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Utah Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawsuit

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

The Utah Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit and the recent introduction of the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 are now offering victims a chance to fight for the justice they deserve.

This comes after countless individuals suffered serious health issues due to exposure to contaminated water. These health problems range from chronic diseases to life-threatening conditions such as cancer.

If you or someone you know has been impacted by the water contamination at Camp Lejeune, the experienced team at Schmidt & Clark, LLP, is ready to offer their support.

As a law firm with a national reputation for handling plaintiff’s cases, our primary objective is to help you achieve the justice and compensation that you are rightfully entitled to.

Utah Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawsuit

Camp Lejeune, a military base in North Carolina, has become synonymous with one of the most significant water contamination incidents in United States history. Thousands of service members and their families were unknowingly exposed to toxic chemicals in the water supply for over three decades, leading to a myriad of health complications, including cancer.

The situation presents a sad reality, but it also paves the way for affected individuals to seek legal recourse through the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 and pursue the Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit with the help of knowledgeable lawyers.

Enacted to address the distressing aftermath of the water contamination, the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 serves as a lifeline for affected individuals to file a Camp Lejeune claim for compensation against the federal government.

The process for a Camp Lejeune lawsuit can be initiated by victims contacting Camp Lejeune attorneys specializing in such cases or by submitting a free case evaluation request online.

Legal representation in these Camp Lejeune lawsuit claims is often provided on a contingency basis, implying that legal fees only apply if compensation is awarded in the case.

Camp Lejeune Lawsuit Justice Act of 2022

For a long time, the North Carolina state law barred victims of the Utah Camp Lejeune from lodging claims against the U.S. Marines [1]. The Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 acts as a crucial lifeline for victims of water contamination, offering a means to submit compensation claims.

It is a powerful tool enabling victims to seek justice against the federal government for the harms and damages caused by the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune.

“The Eastern District of North Carolina has been designated as the exclusive jurisdiction and venue for cases filed according to Section 804 of the Act, known as the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022.”- United States District Court

In terms of procedure, claim submission under the Act must be made to the relevant federal agency, which is then obligated to accept or reject the claim within a six-month timeframe. Claimants are likely to accept settlement offers made during the administrative claim process instead of filing civil lawsuits.

Camp Lejeune Lawsuit Updates

Staying updated on the Camp Lejeune lawsuits is important as developments progress. Here are some key facts:

  • There are over 800 Camp Lejeune civil lawsuits currently pending in the Eastern District of North Carolina.
  • The Justice Department allocated a staggering $22 billion for Camp Lejeune settlements.
  • As of mid-November 2023, $850,000 has been paid out in settlements to three individuals.

It’s also important to be aware that as of May 22, 2023, 25 new lawsuits were lodged, and approximately 45,000 claims have been filed to date. It is clear that the quest for justice is gaining momentum, and this trend is expected to continue as more victims come forward to claim their rightful compensation.

The Cause Of the Contamination in the Groundwater at Camp Lejeune

Determining the cause of the water contamination at Camp Lejeune reveals the extent of negligence involved. The contaminated drinking water was attributed to the improper disposal of toxic chemicals, including PCE, TCE, benzene, and vinyl chloride. These chemicals seeped into the groundwater over time, leading to serious health issues for those who consumed the contaminated water.

The contamination sources can be traced back to:

  • The military and related industries in and around Camp Lejeune disposed of their toxic waste by burying it underground or dumping it into the nearest waterway.
  • A major fuel leakage from an underground fuel tank
  • Off-base dry cleaning facilities disposing of chemicals improperly
  • On-base personnel using heavy chemicals for equipment cleaning

All of these factors have contributed to the contamination of drinking water. The contamination at Camp Lejeune impacted the Tarawa Terrace water treatment facility and the Hadnot Point treatment plant.

Disturbingly, the contamination was not uncovered until 1982. By that time, thousands of service members and their families had been exposed to the contaminated water, resulting in a slew of health complications in the following years.

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

Toxic chemicals that were found in the groundwater at Camp Lejeune include benzene, PCE (perchloroethylene), and TCE (trichloroethylene) at concentrations 340-2400 times greater than the safe exposure levels for humans [2].

These chemicals are known for their harmful effects, and their presence in the water supply created a hazardous environment for the residents and employees of Camp Lejeune.

Perchloroethylene (PCE) and trichloroethylene (TCE) were identified as the main contaminants. To put the magnitude of the contamination into perspective, the Camp Lejeune water supply was found to contain TCE at a maximum concentration of 1,400 ppb.

Considering that the EPA has determined that five ppb is the maximum safe level for TCE in potable water, the severity of the contamination is clear.

Health Issues Due To Exposure to These Chemicals

The long-term health effects of exposure to these toxic chemicals are concerning. It has been reported that there is an increased risk of childhood and adult cancers, as well as congenital disabilities such as spina bifida. Exposure to TCE during pregnancy has long been thought of as hazardous. It has been linked to congenital heart defects in newborn children.

Prolonged exposure to PCE (perchloroethylene) may also lead to various health disorders, including an increased risk of mental illness, sleep disorders such as sleep apnea, and potential damage to the liver, kidneys, and central nervous system. Here is a complete list of health issues caused by Camp Lejeune contamination:

Likewise, long-term exposure to benzene has been linked to an increased risk of cancer, particularly leukemia and other cancers of the blood cells, along with a host of other health issues.

Who Qualifies For A Utah Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Settlement?

Utah residents who resided or were employed at Camp Lejeune between 1953 and 1987 and experienced health issues as a result of toxic water exposure qualify for a Utah Camp Lejeune water contamination settlement.

Even if an individual did not live or work at Camp Lejeune but can prove their exposure to the contaminated water, they may be eligible to file a claim, which is an important aspect to comprehend.

It’s also worth noting that individuals who resided or worked at Camp Lejeune for a minimum of 30 days during the contamination period and have experienced health issues as a result of toxic water exposure may be eligible for compensation.

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

In a Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit, victims can recover damages that include medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. It’s important to note that settlement amounts can vary significantly, ranging from $100,000 to $550,000 or more, depending on the medical condition of the claimant.

Lost wages are typically calculated by taking into account the individual’s income and the period they were unable to work due to the contamination. Furthermore, future medical costs can also be accounted for in the damages awarded in a Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit.

Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawsuit Settlement Amounts in Utah

Gaining knowledge about potential Camp Lejeune settlement amounts in a lawsuit can guide victims in deciding whether to pursue legal action.

The settlement compensation for Camp Lejeune injuries is contingent upon the severity of the victim’s injuries and the capability of their legal counsel to establish a connection between the injuries or death and contaminated water.

The potential value of a Camp Lejeune water contamination settlement payout per individual may exceed $500,000.00, if not more.

The U.S. Navy and Department of Justice have created the Elective Option system to expedite the resolution of thousands of Camp Lejeune claims. This system helps to address these cases more efficiently. This system offers an additional $100,000 for wrongful death compensation.

Understanding Settlement Tiers

The settlement amounts of the Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuits are categorized into tiers based on the scientific evidence linking cancers or diseases to the water contamination. The criteria for tier classification are the medical condition the claimant has been diagnosed with and the type of cancer caused by the contaminated water.

Factors Influencing Compensation Amounts

Several key factors influence the compensation amount in a Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit. The severity of illness is a significant factor in determining the compensation amount. Settlement amounts range from $100,000 to $550,000, depending on the medical condition the claimant has been diagnosed with.

Veteran Affairs (VA) Benefits and the PACT Act

The PACT Act provides supplemental assistance to Camp Lejeune victims by permitting them to request suitable compensation for any injury incurred from exposure to contaminated water. Furthermore, it allows Camp Lejeune veterans to pursue compensation for any connected illnesses through VA benefits.

The Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act of 2012 provides qualifying veterans who served at Camp Lejeune during periods of high water contamination and their family members with entitlement to VA medical care, including compensation for care directly related to conditions caused by the contaminated Camp Lejeune water filled with toxic substances and other medical care needs.

This Act, along with the PACT Act, provides comprehensive support for the victims, offering them a well-rounded approach to seeking justice and compensation.

Filing a Utah Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawsuit

The process of filing a Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit commences by comprehending the eligibility criteria and the steps required to kick-start the process. Victims need to acquire copies of medical records associated with their diagnosis.

Most individuals in Utah who were exposed to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune will be qualified to submit a claim if they consult with an attorney shortly. All civil lawsuits need to be submitted to the US District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina.

Filing Deadlines and Statute Limitations

When preparing to file a Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit, it is important to understand filing deadlines and statute limitations. To comply with 28 USC 2675, an administrative claim must be submitted to the pertinent federal agency before initiating a lawsuit.

It’s also worth noting that individuals have a stringent two-year window of opportunity from August 10, 2022, to file a claim [3].

Consolidation and Mass Tort Considerations

Consolidation and mass tort refer to a group of individual lawsuits filed against a common defendant. This process enhances the efficiency of handling a large number of claims against the federal government related to the same exposure source, namely Camp Lejeune water contamination.

Consolidating Camp Lejeune water lawsuit claims can improve the efficiency of handling a large number of claims against the federal government related to the same exposure source, namely Camp Lejeune water contamination.

However, it’s important to bear in mind potential drawbacks such as diminished individual autonomy, prolonged resolution, potential disparities in compensation, and increased procedural complexity.

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See all related toxic tort lawsuits our attorneys covered so far.

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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 Consultation From Utah Camp Lejeune Lawyers

At Schmidt & Clark, LLP we are committed to supporting you in these challenging times. If you or a loved one have been adversely affected by the water contamination at Camp Lejeune, we are here to help. Our team has extensive experience in dealing with such cases and will guide you through every step of the process.

We believe in your right to fully understand your legal entitlements and potential eligibility for a lawsuit. We assure you that our consultations are always free, and you will not face any charges unless we achieve a successful outcome for your case.

Contact Schmidt & Clark today for a thorough evaluation of your case. Allow us to be your reliable ally on this path.

Reference:

  1. https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/veteranservices/learning/pact-act-2022/-pact-act-va-fact-sheets/2022_NVLSP_Camp_LeJeune_FAQ_.pdf
  2. https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/sites/lejeune/chem_descriptions.html
  3. https://www.echr.coe.int/documents/d/echr/guide_art_8_eng

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