What Happened At Camp Lejeune? What Is A Camp Lejeune Lawsuit?

 

If you were exposed to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune
you might be entitled to compensation.

The Camp Lejeune Justice Act provides for lump sum compensation regardless of any other benefits you receive. 

Taking advantage of the Camp Lejeune Justice Act will NOT affect your other benefits.

 

Call Me Now For A Free Review Of Your Case: (813) 258-4878

Contaminated Water at Camp Lejeune

The Camp Lejeune incident is one of the worst cases of water contamination in United States History

It exposed over a million people to harmful organic compounds between 1957 and 1987, causing severe health issues, including cancer, birth defects, liver disease, and more. However, many Americans aren’t aware of the event or understand the lawsuit behind it.

That’s why the Law Offices of Michael R. Herron put together a guide to teach you about the Camp Lejeune lawsuit and the catastrophic events that took place for nearly three decades.

The Law Offices of Michael R. Herron is one of Tampa, FL’s leading personal injury law firms. Our team has represented Tampa citizens in the court of law for over 20 years, giving us the experience and expertise to handle even the toughest personal injury cases. If you want first-class legal representation in Tampa, FL, that always makes you their number one priority, contact The Law Offices of Michael R. Herron.

What Happened at Camp Lejeune?

Camp Lejeune is a US Marine base located around the New River in southeastern North Carolina. The military opened the camp in 1942 to train marines and sailors for combat readiness and the realities of war. It resides on nearly 156,000 acres of land and water, encompassing 14 miles of beaches and two deep-water ports, making it an essential training facility for the United States military.

Between 1957 and 1987, numerous hazardous chemicals contaminated the base’s water supplies (Hadnot Point Treatment Plant and Tarawa Terrace Treatment Plant), causing residents to suffer from severe health issues including but not limited to:

  • Various cancers (liver, kidney, bladder, prostate, etc.)
  • Leukemia
  • Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  • Liver disease
  • Miscarriages
  • Birth defects

Upon further evaluation, scientists discovered exceedingly high levels of perchloroethylene (PCE) and trichloroethylene (TCE) in Camp Lejeune’s water supplies. Experts believe improper storage, industrial spills, and inadequate disposal practices were the leading cause of the contamination.

A close-by dry cleaning company inappropriately disposed of perchloroethylene, causing it to leak into the Tarawa Terrace Treatment Plant over time. The Hadnot Point Treatment Plant had a similar issue with trichloroethylene, further contaminating Camp Lejeune’s water.

Scientists determined that Camp Lejeune’s water supply had 240 to 3,400 times more hazardous chemicals than the recommended safety standards before closing the wells.

The Camp Lejeune Controversy

Unfortunately, the million Camp Lejeune occupants weren’t aware of the contamination and continued to drink and bathe in the water until the wells shut down in 1987. Many residents developed cancer and other serious ailments during their stay at Camp Lejeune and blamed the contaminated water supply for their suffering.

However, some Camp Lejeune occupants believed the United States Marine Corps knew about the polluted water and hid the issue from residents for decades. Although the USMC denies these allegations, some evidence suggests otherwise.

The first U.S. Army Lab investigation occurred in 1982 and determined the camp’s drinking water contained numerous volatile organic compounds (VOCs). They concluded that the contamination started in the early 50s and continued for several decades. However, the USMC didn’t shut down Camp Lejeune’s wells until 1985, three years after discovering contamination.

Around 137,000 military members and their families continued using Camp Lejeune’s water, unaware of the contamination. As time passed, more residents started developing health issues and became concerned for their well-being. Many pregnant women reported their newborns suffered birth defects like spina bifida after staying at the facility.

The Centers for Disease Control’s Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry released a study in 2013 reporting that mothers who drank from Camp Lejeune’s contaminated water supply were four times more likely to give birth to children with defects. It also found that these newborns were more prone to leukemia and other childhood cancers.

The Camp Lejeune Lawsuit

President Obama signed the Janey Ensminger Act in August 2012 to guarantee Camp Lejeune occupants medical treatment for consuming the contaminated water. The act allows former residents to take legal action against the camp if they suffered health issues due to the contamination. The Janey Ensminger Act and Camp Lejeune lawsuit affected 750,000 people nationwide.
Further Contamination Issues

A month after President Obama signed the Janey Ensminger Act, scientists discovered 12 pounds of mercury in the Hadnot Point Water Treatment Plan, one of Camp Lejeune’s main water supplies. The USMC shut down the facility for numerous weeks to remove the mercury and purify the well, but not before exposing thousands of occupants to contaminated water.

Mercury exposure carries numerous adverse health effects, including:

  • Coughing
  • Sore throat
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Vision issues
  • A persisting metallic taste
  • Increased blood pressure

Pregnant women can also pass mercury to their unborn children if they consume contaminated water before giving birth. In addition, younger children are also exceedingly vulnerable to mercury vapors since they have smaller lungs that cause them to breathe faster than adults.

Aftermath

Over a million Camp Lejeune residents between 1957 and 1987 were exposed to trichloroethylene, tetrachloroethylene, vinyl chloride, and other dangerous contaminants that could put their health at risk. 2012’s mercury outbreak increased potential exposures while furthering Camp Lejeune’s legal issues. If you or anyone you know stayed at Camp Lejeune and suffered health issues due to water contamination exposure, contact The Law Offices of Michael R. Herron.

Contact The Law Offices of Michael R. Herron for First-Class Legal Representation

The Law Offices of Michael R. Herron will help you navigate the Camp Lejeune lawsuit and fight for your injustice. Our team will go above and behind to provide outstanding legal representation for you and your family while treating you with the utmost respect every step of the way. You are always our top priority, and we strive to surpass your high expectations with our dedication to outstanding legal services and commitment to client satisfaction.

Don’t trust inexperienced Tampa, FL, law firms that don’t have your best interests in mind.

Contact the Law Offices of Michael R. Herron at (813) 536-7603 and let our team fight for you today!