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Illinois Camp Lejune Water Contamination Lawsuit

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C.L. Mike Schmidt Published by C.L. Mike Schmidt

The Illinois Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit has gripped the nation, affecting the lives of countless individuals, including Illinois residents.

As the legal battle continues for justice and compensation for the victims and their families, it is crucial to stay informed and understand the developments in this complex case.

If you, or someone you care about, have been impacted by the harmful effects of water contamination at Camp Lejeune, our devoted team at Schmidt & Clark, LLP, stands ready to offer you our support.

As a law firm with a national reputation for our work on plaintiff’s cases, our foremost commitment is to ensure that you receive the justice and rightful compensation you are entitled to.

Illinois Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawsuit

Marines, their family members, contract workers, and other individuals were exposed to contaminated drinking water at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987.

This water contamination issue has led to a series of lawsuits, known as multi-district litigation rather than class action lawsuits, with the Camp Lejeune Justice Act playing a significant role in these cases.

All outstanding Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuits have been combined for pre-trial and research purposes. A court is now in the process of determining protocols for:

  • Research
  • Motions regarding expert testimony
  • Motion filing
  • Scheduling bellwether trials
  • Settlement negotiations.

Engaging one of the Camp Lejeune lawyers, specifically those experienced in Camp Lejeune water contamination cases, is advisable due to the complex nature of litigation against the federal government.

Camp Lejeune Lawsuit Justice Act of 2022

The Camp Lejeune Lawsuit Justice Act of 2022 is legislation that provides victims with the opportunity to pursue legal action for compensation concerning water contamination at Camp Lejeune [1].

Establishing eligibility for a Camp Lejeune civil lawsuit requires military service records for Camp Lejeune veterans, including military service members and their families, along with documents like social security employment records for civilian contractors and non-military personnel.

The government, including the Environmental Protection Agency, has asserted several defenses, such as:

  • Claiming the plaintiffs have not articulated a valid legal claim
  • Claiming a dry cleaner was responsible for the contamination
  • Claiming that despite being aware of the water contamination, the plaintiffs continued to consume it.

Camp Lejeune Lawsuit Updates

Camp Lejeune, a United States Marine Corps base and military training facility, was inaugurated in 1942. In the 1980s, environmental testing at Camp Lejeune revealed a significant contamination of the water supply. The water supply was going to Camp Lejeune residents and employees.

Since then, over 1,100 Camp Lejeune cases have been filed against the federal government, with all appeals for dismissal of the Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuits being unsuccessful in 2018, leaving thousands of victims without legal recourse and seeking a Camp Lejeune settlement.

Lawyers representing the US government and plaintiffs are asking that the cases be consolidated under one judge or that the Court administer pretrial proceedings in the litigation in a coordinated fashion.

The Cause Of the Contamination in the Groundwater at Camp Lejeune

The water contamination at Camp Lejeune has been linked to the Tarawa Terrace Facility and the Hadnot Point Treatment Plant Facility. The two locations are believed to be the source of the contaminated water.

The contamination was caused by improper disposal of chemicals, along with multiple spills, including a significant fuel leakage from an underground fuel tank, off-base drycleaning facilities disposing of chemicals inappropriately, and on-base personnel using heavy chemicals to clean equipment.

Such negligence and improper handling of chemicals led to the presence of toxic substances in the water supply at Camp Lejeune. Understanding the specific chemicals involved and their health impact on the exposed individuals is necessary.

What Toxic Chemicals Were Found in the Groundwater at Camp Lejeune?

Toxic chemicals found in Camp Lejeune’s groundwater include benzene, vinyl chloride, trichloroethylene, and perchloroethylene [2].

The contamination of water at Camp Lejeune can be traced back to various sources. These include a fuel leak from an underground tank, the inappropriate disposal of chemicals by off-base dry cleaning facilities, and the use of harsh cleaning chemicals on-base. All these factors contributed to the water contamination at Camp Lejeune.

Health Issues Due To Exposure to These Chemicals

Being exposed to the toxic chemicals in Camp Lejeune’s water can lead to several health complications, including cancers and life-threatening conditions in unborn babies. Studies show that prolonged exposure to trichloroethylene (TCE) and perchloroethylene (PCE) may increase the risk of cancers and more:

In addition to cancer, exposure to these chemicals can also result in neurological issues that can significantly impact an individual’s quality of life, including their capacity to look after themselves and sustain a steady job.

The consequences of exposure to these toxic chemicals are wide-ranging and life-altering, making it crucial for those affected to understand their legal rights and seek compensation.

Who Qualifies For an Illinois Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Settlement?

Illinois residents who served at Camp Lejeune between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987, and have since developed health issues related to the water qualify for an Illinois Camp Lejeune water contamination settlement. Families of Camp Lejeune victims who perished as a result of water contamination are also eligible to file a lawsuit.

Furthermore, compensation is due to base workers who were employed at Camp Lejeune and members of the local community who were exposed to the contaminated water. These individuals can file Camp Lejeune lawsuits to seek compensation.

Having a diagnosis of a serious health condition post-residing or working at Camp Lejeune is a requirement for compensation eligibility. Evidence such as employment records, pay stubs, and tax returns might be needed to prove eligibility and start the lawsuit filing process.

Damages That You Can Recover From a Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawsuit

Individuals filing a Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit can potentially recover damages for medical compensation and other forms of compensation, such as mental anguish and wrongful death claims.

The amount of monetary damages for each case is contingent upon various factors, including the severity of the victim’s injuries and the lawyer’s ability to establish a link between the injuries or death and the contaminated water.

Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawsuit Settlement Amounts in Illinois

Settlement amounts for Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuits are still uncertain. They can greatly vary based on factors like the severity of the victim’s injuries and the lawyer’s ability to link the injuries or death to the contaminated water.

However, it has been reported that a typical settlement for a Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit can exceed $500,000 per person for a tier 1 cancer.

Individual settlements for Parkinson’s disease cases may range from $1 million to $1.5 million, with the potential value of the water contamination claims exceeding $500,000 per claimant. It is estimated that $6.7 billion will be paid out by 2031, with an additional $15 billion paid out after 2031.

Illinois residents seeking compensation through a Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit should be aware of the connection between VA disability benefits and the lawsuit.

A person may find that filing a Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit is the most suitable legal option if they have been unsuccessful in obtaining disability benefits for their health issues through the United States Department of Veterans Affairs. This could be a viable solution to their issue.

Navigating VA Disability Benefits and Camp Lejeune Lawsuits

VA disability benefits are monthly payments provided to veterans who experienced exposure to contaminated water while serving at Camp Lejeune.

Presumptive service connection is a method that allows veterans to expedite VA disability benefits claims. It eliminates the requirement of linking specific health conditions to exposure to contaminated Camp Lejeune water.

“Affected former reservists and National Guard members have veteran status for purposes of entitlement to some VA benefits.”- Department of Veterans Affairs.

However, suppose a presumptive service connection is not applicable. In that case, evidence such as medical records linking an injury to exposure to contaminated Camp Lejeune water, as well as fulfilling the usual service criteria, is necessary to file a VA disability benefits claim.

Filing an Illinois Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawsuit

To file a Camp Lejeune toxic water lawsuit under the Federal Tort Claims Act, a lawyer must follow these steps:

  1. Submit an administrative claim to the Department of the Navy.
  2. The government has a period of six months to accept, reject, or ignore the claim.
  3. Generally, the government will deny the Camp Lejeune claim.
  4. At this point, the lawyer may file a suit in Federal Court in North Carolina.

Illinois residents affected by the issue can progress towards seeking justice and compensation for their ordeal by seeking legal help and comprehending the process of filing a Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit.

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Have you or a loved one been injured or exposed to a toxic chemical at work or in the home that has caused a severe life-threatening side effect, illness, disease, or death?

Get Your Free Case Evaluation From Illinois Camp Lejeuna Water Contamination Lawyers

If you or a loved one have been affected by the water contamination at Camp Lejeune, don’t hesitate to contact Schmidt and Clark, LLP. Our team has the expertise needed to handle these complex cases and is ready to guide you every step of the way.

It’s your right to understand your legal options and potential eligibility for a lawsuit. Importantly, our consultations are always free, and you will not be charged unless we achieve a favorable result for your case.

Contact Schmidt and Clark today for a thorough review of your case. Let us stand by your side in this journey.

Reference:

  1. https://news.va.gov/114142/new-measure-camp-lejeune-file-lawsuits/
  2. https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/sites/lejeune/chem_descriptions.html

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