What has happened at Camp Lejeune?
Problems with the drinking water at Camp Lejeune were first identified by the US Government in the early 1980s. High levels of dangerous chemicals such as perchloroethylene (PCE), a solvent used for dry cleaning and trichloroethylene (TCE), used as a degreaser for metal parts, were found in the drinking water. It was established that the water had been contaminated since the early 1950s, placing the health of all who had been based at the Camp at risk.
What illnesses can be caused?
The range of chemicals in the water and the dangerous levels present mean there are a wide range of illnesses that can be attributed to time spent at Camp Lejeune. It is likely that the following conditions could have been caused if an individual was present at Camp Lejeune:
- Kidney cancer
- Kidney disease
- Non-hodgkin’s lymphoma
- Liver cancer
- Bladder cancer
- Major cardiac birth defects
- Parkinson’s disease
- Multiple myleoma
- Systemic sclerosis/scleroderma
In addition, there is evidence to suggest the following conditions may also have been caused by drinking the water at Camp Lejeune:
- Aplastic anemia
- Hepatic steatosis
- Lung cancer
- Neurobehavioral effects
- Female infertility
Who can claim?
Any individual who meets the qualifying criteria can bring a claim. This includes serving personnel, but also their family members if they also spent time on Camp Lejeune.
It is also possible for the estate of a veteran or family member who spent time on Camp Lejeune and who has subsequently died as a result of one of these conditions, to bring a claim on behalf of their estate.
What are the qualifying criteria?
In order to qualify for a claim the following criteria must be met:
- The individual must have been based at or lived on Camp Lejeune between 1 August 1953 and 31 December 1987;
- The individual must have spent a minimum of 30 days on Camp Lejeune during this period. These do not need to be consecutive days; provided an individual spent a cumulative total of at least 30 days on Camp Lejeune, this criterion is satisfied;
- The individual must have been diagnosed with one of the medical conditions referred to above.
Provided these conditions are satisfied, anyone affected can lodge a claim.
What can be claimed?
Claims can be brought for any financial losses suffered as a result of the illness. This might include any loss of earnings as a result of the individual not been able to work because of their illness. Where private medical costs have been incurred, these can also be claimed back. A claim can also be brought for the distress and suffering caused as a result of the illness.
What will it cost?
If your claim is successful, the costs of bringing your claim will be paid as a deduction from any compensation received. This will never be more than 33.33 % of damages received and will be less than this if your claim is resolved without the need to go to court. If your claim is not successful, you will not have to pay anything.
How long will it take?
It is difficult to say how long it will take for your claim to be concluded. Realistically, this could be up to two years, depending on the attitude taken by the defendant.
Why Choose Hugh James?
Hugh James has a long and proven track record of bringing claims on behalf of current and former members of the UK Armed Forces. We have one of the largest Military Departments in the UK and act for many thousands of military clients, on a whole range of legal issues, including personal injury. We are true specialists in this field.
We are signatories of the Armed Forces Covenant and have been awarded the gold certification. We actively and proudly support many military support groups and charities.
We also have a proven history of advising UK based clients in litigation overseas, including the US. We have an extensive network of specialist US attorneys and will ensure your claim is dealt with by a specialist US Attorney with experience of bringing these types of claim.