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Camp Lejeune Lawsuit

If you’ve contracted an illness or disease due to toxic chemical exposure from the water at Camp Lejeune, you may have an opportunity to file a lawsuit for damages. Learn more about the Camp Lejeune Justice Act and how it could affect your case.

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U.S. military personnel stationed at Camp Lejeune between 1953 and 1987 may have come into contact with contaminated water. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that the contamination may have affected between 500,000 and 1 million veterans and family members over the last 60 years. This contamination has led to many deadly illnesses.

Military members commit to serving their country and even giving their lives to defend it, but they didn’t volunteer for themselves or their families to be in danger when living on their home bases. 

The legal team at Meirowitz & Wasserberg, LLP deeply appreciates the sacrifices service members and their families make. We are honored to extend our hand to the U.S. Marines and their families who may be suffering due to water contamination at Camp Lejeune. 

Since founding our law firm, we have taken deep pride in representing first responders and the brave men and women of our military. We are here for you in your time of need.

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Toxic Chemical Exposure in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina

Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune is a major Marine, Navy and Coast Guard military installation just outside of Jacksonville, North Carolina. It’s both a training ground for soldiers and a residential base for service members and their families. The base hosts the largest concentration of sailors and marines in the country.

Several toxic compounds contaminated the Camp Lejeune water supply beginning in the 1950s, including the following:

  • Volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
  • Benzene
  • Vinyl chloride
  • Polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAs)

These are man-made chemicals used in many manufacturing processes. There were several sources of contamination of the Holcomb Boulevard water system, which provided water to the housing units and barracks, base school and administrative offices, and even the base hospital. These sources of contamination included:

  • Spills from different industrial sites on base
  • Underground storage tanks and drums that leaked TCE
  • ABC One-Hour Cleaners, a dry-cleaning company that had a PCE spill
  • Aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF), which contains a large amount of PFAs

Investigators found these chemicals in the groundwater and nearby drinking water wells near the base. The Tarawa Terrace and Hadnot Point water treatment plants also brought contaminated water to Camp Lejeune.

The contamination in the water and the long-term exposure led to many different kinds of illnesses and health problems for military members and their families, such as:

  • Multiple forms of cancer
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Congenital disabilities, stillbirths, low birth weights and miscarriages
  • Cardiac defects and heart disease
  • Severe skin hypersensitivity, an autoimmune disease
  • Thyroid disorders

These are just a few of the major conditions that military members and their families, including children, have suffered from due to the contaminated water. 

Although the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs offers treatment for these diseases, the benefits may not cover all related costs. Additionally, those affected may seek compensation for pain, suffering and reduced quality of life.

What can a personal injury attorney do?

A personal injury lawyer at Meirowitz & Wasserberg, LLP can file a personal injury lawsuit on your behalf. We will seek compensation from the parties responsible for the water contamination that caused your disease, reduced quality of life or loss of a pregnancy or family member.

The lawsuit we file can include economic damages to cover medical treatments and lost wages if you couldn’t work due to being sick or receiving treatments. 

We can also seek non-economic damages, which cover pain and suffering, diminished quality of life and emotional trauma. Finally, we will consider pursuing punitive damages against the parties responsible. However, this avenue is not likely to be viable in Camp Lejeune water contamination cases.

North Carolina Statute of Limitations

Camp Lejeune is in North Carolina, so all lawsuits for water contamination must comply with state laws regarding the filing of lawsuits. North Carolina has a 10-year statute of repose that prevents lawsuits for Camp Lejeune water contamination.

A statute of repose is similar to a statute of limitations, which sets a time limit for how long one can file a personal injury lawsuit after an injury. 

The statute of repose sets the time limit at the time of contamination instead of when investigators discover contamination or when a doctor diagnoses a disease. 

Unfortunately, the contamination wasn’t public knowledge until more than 10 years had passed. Therefore, Camp Lejeune water contamination victims have been time-barred from filing personal injury lawsuits. The U.S. Supreme Court has upheld the statute of repose.

However, the Honoring Our Pact Act may provide a way for military families affected by the water contamination to file a suit against responsible parties and the U.S. military.

This act will offer a chance for you and your personal injury lawyer to work around North Carolina’s statute of repose and help you get the compensation you deserve.

At Meirowitz & Wasserberg, LLP, we fully support this legislation because we believe that the men and women of the military and their families deserve compensation for their losses, including loss of health, companionship, pregnancy and quality of life. 

We believe that all victims of the Camp Lejeune water contamination deserve justice. While no amount of money can restore your health or that of your loved ones, the settlement from your lawsuit can help provide financial security and take care of your medical needs. 

The Honoring Our Pact Act recently made its way through Congress and was signed into law by President Biden. We are actively prepared to take cases, and we’re ready to help you and your family.

Compensation

Compensation in a personal injury lawsuit includes three areas: economic, non-economic and punitive.

Economic damages are the monetary losses you suffered from the contaminated water. They can include medical care and ongoing rehabilitation expenses. Some people may have required expensive fertility treatments as a result of the reproductive damage from the contaminated water, and economic damages also cover this.

Non-economic damages are also commonly known as “pain and suffering” and can compensate you for emotional trauma and mental anguish you experience when you or a loved one faces cancer or another deadly disease.

Finally, some personal injury claims also include punitive damages, a form of economic punishment for companies and other entities whose negligence or oversight led to the damages you suffered. The Honoring Our Act will likely disallow punitive damages in these water contamination lawsuits.

checking for water contamination

Who may be liable for the water contamination?

There are several potential defendants in Camp Lejeune water contamination cases. Liability in a personal injury claim can sometimes be murky, but in this case, the parties responsible are fairly straightforward. 

These parties may include the water treatment plants, ABC One-Hour Cleaners and the U.S. government. Our legal team isn’t afraid to take on the government to secure justice for you.

When to Contact a Lawyer

There are several benefits to hiring a lawyer. 

Thousands of affected people may have filed claims with the VA for health care and rehabilitation. Our lawyers can help you file a VA disability claim that is as compelling as possible to get you the maximum benefits. If you have had a claim denied, we can represent you in an appeal and even have your appeal heard in front of a VA judge.

The sooner you contact a lawyer, the better. The more time we have to prepare your case, the stronger we can make it

Cost of a Lawyer

Many people worry about how they will pay for a personal injury attorney. However, many personal injury lawyers, including those at Meirowitz & Wasserberg, LLP, work on a contingency basis. 

We will take our legal fees as a percentage of your settlement, and if we don’t win for you, then we don’t get paid. Therefore, you won’t have to pay for a lawyer until your case is over and you win.

What makes Meirowitz & Wasserburg, LLP the best choice?

With the recent passage of the Honoring Our Pact Act, we anticipate filing many claims, giving the water contamination victims the justice the government has denied them for so long.

We’re ready to start preparing your case now. Our lawyers know how to help victims of contamination such as those suffering from exposure to toxic chemicals at Camp Lejeune. We understand how to structure lawsuits for toxic exposure and have a proven track record of success

For example, here are some of the recent settlements we’ve achieved on behalf of our clients:

  • A $32 million verdict in a case of asbestos exposure
  • A $5.1 million mesothelioma settlement on behalf of a Navy machinist
  • A $1.2 million settlement on behalf of a merchant marine electrician with asbestos exposure

Now is the time to prepare to file a case. Contact Meirowitz & Wasserberg, LLP today for a free consultation about your case.

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