CAMP LEJEUNE WRONGFUL DEATH LAWSUIT
Due to the water contamination at Camp Lejeune, potentially up to a million people were exposed to the toxic chemicals polluting the water. Many of these chemicals are known human carcinogens, which means they can lead to an increased risk of cancer. For decades, veterans and their family members were exposed to toxic chemicals in their drinking and bathing water. Many people have fallen ill or even died as a result. If you have lost a loved one due to the contamination at Camp Lejeune, you have the right to file a Camp Lejeune wrongful death lawsuit.
At Reich & Binstock, our Camp Lejeune lawyers are accepting water contamination cases at a national level. We have extensive experience litigating toxic tort and wrongful death claims, so you can rest assured that your case will be in good hands with our team. For more information on how to file a lawsuit on behalf of deceased Camp Lejeune victims, please contact our Houston law office. To schedule a free consultation with us, please call 713-622-7271 today.
What Happened at Camp Lejeune?
Camp Lejeune is a prominent United States Marine Corps Base in North Carolina. For approximately three decades, those who lived or worked at Camp Lejeune were exposed to contaminated drinking water. Camp Lejeune’s water supply was contaminated with volatile organic compounds, benzene, industrial solvents, and other toxic chemicals. As a result, former Camp Lejeune residents have begun filing personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits for their illnesses and injuries caused by the incident.
If you were exposed to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune, we strongly recommend contacting an attorney who handles Camp Lejeune lawsuits.
How Did the Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Occur?
The sources of the Camp Lejeune water contamination have been identified to come from two major locations, which are the Tarawa Terrace and Hadnot Point water treatment plants. Another source of contamination was ABC One-Hour Cleaners, which was an off-base dry cleaning firm. The toxic chemicals in the water persisted as a result of improper waste disposal, inadequate use of certain chemicals, and dangerous PFAS contamination from firefighting foam.
How Can Camp Lejeune Victims Seek Justice?
Camp Lejeune victims, their family members, and the family members of deceased Camp Lejeune residents have the right to file a wrongful death claim to seek justice. Under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022, any person who lived or worked at Camp Lejeune for 30 days or more can file a lawsuit. However, this 30-day period must have occurred between August 1st, 1953 and December 31st, 1987. Keep in mind that there is a two-year window in which claimants must file their Camp Lejeune wrongful death lawsuit.
For decades, government officials knew of the dangers lurking in the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune. Yet they did nothing to warn residents, service members, or the general public of the dangers. For this reason, family members of victims who died from the contamination can file wrongful death claims on behalf of the deceased.
Camp Lejeune Justice Act 2022
The Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 was born out of the Honoring Our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act. While a North Carolina law originally barred victims from seeking compensation, the Camp Lejeune Justice Act (CLJA) aims to rectify that. The new law opened the door for victims and surviving family members to file Camp Lejeune claims for toxic water exposure.
How to File a Camp Lejeune Wrongful Death Lawsuit
Those who are family members of Camp Lejeune veterans, residents, or workers who died as a result of the contaminated drinking water may file wrongful death lawsuits. However, in order to have a successful claim, you must be able to prove the following.
- The deceased victim worked, lived, or stayed at Camp Lejeune during the period of water contamination.
- They were at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 days. It is not required for these 30 days to be consecutive.
- They suffered from medical conditions that can be linked to the contaminated water.
Injuries and Illnesses Related to Exposure to Camp Lejeune Water Contamination
As we mentioned previously, more than one million civilians, service members, family members, and other individuals were exposed to the Camp Lejeune water contamination. The contaminated water at Camp Lejeune caused thousands of illnesses and deaths, and surviving family members deserve financial compensation for their loss. Some of the most dangerous and deadly health conditions that have been linked to the Camp Lejeune water contamination include the following.
- Lung cancer
- Breast cancer
- Bladder cancer
- Liver cancer
- Adult leukemia
- Brain cancer
- Cardiac defects
- Aplastic anemia
- Cervical cancer
- Kidney cancer
- Esophageal cancer
- Multiple myeloma
- Rectal cancer
- Pancreatic cancer
- Parkinson’s disease
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
- Prostate cancer
If you lost a loved one due to the toxic water contamination at Camp Lejeune, you have the right to file a claim under wrongful death tort laws.
Can Families File Wrongful Death Lawsuits if the Victim Died Years Ago?
Yes. Even if the victim passed away decades ago, family members of the deceased still have the right to file a Camp Lejeune wrongful death lawsuit against the federal government. However, they must ensure that the wrongful death statute of limitations has not passed. One of the best ways that victims and their families can determine their eligibility is to speak with a qualified Camp Lejeune lawyer.
How to Prove a Camp Lejeune Wrongful Death Case
In order to have the best chance at a successful Camp Lejeune wrongful death lawsuit, you’ll need to gather considerable evidence to support your claim. Once you confirm that the deceased victim was at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 days during the contamination period, you’ll need to prove that they suffered from a health condition that can be linked to their time at Camp Lejeune. Work closely with your attorney to gather the following evidence and information for your case.
- Death certificate for the deceased
- Medical records showing the health condition linked to the toxic water
- Military records for the deceased to prove their stay at Camp Lejeune
- All other forms of evidence that show the victim was at Camp Lejeune
Working with an attorney who has experience in toxic tort cases is one of the best ways you can prepare for your case. Our toxic tort lawyers know exactly what to look for in terms of evidence to support your Camp Lejeune wrongful death claim.
How Much Is a Camp Lejeune Wrongful Death Case Worth?
The potential payouts for a Camp Lejeune wrongful death lawsuit can vary greatly. Generally, the value of a claim will be calculated based on the damages that the victim suffered, as well as the surviving family’s loss. In wrongful death claims, surviving family members may be able to receive the following forms of compensation.
- Medical expenses
- Funeral expenses
- Burial expenses
- Lost income
- Loss of consortium
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of health care benefits
- Lost inheritance since the victim died prematurely
- Loss of enjoyment of life
What Factors Can Affect How Much You Get in Compensation?
In a complex Camp Lejeune water contamination claim, payouts for wrongful death lawsuits have the potential to be significant. However, there are several factors that can affect the value of one’s case, including the following.
How Long the Victim Was on Base
In order to file a lawsuit at all, the victim must have been at Camp Lejeune Marine Corps Base for no less than 30 days during the entire period of contamination. The longer they stayed on base, the more exposure they likely endured as a result. This increased exposure may have resulted in worse health conditions.
Victim’s Age at the Time of Their Death
No matter the age of the victim, death is always tragic. However, in a wrongful death claim, settlements and case values take into account how much suffering the victim endured before they passed. Did they die suddenly at a young age, or did they live through decades of pain and suffering? The answer to this question may affect the value of your claim.
Extent of Their Medical Treatment
How extensive was the victim’s medical treatment? In general, those with more serious conditions have more medical expenses. The higher the cost of the victim’s medical treatment, the more a wrongful death claim will be worth.
How Many Dependents the Victim Had
Did the victim have any dependents? If so, their case will likely be valued much higher. Those with dependents are responsible for providing for those dependents. If they pass away, a wrongful death claim can seek the financial losses that the dependents have now incurred as a result. The more dependents someone has, the higher the value of their claim.
The Victim’s Earning Potential
How much earning potential has been lost from the victim’s death? If they die very young, they have a very high amount of lost earning potential. If they die at an older age, they have lost less earning potential. The more earning potential that has been lost due to the victim’s death, the higher the value of the claim.
Will Filing a Lawsuit Affect Your VA Benefits?
Veterans and their family members may wonder if filing a Camp Lejeune wrongful death claim would lead to a loss of their benefits from the VA. The short answer is no, filing a claim will not affect your benefits from the VA. Monthly compensation through the VA is determined by completely different factors that are related to someone’s active military service. Even if someone is already receiving benefits from the VA, they can still file a Camp Lejeune wrongful death lawsuit.
Are You Eligible to File a Camp Lejeune Lawsuit?
According to the Camp Lejeune Justice Act, anyone who meets the following criteria is eligible to file a Camp Lejeune wrongful death lawsuit.
- Victim lived or worked on Camp Lejeune for at least 30 days during the contamination period. These days need not be consecutive.
- These 30 days occurred from August 1953 to December 1987.
- The victim passed away after suffering from a medical condition linked to the contamination. Keep in mind that the cause of death doesn’t necessarily need to be that same health condition.
Contact the Camp Lejeune Lawsuit Attorneys at Reich & Binstock
At Reich & Binstock, our Houston personal injury lawyers have extensive experience handling a number of toxic tort cases, including the water contamination at Camp Lejeune. If you or someone you know has lost a loved one because of the dangerous chemicals in the contaminated Camp Lejeune water, our attorneys are standing by to help you. Our nationally-recognized trial lawyers have decades of experience on our side, so we know what it takes to go up against tough, intimidating opponents. To schedule your free consultation with one of our attorneys, please call our office at 713-622-7271 today.
There is a never a fee unless we recover on your behalf.