If you lived or worked at Camp Lejeune before 1987 and have a health condition, you can take legal action and seek a financial settlement from the U.S. government.
The Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022, which Congress passed in August 2022, allows people to seek “relief for harm that was caused by exposure to the water at Camp Lejeune” by filing suit in a U.S. District Court.
Who can participate in the lawsuit?
Lawsuits are open to anyone who:
- Lived or worked at Camp Lejeune for 30 consecutive days or more between Aug. 1, 1953, and Dec. 31, 1987, AND
- Has been diagnosed with a health condition
Eligibility includes veterans who served on the base, family members who lived on the base, civilians who worked on the base, and children who were exposed in the womb.
What are the health effects of contaminated water at Camp Lejeune?
Studies have found an increased risk of cancer, other serious illnesses, and cancer-related death from exposure to the chemicals found in the water at Camp Lejeune.
Here is an incomplete list of health conditions that could potentially be linked to Camp Lejeune:
|Cancers||Other conditions or diseases|
|Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML)||Birth defects|
|Bladder cancer||Cardiac defect|
|Brain cancer||Epilepsy Fatty liver disease (hepatic steatosis)|
|Breast cancer||Female infertility|
|Central Nervous System cancer (CNS)||Kidney damage|
|Cervical cancer||Immune disorders|
|Esophageal cancer||Nerve damage|
|Kidney cancer||Myelodysplastic syndromes|
|Liver cancer||Parkinson’s disease|
|Lung cancer||Renal toxicity/disease|
How will the court decide who receives a settlement?
Under the law, the court would grant a financial settlement if it finds that exposure to the water at Camp Lejeune is “at least as likely as not” the cause of the person’s health condition.
How do I participate in the lawsuit?
If you were at Camp Lejeune between 1953 and 1987 for more than 30 days and have an illness or condition that could be linked to your exposure to the drinking water, contact Woods and Woods for more information.
History of contaminated water at Camp Lejeune
In 1982, the Marine Corps discovered that the water system at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina was contaminated with a number of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), including trichloroethylene (TCE), tetrachloroethylene (PCE), benzene, and vinyl chloride.
Investigations found that carcinogens and other pollutants had leaked for decades into the groundwater on the base, which has been home to thousands of Marines and Navy personnel and their family members who used the water for drinking, bathing, cooking, and laundry.
As many as one million people may have been exposed to toxic chemicals on the base, according to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.
The sources of the contamination included a dry cleaning facility, industrial spills, waste disposal sites, and leaking underground storage tanks.
The military didn’t shut down the most contaminated water wells until 1985.
Veterans who participate in the Camp Lejeune lawsuit will still be eligible to receive VA disability benefits and should see no change to their monthly payments. However, the amount of money you receive in a Camp Lejeune water contamination settlement would be offset (or reduced) by the amount you have already received in VA disability compensation for related health conditions.