Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawsuit: What You Need to Know

March 6 2023

Those affected by the Camp Lejeune water contamination may pursue legal action in order to seek compensation for losses related to health issues. There are multiple class action lawsuits and individual lawsuits that victims can join or create.

What is the Camp Lejeune Contamination Lawsuit?

The Camp Lejeune contamination lawsuit involves a specific group of individuals and families who have been affected by poison water on base for nearly three decades. From 1953 to 1987, contaminated drinking water at the U.S. Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina had severe health effects on marines, their family members and civilian employees. Specifically, those exposed to contaminants such as trichloroethylene and benzene could experience a greater risk of diseases ranging from lymphoma to liver cancer.

The legal debate began in 2017 when veterans who were stationed at Camp Lejeune during the contaminated water era sued the federal government seeking damages. The plaintiffs claim that the government was aware of hazardous contamination yet failed to take appropriate action to protect those living on base. They argue that they should be compensated for any medical expenses due to illnesses related to their exposure over time. Proponents of the suit believe that the military put profits ahead of safety and question why it took so long for action to be taken when clear evidence of contamination was present.

On the other hand, some opponents contend that filing a suit is an inefficient way of addressing the issue and is ineffective in providing immediate assistance to those suffering from illnesses caused by chemical exposure. Others infer that the exact amount of exposure to potential toxins is unknown, making it difficult to identify who should receive assistance or how much compensation is warranted. In addition, legal experts speculate that many claims will be dismissed due to statute of limitations which can make it difficult for victims to have their case heard in court.

Despite these debates, as more revelations about contamination come to light, more plaintiffs are stepping forward with personal injury lawsuits against both government agencies and private companies responsible for contamination at Camp Lejeune. This has resulted in over 500 cases being reported so far. Now that we have discussed what is Camp Lejeune Contamination Lawsuit, let’s move onto the next section which addresses who is eligible to file a Camp Lejcune lawsuit?

Who is Eligible to File a Camp Lejeune Lawsuit?

When it comes to filing a Camp Lejeune lawsuit, the question of who is eligible can be complicated. Some estimates put the number of military personnel and family members affected by Agent Orange contamination of the base’s water supply as high as 900,000, though the actual number is likely much lower. Eligibility for filing a lawsuit runs along several criteria which may include age, duration and type of service, among others.

For instance, veterans who may have served during periods when Camp Lejeune’s water supply was contaminated by toxic chemicals are potentially eligible to file a claim. Children of veterans who lived at Camp Lejeune while their parent(s) were enlisted may also be eligible to bring forth a legal suit against the government. Furthermore, any relatives or dependents of veterans who have suffered health complications as a result of said exposure may also be eligible to join in on existing class action lawsuits or pursue a separate claim.

That being said, not everyone exposed at Camp Lejeune is necessarily eligible due to specific restrictions related to legal requirements such as the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA), which limits claims against governmental entities from persons with certain affiliations or credentials. For those wishing to seek damages for wrongful death or injury due to exposure to contaminated water, eligibility will depend heavily upon these legal parameters outlined in FTCA.

The complexity surrounding potential legal claims and eligibility has made some less inclined to pursue compensation for their suffering despite strong evidence that toxins like TCE, benzene, and vinyl chloride present on the base caused birth defects, serious illnesses and diseases such as cancer and kidney failure in military service members and their families from 1953-1987.

Given this reality, determining an individual’s eligibility can require extensive research into one’s service history in order to ensure that all stipulations are met when filing a suit. Fortunately various online resources such as Marine Resources Center allow those affected to access their own service records without charge and use these documents as proof when seeking compensation in court or settling out of court with the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA).

Ultimately, understanding all available options and ways to get justice can be challenging given the complexity surrounding eligibility requirements for filing a Camp Lejeune lawsuit. After all is said and done however, those affected need only remember that seeking justice is possible if they meet certain criteria set forth by FTCA. With that we look ahead towards the next section discussing how injured veterans may approach filing a legal claim against the government for wrongdoings at Camp Lejeune.

Injured Veterans

The consequences of the Camp Lejeune Water Contamination have impacted thousands of veterans who were stationed at the military base in the past. Not only were these veterans exposed to contaminated water sources, but many of them had unknowingly consumed it, leading to a wide variety of health issues and life-long conditions. As a result, more than 200 veteran organizations have come forward to support Marine veterans claiming to have personally experienced the aftermath of this tragedy.

Particularly for those who retired pre-2009, claims for health injuries resulting from exposure are often denied due to the lack of evidence. The lack of hard evidence makes it difficult for those retired from the service before Congress passed the Honoring America’s Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act in 2009. Those who served after 2009 may be entitled to disability payments up to $1520 per month and receive medical treatments related to their illnesses.

Not only are veterans struggling with various complex ailments, but they must also cope with getting covered under VA benefits specifically designated for contamination caused by toxic chemicals found on base drinking water supplies over several decades ago. Although scientific research supports that those stationed at Camp Lejeune or working there are at a higher risk of having multiple serious health conditions, some attorneys argue that proving contamination resulted in an individual’s illness is still too difficult to definitively determine in court cases which has held up settling many cases for years.

Leading into the next section about “Injured Families”, there are countless families who were also severely impacted by this tragedy on Camp Lejeune where numerous family members skilled from contaminants in the water system. Many of them have stories to tell about how their lives changed suddenly as a result of this incident.

Injured Families

Injured Families. The water contamination scandal of Camp Lejeune has affected thousands of military personnel and their families, leading to a wave of litigation from those who suffered from toxic exposure. According to the National Law Review, more than 800 cases are in progress for those who have been injured as a result of contaminated drinking water at the base.

Many argue that military personnel and their families deserve compensation for the pain, suffering and medical expenses they have experienced due to the toxins that were present in the water supply. Many claim that they have endured long-term chronic illnesses such as liver cancer, infertility, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and various types of cancers. The Department of Veterans Affairs has even covered medical treatments related to these illnesses for some veterans through their health care program.

On the other hand, some contend that causation is difficult to prove in these cases since many service members and their family members were exposed to unknown risks during active duty service. Additionally, supporting evidence can often be difficult to obtain since records may not be available regarding water quality levels from decades ago.

As a result, each case continues to be resolved individually, with varying outcomes based on factors such as personal medical history, environmental exposures and military records. Despite this legal challenge, families of injury victims continue to press forward in pursuit of justice and financial recovery for their hardships endured.

With this in mind, it is important to move on to discuss what types of contamination caused injury at Camp Lejeune.

What Types of Contamination Caused Injury?

Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit concerns a range of injuries that may have been caused by the long-term exposure to toxic chemicals in its water supply. Many veterans, former Marines, and their families have experienced health complications they believe are related to the contamination, including cancer and miscarriages due to harm from pollutants such as styrene, benzene, trichloroethylene (TCE), and perchloroethlylene (PCE).

Styrene can cause damage to the nervous system, irritation of the skin and eyes, problems with balance and hearing, gastrointestinal issues, and difficulty sleeping. Additionally, long-term exposure to benzene is associated with an increased risk of leukemia and other leukemias. TCE and PCE are not considered physical toxins; instead they are classified as organic compounds linked to serious ailments such as cancers of the kidneys, bladder, lungs, liver, non-Hodgkin lymphoma’s, multiple myelomas, scleroderma or systemic lupus erythematosus.

The Marine Corps denies that there is any causal link between Lejeune’s contaminated drinking water systems and individuals’ health. They state that it is impossible to definitively prove that contaminants in the drinking water at Camp Lejeune were responsible for any specific case of illness or condition among individuals who drank the water. However, many experts believe there is a strong connection between use of Camp Lejeune water with chronic illnesses seen by former residents and their family members. It remains an ongoing research effort to draw improved conclusions as more information emerges about this tragedy.

Navigating Camp Lejeune Lawsuits can be difficult for those affected by the contamination; understanding what types of contamination caused injury can help these affected individuals gain a comprehensive view of the potential health effects from sustained use of Camp Lejeune water intimately familiarizing them with what their legal options could be in filing a claim for injury compensation.

Navigating Camp Lejeune Lawsuits

The affected veterans and family members of those affected by the Camp Lejeune water contamination continue to pursue compensation for the harm done to them. As a result, many have resorted to filing lawsuits against the United States government in order to seek legal redress. However, navigating the legal waters of litigating a case such as this can be an arduous process.

The first step for individuals seeking to file a lawsuit related to their exposure at Camp Lejeune is finding a qualified attorney who is knowledgeable in federal probate and administrative law. In addition, they must possess special knowledge of the Veterans Affairs department’s disability system since any award granted will likely go through that department. The attorney should also understand pertinent atomic energy defense regulations so that they can provide proper expert counsel on what amounts or findings should be declared in the case. Potential clients should always ask potential attorneys if they have tried similar suits before in order to ensure that they are in good hands.

Claims of harm resulting from exposure at Camp Lejeune need to be filed with the Department of Justice as outlined by Congress under Section 588M of Title 38, U.S Code. This notice needs to provide believable evidence supporting the claim as well as cite specific sections from Congressional records related to potential applications of the law in favor of the claimant. Furthermore, claimants must also prove that illnesses claimed either directly or indirectly resulted fromCamp Lejeune’s water contamination—an often difficult task when there are numerous variables that may have contributed to a person’s condition.

Ultimately, veterans and families affected by Camp Lejeune water contamination have rights similar to any other party involved any other civil litigation suit. Should a court decide in their favor, they can seek reparations such as medical bills and/or lost wages due to incapacity as well as non-economic damages including punitive damages if warranted and timely court fees or costs associated with bringing the action forward into arbitration. Ultimately, while it may not erase the physical or emotional suffering caused by this environmental hazard, taking action towards holding those responsible accountable is certainly within reach for plaintiffs willing to explore all available options available under current laws governing this case.

With considerations made for navigating Camp Lejeune lawsuits, our next section dives more into understanding how legal systems and protocols come into play in cases like these: “Understanding Legal System”.

Understanding Legal System

Understanding the Legal System

The legal system related to the Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit is complex and can be a difficult concept to grasp. With multiple parties involved and the various laws that are applicable to this situation, it is important to understand how each component fits together.

At the core, this case revolves around plaintiffs (Camp Lejeune residents) who allege harm due to the contaminated water supply over a period of more than 30 years, from 1953–1987. Those harmed by the water contamination may have suffered from ailments such as kidney cancer, adult leukemia, scleroderma, or other illnesses caused by exposure to benzene, vinyl chloride or other toxic chemicals. They are seeking compensation for medical expenses and other damages sustained by them as a result of this contamination.

On one side of the argument, defense attorneys representing corporations such as 3M Corp., Percival Oil, American Artificial Fibers and Kellwood Co., claim that the court lacks jurisdiction in the case and that the companies cannot be held liable for what occurred at Camp Lejeune.

On the other side of the argument, those backing legislation related to the lawsuit contend that sufficient evidence exists to hold these organizations responsible for not properly informing consumers about their involvement in providing contaminated drinking water on military bases back then.

Ultimately, both sides will need to make arguments and provide evidence in court for a jury or judge to decide whether or not these organizations can be held liable for any negligence in ensuring safe drinking water for members of our armed forces living on bases throughout this country. Ultimately, these decisions will determine if those affected by the Camp Lejeune water contamination will receive compensation for their suffering.

Now that we have discussed understanding the legal system related to this case, let’s move on to discuss negotiating damages.

Negotiating Damages

Negotiating Damages is a complex process that requires legal expertise to ensure claimants are receiving the most appropriate compensation for their losses. Few types of damage can be calculated precisely, and the majority of the damage awarded depends on the ability of the claimant’s lawyer to advocate effectively on behalf of their client. Claims can range from those seeking strict medical damages such as medical bills and lost wages due to inability to work, to wider damages such as pain, suffering and emotional distress.

At the beginning stages of negotiations, both parties agree upon an amount they feel is equitable while being mindful of the potential costs associated with going to court and trial. Negotiations can be a time-consuming process in which claimants are required to provide detailed documentation listing family members, doctors’ diagnosis, job history and other factors related to their claim. The negotiation process can progress in different ways depending on if parties reach an amicable agreement or if negotiations end up in litigation.

Typically, in cases where parties come to an agreement without litigation, settlements are reached based upon specific parameters agreed upon between both sides; for Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit claims, this may include payment for medical expenses and property damage along with some level of pain and suffering. In contrast, when parties have chosen to proceed towards litigation, awards typically include undisputed payments, damages proven at trial and punitive damages (which are added by a judge or jury). It is important to note that all damages must be supported by evidence including expert witness testimonies and documentary proof.

Now that you understand Negotiating Damages related to Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuits let’s move on to our next section – “What Damages are Potentially Entitled to Claimants?”

  • A federal class action lawsuit was filed against the US Department of Defense and the US Navy that sought damages for exposure to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune for decades.
  • In 2008, the US Department of Veterans Affairs approved disability benefits for 15 illnesses or conditions caused by exposure to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune.
  • The National Institute of Environmental Health Science estimates that 890,000 individuals were served by the contaminated water system between 1957 and 1987 which includes Marine Corps personnel and their family members.

What Damages are Potentially Entitled to Claimants?

When individuals and surviving family members file a claim to seek compensation for Camp Lejeune water contamination, they may be eligible for different economic damages and non-economic damages. Economic damages are tangible losses such as medical bills, lost wages, and lost earning capacity that can be computed through a definite sum of money. For example, medical costs for ongoing and current treatments related to the contamination can be assessed. Non-economic damages are intangible losses such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, and embarrassment that do not have an established monetary value in financial terms but are still important to consider. On the other hand, claimants may also be eligible for punitive damages which are meant to punish the liable party when their negligence is especially cold or intentional.

What damages each petitioner obtains depends on a number of factors including whether they are part of an active-duty military family or a civilian family, the nature of their health conditions, their duration of residence at Camp Lejeune during one of the contamination periods, and what type of administration hearing option was chosen (i.e., the VA Tribunal process versus filing claims through the US Court System). Ultimately, this must all be determined by the court system on a case-by-case basis so it is important to speak with legal counsel who has expertise in handling Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuits to ensure your rights are protected.

Due to limitations in available funds for each qualified claimant, many veterans facing serious illnesses related to Camp Lejeune water contamination worry about how much compensation, if any, they will receive from these lawsuits. Keeping both concerns in mind, it is important to carefully consider what kind of damages you or your loved one may be entitled to prior to taking any legal action.

Having discussed various types of damages potentially linked to these cases and their associated considerations, we move on to discuss our conclusion in the next section.


At this time, Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit is still ongoing because of the large number of claims that have been filed by people who served at the base. The Marine Corps and federal government are both currently appealing the decisions made in some of these cases, so it is unclear how much compensation may be awarded to those affected.

In terms of whether or not military personnel will receive any compensation, the answer is likely yes. However, it’s difficult to predict what an exact amount may be or how long it may take to receive a verdict. Military personnel should discuss their individual cases with an attorney who specializes in environmental law and is familiar with the legislation pertaining to Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuits. Generally, those with sufficient evidence of witnessing, experiencing or having been exposed to contaminated water, soil or air at Camp Lejeune are more likely to receive a favorable outcome.

Furthermore, there exists debate about the extent of the environment’s damage caused by chemicals released from Camp Lejeune. Some suggest that chemicals were released into public water supplies during the camp’s operations beginning from 1957-1987 and continued to contaminate drinking water for more than two decades after its closure. Others state that there is simply no evidence that proves that those who experienced negative health effects were exposed to chemicals released from Camp Lejeune during their service tenure; instead, they attribute many of these illnesses to other risk factors such as lifestyle choices and genetics. Ultimately, both sides agree that contamination did indeed occur within the area and was likely a result of industrial activities related to military operations at Camp Lejeune.

As such, folks affected by this issue should consult an attorney regarding their rights before pursuing legal action against Camp Lejeune’s environmental contamination issues since most states have a statute of limitations that can prevent compensation if a case is not filed within a certain amount of time. With appropriate legal counsel and individuals submitting their claims in a timely manner, they can establish a high likelihood of achieving successful outcomes regarding their respective situation with regards to this matter.

Common Questions

How long does the process of filing a Camp Lejeune lawsuit typically take?

Generally speaking, the process of filing a Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit takes approximately two to three years. During this time, claimants must go through the process of filing their claim with the Veterans Affairs (VA) or with a branch of the US military, gathering evidence and organizing documents that are pertinent to the case, being assigned a lawyer to help build a case, attending court hearings, and negotiating for a settlement. In addition to all these steps, claimants must be aware of potential obstacles such as an inability to access medical records or resources due to a lack of knowledge and understanding. It is important to remember that the primary objective in filing this type of claim is to obtain compensation for any health issues and damages suffered as a result of exposure to contaminated water through no fault of their own while stationed at Camp Lejeune.

What types of compensation are involved in a Camp Lejeune lawsuit?

In a Camp Lejeune lawsuit, affected parties may be able to win compensation for medical costs, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages resulting from exposure to the contaminated water at the base. This includes damages related to serious health conditions such as bladder cancer, childhood leukemia, and other diseases. In some cases, punitive damages for emotional distress may also be available. It’s important for those considering filing a Camp Lejeune lawsuit to remember that every case is different, but if you have been exposed to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune and are now suffering from any illnesses related to it, you may be entitled to compensation.

Who is eligible to file a lawsuit for water contamination at Camp Lejeune?

Anyone who was stationed at the Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina between August 1, 1953 and December 31, 1987 is eligible to file a lawsuit for water contamination. The lawsuit must be filed within three years of receiving an official “Letter of Notification” stating that their residence or work location on the base may have been impacted by water contamination related to past industrial activities. Service members, their families, and civilian workers who lived or worked at Camp Lejeune are all eligible to file a lawsuit. Additionally, family members of service members or civilian workers who were born with specific illnesses due to water contamination from the base during this time period may also be eligible to file. Supporting evidence such as medical records can be sought for these cases in order to validate any claims.

Are there any special legal considerations to take into account when filing a lawsuit against the government for Camp Lejeune water contamination?

Yes, there are special legal considerations to take into account before filing a lawsuit against the government for Camp Lejeune water contamination.

Firstly, you should be aware of the federal laws and regulations governing such lawsuits. In particular, under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA), claims against the US government must be presented according to specific procedural requirements. This means that you need to file a written administrative complaint with the responsible agency within two years of the injury or two years from when you were aware of your injury. Failure to follow these rules can result in the dismissal of your case.

Additionally, due to federal laws and regulations, legal action taken against the United States Government is subject to a different set of legal standards than cases involving only private parties. You should also be aware of any applicable state or local laws relevant to your claim such as statutes of limitations or caps on certain damages.

Finally, you should bear in mind that lawsuits against the government can be long and complex proceedings. As such, it is important to seek qualified counsel who is familiar with both tort laws and FTCA regulations in order to protect your rights and ensure that your case is handled properly.

What medical conditions are eligible for a Camp Lejeune lawsuit?

The eligible medical conditions for a Camp Lejeune lawsuit are those specified in the Virginia Class Action Lawsuit originally brought against the United States government by families of Marine Corps veterans. These medical conditions include:

• Adult leukemia (including acute lymphocytic leukemia and chronic myelogenous leukemia)

• Aplastic anemia

• Bladder Cancer

• Kidney Cancer

• Liver Cancer

• Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

• Multiple Myeloma

• Parkinson’s Disease

• Esophageal cancers, Breast cancer, Pancreatic cancer and other cancers of the digestive tract, Reproductive system disease, Renal Tubular cancer.

These diseases were found to be connected to exposure to contaminated drinking water at USMC Base Camp LeJeune between December 1st 1957 – December 31st 1987. It is believed that this prolonged exposure resulted in higher than expected occurrences of certain medical conditions in veterans and military personnel who served in the bases during this period. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs presumes that Trichloroethylene (TCE), Perchloroethylene (PCE), benzene, vinyl chloride and lead in the underground water supply in Camp Lejeune’s drinking wells caused these health problems in exposed servicemembers and their families. Therefore, these are considered eligible medical conditions for a Camp Lejeune lawsuit if you meet the criteria outlined above.