billion (ppb) in May 1982. For comparison, this is 280 times higher than the current limit for TCE in drinking water of 5 ppb. Kidney cancer is caused by prolonged exposure to trichloroethylene and some studies also suggest an increased risk of liver cancer and non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

Vinyl chloride

Vinyl chloride is a known carcinogen that is used to make polyvinyl chloride (PVC) pipes, plastic kitchen utensils, vehicle upholstery and wire coatings. Prolonged exposure to vinyl chloride increases the risk of hepatic angiosarcoma, a rare form of liver cancer, as well as lymphoma, leukemia, brain cancer and lung cancer. Exposure to Vinyl chloride at Camp Lejuene is tied to the Hadnot point plant.

Benzene

Benzene is primarily used to create plastics, resins, synthetic fibers and nylon. Long-term exposure to benzene impacts the blood and is linked to cancers including leukemia and other cancers of the blood-forming organs. Benzene was one of the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that was found at the Hadnot point plant.

DCE (trans 1,2-dichloroethylene)

In addition to TCE, the Hadnot Point plant also detected the contaminant of DCE (trans 1,2-dichloroethylene). The maximum amount of DCE detected was 407 ppb in January 1985. The current standard for safe drinking water for DCE is 7 ppb. Unfortunately, there have not been sufficient studies to determine the carcinogenicity of DCE.

Presumptive Illnesses and Health Issues Caused by Camp Lejeune Water Contamination

Prolonged and recurring exposure to the chemicals of tetrachloroethylene (PCE), trichloroethylene (TCE), vinyl chloride and benzene through the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune is tied to a number of conditions. These conditions include various types of cancer, birth defects, infertility and other diseases. A list of presumptive conditions related to the water contamination at Camp Lejeune was made available by the Department of Veteran Affairs in 2012. These conditions include:

  • Adult leukemia
  • Aplastic anemia and other myelodysplastic syndromes
  • Bladder cancer
  • Kidney cancer
  • Liver cancer
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  • Parkinson’s disease

Additional diseases connected with the Camp Lejeune water contamination include:

  • Birth defects (including underdeveloped organs)
  • Breast cancer
  • Cardiac Defect
  • Cervical cancer
  • Esophageal Cancer
  • Fatty Liver Disease
  • Infertility
  • Liver disease
  • Lung cancer
  • Miscarriages
  • Myelodysplastic Syndrome
  • Neurological Issues
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Prostate cancer
  • Renal Toxity

Discuss your case during a free consultation. Call King Law at (585) 535-9114 to get started on your claim.

Water Contamination Dates

The Marine Corps military base and training facility of Camp Lejeune has an over 80 year history. Listed below is the timeline since the start of the water contamination to the present day.

Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Timeline

1942 | Camp Lejeune Opens

In April of 1941 congress approved the construction of the military base. The base opened in 1942 and was named the Marine Barracks Camp Lejeune to honor the 13th Commandant and Commanding General of the 2nd Army Division in World War I, Major General John A. Lejeune.

1953 | Water supplies begin to be contaminated at Hadnot Point

An off-base dry cleaner, ABC One Hour Drycleaner opens and begins to dump waste directly across the street from Tarawa Terrace. By August of 1953, water was contaminated with toxic chemicals. This is the point in which the eligibility period begins under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022.

1982 | Military discovers contamination

In May of 1982, maximum TCE levels were detected at Hadnot Point. PCE, DCE, vinyl chloride and benzene are also detected. The sources of contamination were leaking underground storage tanks and waste disposal sites.

1985 | Water wells and supply plants begin to be shut down

Almost 3 years later, the most contaminated wells at Hadnot Point were shut down in February of 1985. Maximum PCE levels at Tarawa Terrace are detected at this time with the most contaminated wells also shutting down.

2012 | Camp Lejeune Families Act of 2012

In 2012, the Camp Lejeune Families Act was passed that provides free healthcare for certain conditions to Veterans who served at least 30 days at Camp Lejeune from August 1, 1953 and December 31, 1987. Veterans must also have developed one of the eight presumptive illnesses including leukemia, aplastic anemia, bladder cancer, kidney cancer, liver cancer, multiple myeloma, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma or Parkinson’s disease.

2022 | Camp Lejeune Justice Act is passed by the Senate

The Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 was passed by the United States Senate on June 16, 2022. This bill received bipartisan support and would provide former residents, veterans, civilians and their families the ability to file a lawsuit in federal court to recover a financial settlement for damages. The bill will become law once signed by the President.

Settlement Amounts and Payouts for Camp Lejeune

To be eligible for a settlement, a person must have lived, worked, served, or have been present at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 cumulative days between August 1, 1953 and December 31, 1987 and developed some type of harm (such as cancer or other conditions) due to the base’s contaminated water. Unborn children whose mother served, lived, or worked at the base while she was carrying the child may also be eligible.

It will take some time until anyone is certain what the amount of the settlements will be since no cases have been filed yet. Many factors are at play including the type and severity of harm you suffered, your time spent on base, and more. Lawsuit settlements may also cover pain and suffering, lost income, medical bills, and more.

We expect some settlements of several hundred thousand dollars. In general, court settlements reflect actual economic loss, (like time missed from work) and pain and suffering. Pain and suffering can be actual pain or things like mental anguish, uncertainty and fear. We have no doubt that the serious diseases caused by the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune have caused tremendous pain and suffering to all those affected. One initial concern was the amount of money the government will allocate to the settlement fund. There is no settlement fund in this case. The federal government has made any settlement “mandatory spending”, as opposed to discretionary spending.

It is very difficult to assess the value of a victim’s pain and suffering, especially in cases that involve serious medical conditions, like those caused by the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune. One way that lawyers estimate case values is by looking at what other cases have settled for with similar injuries.

We expect that the law will give claimants two years to file a lawsuit or claim. We expect that a Federal Judge will preside an organized litigation. That process is designed to make the exchange of information between the parties more efficient. The exchange of information in a legal matter is sometimes called discovery. After discovery the government and lawyer for the victims will write several briefs and memorandums to the presiding Judge about how the law should be interpreted. This process is called motions. Following discovery and motions we expect one or more Bellwether Trials. Despite some claims, this is not a multidistrict litigation. In fact, by definition this is a single district litigation. A Bellwether trial is the first trial in a an organized litigation. It is used so that both sides can test the issues, and most importantly assess the potential value in all of the other claims. Typically a jury will return a verdict in a Bellwether trial and that will help set the value for other similar cases. Following a Bellwether trial, the parties will attempt to value the remaining cases and resolve them with settlements acceptable to both sides.

How to File a Claim

All claims will go through at least three stages – preliminary investigation, filing of a notice of intention to file a claim, and formal complaint. During the preliminary investigation we must find evidence that a person was at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 days between 1953 and 1987, that they were exposed to toxic water and they have an illness caused by exposure to toxic water at Camp Lejeune. Most victims can show these elements through military documents and medical records. In other cases we have been able to show presence on the base through letters written home or photographs.

The first filing will be notice of intention to file a claim. The Camp Lejeune Justice Act states that a claimant may not bring an action without providing notice to the Department of the Navy. The notice to the Department of the Navy must include identifying information like name and date of birth, when you were exposed, what your illness is and what your damages are. The Department of the Navy then has 180 days to review the submission. Upon denial or the expiration of the 180 days. The victim is then allowed to file a formal complaint in federal court.

The formal complaint for exposure to toxic water at Camp Lejeune can be filed 180 days the notice of intention is filed with the Department of the Navy or after the notice is denied. A Complaint is a “pleading” that begins a lawsuit. The cost of filing a lawsuit in federal court is typically $400. Some cases may be consolidated in a complaint, which would reduce the filing fee. A complaint begins a lawsuit. In this case the Victim of toxic water exposure at Camp Lejeune would be the plaintiff and the United States of America would be the Defendant. The government will be defended by the United States Department of Justice. The complaint will set out what the plaintiff intends to prove. In this case the complaint will allege that the water at Camp Lejeune contained toxic substances, that the plaintiff was exposed to toxic water because of their presence at Camp Lejeune and the plaintiff because sick or died because of their exposure to toxic water at Camp Lejeune. After a complaint is filed the government will file an Answer. The case will then proceed to discovery which is the process of the parties exchanging information. The discovery process will be highly regulated in this case because there are so many cases. There will then be a period of legal maneuvering known as “litigation”. We expect most cases to settle during the litigation phase of the case.

If you are already receiving compensation through the VA due to your exposure to toxic water at Camp Lejeune, you are still eligible to file a lawsuit under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act. You will NOT risk losing your current benefits.

If you or someone you know lived, worked, or was otherwise present at Camp Lejeune for more than 30 days between 1953 and 1987 call us at 585-270-8882 for a free consultation and case analysis.

Wherever you are – we’ll be there

“If you live in the lower 48 states and have a qualifying claim, call me and I will personally meet with you at your home to discuss your case.” –Robert King

Call Robert King at (585) 535-9114 to get started.

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