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The Tragic Impact of the Camp Lejeune Contamination on Families

September 22, 2023 Blog,Mass Tort Blog

The Camp Lejeune Justice Act was enacted in 2022, enabling those who suffered from exposure to the toxic waters of Camp Lejeune, to file claims against responsible parties including the U.S. Government.

According to an NBC Report, the Navy has received over 93,000 Camp Lejeune Justice Act Claims, however, none of the cases have been settled.

NBC was made aware of an email sent on May 9, 2023 by the Navy Judge Advocate General’s Office stating that they were focusing on “cases related to cardiac defect, kidney cancer, bladder cancer, non-Hodgkin lymphona, liver cancer, kidney disease, Parkinson’s disease and multiple myeloma and lymphoma.”

This leaves many affected victims without justice, including a tragically underrepresented group that has been pushed to the side for decades – the parents of deceased babies and women who suffered miscarriages and infertility as a result of exposure to Camp Lejeune poisoned water.

The report continues indicating that the Navy has adopted a voluntary “streamlined process” to resolve claims with offers of $100,000 to $550,000 for cases that fit a specific timeline and type of disease. Those with claims of miscarriage and infertility are not eligible for this settlement program.

What Happened at Camp Lejeune?

Camp Lejeune located in North Carolina was one of the nation’s crucial military bases, on which thousands of personnel and their families resided.

However, it was found that the water at Camp Lejeune was contaminated between 1953 to 1987. The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) found that the water at Camp Lejeune contained alarming levels of volatile organic compounds which are known carcinogens and tied to various severe health issues including:

  • Trichloroethylene (TCE)
  • Perchloroethylene (PCE)
  • Vinyl Chloride (VC) which resulted from the degradation of TCE and PCE.
  • Benzene

The contaminants affected residents severely and those individuals are still fighting for their right to justice.

Even more tragic are the most vulnerable members of the community, babies. Children who were born at Camp Lejeune between 1953 and 1987 suffered from serious health problems including heart defects, cleft palates, physical and cognitive impairments, and more. Additionally, they were at high risk of developing cancers like leukemia. Many did not survive past the first year.

In addition, there was an alarming rate of infant mortality and many pregnant mothers, even those in their third-trimester who were exposed to the water for a short period of time,  experienced still births, numerous miscarriages and subsequent infertility.

For over 30 years, those who suffered such tragic loss were left without hope. Even today, as attorneys fight for parents who lost children in utero and out, are aware that the path to justice will be filled with obstacles as infertility and miscarriages are challenging cases.

The Camp Lejeune Contaminated Water litigation is a stark reminder of the heartbreaking impact environmental negligence can have on thousands of people.

CaseyGerry is representing those who have been affected by the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune or at MCAS New River including members of the military and their families, and civilians who lived or worked on the base between the years of 1953 and 1987.

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