Jan 04, 2023

U.S. Government Faces at Least 14,000 Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Claims to Date

Posted by : Irvin Jackson

The number of Camp Lejeune water contamination claims has shot to 14,000 in just four months, according to a new report, and the number is expected to continue to climb over the next two years.

  • Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 allows Marines and family members to pursue settlements for injuries caused by contaminated water on the bast between 1953 and 1987
  • U.S. Government has already received reports of at least 14,000 Camp Lejeune claims
  • Deadline for filing claims does not expire until August 2024
  • Claims will continue to be presented over the next two years, as lawyers continue to review claims involving different cancers and injuries linked to Camp Lejeune water

After the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 was signed into law by President Biden last August, decades of U.S. Marine veterans and family members residing on the base began pursuing settlements for injuries caused by toxic chemicals in the water, with a new report indicated that the U.S. Navy has already received notice of at least 14,000 water contamination claims that will be pursued.

The Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 opened a two year window for individuals to pursue claims over injuries caused by exposure to contaminated water on the North Carolina base between 1953 and 1987, even if they were previously denied benefits.

The new law prevents the U.S. Government from raising certain defenses used to routinely reject Camp Lejeune claims for cancer, Parkinson’s disease, birth defects and other injuries known to be caused by toxic chemicals in the drinking water. However, prior to filing a lawsuit, each individual must provide the U.S. Navy with notice of their claim and exhaust their administrative settlement options.

According to a report recently published by NationalWorld, a spokesperson for the U.S. Navy Judge Advocate’s General’s (JAG) Corps has confirmed that about 14,000 claims have already been filed since the Act’s passage, which likely only represents a fraction of the total number of claims that will be pursued for Camp Lejeune water contamination settlements.

Camp Lejeune Lawsuits

Water contamination at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina between 1953 and 1987 caused cancers, birth defects, miscarriages and other side effects for U.S. Marines and their family members.

Estimates suggest that more than a million Marines and their family members were exposed to contaminated Camp Lejeune water between the early 1950s and late 1980s, with some reports suggesting that toxic chemicals from Camp Lejeune may be responsible for more than 50,000 cases of breast cancer, 28,000 cases of bladder cancer, and 24,000 cases of renal cancer, as well as thousands of cases involve Parkinson’s disease and other health complications. It is also believed that Camp Lejeune water caused birth defects and wrongful death for thousands of unborn children exposed in utero.

For years, Camp Lejeune water injury claims have been denied by the U.S. government, based on qualified immunity defenses under the Feres doctrine and the North Carolina statute of limitations, which was already expired by the time the problems at the Marine base were discovered. However, President Biden and the U.S. Congress have attempted to correct the government’s prior failure to compensate veterans and family members, by allowing any individual to pursue a claim if they were exposed to the water for at least 30 days between 1953 and 1987.

During the first month after new landmark legislation went into effect, the U.S. government confirmed that it immediately received about 5,000 Camp Lejeune water contamination claims submitted by veterans, military family members and others injured by contaminants. That number has since nearly tripled, and is expected to exceed 100,000 claims before the two year window closes.

January 2023 Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawsuit Update

While thousands of individuals have already filed notice of their intent to pursue a Camp Lejeune water contamination claim, only a handful of actual lawsuits have been filed in Court, since the Act requires that plaintiffs exhaust settlement options and only allows a complaint to be filed if the U.S. Government fails to resolve the claim within six months after notice of the claim is presented.

With the first notices presented in August 2022, it is expected that the number of Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuits will begin to skyrocket in February 2023, and likely continue to increase steadily over over the subsequent two years.

Last month, a handful of Camp Lejeune lawsuits were dismissed by a federal judge, after finding that the plaintiffs failed to wait the required six months before bringing their claim in Court. While those plaintiffs argued that they already exhausted the administrative Camp Lejeune settlement options when they submitted their claims years ago, U.S. District Judge James C. Dever III found that they must give the U.S. Government another option to evaluate the claim under the new cause of action created by the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022.

Although the U.S. Government has acknowledged that toxic chemicals contaminated the Camp Lejeune water for decades, the new law still places the burden of proof on individual plaintiffs to establish that their specific injury was caused by the toxic water. Claims involving a wide range of injuries have been submitted, including:

Camp Lejeune Cancers:

  • Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML)
  • Brain Cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Bladder cancer
  • Central Nervous System Cancer
  • Cervical cancer
  • Colon Cancer/Colorectal Cancer
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Hodgkins Lymphoma
  • Kidney cancer
  • Liver cancer
  • Lung cancer
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Leukemia
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Non Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
  • Prostate Cancer
  • Rectal Cancer
  • Thyroid Cancer

Other Side Effects from Camp Lejeune Water:

  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Renal Toxicity/Kidney Disease
  • Kidney Damage
  • Hepatic steatosis (fatty liver disease)
  • Aplastic anemia
  • Scleroderma
  • Birth defects
  • Miscarriage
  • Female Infertility
  • Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
  • Epilepsy (seizures)
  • Immune Disorders
  • Nerve Damage
  • Neurobehavioral effects
  • Myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS or Pre-Leukemia)
  • Neurobehavioral effects (tremors, lack of coordination, movement or motor problems or other symptoms consistent with undiagnosed Parkinson’s disease)

Tags: Camp Lejeune, Cancer, Chemicals, U.S. Marine Corps, Water Contamination

The post U.S. Government Faces at Least 14,000 Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Claims to Date appeared first on AboutLawsuits.com.

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Irvin Jackson