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What happened at Camp Lejeune?

On Behalf of | Jul 18, 2023 | Camp Lejeune

You have probably heard about the massive litigation related to Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, which is located in North Carolina. If you or a loved one spent time at Camp Lejeune, you might be wondering if the health problems you have experienced could be connected. If they are, you could be entitled to substantial compensation from the federal government.

Decades of contaminated water, neglect of Marine Corps families

While the litigation surrounding fatal and life-threatening illnesses tied to Camp Lejeune is new, having only become possible in 2022, the negligence involved goes back decades. In 1982, the Marine Corps discovered that two water treatment plants on base were producing water contaminated by chemicals from nearby sources, such as an off-base dry-cleaning business, leaking underground storage tanks and industrial spills.

Later research suggested that water on base exceeded the recommended maximum for these chemicals, called volatile organic compounds or VOCs, every year from mid-1953 through early 1985. Thousands of Marines, their families and civilian employees lived and worked at Camp Lejeune during those decades. They used contaminated water to drink, cook, bathe, and wash their clothing and dishes. Exposure to VOCs like the ones found in the water has been linked to increased risk of several types of cancer, birth defects, neurological problems, Parkinson’s disease and other health issues. But despite the evidence, the military denied responsibility for failing to clean up the water for decades.

One of the largest lawsuits ever

Hundreds of people affected by the contaminated water and family members of deceased victims have filed claims so far. Observers expect this litigation to be one of the largest of its kind in U.S. history. If you suspect that contaminated water at Camp Lejeune gave you or someone you love serious health complications, consider speaking with an attorney experienced in mass torts like this one.