Camp Lejeune, a United States Marine Corps base in North Carolina, has a long and unfortunate history of groundwater contamination. Between the 1950s and 1980s, the base’s drinking water was contaminated with toxic chemicals, including benzene, trichloroethylene (TCE), and perchloroethylene (PCE), causing serious health problems for many of the people who lived and worked there.
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Health Consequences of the Contamination
The Camp Lejeune contamination resulted in serious health issues for many of the individuals who were exposed to contaminated water on the base. Some of the most commonly reported health problems are cancer, birth defects, and other serious medical conditions.
For example, a study has found a correlation between exposure to contaminated water and heightened dangers of various cancers, including breast cancer and leukemia. According to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) study, Marines and Navy personnel who were stationed at Camp Lejeune between 1975 and 1985 had a 10% greater likelihood of succumbing to any form of cancer.
Furthermore, the children of individuals who were exposed to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune are at a higher risk of suffering from birth defects and developmental issues. These health problems can greatly affect their standard of living, leading to considerable medical costs, reduced income, and other forms of loss.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that between 8,000 and 10,000 babies born at Camp Lejeune, who were exposed to the contaminated water, have been diagnosed with oral clefts, cleft lip, and neural tube birth defects since the contaminations were uncovered in the 1980s.
If you or someone you know has been affected by the contamination, you may be eligible to file a Camp Lejeune lawsuit in order to seek compensation for any injuries or losses you have suffered.
This article will outline the steps involved in the process of filing a lawsuit in this situation.
Step 1: Gather Evidence
The first step in filing a Camp Lejeune contamination lawsuit is to gather evidence of your exposure to the contaminated water. This may include medical records, military records, and other documents that show you lived or worked at Camp Lejeune during the period of contamination. You should also collect any information about the health problems you or your loved one experienced, such as diagnosis and treatment records.
Step 2: Consult with a Lawyer
Next, it is important to consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer who specializes in Camp Lejeune contamination cases. Your lawyer can help you understand your legal rights and options and advise you on the best course of action for your case.
Step 3: File a Claim
Once you have gathered your evidence and consulted with a lawyer, you may be able to file a claim against the government or other responsible parties. There are different types of claims you can file, including personal injury claims, wrongful death claims, and property damage claims. Your lawyer can help you determine the best type of claim to file based on your specific circumstances.
Step 4: Prepare for Trial
If your claim cannot be settled out of court, you may need to prepare for trial. This may involve gathering additional evidence, preparing witness testimony, and working with experts to build a strong case. Your lawyer will be your best resource for guidance and support throughout this process.
Step 5: Seek Compensation
If you are successful in your Camp Lejeune contamination lawsuit, you may be able to recover compensation for your injuries, medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages. This compensation can help you, and your loved ones cope with the physical, financial, and emotional toll of the contamination.
Important Considerations When Filing the Lawsuit
Statute of Limitations
It is important to keep in mind that there is a time limit for filing a Camp Lejeune contamination lawsuit. This is known as the statute of limitations, and it varies depending on the type of claim you are filing and the state in which you live. It is important to consult with your lawyer as soon as possible to ensure that your claim is filed within the statute of limitations.
In some cases, individuals affected by the Camp Lejeune contamination may be able to file a class action lawsuit. This type of lawsuit allows a large group of people with similar claims to join together to seek compensation.
By filing a class action, individuals can pool their resources and increase their bargaining power against the government or other responsible parties. If you are interested in joining a class action lawsuit, your lawyer can provide you with more information and help you determine if this is the best option for your case.
Filing a Camp Lejeune contamination lawsuit can be a complex and challenging process, but it is also an important step in seeking justice and compensation for the harm caused by the contaminated water. If you or a loved one were affected by this tragedy, seek the help of an experienced personal injury lawyer and take the steps necessary to protect your rights and interests.