The legal battle known as the Rhode Island Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawsuit was sparked by the exposure of numerous Rhode Island inhabitants to harmful chemicals in the water supply at Camp Lejeune.
The health complications that ensued from this exposure ignited a quest for justice and reparation through the legal system, culminating in the implementation of the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022.
If you or someone close to you has endured harm due to the water contamination at Camp Lejeune, our devoted team at Schmidt & Clark, LLP, is ready to offer you the necessary help.
Recognized nationally for our expertise in plaintiff’s cases, our primary aim is to ensure you receive the justice and rightful compensation you are entitled to.
Table Of Contents
- Rhode Island Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawsuit
- The Cause Of the Contamination in the Groundwater at Camp Lejeune
- Who Qualifies For A Rhode Island Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Settlement?
- Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawsuit Settlement Amounts in Rhode Island
- Filing a Rhode Island Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawsuit
- Get Your Free Consultation From Rhode Islan Camp Lejeune Lawyers
Rhode Island Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawsuit
Camp Lejeune, a marine base in North Carolina, was once a symbol of pride and honor. It has, however, been marred by one of the most significant water contamination events in U.S. history.
Between 1953 and 1987, the water at Camp Lejeune was contaminated with toxic chemicals, affecting thousands of service members, their families, and civilian workers, including Camp Lejeune veterans.
The effects were devastating, leading to severe health conditions ranging from cancer to neurological disorders. In light of these events, the Camp Lejeune settlement was established to provide compensation and support for those affected.
But hope arose in the form of the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022. This legislation allows Rhode Island residents who were exposed to carcinogens at Camp Lejeune to fight back through a Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit.
They can now file Camp Lejeune lawsuits in the U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of North Carolina, seek justice and compensation for their suffering, and hold the federal government, which was responsible for the contamination, accountable as the defendant in these lawsuits.
Camp Lejeune Lawsuit Justice Act of 2022
The Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 provides a glimmer of hope for Camp Lejeune victims affected by the water contamination at Camp Lejeune . It provides a legal mechanism for victims to seek compensation from the U.S. government, marking a significant step forward in their fight for justice.
The legislation allows for these impacted individuals to file a Camp Lejeune water lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in Eastern North Carolina, and there have been numerous Camp Lejeune water lawsuits filed in recent years.
Nevertheless, plaintiffs must follow these steps before initiating a civil suit under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act:
- Submit a claim to the appropriate federal agency.
- Once the claim is rejected, which is generally the case, the path is clear for a civil suit to be filed.
- Interestingly, the Department of Defense may provide settlement amounts to address valid claims, offering a quicker path for victims to receive financial remuneration.
Camp Lejeune Lawsuit Updates
As the quest for justice persists, staying abreast of the latest developments in the Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit is necessary. As of now, the Navy is struggling to review compensation claims from veterans affected by the toxic water at Camp Lejeune due to a lack of financial resources and staff.
The tort claims unit is working overtime to handle the claims, but the necessary funds to manage the compensation program have not been allocated. Despite these challenges, approximately 45,000 claims have been submitted, highlighting the magnitude of the issue.
One of the recent developments in the lawsuit is the request put forward by lawyers representing the U.S. government and the plaintiffs. They’ve requested for the cases to be unified under one judge or for the Court to manage the pretrial proceedings in a coordinated manner.
Also Read: Toxic Water Served for Decades
The Role of North Carolina Law in Camp Lejeune Claims
The laws of North Carolina play a significant role in the Camp Lejeune claims. The state imposes a ten-year statute of limitations on lawsuits for water contamination. This law has hindered many victims from seeking justice or compensation through lawsuits, as the contamination occurred several decades ago.
However, it’s worth noting that only the personal representative of the decedent’s estate is legally allowed to bring a wrongful death lawsuit in North Carolina for Camp Lejeune water contamination.
This law allows the estate of a deceased person to file a claim against any person who is found to have negligently or intentionally caused the decedent’s death. Understanding these laws is crucial when considering filing a Camp Lejeune contaminated water lawsuit.
The Cause Of the Contamination in the Groundwater at Camp Lejeune
The contamination at Camp Lejeune was a result of toxic chemicals leaking into the groundwater. This contamination was primarily caused by:
- Substances such as PCE and TCE, which had leaked from an underground fuel tank
- Improper disposal of these chemicals by off-base dry cleaning facilities
- Use of these chemicals by on-base personnel to clean equipment.
These toxic chemicals didn’t just appear overnight. The contamination was a result of the deliberate discharging of these substances into the local storm drains from 1953 to 1987. The environmental testing in the 1980s revealed the severe contamination of the water supply going to Camp Lejeune residents and employees.
Related Article: What Caused Camp Lejeune Water Contamination?
What Toxic Chemicals Were Found in the Groundwater at Camp Lejeune?
Toxic chemicals that were found in the groundwater at Camp Lejeune include Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCE) and Trichloroethylene (TCE) . These chemicals were discharged into the local storm drains and have been found to have significant harmful effects on human health.
The origin of this contamination, which led to contaminated drinking water, is attributed to both on-base and off-base activities. On-base leaks and spills, as well as off-base businesses mishandling chemicals, contributed to the release of these toxic substances, including volatile organic compounds, into the groundwater.
Industrial solvents such as trichloroethylene (TCE) and perchloroethylene (PCE) from dry cleaning waste and benzene from leaking sources have been identified as contributing factors to the contamination.
Health Issues Due To Exposure to These Chemicals
Exposure to the toxic chemicals found in the groundwater at Camp Lejeune can lead to serious health issues. Studies have indicated that exposure to these chemicals may be linked to a range of health issues, such as:
- Reproductive Issues
- Birth Defects
- Multiple Myeloma
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Bladder Cancer
- Kidney Cancer
- Liver Cancer
- Renal Toxicity
- Esophageal Cancer
- Breast Cancer
- Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
- Hepatic Steatosis
- Prostate Cancer
- Miscarriage Fetal Death
- Neurobehavioral Effects
- Lung Cancer
- Aplastic Anemia
- Cervical Cancer
- Wrongful Death
Who Qualifies For A Rhode Island Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Settlement?
Rhode Island residents who resided or worked at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 days between 1953 and 1987, qualify for a Rhode Island Camp Lejeune water contamination settlement.
During this period, an individual qualifies to file a Camp Lejeune water claim, which allows them to file a Camp Lejeune claim for any damages incurred.
Before initiating a lawsuit, it’s necessary to compile all relevant documentation related to your exposure to the contaminated water, such as medical records, proof of residence, and other pertinent records.
Seeking legal advice before initiating a lawsuit is also a smart move, as it can provide valuable insights into the legal proceedings and help in gathering all required documents.
Damages That You Can Recover From a Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawsuit
Victims of the Camp Lejeune water contamination can claim a variety of damages from their lawsuit. These include:
- Medical expenses, such as the costs of medical treatment, hospitalization, medication, therapy, rehabilitation, and any other necessary healthcare expenses related to the contamination
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Other damages associated with the injuries caused by the contamination
The calculation of lost wages involves assessing the wages that were lost as a result of the injuries or illnesses caused by the contamination. This can include the wages that were lost when the individual was unable to work due to their condition, as well as any future lost earning capacity.
Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawsuit Settlement Amounts in Rhode Island
The settlement amounts for Rhode Island Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuits differ substantially, contingent on individual circumstances and the extent of the victim’s injuries. The range of settlement amounts awarded to victims could range from $25,000 to $1 million or more per person, depending on the circumstances.
The settlement amount is determined based on various elements. A qualified attorney will assess the settlement amount based on the specific effects of the victim’s injuries.
“The money secured from a Camp Lejeune settlement can be used to pay for medical bills, funeral expenses, and other costs. Settlement offers may be awarded for many types of injuries and illnesses, including several forms of cancer, birth defects, and Parkinson’s disease.”- Camp Lejeune Claims Center
For instance, the first settlements achieved in October 2023 totaled $850,000 for three individuals affected by the contaminated water. Understanding these factors can provide a clearer picture of the potential outcome of a Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit.
Filing a Rhode Island Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawsuit
Rhode Island residents impacted by the Camp Lejeune water contamination can commence their pursuit of justice by filing a lawsuit. The process requires careful preparation and the gathering of essential documentation related to their exposure to the contaminated water, such as medical records and proof of residence.
Legal representation can significantly increase the chances of a successful lawsuit, ensuring victims receive the justice they deserve.
The Deadline to File Civil Lawsuits Under the CLJA
The Camp Lejeune Justice Act sets a two-year deadline for filing civil lawsuits related to the toxic water contamination at Camp Lejeune. The deadline is set as August 10, 2024, and missing this deadline can result in losing the opportunity to pursue legal action.
Awareness of this deadline is important when planning to file a lawsuit. Any delay in filing can lead to forfeiture of the right to seek compensation. Therefore, victims must ensure that they initiate their lawsuit within this period to be eligible for compensation.
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Get Your Free Consultation From Rhode Islan Camp Lejeune Lawyers
If you or a loved one has been harmed as a result of the water contamination at Camp Lejeune, Schmidt & Clark, LLP are ready and willing to help. Our team has extensive experience in dealing with cases like these and is fully prepared to support you at every step of the way.
You are entitled to be fully informed of your legal rights and potential eligibility for a lawsuit. Please be assured that our consultations are always free of charge, and we won’t ask for any fees unless we achieve a successful outcome for your case.
Contact Schmidt and Clark today for a thorough evaluation of your case. Allow us to be your reliable ally on this path.