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Camp Lejeune Water Lawsuit

Our lawyers and now handling claims for victims seeking to file a Camp Lejeune lawsuit for injuries and deaths from water contamination at this Marine Corps base for victims in all 50 states.

A new law - the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 - is expected to allow for water contamination lawsuits from victims despite the statute of limitations that otherwise barred a Camp Lejeune lawsuit or injuries or wrongful death.

So people who lived or worked at Camp Lejeune between 1953 to 1987 and suffered water toxicity-related diseases such as cancer and other illnesses may be eligible for settlement compensation from the government.

The vehicle to get settlement compensation in these cases is a Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit, likely a class action, that will be filed for victims throughout the country. Our Camp Lejeune lawyers can assist you with your claim for your own injuries or sickness or the wrongful death of a loved one.

Camp Lejeune Legislative Updates

July 5, 2022

The final enactment of the PACT Act is held up by a “blue slip” privilege objection from the House over the validity of the Senate amendment adding a tax provision that only the House is authorized to issue. Blue slip objections from the House of Representatives are rarely seen. In the last 20 years only four bills have been “blue-slipped” back to the Senate over a tax provision. The last time it happened was in June 2015. 

July 2, 2022

As we wait for Congress to get back to work, it is important to put into context the cost of Camp Lejeune water contamination settlement amounts in the context of entire PACT Act. 

Whenever Congress is considering new legislation that involves government spending, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) examines the bill and provides a formal estimate for how much the law will actually cost over the next 10 years. The CBO Cost Estimate for the PACT Act estimates a total 10-year expenditure of $667 billion.  Camp Lejeune settlement payouts are estimated at $6.7 billion. This is only 1% of the total cost of the bill.   

There is no question that $6.7 billion for Camp Lejeune settlement compensation payouts is a great deal of money for victims.  But it is a rounding error in the big picture of this legislation.  

June 30, 2022
Congress will be back in session Monday, July 11th. Getting the PACT Act back on track for final passage should be a top priority when they return. The only aspect of the bill that is holding things up is a minor provision (unrelated to Camp Lejeune) that offers a small tax credit to VA healthcare providers who willingly relocate to underserviced locations. This was not a major part of the PACT Act and it should be easy enough to either eliminate it or revise it in a way that sidesteps the constitutional objection.

June 29, 2022
With Congress in recess, there have been no developments on the legislative front this week. The path to justice is moving slowly. Many of you are understandably frustrated with the pace of this legislation. But it should not be too much longer and it should not stop you from moving forward towards bringing your Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuits.

Several news outlets are reporting that the Senate Veteran’s Affairs Committee was working on a resolution to the blue slip objection that is currently delaying final passage of the PACT Act. Committee Chairman Jon Tester attempted to push through the proposed fix on the Senate floor. But it was blocked Thursday evening. Members of both the House and the Senate publicly stated on Friday this is merely a delay and that there is still strong bipartisan support for the PACT Act.

June 27, 2022
Who could possibly be against the PACT Act that stands behind the men and women who have valiantly served our country? Senator Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) was one of the 14 Senators who voted against the bill. He remains the leader of the opposition faction. Senator Toomey blocked the last-minute resolution effort by the Senate Veteran’s Affairs Committee on Thursday. Senator Toomey fears the bill will cost too much and overburden the VA. (This is how to contact Senator Toomey.)

June 25, 2022
Now that the revised PACT Act has been blue-slipped it has become very difficult to keep track of the legislative progress since everything now is happening in unofficial back channels. The best-case scenario now is that the Senate will agree to strike the minor tax credit provision that prompted the blue-slip objection from the House. That seems very likely to happen, but it probably won't be until after the July 4th recess.

June 24, 2020
Final passage of the PACT Act is still temporarily on hold as lawmakers work out the blue-slip objection asserted by the House over a constitutional technicality. At 12:30 p.m. yesterday, Congressmen Mike Doyle (D-Pa.) gave false hope with his tweet that Congress passed the PACT Act. Unfortunately, Rep. Doyle did not have his facts straight. The House has not passed the version of the bill passed by the Senate last week. Instead, certain House members are insisting that the bill is unconstitutional because of a minor provision that creates tax credits for some VA healthcare providers. Now the bill is on its way back to the Senate with a request that this provision is removed. Our Camp Lejeune attorneys remain soundly optimistic that the bill will eventually be passed. Blue slip objections like this are generally just technical delays.

June 23, 2022
A final vote by the House on approval of the amended version of the PACT Act was supposed to happen yesterday, which would have allowed President Biden to sign it before the July 4th recess. This timeline has been now been derailed, however, by technical objection over the constitutional validity of the bill. One of the amendments added by the Senate was a provision giving VA doctors a tax benefit if they agreed to relocate to underserved, rural locations. A group of House lawmakers claimed that this was an improper “tax provision” from the Senate because all tax and revenue laws must originate in the House. Now they are raising a “blue slip” objection which will likely send the bill back to the Senate for correction. It will still eventually be passed, but now the timeline is pushed back another month most likely.

June 22, 2022
The House Rules Committee was scheduled to vote yesterday afternoon on whether to advance the amended version of the Honoring Our Pact Act passed by the Senate (H.R. 3967). Unfortunately, that did not happen and consideration the PACT Act was formally postponed until recalled by the Chair of the Committee. The Senate version of the bill is in danger of being rejected by the House. This is a prime example of why most of us hate politics. A straight line is never the path. This bill will get passed. The Committee just ran out of time yesterday and pushed the PACT Act vote back.

June 21, 2022
The House is scheduled to vote on whether to approve and pass the amended version of the Honoring Our Pact Act. The approval vote appears to be a mere formality. When passed, the bill could be signed into law by President Biden by the end of the week, opening the door for thousands of victims to seek justice via a Camp Lejeune lawsuit to get a jury verdict or a fair settlement amount from the government.

June 20, 2022
The slightly revised version of the Honoring Our Pact Act that was passed by the Senate last week now needs to be approved by the House. This is pretty much a lock to happen considering the House previously passed almost the same bill back in March 2022, by a wide margin. None of the changes adopted by the Senate are highly controversial. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Ca.) has said the House will move quickly to get this bill passed, presumably this week. So, hopefully soon, our lawyers will be providing Zantac water contamination lawsuit updates instead of legislative updates.

June 20, 2021
The slightly revised version of the Honoring Our Pact Act that was passed by the Senate last week now needs to be approved by the House. The House passed almost the same bill back in March 2022, by a wide margin. None of the changes adopted by the Senate are controversial. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said the House will move quickly to get this bill passed. So, hopefully soon, our lawyers will be providing Zantac water contamination lawsuit updates instead of legislative updates.

June 17, 2022
Yesterday, the Senate passed the Honoring Our Pact Act. This law will allow victims of the water contamination at Camp Lejeune the legal right to bring civil lawsuits after years of being blocked by the statute of limitations. The Biden administration specifically mentioned that the new law will give justice to those harmed by water contamination at Camp Lejeune.

Before a new Camp Lejeune lawsuit can be filed, the bill needs to go through the reconciliation process because the House and the Senate passed different versions of the bill.

June 16, 2022
The Senate passed the Honoring Our Pact Act today by a final vote of 84-13 which includes the Camp Lejeune Act 2022. Now the revised bill will go back to House for re-approval. It appears poised to pass easily, bringing justice closer for Camp Lejeune water contamination victims.

June 15, 2022
Yesterday, the slightly amended version of the Honoring Our Pact Act (which includes the full version of the Camp Lejeune Justice Act) was up for formal consideration in the Senate. This means we could see a final vote on the passage of the bill any day now. If the Senate passes the bill it will immediately go back to the House for approval.

June 14, 2022 Update
The Senate is now set to take a final vote this week on the passage of the Honoring Our Pact Act (HOPA) and all indications are that the bill will be passed by a wide margin.

June 13, 2022 Update
Last week, the Senate voted 86-17 in favor of a cloture motion to proceed on the bill. This means that the Senate agreed to limit debate over the bill and effectively fast-track its consideration for the final approval vote.

This does not necessarily mean that the bill will pass a final vote, but it is a very positive indication.

Senator Patty Murry (D-WA) spoke on the Senate floor on Wednesday about the importance of passing the HOPA. Senator Murry’s comments about the importance of passing the HOPA bill generally mirrored those previously cited by her Republican colleague, Marco Rubio (R-FL), last month when announcing his support for the bill.

June 8, 2022 Update
There has been no progress on the Camp Lejeune Justice Act since the shootings in Uvalde, Texas. The hope was that the bill would be passed by the Senate last week after Memorial Day. But these shootings have put many legislative initiatives on the back burner for the moment, including this one.

Most Camp Lejeune lawyers are confident this bill will soon be passed by the Senate. But you may want to remind your senators of the importance of this bill to military families who have served this country.

Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawsuit

Camp Lejeune represents the worst contamination of a public water system in American history. From 1953 to 1987 the water supply at the Marine Corps base at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina was contaminated with dangerously high levels of carcinogenic chemicals. Marines, their families, and people who worked at Camp Lejeune drank and bathed in water contaminated with more than 70 chemicals and toxins at levels 240 to 3400 times permitted by safety standards.

Camp Lejeune toxic water contamination lawsuit

The main chemicals that will be the focus of a Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit are three volatile organic compounds: trichloroethylene (TCE), perchloroethylene (PCE), and benzene. Our military and their families were unknowingly digesting water contaminated with awful toxins every day.

This toxic water did not create just a theoretical risk of harm. Scientific and medical evidence has shown undeniably that exposure to this contaminated water while living or working at Camp Lejeune caused thousands to develop cancer, birth defects, and other conditions.

Sadly, the law in North Carolina had blocked these Camp Lejeune victims from bringing cancer lawsuits and other claims against the government. Now, however, the U.S. Senate is about to pass a new federal law that will enable victims of water contamination at Camp Lejeune to file claims and get financial compensation.

Camp Lejeune toxic water contamination lawsuit

Our national mass tort lawyers are now accepting new Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuits from victims who lived or worked at the base between 1953 and 1987 and were subsequently diagnosed with leukemia, bladder cancer, kidney cancer, liver, cancer, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, multiple myeloma, and anemia or other myelodysplastic syndromes.

Contaminated Water Supply at Camp Lejeune Base

Camp Lejeune BaseCamp Lejeune is a sprawling Marine Corps military base and operational training facility that has been in use since 1942. The base, which is serviced by several satellite facilities, occupies a total area of 250 square miles in Onslow County, North Carolina.

Camp Lejeune is the traditional home base of many resident Marine Corps commands, including the II Marine Expeditionary Force. It has been used for military training operations by various branches of the armed forces.

In the 1980s, the Marine Corps performed testing on the two primary water treatment facilities that had supplied water to the Camp Lejeune. This testing revealed that Camp Lejeune’s water supply contained extremely high levels of chemicals that are known to be toxic to the human body and have been linked to cancer.

The Marine Corps testing also determined that the water supply to Camp Lejeune had been contaminated with toxic chemicals since the 1950s. The full-time range of the Camp Lejeune water contamination (in both treatment facilities) is from 1953 to 1987. During those 30 years, it is estimated that around 750,000 people were exposed to the contaminated water.

What Chemicals Were Found in the Water at Camp Lejeune?

The water supply at Camp Lejeune from the 1950s to the 1980s was contaminated with two specific chemicals: Perchloroethylene (PCE) and Trichloroethylene (TCE). Each of these chemicals were found at extremely high levels in two separate water treatment plants servicing the base, the Hadnot Point treatment plant and the Tarawa Terrace water plant.

The TCE contamination occurred in the Hadnot Point water treatment facility. TCE is an odorless, colorless liquid chemical used for industrial purposes. For decades, TCE was commonly used by the U.S. military as a solvent and degreaser for the cleaning of large metal weapons and equipment. TCE is also used to make refrigerants.

The EPA’s maximum safe level of TCE in drinking water is 5 parts per billion (ppb). The water from the Hadnot Point plant was found to contain TCE levels as high as 1,400 ppb. The TCE contamination at the Hadnot Point plant occurred from 1953 to 1985.

The PCE contamination was found in the Tarawa Terrance water treatment plant at Camp Lejeune. PCE is a clear liquid with a mild odor that is primarily used as a fabric solvent in the commercial dry-cleaning industry. The contamination at the Tarawa plant was traced to the ABC One-Hour Cleaners, a nearby dry-cleaning business.

For drinking water, the EPA has set the maximum safe level for PCE at 5 ppb. The water from the Tarawa treatment plant going to Camp Lejeune was found to contain PCE levels as high as 215 ppb, 43 times the maximum safe limit. It was eventually determined that the PCE contamination at the Tarawa plant existed from November 1957 to February 1985 when the supply wells were shut down.

But shutting down the wells did not change anything for the million people that had been exposed to this unbelievably contaminated water. The government did a study in 2013 on the water at Camp Lejeune. It found PCE, TCE, vinyl chloride, and benzene levels that were among the highest ever recorded in drinking water in American history.

Camp Lejeune Map Studies Link Contaminants in Camp Lejeune Water to Cancer

The chemicals that were in the Camp Lejeune water supply for 4 decades are well-known to be extremely harmful to the human body and have been associated with cert types of cancer, neurologic disorders, and birth defects. Medical studies and research has established that prolonged exposure to TCE and PCE is associated with higher rates of certain cancers. The cancers that have been linked to TCE and PCE exposure in drinking water at Camp Lejeune include:

  • Leukemia
  • Bladder cancer
  • Kidney cancer
  • Liver Cancer
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

Since the discovery of the water contamination at Camp Lejeune, many scientific studies have assessed the health impact that water contamination had on Camp Lejeune residents and employees. All these studies reach the same conclusion: exposure to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune significantly increased the risk of mortality from cancers and other chronic diseases.

One of the first major Camp Lejeune water studies lead by CDC scientist Frank Bove and published in 2014 in the journal Environmental Health. The Bove Stud, a retrospective cohort study, looked at the mortality data for military personnel stationed at Camp Lejeune from 1975 to 1985. This data set was compared to the same mortality data for personnel stationed at another military base where the water was not contaminated (Camp Pendleton, CA).

The Bove Study found that Marines who served at Camp Lejeune had substantially elevated risks for several causes of death including kidney cancer, liver cancer, esophageal cancer, and cervical cancer. Camp Lejeune residents also had higher rates of multiple myeloma, Hodgkin's lymphoma, and Lou Gehrig’s disease.

The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), which is part of the CDC, has been performing comprehensive studies on the health risks of water contamination at Camp Lejeune for several decades. Many of the ATSDR studies show clear evidence that the water contamination resulted in higher rates of cancer and death. 

What are the most common cancers diagnosed from Camp Lejeune? Breast cancer, bladder cancer, multiple myeloma, and renal cancer.

Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Caused Other Injuries

Other health conditions, such as aplastic anemia (and other myelodysplastic syndromes) and neurologic disorders, have also been linked to exposure to PCE and TCE. Other injuries include:

  • ALS (Lou Gerhig's Disease)
  • Birth Defects and Injuries
  • Brain Damage
  • Cardiac Defect
  • Epilepsy
  • Fatty Liver Disease
  • Hepatic Steatosis
  • Immune disorders
  • Infertility
  • Miscarriage
  • Myelodysplastic syndromes
  • Neurobehavioral Effects
  • Parkinson's Disease
  • Plastic anemia (and other bone marrow conditions)
  • Renal Toxicity
  • Scleroderma
Study Links Camp Lejeune Water Contamination to Birth Defects

To this day, Camp Lejeune is an important military base that defends our country. It is a huge and vibrant Marine Corps base that uses fuel, electrical transformers, machine shops, pesticides, fire training, dry cleaning, trash removal, utility maintenance services, construction, mechanical support maintenance services, chemical treatment operations... the list goes on and on.

Over 20 years, the failure to properly maintain a safe water supply at Camp Lejeune resulted in water contaminated with high levels of TCE, PCE, and other chemicals. Thousands of pregnant women lived and worked on the base and drank the water. The result will be a large number of Camp Lejeune birth defect lawsuits.

One key piece of research that will be relied on in a Camp Lejeune lawsuit will be studies by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). These scientific studies concluded that maternal exposure to contaminated water a Camp Lejeune resulted in a significantly higher rate of neural tube birth defects such as spina bifida.

The ATSDR study looked at birth defect rates for women who resided at Camp Lejeune at some point during pregnancy and had children born between 1968 and 1985. The study a clear link between gestational exposure to PCE and TCE in the Camp Lejeune water and neural tube birth defects (“NTD”).

Children exposed to the contaminated Camp Lejeune water during the first trimester of pregnancy displayed NTD birth defect rates nearly 5 times higher than normal. Five times. That is a stunning and tragic number of babies enduring permanent and avoidable injuries.

Military Ignored and Concealed the Water Contamination at Camp Lejeune

In recent years, a long trail of evidence has been uncovered that clearly shows that the U.S. Marine Corps knew about the Camp Lejeune water contamination for years but first ignored and then later actively concealed the issue.

The dangerous water contamination at Camp Lejeune was first discovered back in 1980 when new EPA regulations were enacted which required the military to perform testing for the first time.

The testing was done by the U.S. Army Environmental Hygiene Agency and in March 1981 that agency provided a report to the U.S. Marine Corps warning that “[w]ater is highly contaminated with other chlorinated hydrocarbons (solvents)!” No immediate action was taken in response.

In 1982, the USMC contracted Grainger Laboratories to perform extensive testing on the water supply system for Camp Lejeune. Grainger submitted a report confirming that certain water supply wells servicing the base were heavily contaminated with TCE and PCE. One of the Grainger scientists also met with the deputy director of base utilities at Camp Lejeune to warn him about the tainted water problem. But the USMC official refused to address the issue.

A month later, in August 1982, another Grainger chemist sent a letter to the Camp Lejeune base commander (Marine Maj. General D.J. Fulham) advising that the water supply wells were “poisoned.” Once again, no action was taken by the Marine Corps. Grainger provided additional warnings about the water contamination to Marine Corps officials in December 1982, March 1983, and September 1983.

In April 1983, however, USMC officials at Camp Lejeune submitted a report to the EPA falsely stating that there were no environmental contamination issues at the base. In June 1983, North Carolina’s water supply administration asked the USMC to provide Grainger’s water testing reports for Camp Lejeune. The Marine Corps flatly refused to disclose the testing reports and in December 1983 they reduced the level of water testing being done by Grainger at the base.

In July 1984, a new laboratory was contracted to test the water at Lejeune as part of the EPA superfund program. This testing found that Camp Lejeune water was contaminated with dangerously high levels of TCE, PCE, and also with benzene. At this point, the USMC finally agreed to begin shutting down the contaminated water wells. In December 1984, the USMC formally notified North Carolina officials about the contamination but withheld key details such as the discovery of benzene in addition to TCE and PCE.

In 1992, the USMC submitted a report for a federal health review which admitted to the prior TCE and PCE contamination in the water. In that same report, however, the USMC failed to disclose that the water was also contaminated with benzene even though Marine Corps officials were fully aware of it.

In 2005, the EPA and the Department of Justice launched a formal investigation into the USMC’s handling of the Camp Lejeune water contamination issue. This investigation ultimately concluded that no USMC officials had engaged in criminal conduct concerning the Camp Lejeune water problem. In 2007, however, it was revealed that EPA officials involved in the investigation wanted to charge several Lejeune officials with obstruction of justice. But they were overruled by the DOJ prosecutors.

U.S. Veterans Affairs Supports Core of Camp Lejeune Lawsuit

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs found that only 30-day continuous exposure to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune during the years between 1953 and 1987 may qualify veterans and their family members for health benefits if they suffer leukemia, bladder cancer, liver cancer, kidney cancer, breast cancer, lung cancer, multiple myeloma, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, miscarriage, neurobehavioral effects, and the autoimmune disease scleroderma.

Our Camp Lejeune lawyers believe this is just the start of the list of harms caused by contaminated water at Camp Lejeune.

New Law May Allow Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawsuits

The ATSDR and Department of Defense have estimated that around 750,000 people were exposed to the contaminated water at the Camp Lejeune military base from the 1950s to the 1980s. Thousands of these people may have developed leukemia and other types of cancers and possibly died as a result of their exposure to the water at Camp Lejeune. In many cases, the case cancer develops years or decades later.

Several hundred victims of the Camp Lejeune water contamination have previously filed civil lawsuits seeking financial compensation for their injuries. Around 850 of these plaintiffs were consolidated into a multi-district litigation (MDL) (In re: Camp Lejeune, NC Water Contamination Lit., 1:11-MD-2218 (E.D. NC). Unfortunately, all these lawsuits were dismissed in 2016 based on a law in North Carolina known as a statute of repose.

A statute of response is a type of statute of limitations law that says that a civil lawsuit must be filed within a certain maximum amount of time, regardless of whether the victim even knows the cause of the injury or death. North Carolina’s statute of repose, requires all tort lawsuits to be filed within 10 years. This essentially precluded every Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit and led to the dismissal of the MDL cases in 2016.

The dismissal of the Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuits created public outrage because it meant that thousands of innocent victims (including military veterans and their families) would be denied compensation for serious injuries. In response, a new federal law was proposed in Congress called the Camp Lejeune Justice Act (“CLJA”).

The CLJA would essentially circumvent the North Carolina statute of repose and allow victims to file lawsuits in federal court if they were exposed (even in-utero) to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 days between August 1953 and December 1987.

The CLJA was passed by the House of Representatives in the Spring of 2022. The vote on the CLJA was 256 to 174. The CLJA has generated some bipartisan support with 34 republicans crossing the aisle to join 222 democrats voting to pass the bill. To become law, the CLJA now must be confirmed by a majority vote in the U.S. Senate and signed by President Biden.

DATEEVENT
12-12-2016Federal judge dismisses 850 Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuits in an MDL that were brought under the Federal Tort Claims Act. The cases are dismissed based on North Carolina’s 10-year statute of repose.
9-20-2018Efforts to appeal the dismissal of the Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuits under the NC repose statute are exhausted, leaving thousands of victims without any further option for compensation.
3-22-2021The Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2021 is proposed in Congress for the first time, but the bill is referred to a committee and never goes anywhere.
1-25-2022A new law called the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 (CLJA) is introduced in the US House of Representatives. The co-sponsors include 10 Democrats and 6 Republicans from 8 different states.
2-28-2022The CLJA is merged into a larger bill called the Honoring Our Pact Act of 2021 (the “Pact Act”) which seeks to provide additional health care benefits, and other rights and resources for military veterans exposed to toxic chemicals during service.
3-3-2022The House passes the Pact Act (including the CLJA) by a vote of 256 to 174 and the bill is immediately sent to the Senate.
5-17-2022Florida Senator Marco Rubio, one of the top Republicans in the Senate, posts a press release voicing his strong support for the CLJA. In the press release, Senator Rubio urges his colleagues to pass the Pact Act and CLJA.
5-25-2022The Pact Act and CLJA are formally read in the Senate and docketed on the Senate Legislative Calendar.
5-26-2022Motion to proceed to consideration (CR S2729) of the Pact Act and CLJA is made in the Senate, along with a Cloture motion (which limits debate and expedites consideration of a bill).
Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawsuit Settlement Amounts

If the CLJA is passed by Senate and becomes law, it will give potentially thousands of Camp Lejeune victims the right to file a civil lawsuit in federal court in North Carolina. As the bill is currently written, claimants would have to file their suits within two years after the CLJA is enacted.

Practically, the purpose of this bill is to make sure victims get fair Camp Lejeune water settlement amounts as compensation for the suffering they have endured from the water contamination at Camp Jejeune. This applies to the water contamination victims themselves and those who lost loved ones who wish to bring a wrongful death lawsuit.

Claimants who file a lawsuit under the CLJA would need to prove that they were exposed to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune between 1953 and 1987 and that they subsequently developed one of the cancer types or other health conditions that have been linked to the water contamination.

Successful claimants who can establish both of these requirements will be entitled to the full range of compensatory damages available in tort cases (past and future medical expenses, pain and suffering, etc.). Any amounts awarded to claimants will be offset by any VA benefit payments they received for the alleged injuries.

There are way too many variables for our lawyers to come up with a very accurate estimate for the potential settlement value of Camp Lejeune water contamination cases, but we can make an educated guess by looking at the settlement amounts in prior cases involving similar injuries. In the Camp Lejeune cases, the primary injuries will be leukemia, liver cancer, kidney cancer, and lymphoma. Based on these prior points of comparison, our lawyers think the Camp Lejeune lawsuit cancer cases could have a settlement value between $175,000 and $350,000.

The tough thing here is how to bake in the politics involved in a Camp Lejeune lawsuit. This is harder to read and harder to project because there are not many comparable class action lawsuits against the government in such a politically charged case. This door swings both ways in terms of impact on settlement amounts.

But, most likely, it pushes settlement compensation higher than lower because of the politics of being on the right side of veterans. Is it hard to spend $10 billion as compensation for injury and wrongful death claims brought by Marine veterans who were serving our country when we are spending $40 billion on Ukrainian Aid Package #7?

Moreover, the government will not go through the trouble to allow victims to make a claim only to fight them tooth and nail. So while there are no certainties in litigation, our lawyers expect there would be a global settlement payout covering most of these Camp Lejune water contamination lawsuits before there is a single trial

Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawsuits

In 2009, some Marines, their family members, and employees at Camp Lejeune began filing lawsuits against the government under the Federal Tort Claims Act alleging that they developed cancer and other health conditions from drinking contaminated water on the base. Every Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit was eventually consolidated into a Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) Camp Lejeune class action lawsuit in the Eastern District of North Carolina in 2012.

Just over 850 lawsuits were eventually consolidated into the Camp Lejeune water contamination MDL. Unfortunately, all these cases were eventually dismissed based on the North Carolina 10-year statute of repose.

Let's look at a few of these Camp Lejeune toxic water lawsuits because they are a harbinger of what is to come if this new law passes.

Jones v. United States
In Jul7 2007, Laura J. Jones filed the first Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit. After first filing an administrative complaint with the Department of the Navy (as required to bring a Federal Tort Claim Act case), Jones filed a Camp Lejeune lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina.

Jones was the wife of a Marine Corps Corporal and she and her husband lived in base housing at Camp Lejeune from 1980 to 1983. The house that Jones and her husband lived in received its drinking water supply from one of the contaminated water treatment plants at Camp Lejeune.

In her Camp Lejeune lawsuit, Jones alleged that she was exposed to carcinogenic chemicals in the water supply at the Marine base, including TCE, PCE, DCE, vinyl chloride, and benzene. These are the same operative facts you will see in the soon-to-be-filed water contamination lawsuits at Camp Lejeune. Jones claimed her exposure to these toxic chemicals led her to develop non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL).

The government immediately filed a motion to dismiss the Jones case, arguing that her claims were time-barred under the Federal Tort Claims Act’s statute of limitations. Specifically, the government asserted that Jones should have been on inquiry notice as early as 2005 because by that time there were numerous media reports about the Camp Lejeune water contamination issues.

The District Court denied the motion to dismiss based on the FTCA statute of limitations. The court ruled Jones could not have been on notice of her potential claim in 2005 because the USMC did not do enough to inform people. 

Shriberg v. United States

In January 2011, Joel Shriberg filed a Camp Lejeune toxic water lawsuit against the U.S. Government in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina. Shriberg was a former Marine with 155th Howitzer Battalion, and he served as a clerk at Camp Lejeune and lived on base from 1957 to 1959.

In 2004, Shriberg was diagnosed with a rare form of male breast cancer that spread to his lungs. Shriberg had no family history of breast cancer or any other risk factors. Several experts concluding that his cancer was likely caused by the water contamination at Camp Lejeune.

In his toxic water lawsuit, Shriberg alleged that the government had a duty to provide Camp Lejeune with a safe drinking water supply. Shriberg claims that the USMC breached this duty by failing to provide a safe water supply, failing to properly test the water, ignoring early reports of contamination, and then covering up the existence of the contamination.

FAQs: Camp Lejeune Water Lawsuit
How Do I File a Claim for Camp Lejeune Water Contamination?

If the Senate passes the Camp Lejeune Justice Act, victims who meet the qualifying criteria will be able to pursue their claims by filing a tort lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina.

What Are Neurological Conditions Linked to Camp Lejune Water Contamination?

The ATSR and other studies on the effect of water contamination at Camp Lejeune have found that certain neurologic disorders such as multiple myeloma and Parkinson’s disease appear to be associated with exposure to the water at Camp Lejeune.

What Toxins Were in the Water at Camp Lejeune?

The water at Camp Lejeune was found to be contaminated with many toxins that can cause cancer and other conditions. Perchloroethylene (PCE) and trichloroethylene (TCE) are the two biggest problems. These chemicals are recognized as probable human carcinogens and exposure has been specifically linked to leukemia, renal cancer, and other cancers.

Is There a Camp Lejeune Class Action Lawsuit?

There is not currently a Camp Lejeune class action lawsuit because such a lawsuit would be dismissed because the U.S. Senate has not passed the House bill for the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022. But the Senate is expected to pass the bill (which, honestly, is why so many Camp Lejeune lawyers are spending money trying to get these cases).

When the Senate passes the bill, you can expect a number of lawsuits to be filed in U.S. District Court in North Carolina. There will be an effort to consolidate those lawsuits in a new MDL Camp Lejeune class action lawsuit. The MDL Panel will almost certainly grant a request for an MDL class action lawsuit.

The government may support the effort because consolidation of all water contamination lawsuits at Camp Lejeune will make it cheaper to put this litigation together (and easier to reach a global settlement compensation deal).

Get a Camp Lejeune Lawyer to Fight for You

Our national mass tort lawyers are now actively looking for new Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit cases that meet the following criteria:

  • You served, lived, or worked on the Camp Lejeune base for at least 1 month between the years 1953 and 1987.
  • You have been subsequently diagnosed with: bladder cancer, kidney cancer, liver cancer, leukemia, multiple myeloma, lymphoma, or other neurologic conditions.

Contact us today at 800-553-8082 for a free consultation or reach out to our Camp Lejeune lawyers online.

Client Reviews
★★★★★
They quite literally worked as hard as if not harder than the doctors to save our lives. Terry Waldron
★★★★★
Ron helped me find a clear path that ended with my foot healing and a settlement that was much more than I hope for. Aaron Johnson
★★★★★
Hopefully I won't need it again but if I do, I have definitely found my lawyer for life and I would definitely recommend this office to anyone! Bridget Stevens
★★★★★
The last case I referred to them settled for $1.2 million. John Selinger
★★★★★
I am so grateful that I was lucky to pick Miller & Zois. Maggie Lauer
★★★★★
The entire team from the intake Samantha to the lawyer himself (Ron Miller) has been really approachable. Suzette Allen
★★★★★
The case settled and I got a lot more money than I expected. Ron even fought to reduce how much I owed in medical bills so I could get an even larger settlement. Nchedo Idahosa