Whenever one thinks of ailments caused by polluted waters, the name Camp Lejeune pops up. Today, it’s a known fact that thousands of veterans, their relatives, and other family members who stayed in this region between the early 1950s and mid-1980s have suffered immensely due to toxic chemicals in the waters, that caused cancer and several other ailments.

As initial cases of cancer claims started piling up, there still wasn’t much evidence to prove this fact. A comprehensive and major ‘cancer incidence study’ was launched in 2015 by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), which got cleared by an external peer review.

This delay might have affected over 1,100 lawsuits asking for compensation for ailments and deaths that were progressing toward action in the North Carolina federal court. This was aimed by the CLJA (Camp Lejeune Justice Act) in August 2022.

Additionally, over 117,000 claims are still pending at the Navy Judge Advocate General’s Office. It is the initial step that victims need to take before heading to the federal court. According to the Justice Department, the claims demand $3.3 trillion for their damages.

However, such rising complaints only suggest that veterans have spoken up and are still doing so. In this article, we will delve into this and also discuss the legal solution that victims can avail of.

Eddie Suffered from Parkinson’s Due to the Camp Lejeune Toxic Waters

Recently, several veterans have filed their lawsuits and are waiting for Camp Lejeune water contamination settlement amounts that can cover every damage they endured.

In August 2023, CNN.com reported the tragic account of Eddie Peterson, who suddenly lost consciousness and his breathing stopped. Lori, his wife, saved him by performing CPR until paramedics arrived.

Eddie had developed Parkinson’s, which made it challenging for his 76-year-old body to cope with daily activities. Today, he has a slurred speech. If you aren’t familiar with him, it’s a challenge to comprehend what he says. In order to heal better, he even opted for an experimental surgery to implant a deep brain stimulator. Even though that helped for a while, his wife, Lori comprehends what he says for clarity.

All this stems from the fact that Eddie’s very first placement after law school was in the military. He worked as a judge at Camp Lejeune between 1975 and 1977. Hence, it is evident that the root cause of this disease stemmed from the contaminated waters of the region.

Eddie and several young Marines and their family members who lived on the base were unaware of using polluted water that caused cancer and various other ailments. Some of the cancers caused by the toxic waters at Camp Lejeune are breast, bladder, and kidney cancer. Other ailments include miscarriage, leukemia, female infertility, and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Reasons for the Water Contamination

A dry-cleaning company located close to Camp Lejeune had introduced chemicals to the water supply. This is what made the water life-threatening to bathe in, ingest, or use for daily chores. Hence, service members, their relatives, and their families were exposed to this chemically induced water unconsciously.

TorHoerman Law states that medical and scientific evidence from ATSDR (Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry), revealed that Camp Lejeune waters can cause health hazards because of the harmful chemicals. Trichloroethylene (TCE), Tetrachloroethylene (PCE), Benzene, Vinyl Chloride are a few of the contaminants that have made the water risky for human consumption.

Investigations revealed that these chemicals were present in the water a thousand times over generic safety standards. There is a correlation between TCE and PCE exposure and the types of cancer mentioned above.

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Is Justice Possible? 

The CLJA, signed by President Biden, enables former residents of the Marine Base to pursue legal restitution and action from the U.S. government for all the harm that resulted from the soiled water supply. The victims must establish that they were exposed to the polluted water for nearly 30 days between the years August 1953 and December 1987.

Managing this legal journey alone is cumbersome. Therefore, joining hands with an expert lawyer and seeking their guidance is essential. They will guide victims to gather evidence in the form of medical records and testimonials that will help make their legal case stronger. Lawyers will ensure that victims get fair compensation along with justice.

Finally, it’s a known fact by now that the waters at Camp Lejeune have caused cancer and other illnesses in veterans who stayed there. But it is necessary for one and all who suffered to share their account to get compensated and raise awareness. Hence, the ones who have already come forward with their stories are brave to start a movement for other victims to seek the justice they need.


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