Is There a Class Action Lawsuit Against Camp Lejeune for Water Contamination

According to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), there is no class action lawsuit against Camp Lejeune for water contamination as of November 2022. However, the United States Marine Corps is accepting claims. In 2022, U.S. Congress passed a bill that allowed certain individuals to recover damages after exposure to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune. All those eligible and who suffered a condition related to Camp Lejeune contamination can either seek benefits and/or file a lawsuit to recover the damages they deserve. 

If you or your family members served at Camp Lejeune and you would like more information about how to recover damages, a lawyer with experience in filing Camp Lejeune lawsuits can help you.

Background on Water Contamination at Camp Lejeune

If you served at Camp Lejeune or Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) New River, you may have been exposed to contaminated water. In the early 1980s, it was discovered that chemicals were contaminating the water of Camp Lejeune. It is believed that the contamination began as early as 1953 when an off-base dry cleaner contaminated groundwater with chemicals. (PBS NewsHour

The contaminants found in drinking water have been proven to significantly increase the risk of cancer in individuals exposed to it through drinking, bathing, cooking, or other uses. If you were stationed at one of these bases during the time period specified by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), then you may be able to recover compensation and benefits. However, to do so, you must meet certain requirements.

In 2009, the first lawsuit was filed against the U.S. Government for damages related to Camp Lejeune contamination. From there, numerous lawsuits were filed, though there was little success at first. Many of the initial lawsuits were consolidated into multi-district litigation. Unfortunately, they were initially dismissed in court. Eventually, the United States government took action, working to create a legal pathway for people affected by Camp Lejeune contamination to sue the government and seek compensation for their health issues.

Who Qualifies for the Camp Lejeune Lawsuit?

In order to be eligible for disability benefits from the VA and further compensation, you must meet the requirements set forth by Congress and the VA. These requirements consist of proving that you:

  • Served at Camp Lejeune or MCAS New River at some point between August 1, 1953 and December 31, 1987
  • Served for at least 30 cumulative days throughout that time period
  • Were not dishonorably discharged from the military

Not everyone who served at Camp Lejeune and MCAS New River and meets the above requirements will be able to join a lawsuit. It was determined that in order to file for compensation, you must have also been diagnosed with one or more of the following eight presumptive illnesses:

  • Adult leukemia
  • Aplastic anemia and myelodysplastic syndromes
  • Kidney cancer
  • Liver cancer
  • Bladder cancer
  • Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Multiple myeloma

If you have medical records stating that you have or have had one of these presumptive illnesses and you served at Camp Lejeune between 1953 and 1987, then you may want to seek the assistance of a lawyer or file a claim with the VA. If you are unsure of which route is best for you, you can contact a lawyer for a free consultation to determine your best path forward.

Can Family Members Acquire Benefits?

Family members who were also on the premises of Camp Lejeune or MCAS New River for 30 or more days from 1953 through 1987 are also able to apply for benefits and compensation. These benefits would be separate from those acquired by the person who was actively serving in the military.

There are different requirements for family members to recover compensation, including a list of 15 health-related issues that could qualify them for benefits. These health conditions are:

  • Bladder cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Female infertility
  • Hepatic steatosis
  • Kidney cancer
  • Leukemia
  • Lung cancer
  • Miscarriage
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Myelodysplastic syndromes
  • Neurobehavioral effects
  • Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  • Renal toxicity
  • Scleroderma

How to Obtain Benefits

If you suffered one of these illnesses, then you should consider filing a lawsuit. Before you do, you should ensure that you meet all of the following requirements:

  • You can prove that you are related to a veteran.
  • You can prove that you were on the base for at least 30 days from 1953-1987.
  • You have the medical records that can prove you suffered one of the above health conditions.

If you meet all of these requirements, then you can recover benefits from the VA. Additionally, you are entitled to any out-of-pocket medical expenses for the health issues you experienced.

How Much Are Camp Lejeune Lawsuits Settling For?

In 2017, the government offered over $2 billion in disability benefits to veterans who were exposed to contaminated drinking water at Camp Lejeune. However, filing a lawsuit is a separate matter from the benefits available from the VA. The settlement that you receive will differ depending on how severe the illnesses and health conditions suffered by you and your family were.

If you were diagnosed with cancer or if the family members who lived with you at Camp Lejeune suffered one of the qualifying health conditions, then you could be entitled to a significant amount of compensation. You could seek damages for your health care costs and pain and suffering, among other losses.

Contact a Class Action Lawsuit Lawyer Today

If you were stationed at Camp Lejeune for 30 or more days from 1953 through 1987, you may be entitled to financial compensation. An attorney can help you file an individual claim or join a class action lawsuit if one is formed.

 By working with an attorney, you can ensure that you are apprised of the latest facts regarding the Camp Lejeune lawsuit. Your mass torts lawyer will be able to guide you through the process, determine the amount of money you should seek, and define any benefits that you should be able to obtain. With a lawyer’s guidance, you can ensure that you are not obtaining a lower settlement than you deserve. When you are ready to recover compensation for the damages you suffered as a result of Camp Lejeune water contamination, fill out the contact form on our website.