Military service members who served at Camp Lejeune between August 1953 and December 1987, and their family members and dependents who lived on base with them, may have been exposed to toxic chemicals in drinking water, subjecting them to substantial, ongoing health risks.
Under a new federal law, many people who face health problems as a result of that exposure can now pursue a lawsuit against the government for damages. Recently, an alleged victim of toxic water at Camp LeJeune filed a class action lawsuit in South Carolina federal court, asserting claims under that law on behalf of himself and other potential victims.
The Camp Lejeune water contamination attorneys at Edward Bernstein and Associates have the experience and resources to represent you in a claim against the government arising out of your Camp Lejeune toxic water exposure, either individually or as a member of a class of plaintiffs. Contact us today for a free consultation about your rights.
Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Guide
- Eligibility for Damages
- Potential Compensation for Exposure
- Enough Said. Call Ed
Are You a Victim of Contaminated Water at Camp Lejeune? Enough Said. Call Ed.
Victims of contaminated water at Camp Lejeune often have lots of questions about their risks and rights. They don’t want to miss deadlines or make costly missteps. Edward Bernstein & Associates can answer your questions and knows how to handle every step of recovering compensation for your toxic exposures.
We make it easy for you to connect with us.
At Edward Bernstein & Associates, we understand the strain you’re under because of health issues caused by a toxic water exposure. That’s why we aim to make it as easy as possible for you clients to get in touch with us to learn about your rights in a free consultation.
- 24/7 phone availability
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- In-person or video meetings at the location of your choice
We’ll come to you, even if it means meeting at your home or in your hospital room.
We have more than 42 years of experience.
At Edward Bernstein & Associates, we have more than 42 years of experience advocating for injury victims. We have the knowledge, staffing, and financial resources to win the toughest personal injury cases. Our team is not afraid to stand up to the federal government and to hold officials accountable for exposing you to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune.
We pursue maximum damages.
You deserve maximum compensation for the harm done to you by toxic drinking water at Camp Lejeune. At Edward Bernstein & Associates, we build strong cases for claiming as much money as possible for our clients’ injuries and illnesses. We collect evidence, interview witnesses, work with experts when needed, and present convincing cases to insurance companies, opposing parties, judges, and juries.
Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Background
Between 1953 and 1987, toxic chemicals contaminated the water at Camp Lejeune and nearby Marine Corps Air Station New River, in North Carolina. The contaminants in the water put anyone who used, drank, or bathed in it—including soldiers and families who lived in base housing—at increased risk of cancer and other severe medical problems.
Today, many of those veterans and family members suffer from devastating and fatal illnesses caused by their toxic exposures.
Sources of Contamination
The government has identified two likely sources of the contamination in Camp Lejeune’s water supply.
- A dry cleaning business near the base disposed of its wastewater in a manner that allowed dangerous industrial chemicals to infiltrate the base’s drinking water.
- Underground storage tanks on the base leaked toxic chemicals into the water supply.
The government did not pinpoint the sources and severity of the water contamination at Camp Lejeune until the early 1980s, and the last water treatment plan sending contaminated water to base facilities did not cease operation until 1987. As a result, hundreds of thousands (or more) of service members and civilians sustained toxic exposure to contaminants in the water they drank, washed with, and used in everyday life.
Recognition of Need for Compensation
The government slowly came to acknowledge the scale and devastation of the water contamination at Camp Lejeune. Since 2012, veterans who served at Camp Lejeune while its water supplies were contaminated have been eligible to receive medical treatment at Veterans Administration (VA) health facilities, and their family members have had the ability to seek reimbursement for some medical care. But those benefits did not come close to compensating victims of Camp Lejeune’s contaminated water for the full scope of harm they continue to suffer.
Overview of the Camp LeJeune Legislation and Class Action Lawsuit [Current as of This Writing]
On August 10, 2022, President Biden signed the Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act (the PACT Act) into law. The PACT Act expands federal benefits for veterans and their families. Among other provisions, it gives military and civilian victims of Camp Lejeune toxic water exposure the right to pursue claims against the government for damages. Anyone who suffered harm from contaminated water while living or working at Camp Lejeune between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987 is generally eligible to pursue a PACT Act claim.
Just days after the PACT Act took effect, several alleged victims of toxic water exposure at Camp Lejeune filed lawsuits against the government in North Carolina federal district court, seeking damages for the harm they claim to have suffered. One of them, Donald Stringfellow, filed his lawsuit as a class action on behalf of himself and all other similarly situated Camp Lejeune water victims. The Stringfellow lawsuit, in effect, seeks to resolve all Camp Lejeune contaminated water exposure claims through a single court case, as an alternative to every victim pursuing a separate, individual lawsuit.
The Camp Lejeune class action lawsuit is still in its early stages. As of December 2022, it remains to be seen whether the class action lawsuit will address most victims’ claims under the PACT Act, or whether other administrative or court proceedings will serve as the preferred mechanism for seeking damages from the government for Camp Lejeune toxic water exposure.
At Edward Bernstein and Associates, we’re monitoring the progress of the Camp Lejeune class action lawsuit closely. We’re also keeping an eye on special procedures the government or the courts may implement to handle the tens of thousands of expected PACT Act claims. In a free consultation, we can answer your questions about your rights and how these developments may affect them.
Eligibility for Camp Lejeune Toxic Water Damages
One way or another, the Camp Lejeune class action lawsuit or some alternative administrative or court procedure will ultimately serve to decide claims and pay compensation to the soldiers and civilians (including soldiers’ families and children) who today face serious illness due to their exposure to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune between August 1953 and December 1987. Generally, eligibility for that compensation will depend on the following criteria.
Length of Exposure
In order to pursue a claim for damages, a service member or family member must have been exposed to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 days between August 1, 1953 and December 31, 1987. Exposure could consist of having used water for washing, drinking, cooking, or as part of job-related duties.
Toxic Water-Related Health Problems
Compensation will also likely depend on proving you’ve been diagnosed with a health problem linked to Camp Lejeune water contamination. The water at Camp Lejeune contained the known cancer-causing toxins Trichloroethylene (TCE), Perchloroethylene (PCE), Benzene, and vinyl chloride.
The government recognizes numerous health issues as potentially linked to Camp Lejeune toxic water, including:
- Aplastic anemia
- Bladder, kidney, or liver cancer
- Multiple myeloma
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
- Parkinson’s disease
- Esophageal cancer
- Breast cancer
- Renal toxicity
- Behavioral effects, including devastating mental health symptoms
These are potentially devastating conditions. They frequently require extensive medical treatment, and cause pain and disability. Some are likely to be fatal.
Contact us at Edward Bernstein and Associates if you suffer from any health problem potentially linked to toxic water at Camp Lejeune. You may need to act quickly to preserve your rights to compensation.
Potential Compensation for Contaminated Water Exposure at Camp Lejeune
The compensation you may have the right to claim as a victim of Camp Lejeune contaminated water exposure spans your financial and non-financial damages. Here are some categories of compensation likely to be recoverable.
Medical Care Costs
The VA provides medical care to veterans for their service-related health conditions. Vets suffering from health problems linked to Camp Lejeune water contamination can generally receive care for those ailments directly from the VA. Veterans and their family members may also have the right to apply to the VA for reimbursement of certain medical costs related to treating Camp Lejeune-related conditions at a non-VA facility.
Under the PACT Act, vets and civilians (including family members) who suffer from Camp Lejeune toxic water-related health conditions may also have the right to pursue actions seeking additional compensation for the cost of treating their conditions, over-and-above any money or direct benefits received from the VA.
A damages award may cover the cost of:
- Procedures related to treating your illness
- Chemotherapy or radiation procedures
- In-home care
- Rehabilitation services
The Edward Bernstein and Associates team can explain the various rights you may have to payment for your medical care, and whether pursuing a PACT Act claim—either through joining a class action or some other procedure—is right for you.
Many Camp Lejeune contaminated water exposure-related health conditions prevent victims from working. The resulting loss of earnings can devastate their family finances, leaving them unable to afford basic necessities, let alone the cost of managing their illnesses.
Through a claim under the PACT Act, individuals may seek compensation for the loss of earnings they have suffered because of a Camp Lejeune-related health problem. A claim can typically seek past earnings they have already lost, and future earnings they would have received if they had not fallen ill because of toxic water exposure.
Pain and Suffering
Many diagnoses linked to Camp Lejeune contaminated water exposure cause agonizing pain and suffering. Victims may lose their independence, live in constant discomfort, or endure permanent declines in the quality of their lives or relationships, for example. These damages deserve compensation just as much as any direct financial impact of Camp Lejeune-related illness.
A PACT Act claim can generally seek payment for these sorts of pain and suffering damages. Contact the Edward Bernstein and Associates team today to learn about the types and amounts of compensation you might claim for the harm you suffered from toxic exposures at Camp Lejeune.
Camp Lejeune Class Action Lawsuit FAQs
Here are the answers to some common questions we hear about Camp Lejeune toxic water exposure claims. Don’t see the answer you’re looking for? Contact us today for a free consultation.
Can I file a claim if I was a child while living at Camp Lejeune while a family member was stationed here?
Yes, you can likely file a claim if you suffer from a health problem linked (or potentially linked) to Camp Lejeune toxic water exposure. Contact our team today to learn more.
I already received some compensation from the VA. Can I still pursue compensation through the Camp Lejeune class action lawsuit or some other legal action?
Yes, you may still have the right to recover compensation through the Camp Lejeune class action lawsuit or a similar legal action. If you received treatment for your ailment or condition through the VA or have already received some type of disability payment for those injuries, it may simply reduce the size of the award you can claim. Contact Edward Bernstein and Associates for a free consultation about the amounts you might claim.
I served at Camp Lejeune but did not have a contaminated water-related diagnosis. Can I participate in the lawsuit later if I do discover symptoms?
It’s possible, but you may need to file an administrative claim soon. Talk to a personal injury lawyer at Edward Bernstein and Associates immediately to make sure your right stay protected.
I lost a loved one due to a diagnosis related to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune. Can I get justice for my loved one?
If your loved one died as a result of exposure to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune, you might have the right to pursue compensation in the form of a wrongful death claim under the PACT Act. Talk to an attorney from Edward Bernstein and Associates today to learn about the damages you can collect for the loss of your loved one.
Enough Said. Call Ed to Discuss Your Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Claim.
Did you or someone you love suffer a likely toxic exposure while living or working at Camp Lejeune at any time between 1953 and 1987? If so, you may have the right to claim significant financial compensation. Contact us at Edward Bernstein and Associates today or call us at (702) 840-5103 for a free consultation with a knowledgeable legal professional.