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Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawsuits

A Camp Lejeune lawsuit lawyer can help if you or someone you care about was harmed by contaminated water at the North Carolina marine base. The health effects caused by the toxic chemicals in the water supply were significant.

Service men and women, family members, workers, and even nearby residents may be eligible to file a claim for money compensation from the United States government. Recently, legislation was passed to allow victims, exposed to the contaminated water between 1953 and 1987, to file claims. This new law extended the required deadline for filing lawsuits in North Carolina.

Camp Lejeune was established in 1942 as a United States Military training facility in Jacksonville, North Carolina. It spans almost 250 square miles and has 14 miles of beaches between two deep water ports. It is used form marine training and amphibious assault training.

In 1982, the Marine Corps discovered specific volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the drinking water provided by two of the eight water treatment plants on base. The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease estimated that PCE (perchloroethylene or tetrachloroethylene) concentrations exceeded the current EPA maximum contaminant level of 5 ppb in drinking water from the Tarawa Terrace water treatment plant from November 1957-February 1987.

During this period, military service members, and their families, were exposed to toxic drinking water and bathing water at the base. Other people who were present at the base, like contractors and visitors, were also exposed to contaminated water. The most contaminated wells were shut down in February 1985, but serious adverse health effects occurred for a thirty-year period. It is estimated that close to one million people were poisoned by this water.

The following types of cancer may have been caused by people who drank and bathed in the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune:

  • Kidney cancer

  • Liver cancer

  • Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma

  • Adult leukemia

  • Multiple myeloma

  • Parkinson’s disease

  • Aplastic anemia and other myelodysplastic syndromes

  • Breast cancer

  • Bladder cancer

  • Oral cancer

  • Tounge cancer

  • Tonsil cancer

There were several scientific studies to determine if the water at Camp Lejeune caused cancer in those exposed to toxic chemicals at the military base. The major studies concluded that contaminated water significantly increased the risk of cancer deaths and other chronic diseases.

In addition to cancer, the toxic water contaminants have been associated with several other serious conditions. Below are examples of other diagnoses for individuals present at Camp Lejeune:

  • Scleroderma

  • Lung cancer

  • Esophageal cancer

  • Renal toxicity

  • Hepatic steatosis

  • Female infertility or miscarriage

Additionally, medical studies relate many neurobehavioral effects caused by the water. Neurobehavioral effects include symptoms of fatigue, lack of coordination, headaches, trouble concentrating, depression, and both fine and general motor function.

Studies performed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have found that Parkinson’s Disease is a neurobehavioral effect that may have been caused by drinking contaminated water at the marine base. Because Parkinson’s Disease is a slow onset disease that occurs over a period of years, many people diagnosed with the condition recently can relate the cause to be the drinking water at Camp Lejeune. Additional studies are ongoing.

If you were exposed to contaminated toxic water at Camp Lejeune between 1953 and 1987, you may benefit from speaking with a lawyer regarding your rights.

Buckfire & Buckfire, P.C. 2022National Law Review, Volume XII, Number 199

About this Author

Larry Buckfire Personal Injury Attorney Buckfire Law
President and Attorney

Lawrence J. Buckfire (Larry Buckfire) earned his undergraduate degree in economics from the University of Michigan in 1986 and his juris doctor degree from Wayne State University School of Law in 1989. He has been in private practice since successfully completing the bar exam in 1989. He is admitted to practice law in the State of Michigan, State of Ohio, and in the United States District Court.

Lawrence is the lead trial attorney and managing partner at Buckfire & Buckfire, P.C.  The law firm was founded in 1969 by his father David Buckfire with the principle of representing...

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