Have You Suffered Harm from Contaminated Water at Camp Lejeune?

Take Action Now: Call Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP – Your NJ Advocates

War Veteran

Have You Suffered Harm from Contaminated Water at Camp Lejeune?

Take Action Now: Call Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP – Your NJ Advocates

Between 1953 and 1987, servicemembers and their families stationed at U.S. Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina were exposed to toxic chemicals in their water. This exposure has been linked to at least fifteen (15) life-threatening health conditions and eight (8) medical conditions, but veterans and their families have largely been unable to claim compensation – until now.

Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP is fighting for military families who have suffered harm after exposure to Camp Lejeune’s contaminated water. Our New Jersey injury attorneys have secured more than $800 million in verdicts and settlements for our clients, and we want to help you get the compensation you deserve. If you or your family member were stationed at Camp Lejeune between 1953 and 1987, contact us in Edison, Toms River, or Red Bank today to get started. We are your NJ advocates.

What was wrong with the water at Camp Lejeune?

Camp Lejeune had eight on-base water treatment plants. According to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), “the Marine Corps discovered specific volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the drinking water provided by two of the eight water treatment plants on base” in 1982. Those treatment plants, Tarawa Terrace and Hadnot Point, distributed contaminated water throughout the base, eventually leading to the shutdown of two wells in 1985.

The contamination, per ATSDR, was caused by “leaking underground storage tanks, industrial area spills, and waste disposal sites.” Specifically, the contamination was the effect of waste disposal by a local dry cleaner.

What injuries and illnesses resulted from exposure to Camp Lejeune’s water?

Among the most dangerous compounds detected were trichloroethylene (TCE), perchloroethylene (PCE), and benzene. These compounds – along with the others found in the water – have been linked to diseases  and conditions such as:

  • Bladder cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Female infertility
  • Hepatic steatosis
  • Kidney cancer
  • Leukemia
  • Lung cancer
  • Miscarriage
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Myelodysplastic syndromes
  • Neurobehavioral effects
  • Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  • Renal toxicity
  • Scleroderma

According to VetsHQ, which used data from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, Marines who were stationed at Camp Lejeune faced increased risk of developing:

  • Multiple myeloma (68% higher risk)
  • ALS (50% higher risk)
  • Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (47% higher risk)
  • Liver cancer (42% higher risk)
  • Kidney cancer (35% higher risk)

Why is compensation only available for sick veterans now?

For years, servicepeople and their families struggled to get access to the care – and compensation – they deserved for their unknowing exposure to such toxic chemicals. Back in 2017, $2 billion was apportioned in government disability benefits to help veterans stationed at Camp Lejeune, but it wasn’t nearly enough for the number of men, women, and children who lived on that base between 1953 and 1987 – and it only applied to the veterans themselves. As we now know, Camp Lejeune’s contaminated water affected entire families, not just those who served.

In June 2022, the House and Senate passed the Honoring our PACT Act of 2022, which provided money and services to help veterans exposed to toxic substances during their service. Part of this Act was the  Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022, which specifically set aside money and resources for people who lived on base during the time the wells were contaminated.

The PACT Act was signed into law by President Biden on August 10, 2022.

Now that the Act has become law, you can begin your claim. The New Jersey injury attorneys of Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP are here to help you through that process.

Who is eligible to make a claim under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act?

Any veteran, National Guard member, or reservist who lived at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 days between August 1, 1953 and December 31, 1987 is eligible to make a claim for compensation. Family members of veterans, National Guard members, and reservists who lived on base for at least 30 days during that time frame are also eligible. Family members will be reimbursed by the Veterans Association (VA) for any out-of-pocket costs associated with their care.

Furthermore, any veterans who were eligible for health care under the Camp Lejeune Act of 2012 who received medical care for any for the listed conditions are also eligible for VA services under the Act.

What documentation do NJ vets need to file a claim?

Per the VA, you should submit:

  • Documentation showing a dependent relationship to a Veteran who served at Camp Lejeune, such as marriage license or birth certificate
  • Documentation showing you lived on the base for 30 days or more between Aug. 1, 1953 and Dec. 31, 1987 such as copies of orders or base housing records
  • You paid health care expenses for a covered condition respective to the following date ranges.
    • If you lived on Camp Lejeune between January 1, 1957 and December 31, 1987, then you can be reimbursed for care that you received on or after August 6, 2012
    • If you lived on Camp Lejeune between August 1, 1953 and December 31, 1956, then you can be reimbursed for care that you received on or after December 16, 2014

If you do not have this documentation, you can submit a claim. The VA has said it “will use all relevant evidence from internal sources and the Department of Defense (DoD) to support your application.” Understand, though, that this will almost certainly increase the time it takes for your claim to be reviewed.

You only have two (2) years form the date the Act passes to file a claim.

How can a NJ injury lawyer from Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP help me get benefits?

You can submit your application online yourself and hope for the best, but you could end up being denied benefits if there are errors in your application. That is where Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP comes in. Our experienced NJ injury lawyers can help prepare your claim and ensure that all applicable parameters are met. Our attorneys will ensure your application has:

  • Proof of your residence at Camp Lejeune during the specific time period
  • A detailed medical history and records showing the date of diagnosis and treatment plans for your condition
  • A full accounting of all medical expenses and out-of-pocket costs for your care or your family member’s care
  • Any other required documentation needed to show you are eligible for a claim

How do I find a veterans’ injury lawyer near me?

Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP has secured more than $1 billion on behalf of our clients over the past three decades. If you developed serious or life-threatening medical condition from your time stationed at Camp Lejeune, we want to help. Please call 732-301-6920 or submit our contact form to schedule a free consultation at one of our offices in Edison, Red Bank, or Toms River.

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