Camp Lejeune water contamination is one of the worst environmental disasters in American history, like literally that bad. Although the toxin exposure was stealthy and unexpected, its implications are grave and scary and persist in the very long haul.
Residents and their loved ones suffer even decades later, with their pain and suffering spanning across decades and generations. But the silver lining is that any family stationed at Camp Lejeune for more than thirty days between August 1953 and December 1987 can file a lawsuit.
They are able to claim compensation for out-of-pocket health care costs and pain and suffering. But victims and their loved ones should be aware of some facts to maximize their claim and seek justice.
Here, in this article, we are going to talk about the story of Camp Lejeune, and what can be done to the location.
Camp Lejeune Water Contamination History
Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, North Carolina was hit by severe water contamination decades ago. The worst part was that toxins entered the supply of water treatment plants on the base.
The residential water supply was affected by volatile organic compounds, such as PCE (perchloroethylene or tetrachloroethylene), TCE (trichloroethylene), DCE (trans-1,2-dichloroethylene), benzene, and vinyl chloride.
These fatal toxins caused cancer and other grave illnesses to veterans, residents, and workers who lived and worked at the base. The exposure continued for several years until the government deactivated the wells to curb contaminated supplies.
Victims can bring legal claims against the U.S. government for compensation for damage caused by water contamination.
Eligibility for Camp Lejeune Contamination Claim
Not everyone can seek compensation for water contamination at Camp Lejeune. Eligibility boils down to living or working in the base between August 1953 and December 1987. You must have been there for more than thirty days to qualify for the claim.
Moreover, eligible claimants include military service members, veterans, families, non-military staff, and others on the base. Also, the surviving family members who died due to contamination can seek compensation.
But eligibility is only half the work because you have to validate a qualifying medical condition and establish its correlation with toxin exposure. The best way to do it is by hiring an expert water contamination lawyer to prove the facts in court. You can also rely on them to calculate the rightful value of the claim so that you do not have to settle for less.
Conditions Victims can Claim For
The chemicals in the contaminated Camp Lejeune water were fatal because they are associated with several life-threatening health conditions. These include cancers of the bladder, breast, esophagus, lung, kidney, gallbladder, ovaries, prostate, and intestine.
Leukemia, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, multiple myeloma, Hepatic steatosis, Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS), renal toxicity, and Scleroderma are other possibilities. Women encountered infertility and high risks of miscarriage, fetal malformations, and fetal death. Besides the physical diseases, toxin exposure also caused neurobehavioral effects in victims.
You must also know about the compensation you can claim as a Camp Lejeune victim. If you can prove your eligibility for the claim, you can seek compensation for past medical expenses, future medical bills, lost wages, and future loss of income.
You can also claim the monetary value of your pain and suffering, with components like physical discomfort, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life. The dollar amount depends on the individual circumstances, so they may differ from victim to victim.
An experienced lawyer can dig deep into these factors and calculate the best value to ensure maximum compensation. Even though the compensation cannot fully cover the real damage you experienced, but it is still a voice need to be spoken.
Claiming Compensation for Camp Lejeune Exposure
If you suspect exposure to toxic chemicals in the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune, you must consult a legal specialist sooner than later. The value of good legal advice cannot be overemphasized in these cases.
Your lawyer will ask a couple of questions to ensure eligibility in the first place. These include the dates when you lived in Camp Lejeune and whether you have a medical diagnosis possibly associated with this exposure.
Once they are convinced about your eligibility, they will prepare a case with valid evidence to establish facts in court. It is vital to prepare your claim well before filing it because you will be pitted against the government.
Claiming compensation for Camp Lejeune water contamination sounds complex, but an expert can simplify the journey and ensure you get a rightful value. You must seek justice without qualms because a specialist lawyer ensures the maximum compensation to cover your pain, suffering, damages, and losses.
You can even file on behalf of a loved one who suffered and died due to the toxic exposure. Do not hesitate to fight for your rights because you deserve justice for being a victim of negligence.
Water Pollution is Everywhere
We have talked about water pollution a lot of times in our articles. Scientists have been studying how quickly pollutants can reach groundwater supplies in karst areas and how they could affect the quality of drinking water. For those of you who don’t know, karst areas are lands formed from soluble rocks with sinkholes, caves, and springs.
Now, an international research team led by Junior Professor Dr. Andreas Hartmann at the University of Freiburg has done an experiment. They’ve compared the time it takes for water to seep down from the surface to the subsurface with the time it takes for pollutants to decompose in carbonate rock regions of Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East.
Before, continental or global hydrologic model applications have focused mainly on the occurrence of floods or droughts and the general availability of drinking water.
But, these models have predominantly neglected water quality as an important factor for the potability of water on these large scales. It also neglected how quickly pollutants can seep from the earth’s surface into the groundwater through cracks or fissures.
On another note, we also have to deal with different kind of contamination, antibiotics contamination in water. When microbes are exposed to a dose of antibiotics smaller than what’s required to kill them, they develop resistance to it. This is the reason why doctors prescribe the exact amount of antibiotics for you to consume all the way to the end.
If you don’t finish your antibiotics, some surviving microbes might develop the immunity to it. That combined with reckless consumption of antibiotics without expert advices whether you really need it or not, may increase the potentials even further.
The severity of diseases and infections caused by superbugs may vary between patients, but worst thing that can happen is when it is no longer curable. And yes we already have such kind of problem when patients cannot be treated with any medicine.
“This is not some mystical apocalypse or fear-mongering. It is reality. It’s right here, right now,” said Dr. Victoria Fraser, the head of the Department of Medicine at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.