Camp Lejeune Lawsuit What is, Definition, Meaning
What is the Camp Lejeune Lawsuit? (2024)
What is the Camp Lejeune Lawsuit?
The Camp Lejune contaminated water lawsuit is an ongoing series of litigations between US Marine Corps personnel, their families, and the US Federal Government. If you were stationed at Camp Lejune in Jacksonville, NC for over 30 days between 1953 and 1987, you and your family may be entitled to compensation from the Federal Government due to the toxicity of the water at the base and the negligence assumed by USMC leaders and government officials. In the sections below, we’ll go over the history and context of these litigations, and what you can do to seek damages.
Water Contamination at Camp Lejune Between 1953 and 1987
The origin of Camp Lejeune's water contamination traces back to the 1950s when toxic chemicals such as trichloroethylene (TCE), tetrachloroethylene (PCE), benzene, and vinyl chloride seeped into the base's drinking water. These chemicals, likely used for cleaning machinery and other industrial purposes, contaminated the groundwater beneath the base, which served as the primary water source for its residents.
Unbeknownst to those stationed at Camp Lejeune, the water they consumed, bathed in, and used for everyday activities was tainted with carcinogens and other harmful substances. For decades, this contamination persisted, resulting in widespread exposure among military personnel, their families, and civilian workers.
Impact Of The Camp Lejune Water Contamination
The health impacts of the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune have been profound and long-lasting. Marine Corps personnel and their families who were exposed to these toxins have reported a litany of serious health problems, including various forms of cancer, neurological disorders, reproductive issues, and developmental abnormalities in children born to affected parents.
Studies conducted by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) in 1997 and other organizations such as the EPA have established strong links between the contaminants found in Camp Lejeune's water and elevated rates of illnesses among those exposed. The toll on human lives has been immeasurable, with many families grappling with the loss of loved ones and enduring the physical and emotional burdens of chronic illnesses.
Camp Lejune Contaminated Water Lawsuit
In the face of mounting evidence linking the base's contaminated water to severe health consequences, affected individuals began seeking legal recourse against the U.S. government and the responsible parties, including the Department of Defense and private contractors.
The legal battles surrounding Camp Lejeune have involved complex litigation, class-action lawsuits, and settlements negotiated over several decades. USMC personnel and their families have contended that the government and other entities failed to take adequate measures to prevent or address the contamination, neglecting their duty to safeguard the health and well-being of military personnel and their families.
In 2012, the US Senate enacted the Jamey Ensminger Act, which provided healthcare coverage for individuals exposed to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune. This legislation represented a significant milestone in acknowledging the plight of affected individuals and extending support for their medical needs.
In 2022, Congress introduced the Camp Lejeune Justice Act as part of The PACT Act. While the Jamey Ensminger Act authorized healthcare through the VA, the Camp Lejeune Justice Act allows for USMC personnel and their families to seek damages for their suffering due to the US government’s negligence. Settlements are currently being awarded to those who lived at Camp Lejune between 1953 and 1987 for at least 30 days. If you or your family belongs to one of these groups, you may be entitled to compensation.