Camp Lejeune Water Contamination

The US Department of Veterans Affairs has confirmed that veterans who served at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina between 1953 and 1987 may have ingested contaminated water, causing those veterans to develop severe medical issues later in life. In addition to the veterans, their families and Camp Lejeune’s civilian staff were also exposed to the contaminated water. According to the VA, affected veterans are eligible for disability benefits, but this massive failure by the federal government has also caused many Camp Lejeune lawsuits to be filed on behalf of sick veterans.

History of the Camp Lejeune Water Contamination

Camp Lejeune is a US Marine Corps Base Camp in North Carolina that was founded in 1942. During the 1950s, an off-base dry cleaning business improperly disposed of toxic waste in the ground, causing the on-base drinking water to be contaminated in wells that provided drinking water to two of the base’s eight water treatment plants. 

The contaminated water was discovered in 1982, and in 1985, the military shut down the two contaminated water wells, which were discovered to contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs), spread throughout the base’s drinking water. VOCs cause many long-term health effects, and many of them are proven to be carcinogenic, or cancer-causing. The VOCs found on base at Camp Lejeune have been specifically proven to cause cancer, in addition to other dangerous illnesses and medical effects. 

Health Effects of Contaminated Water at Camp Lejeune 

Since ingesting the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune, many older veterans have since become sick with various cancers and health conditions. Specifically, the VA has identified a list of 15 conditions that affected veterans have been diagnosed with: 

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

Diagnosis with any of these 15 conditions could entitle a veteran or his or her family to healthcare disability benefits from the VA. Additionally, though, the CDC has identified many other illnesses and conditions that could be linked to the VOCs found at Camp Lejeune. That means that even if a veteran isn’t able to obtain disability benefits from the VA, the veteran may still have a claim for compensation. Those additional conditions include: 

  • End-stage renal disease
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Liver cancer
  • Nasal passages blocked with bone or tissue
  • Eye defects
  • Low birth weight 
  • Fetal death
  • Major malformations
  • Neural tube defects
  • Cleft lip and other oral cleft defects
  • Cervical cancer 
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Brain cancer
  • Liver cirrhosis
  • Prostate cancer 
  • Rectal cancer
  • Impaired immune system function 
  • Severe generalized hypersensitivity skin disorder 

Compensation for Camp Lejeune Contaminated Water Victims 

Because the list of known health defects includes so many different types of illnesses and conditions, any veteran who served at Camp Lejeune (or their family members who lived on base) between 1953 and 1987 who is later diagnosed with a severe illness may be entitled to compensation. 

Our law firm is offering free consultations to affected veterans, and the only way to know whether you have a case is to talk to an attorney. We’re ready to help – contact us today.