Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawsuit Lawyer
The negligent actions of others can affect millions of people for years to come. One primary example is the deliberate water contamination at Camp Lejeune. From 1953 to 1987, brave veterans unknowingly suffered exposure to hazardous substances. These dedicated people and their families made sacrifices while unknowingly experiencing exposure that can cause severe health conditions like cancer.
If you or a loved one served at Camp Lejeune between August 1953 and December 1987, you should reach out to a Camp Lejeune lawyer to seek compensation for your injuries.
The legal team at Steven A. Bagen & Associates, P.A. has a personal investment in fighting for your just compensation following harm from Camp Lejeune. One of our attorneys—Chris Chenevey—was a Marine previously stationed at Camp Lejeune. Our personal injury legal team knows what you and your family feel and will seek justice as if you are part of our own family.
A history of water contamination
According to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), the Marine Corps discovered the presence of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the drinking water from two water treatment plants. The primary source of contamination was the waste disposal procedures of an off-base dry cleaning firm known as ABC One-Hour Cleaners.
Some toxic chemicals in the water were tetrachloroethylene (PCE), trichloroethylene (TCE), vinyl chloride, and benzene. These chemicals are often in products used for dry cleaning purposes, like degreasers and dry cleaning solvents.
The dangers of PCE and TCE
Tetrachloroethylene, trichloroethylene, and 70 other toxic substances can cause severe health conditions. These health conditions include bladder cancer, liver cancer, non-Hodgkin leukemia, kidney cancer, adult leukemia, and Parkinson’s disease.
Toxic exposure claims
When you or a loved one suffered harm from careless exposure to toxic substances, you have the right to file a lawsuit against the party who exposed you. In a toxic exposure claim, you have the opportunity to recover compensation for injuries and losses stemming from the hazardous substances in question. These include smoke, gasses, pesticides, and other irritants.
Unfortunately for the veterans at Camp Lejeune, the ability to fight for their compensation has been difficult. One reason is a previous form of legislation known as a statute of repose in North Carolina.
What is the statute of repose?
The statute of repose is a law that prohibits legal action from parties who filed their lawsuits more than three years after the alleged accident occurred. This statute was why more than 850 veterans could not pursue compensation for exposure to toxic chemicals at Camp Lejeune. Millions of injured veterans and public outrage prompted President Biden to sign The Camp Lejeune Justice Act to make it easier for veterans and their families to seek disability benefits and compensation.
The Camp Lejeune Justice Act
The Camp Lejeune Justice Act is a form of legislation passed due to the Honoring Our Pact Act. This act will allow injured victims from the Camp Lejeune water contamination the opportunity to recover damages for the harm they suffered. Instead of reducing the number of people who can sue for damages or file for disability benefits, the Camp Lejeune Justice Act allows anyone with exposure to unsafe water at Camp Lejeune for 30 days the right to pursue legal action.
Through The Camp Lejeune Justice Act, veterans injured by toxic water have the opportunity to file for disability benefits. Disability benefits are insurance payments made to individuals suffering from severe health conditions. These health conditions must affect a person’s ability to make a living and provide for themselves. With the Camp Lejeune water contamination victims, most health conditions from the organization’s negligence can qualify for disability benefits.
The purpose of disability benefits
Disability insurance provides financial compensation for injured individuals. The monetary compensation through disability insurance is significant enough to cover an individual’s financial needs well into retirement. As long as the individual’s health condition meets the policy’s definition of disability, they can receive monthly benefits for their injuries. In addition to veterans, reservists and guardsmen can file a V.A. disability claim.
What Are the Eligible Conditions for Camp Lejeune Claim?
For you or a family member to qualify for V.A. disability benefits through The Camp Lejeune Justice Act:
- You had to serve at Camp Lejeune between August 1953 and December 1987 for at least 30 cumulative days.
- You could not have a dishonorable discharge when you left the military.
In addition to these criteria, you must be diagnosed with:
- Parkinson’s disease
- Multiple myeloma
- Kidney cancer
- Bladder cancer
- Aplastic anemia
- Adult leukemia
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
- Liver cancer
Camp Lejeune VA Reimbursable Expenses
When you file a V.A. disability claim, you can obtain healthcare and disability benefits. Even if you paid out of pocket for your healthcare costs for your exposure-related health conditions, you can seek reimbursement and take advantage of the V.A.’s health care benefits.
To get reimbursed, you must have paid out-of-pocket expenses related to the following health conditions:
- Renal toxicity
- Neurobehavioral effects
- Multiple myeloma
- Lung cancer
- Kidney cancer
- Hepatic steatosis
- Female infertility
- Esophageal cancer
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
- Myelodysplastic syndromes
- Bladder cancer
- Breast cancer
Do not see any of these lists of health conditions as absolute. If your health condition stemmed from Camp Lejeune, but you don’t see it above, still discuss your situation with our experienced attorneys. This situation is not black and white, and we want to evaluate whether you have a case for benefits.
Filing a lawsuit
In addition to filing for disability benefits, you also have the opportunity to file a lawsuit and seek compensation for your injuries. If you want to file a lawsuit related to the Camp Lejeune water contamination, you must file your claim in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Northern Carolina. Filing a lawsuit will allow you to recover more compensation for your injuries than merely receiving disability benefits.
Damages are the financial and emotional repercussions of your injuries. In a lawsuit, the person responsible for your injuries will be responsible for recuperating your damages.
Some of the damages that you can sue for include:
- Medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages
- Funeral expenses
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of companionship
The health conditions you developed due to an organization’s negligence can cause you to pay substantial medical expenses. These medical expenses, the financial hardships you experienced while missing work, and any pain and suffering associated with your health conditions can also be damages in your lawsuit.
Holding Camp Lejeune accountable
A lawsuit allows you and your family to hold Camp Lejeune and other related organizations liable for your injuries. All parties who commit acts of negligence against a person should pay for the damages they caused.
Now that the law extended the statute of limitations and repose, you and your family have the opportunity to seek justice for the gross negligence committed against you. While you might have permanent health effects, you may receive financial compensation and seek justice for your injuries.
Seeking approval of your denied claim
Filing a lawsuit can also help you if your V.A. disability claim ends in denial. Insurance adjusters will search for different ways to deny your disability claim. If you disagree with the organization’s decision and believe that your claim is valid, you have the right to file a lawsuit and overturn the organization’s decision. The ability to file a lawsuit will give you another chance to recover the compensation that you deserve.
Depending on different factors of your lawsuit, it might resolve through one of two outcomes. The first outcome can be a settlement. Settlements often result from negotiation or mediation outside the courtroom. The legal representatives for you and other federal organizations may come to some form of a resolution and agree on a settlement amount for your compensation. Your lawyer will have the opportunity to express your demands and negotiate for a just amount of compensation on your behalf.
When negotiating a fair settlement, you want to ensure you do not accept the first settlement offer you receive. When insurance companies or the defendant’s lawyer make their initial offer, it is usually a low offer that barely covers what you actually deserve for your compensation. You need a skilled attorney who can counter the opposing side’s arguments to lower your settlement amount when negotiating settlements.
The second way that your lawsuit might end is through a trial. You may present your case and testify in front of either a jury of your peers or a judge. While presenting your case, you must provide credible evidence why the federal organizations are responsible for your injuries. After pleading your case, the judge or jury will have the opportunity to rule in your favor or against you.
How a Camp Lejeune lawyer can help you
When you file a Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit, you are going up against various federal organizations with substantial resources at their disposal. You need to give yourself a fighting chance at seeking the justice that you deserve. Do not pay for the rest of your life for what someone else did to you while you served our nation.
You need an experienced Camp Lejeune lawyer passionate about representing the men and women who fight for us. Here is how a Camp Lejeune lawyer can fight on your behalf.
Provide credible evidence
Whether you are filing a lawsuit over a denied disability claim or seeking additional compensation for your health conditions, you will need specific forms of evidence to prove that you or your loved one were present at Camp Lejeune during the designated time.
Your Camp Lejeune lawyer can also collect the best type of evidence to prove the damages you incurred due to the federal organization’s negligence. Some evidence your Camp Lejeune lawyer can provide includes copies of your medical records, past and present diagnoses, military service records, and other documents that prove your time of residence at Camp Lejeune.
Prove the defendant’s liability
Your Camp Lejeune lawyer can also efficiently prove how the defendant is the liable party for your contamination injuries. The defendant might be a federal organization, a government agency, or a dry cleaning business that mainly contributed to the contamination.
To hold all of these parties liable, you need a skilled lawyer familiar. Your Camp Lejeune lawyer must establish liability for your injuries and know how to prove their negligence in court.
Negotiate with the opposing side’s attorney
With a case of this magnitude, you will need a lawyer skilled at high-stakes negotiation. Nothing is more important than seeking compensation for injured veterans who were in preventable harm’s way because of various organizations. You want a Camp Lejeune lawyer confident enough to negotiate significant compensation on your behalf.
You also want a lawyer who will remain patient while listening to the defendant’s attorney and the outrageous statements made by the opposing side. Your Camp Lejeune lawyer needs passion to do whatever it takes for your compensation and logic to hear what the opposing side wants.
Call Our Dedicated Camp Lejeune Lawyer Today
When you want a Camp Lejeune lawyer willing to do whatever it takes to ensure you receive your desired outcome in your lawsuit, call Steven A. Bagen & Associates, P.A.
Our firm can investigate your case and work diligently to recover maximum compensation for your losses.
Call our law firm at (800) 800-2575 or contact us for your free consultation. Our team commits ourselves to protecting the rights of veterans and their families. Seek your free case evaluation with our team immediately.