Lawsuits and claims on Camp Lejeune water contamination are piling up. Simultaneously, the health concerns due to toxic chemicals found in the Marine Corps base in North Carolina are also increasing. According to Reuters, there are in total 5000 claims so far.
The majority of the cases are about wrongful death as opposed to illness due to contaminated water. It is an outcome of getting exposed to this water for several years.
A Florida man, Mike Partain, born in Camp Lejeune, got diagnosed with breast cancer, which is rare for men. He said that mostly the elderly people are getting affected by the contaminated water. And he often wonders if getting justice for this will be a lifelong struggle.
Congress issued a law in August 2022 allowing Camp Lejeune victims two years for prosecuting for the damages in the federal court. However, the compensation process isn’t gaining the momentum that it should have.
Camp Lejeune Lawsuit April 2023 Update
The Department of Justice had filed a motion, adding more time for filing answers for each plaintiff complaint. Answering a complaint is not challenging. However, since there’s ample of it, the DOJ gets overwhelmed. The judge has granted time until May 31st, 2023, to answer all the questions.
Furthermore, the Eastern District of North Carolina must have coordination protocols in Camp Lejeune lawsuits. Chances are the work is getting done. Lawyers working on this case have filed a joint motion for consolidating the litigation. They want the cases to get assigned to a single judge for the pretrial proceedings. Even the lawyers expect the judges to create protocols for advancing litigation without any effort for duplication.
People must be aware of the Camp Lejeune water contamination settlement amounts. ToeHoerman Law, a law firm specializing in private injury cases, asserts that people should know whether they qualify for lawsuit claims.
However, the case settlement amount for every person will be different. It will depend on the conditions diagnosed, injuries suffered, and the time people spent on the Camp Lejeune base.
Camp Lejeune Drinking Water: The Constraints That Are Present
According to a Marine Corps investigation, Camp Lejeune’s water contained harmful chemicals. Since an act got issued by the U.S. Senate and Congress, the families have a chance to sue the government for all their suffering.
The contaminants present in the water are:
1. Trichloroethylene (TCE)
Marine Corps found out that TCE is an outcome of improper waste disposal from a dry-cleaning company that existed at the Camp Lejeune base. The chemical got used for making refrigerants. It also gets used on metal as a degreasing solvent. Other than the intended uses, the chemical gets detected in several household products, like cleaning wipes and paint removers.
Some people use TCE to remove spots. Even the dry-cleaning company was doing the same. As people get exposed to increased levels of TCE, they can suffer from kidney cancer. It also leads to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and liver cancer. It was the principal chemical at Hadnot Point Treatment Plant, located at Camp Lejeune base.
Traces of this chemical were visible in the Hadnot Point Treatment Plant. Benzene gets used for making resins, plastics, and synthetic fibers. Coming in contact with it causes bone marrow deterioration. It leads to weaker bones and blood disorders like anemia.
The waste disposal facilities and underground storage tanks leaked Benzene around the camp. As a result, the Underground Storage Tank (UST) Program was created by the Marine Corps to clean the storage tanks. The objective was also to reinforce other methods, like double-walling by using several technology types.
3. Vinyl Chloride
It’s a flammable gas that breaks down tetrachloroethylene and trichloroethylene. Often known as PVC, Vinyl Chloride is a standard synthetic plastic. It is found in car parts, packaging materials, and various hospital supplies.
Once people get exposed to it, they can develop liver cancer. The other health hazards include liver cirrhosis, soft tissue cancer, lung cancer, and brain cancer.
Once you know that you got exposed to any one of these chemicals, it is necessary to get treated. Get in touch with a doctor to check for symptoms and any damage that might be silently present. Once the doctor diagnoses the health problem, you are entitled to get the compensation you deserve.
Millions have been affected by Camp Lejeune’s contaminated water. The Department of Veterans Affairs has declared that families who consumed this dirty water can claim their disability benefits.
However, for that, they need to show medical records of health conditions connected with the toxic chemicals. Once the doctor has provided medical proof, a personal injury lawyer can take the case ahead and file for a claim.