Camp Lejeune Cancer Claims: Superfund Site Goes Toxic Tort

Camp Lejeune Water Contamination

Welcome to North Carolina SignThe Federal government recently passed the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2021 which reopens the long-expired statute of limitations for persons who lived and/or worked at Camp Lejeune Marine Corps Base in Jacksonville, North Carolina, for a period of 30 days or more between 1953 and 1987. Over 1100 Camp Lejeune claims have been filed in federal court and more are expected.

These claims are based upon exposure to contaminated water which may have occurred through drinking water consumption, bathing water, swimming, washing laundry or dishes, or any other exposure to the water supply in that area. If you were stationed there between 1953 and 1987 and developed one of the qualifying cancers you may have a right to recover compensation.  Get a free consultation with a Camp Lejeune Cancer Lawyer today. Call 800-298-0111 to get connected and learn your rights.

How Did the Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Occur?

Poor regulation of disposal dumps operated on the base, a private dry cleaner, and leaking underground storage tanks all contributed to the contamination of groundwater at Camp Lejeune. This, in turn, allowed for the pollution of the water treatment plants.

The Camp Lejeune Marine Corps Base was serviced by several different water treatment plants that all provided water to the entire base. In the 1980s it was discovered that two of those treatment facilities—Tarawa Terrace and Hadnot Point—were contaminated with dangerous volatile organic compounds. It is uncertain exactly how far back the contamination goes as there were multiple sources of the contamination.  Sources of the contamination include:

  • A private off-base dry cleaner that failed to properly dispose of chemicals and waste
  • Dump sites on the base that were used for burning, waste drum disposal, hazardous liquid disposal, and industrial fly-ash dumping
  • Chemicals used in the fire-training area
  • Open storage pits
  • Underground Storage tanks and fuel tanks
  • Transformers stored onside.

All of these items were unsafely stored and/or disposed of, many of which occurred prior to the existence of Federal laws to prohibit such activity.

 Camp Lejeune Superfund

In 1989, Camp Lejeune was placed on the Superfund Site list. Superfund is a series of laws that allows the government to sue anyone related to a polluted property to force a cleanup.

Superfund was created as a way for the government to fund the cleanup of public and private properties that were polluted by improperly stored and/or disposed of hazardous waste and to then go after the perpetrators to recoup the costs.

Superfund allows the government to sue any party that caused the pollution and/or had an ownership relation to the property in order to recoup the cleanup costs.  This law has been used to force the cleanup of underground gasoline storage tanks that rusted out and leaked across the country. The cleanup of the Camp Lejeune site has been ongoing since 1992.

What was in the Camp Lejeune Water?

The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry performed studies on the water at Camp Lejeune and found a number of known carcinogens including Benzene, Vinyl Chloride, Tetrachloroethylene, Perchloroethylene, Trichloroethylene, PFAS, and Dichloroethylene. Even AFFF foam was regularly used and likely contributed to the land and water contamination.

 What are the Potential Injuries from Camp Lejeune Water Exposure?

According to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, their studies have shown that exposure to Camp Lejeune contaminated water increases a person’s risk of developing certain birth defects and cancers including:

  • Bladder Cancer
  • Breast Cancer
  • Cervical Cancer
  • Pancreatic Cancer
  • Prostate Cancer
  • Esophageal Cancer
  • Kidney Cancer
  • Rectal Cancer
  • Liver Cancer
  • Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
  • Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
  • Lung Cancer
  • Leukemia
  • Heart Defects
  • ALS
  • Birth Defects
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Other illnesses.

What is My Camp Lejeune Claim Worth?

The United States Department of Justice has announced a voluntary elective payout option for veterans and their loved ones who were stationed at Camp Lejeune. The amount of the payout varies between $100,000 and $550,000.00. The amount any particular individual receives will depend upon their documented diagnosis and the duration of their stay at Camp Lejeune.

How Do I File a Camp Lejeune Cancer Claim?

In order to file a claim, you must within 2 years of the passing of the act, complete and submit a Standard Form 95 (SF-95) to the Navy’s Tort Claims Unit in Norfolk, Virginia. You may do this on your own or by hiring an attorney to do so for you.  The form requires you to provide detailed information about you, your injuries, and any other compensation you have received related to the injuries.  The government is entitled to offset any money recovered for your injuries by way of VA Benefits, Social Security, or Medicare/Medicaid.

Your claim is a toxic tort claim against the United States which the government has granted permission to bring via the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022. Upon submitting your claim, the Navy Tort Claims Unit has 180 days to investigate and take action upon a properly submitted Camp Lejeune cancer claim. If the Navy fails to take action or outright denies the claim, you have 180 days in which to file a lawsuit.

Is There Still Time to File a Camp Lejeune Claim?

Camp Lejeune cancer claims must be filed no later than August 10, 2024.  If the Government does not pay the claim or denies it, you have a 180-day window in which to file a lawsuit and prove your case. Lawsuits are required to be filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina. Failure to file your claim within 180 days or before August 10, 2024, will result in your claim being barred. The full statute governing claims can be found here.

Need Help?

Dealing with the confusing paperwork and gathering the required documentation can be tough. If you need help filing your claim, you have the right to retain a Camp Lejeune claim attorney to guide you through the process. now is the time to act. Documents need to be filed and information gathered BEFORE the filing deadline. Call Simmons and Fletcher at 800-298-0111 to be connected with a Camp Lejeune cancer claim lawyer. The consultation is free and you pay no fees nor attorney expenses in a Camp Lejeune case unless your attorney makes a recovery for you.




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