Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawsuit

Our lawyers are representing victims looking to bring a Camp Lejeune lawsuit for injuries and deaths from toxic chemicals and water contamination on this Marine Corps base.

Our attorneys are excited that after many years of suffering and death, reasonable settlement payouts may finally be offered for a Camp Lejeune settlement. The legislation that Congress passed allows victims to file a Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit.

This page provides the latest Camp Lejeune lawsuit news and updates, explains who is eligible for compensation, and projects settlement amounts in these toxic water contamination lawsuits. Our last Camp Lejeune litigation update was on Wednesday, October 5, 2022, at 8:44 a.m.

Contact Our Camp Lejeune Lawyers

If you have a potential Camp Lejeune lawsuit for an injury or death of a loved one, call our lawyers today at 800-553-8082 or get a free online consultation.  Our fee is a 33% contingency fee, not the 40% you may have heard from other Camp Lejeune lawyers.

There is no fee or cost unless you get financial compensation for the harm that was done to you.  Our Camp Lejeune lawyers are on these lawsuits 24 hours a day.

Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawsuit Updates

Before we get into the gist of the Camp Lejeune lawsuits and our lawyers take on expected settlement amounts, let’s look at the latest news on the Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuits:

  • Skip the updates to get past the latest news and right to the issues and settlement projections in the Camp Lejeune lawsuit.

October 5, 2022

There is a report that $45 million has been spent by law firms on television advertising for Camp Lejeune.  It is easy to believe, right?  People are sick of the Camp Lejeune ads promising a big settlement. It does not help the public perception of the litigation. We get at least an email or call a day asking us to stop with the Camp Lejeune television commercials.

Our law firm has never run a television commercial or any ad.  Our lawyers put our time and effort into providing you the best and most updated news and information on the Camp Lejeune lawsuits.  That is it.

October 4, 2022

It has now been 55 days since the CLJA was enacted.  What have we learned?

The JAG Tort Claims Unit reported that over 3,000 Camp Lejeune water contamination claims had already been filed. This large wave of initial claims has prompted speculation about how many Camp Lejeune cases will ultimately get filed.

We are getting conflicting estimates of how many Camp Lejeune victims have signed retainers from other Camp Lejeune attorneys. Those estimates range from 50,000 to 100,000 Camp Lejeune victims that have already signed retainers with lawyers.

How many more Lejeune claims will we see?  It is hard to predict.  Our attorneys usually see an outburst at the beginning of litigation and then they continue to roll in over time. You would be amazed at how many veterans four years later are still unaware of the 3M earplug litigation.  But the incessant commercials, texts, and emails that are driving everyone – including us – crazy are unprecedented.  Few people who have a Camp Lejeune claim by now have not seen a commercial or heard about the litigation from a friend.  So it will be interesting to see how many Camp Lejeune lawsuits ultimately get filed.

October 3, 2022

The JAG Tort Claims Unit in Norfolk received over 5,000 Camp Lejeune administrative claims in the first month after the CLJA was passed. All plaintiffs are required to file these claims and JAG has 6-months to either accept or resolve them, at which point the plaintiffs can file suit.

There has been a lot of speculation about whether JAG would be making settlement offers on some CLJA cases during this claim period. We don’t have a clear answer to this yet. We do know that the JAG cannot meaningfully evaluate this many claims in six months. We also know that the office handling these claims is understaffed and needs to ramp up to handle the onslaught of Camp Lejeune settlement applications.

Lawyers submitting Camp Lejeune settlement demands as much as $50 million in compensation. Why?  Small demands are a cap on your settlement or jury payout. (See September 29, 2022 discussion below.)

October 2, 2022

The water at the Camp Lejeune Marine Corps base was contaminated from 1953 to 1987. This means many victims exposed to the toxic water have already passed away. The CLJA permits wrongful death claims on behalf of deceased Camp Lejeune victims. The administrator of the decedent’s estate needs to bring the claim. If you are not the administrator of the estate or the administrator is not available, you can have yourself appointed to that role if you are a family member or interested party, and our Camp Lejeune lawyers can help you with that.  If the victim died a long time ago, the estate is probably closed and may need to be reopened for this to happen.

September 30, 2022

The JAG Tort Claims Unit recently sent an email to lawyers offering some guidance and instructions for submitting Camp Lejeune settlement claims to JAG. It explains the process for submitting claims in large batches and explains that links to files cannot be opened or accepted under DoD policies. Finally, the email asks attorneys to provide contact information for the clients when filing so that JAG can use the information to scan for duplicate claims filed on behalf of the same individual by two different attorneys.

Dealing with the JAG and DOJ lawyers is easier than dealing with defense lawyers in other mass tort cases who bill by the hour and are consistently looking to make things difficult for plaintiffs’ attorneys.  Both sides have an interest in trying to make the Camp Lejeune settlement claims process as seamless as it can be and hopefully compensate victims as soon as possible to reduce the number of claims.

September 29, 2022

How much should your Camp Lejeune settlement demand be?

In most cases, a settlement compensation demand is of little consequence.  You make a settlement demand, the defendant rejects that demand, and then you file a lawsuit.

The amount you ask for in a Camp Lejeune settlement means everything. Why?  Because your settlement demand is a cap on the amount of compensation you receive.  So if you make a “reasonable” settlement demand and the Navy rejects that demand, that is the ceiling on the damages you allow.  So if you demand $1 million and a jury awards a $10 million payout, your verdict would be reduced by the judge to $1 million.

The client has to have real input on any Camp Lejeune settlement demand.   When in doubt, you want to demand more rather than less so you are not limiting yourself in the future.

September 28, 2022

On Tuesday, a Petition for Depositions to Perpetuate Testimony was filed in Bishop, et al. v. United States (7:22-cv-170). The action was brought on behalf of a pair of former Marines who served a Camp Lejeune and are now dying.

The first Petitioner, Dale Bishop, developed terminal liver cancer after his time at Lejeune and only has weeks to live. Petitioner Richard Benz was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2017 and is now in hospice care.  The purpose is to take their depositions to preserve their testimony for use in future anticipated lawsuits under the CLJA. This is a common and necessary practice.  But it does not make you feel awful what these Marine veterans are enduring when you think about it… you are not thinking about it.

September 27, 2022

Since the CLJA was signed into law on August 10, 2022, a total of 28 Camp Lejeune civil lawsuits have been filed under the new law in the Eastern District of North Carolina on behalf of 77 individual plaintiffs.

All these are Camp Lejeune “legacy cases” that were originally filed years ago only to be dismissed in 2016 based on the application of the North Carolina statute of repose. Since the plaintiffs in these cases already submitted administrative claims when they originally filed, they were not obligated to re-submit those claims and were therefore eligible to file right away.  (Arguably, anyway. The government contends they must go through the administrative process again.)

These are good canaries in the coal mine for how the DOJ and the court will handle Camp Lejeune lawsuits.

September 26, 2022

How many Camp Lejeune lawsuits will be filed?  Some Camp Lejeune attorneys suggested in a recent Reuters article the number could be as high as 500,000. But many attorneys have been revising projections down in the last few weeks.  We have heard as low as $50,000.

The answer lies somewhere in the middle. There will not be 500,000 viable Camp Lejeune claims. If there were 500,000 claims with an average Camp Lejeune settlement of $300,000, that would be $150 billion. There is no chance of that.

Similarly, based on the flood of cases our law firm has received, 50,000 seems way too low.  Our guess from the beginning has been between 100,000 and 200,000. Nothing has happened to change that projection.

September 23, 2022

Sadly, so many of the calls our Camp Lejeune lawyers are getting are wrongful death lawsuits.  Many family members who lost a loved one many years ago seem confused why they would have a claim after so much time has passed.  So let’s clarify a few things about Camp Lejeune wrongful death lawsuits.

First, a CLJA wrongful death lawsuit is not limited to Marine Corps veterans stationed at Camp Lejeune. Anyone (veteran, family member, civilian employee) who lived or worked at Camp Lejeune for a minimum of one month is eligible to bring a claim under the CLJA. If you had a family member who lived or worked at Lejeune but has since passed away, their estate can bring a wrongful death claim. The CLJA allows claims even when the person died years ago and even after their estate has long been closed out in probate.

Second, you can bring a Lejeune wrongful death claim for the loss of your family member even if that death occurred nearly 70 years ago. If a former resident or employee of Camp Lejeune has already died as a result of a disease connected to contaminated water, the CLJA allows wrongful death claims to be brought on their behalf.

Wrongful death claims under the CLJA must comply with North Carolina law, which requires death claims to be brought by the personal representative (PR) of the decedent’s estate. For someone who died a long time ago, the estate may need to be reopened. If the PR is no longer available, a new PR can be appointed for the estate.

September 20, 2022

There will not be a Camp Lejeune class action lawsuit, according to a judge’s ruling yesterday denying pretrial consolidation.  This is mostly a good thing.

At the end of August, a group of law firms filed a motion asking that all Camp Lejeune lawsuits in the Eastern District of North Carolina be consolidated for pretrial discovery purposes. The request was seeking something similar to a class action MDL for the Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuits.

In the first month since the CLJA was passed, over 5,000 Camp Lejeune cases have already been filed with JAG and many more are expected. Last week, however, the federal court in North Carolina rejected this request without explanation.

But our Camp Lejeune lawyers support the ruling.  The DOJ and the courts already have a plan for how the Camp Lejeune class action lawsuits are going to be handled, treating them as individual claims will lead to victims getting a faster and more appropriate Camp Lejeune settlement.

These claims are not going to be typical class action lawsuits, so classic consolidation similar to an MDL is not necessary or appropriate for the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune lawsuit.

September 19, 2022

Over 5,000 CLJA claims have already been brought by Camp Lejeune victims and it has only been a month since the new law was passed. This news might leave many victims wondering if there will be enough money to award compensation to everyone. The official cost analysis for the CLJA prepared by the Congressional Budget Office estimated that Camp Lejeune water contamination claims would cost the federal government a minimum of $7 billion and possibly much more (as our attorneys expect based on the expected number of suits).

This estimate is a clear indication that government is ready and willing to pay full settlement compensation to Camp Lejeune victims who file meritorious claims.

September 15, 2022

I was talking to a veteran with Parkinson’s disease on Tuesday. We were discussing, as we do below, the relaxed standard of proof for a Camp Lejeune lawsuit that is different from a civil lawsuit.  But there is still a burden for victims of the Camp Lejeune water contamination who want to pursue a claim under the CLJA will need to present documents proving that they lived or worked at Camp Lejeune for 30 days between 1953 and 1987.

Former marines who were stationed on base can do this by requesting their Official Military Personnel File with a DD214 request. If you were a family member of a veteran who was stationed at Lejeune you will need additional documentation to prove a relationship, such as a birth certificate or marriage license, or other proof of residence documents. If you worked at Camp Lejeune as a civilian, you or your attorney will need to get documents proving your employment, such as an SSA Work History Report, paystubs, or tax returns. Our Camp Lejeune lawyers believe the JAG will be flexible about the type of proof that is sufficient. But they will require some evidence that the victims were at Lejeune.

September 12, 2022

Which Camp Lejeune claims have the best chances of reaching a quick settlement without litigation?  Before the CLJA was enacted, the VA was awarding disability benefits to veterans who were at Camp Lejeune and subsequently diagnosed with one of 7 diseases. These 7 diseases were viewed as presumptively connected to contaminated Lejeune water based on scientific evidence. The 7 presumptive Camp Lejeune diseases were:

Parkinson’s disease


Bladder cancer

Kidney cancer

Multiple myeloma

Aplastic anemia

Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma

These are not the only cases in line for an early settlement. The science has evolved to include many more injuries from the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune. But Lejeune victims who bring a toxic drinking water claim under the CLJA will probably not be required to present causation evidence if they have one of these diseases. This facilitates an early settlement. How long?  Hopefully, before a lawsuit is filed during the administrative period required by the new law.

September 11, 2022

The JAG office for the Navy has issued a special form for Camp Lejeune plaintiffs to submit with their CLJA claims. In section 10 of the form, CLJA claimants identify what disease or health condition they claim to have developed from the Lejeune water. Section 10 specifically names 12 health conditions which can be selected by checking a box, and an additional section for “other” with a blank space for a description.

Trying to avoid reading the tea leaves from the Navy and JAG when they put out information on Camp Lejeune claims is impossible.  Our attorneys believe that the list of the 12 diseases in the check-the-box list is significant because these are the injuries that JAG believes to be presumptively connected to the Lejeune water contamination. The first three injuries are the three our lawyers are seeing over and over:  bladder cancer, kidney cancer, and liver cancer.

September 9, 2022

This is the email our Camp Lejeune lawyers received this morning:


Our law firm has not run a single Camp Lejeune television commercial.  We have never sent emails soliciting Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuits.  All our attorneys do is educate people online about the litigation and what they can do to maximize their settlement amount or jury payout.

People are understandably sick of the endless commercials and emails.

September 2, 2022

How much money will go to compensate Camp Lejeune victims and their families in settlement compensation and jury payouts?  Our lawyers talk below about per-person settlement amounts we expect for individual claims based on the type of injury.  But how much money will the government spend overall on settlements for Camp Lejeune claims?

There is no settlement fund.  There have been no Camp Lejeune settlements yet.  But the official cost estimate for the CLJA done by the Congressional Budget Office estimates that $6.1 billion will be placed into a permanent settlement fund that will cover settlements and awards to Camp Lejeune victims. The CBO estimates that $200 million will be paid out in just the first 12 months, an estimate that does not jive with early settlements during the six-month administrative phase.  Our lawyers expect that is incorrect

We are just one law firm.  So our lawyers do not have a sense of how many victims will file a Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit. But we already represent nearly one-thousand Camp Lejeune victims and this litigation is just getting started. Other attorneys we work on Camp Lejeune and class action lawsuits with also report large numbers of clients. And the per-person Lejeune payouts are likely to be high.

So that $6.1 billion estimate will be trumped by how much money juries will award and how many victims file a lawsuit.  How much money is needed to pay these claims based on the number and strength of the lawsuits will dictate Camp Lejeune settlement amounts, not some number tossed in a CBO budget.  Our expectation is that final settlement amounts will exceed $25 billion and could go even higher.

  • We have been on Camp Lejeune form the beginning- from before the beginning.  Here are more Camp Lejeune updates going back for months.

How Camp Lejeune Lawsuits Will Work

The CLJA gives individuals (or their survivors) who lived or worked at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 days the right to file civil lawsuits in the Eastern District of North Carolina to seek damages for injuries allegedly caused by the contaminated water. Before filing their lawsuit, however, § (h) of the CLJA requires all claimants to go through a 6-month administrative claim process:

(h) Disposition By Federal Agency Required.- An individual may not bring an action under this section before complying with section 2675 of title 28, United States Code.

Before filing a Camp Lejeune toxic water lawsuit, a prospective plaintiff must first submit their claim to the “appropriate federal agency.” Once a claim is submitted, the federal agency has a strict 6-month deadline to either accept or deny the claim. Claimants must wait until their claim is denied, or the 6-month deadline expires before they can file their lawsuit in federal court.

In most regular lawsuits against the Navy, this administrative claim process is just a formality. Administrative claims are almost always denied, and the claimants move on to file suit. For Camp Lejeune claims under the CLJA, however, the process could be much different.

Under the CLJA, we believe that the administrative claims process may be more like a pre-filing settlement mediation in which claimants who pass an initial screening process receive very reasonable settlement offers. We expect that a large percentage of claimants will accept settlement offers during the administrative claim process and never end up filing civil lawsuits.

There are 2 reasons why our lawyers are expecting the CLJA administrative claim process to play out this way. First, the whole purpose of Congress passing the CLJA was to ensure that victims of Lejeune water contamination can get financial compensation for valid injuries. Second, the Biden administration will ultimately be in charge of the CLJA claims process, and President Biden has made it clear that he strongly supports the idea of compensating deserving veterans.

Who Will the “Appropriate Federal Agency” Be for CLJA Claims?

Under the FTCA, administrative claims must be submitted to the “appropriate federal agency.” Camp Lejuene is not a Federal Tort Claims Act or Military Claims Act case but there are similarities.

For Camp Lejeune water contamination claims under the CLJA, the appropriate federal agency will be the Department of the Navy (Navy). The Navy was the agency with ultimate responsibility for the USMC base at Camp Lejeune.

Although the Navy will be the federal agency named in the claim, they will most likely defer to the Department of Justice (DOJ) on how to handle the CLJA claims. The DOJ will take its direction on how to handle the CLJA claims from the Biden Administration.

New Law to Allow Camp Lejeune Lawsuit

From 1953 to 1987 the public water supply at Camp Lejeune Marine Corps Base in North Carolina was contaminated with toxic chemicals. So for 30 years, more than a million Marines and their families drank and bathed in contaminated water.

Thousands of Marines and their families have suffered severe illnesses and have died.  There is strong scientific evidence that chronic exposure to toxic chemicals in Camp Lejeune’s water has caused increased rates of cancer and has caused injuries to children in utero.

Camp Lejeune Compensation Claims Originally Rejected

The provision follows the Supreme Court’s 7-2 decision in 2014 holding that North Carolina’s 10-year “statute of repose” overrides the federal Superfund law, effectively barring exposed individuals from suing once the statute expires, even if they didn’t become aware of pollution until a later date.

A new federal law – the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 – is close to being enacted that will permit victims of Camp Lejeune water contamination to seek legal compensation.  The Act would permit people who lived or worked or were harmed as unborn children at Camp Lejeune between 1953 and 1987 to file a toxic water lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Eastern North Carolina. There will likely be a two-year deadline to sue from the date of the enactment.

The Camp Lejeune lawyers at Miller & Zois are now actively seeking new Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuits.

Thanks to a new pending law, victims may now be able to file a claim and get a Camp Lejeune settlement payout or jury award for the harm that has been done to them if they lived or worked near Camp Lejeune between 1953 and the late 1980s and were diagnosed with cancer or neurologic disorders.

This new Camp Lejeune lawsuit will almost certainly be a class action lawsuit filed in North Carolina. The new law would require all cases to be housed in North Carolina even if the victims now live in California, Texas, New York, or any other state in the country.

If you want compensation for the harm done at Camp Lejeune, contact our lawyers and tell us about your claim today.

Water Contamination at Camp Lejeune

Camp Lejeune is a massive Marine Corps base and military training facility that covers nearly 250 square miles in Onslow County, North Carolina. Camp Lejeune was first opened in 1942. It is used as both a base of operations for the Marine Corps and a military operations and training facility used by various branches of the armed forces.

Since its founding in 1942, Camp Lejeune has been a temporary or permanent home for thousands of military service members and their families.

It has also been a home or place of work for thousands more civilian employees and contractors. Camp Lejeune had its own public water system to supply these Marines and civilians with potable water.

In the 1980s, environmental testing at Camp Lejeune discovered that the water supply going to Camp Lejeune residents and employees was dangerously contaminated.

Toxic Chemicals in Water

Specifically, the Marine Corps determined that from approximately 1953 through 1987, the water supply to Camp Lejeune had been heavily contaminated with volatile organic compounds and carcinogenic chemicals. The most troubling chemicals found were trichloroethylene (TCE) and tetrachloroethylene (PCE).

These chemicals are in a class of chemicals called “volatile organic compounds” (VOCs).  These chemicals are used for dry cleaning and much of the water contamination was attributed to an off-base dry cleaner that existed before the Marine base was opened. So the water wells were likely contaminated before Camp Lejeune opened.

But there were multiple sources for this toxic water.  These same chemicals are also used to clean machinery and weapons. So the contamination came from on and off the Marine base.

The Navy Did Not Act

The government was slow to respond to this development.  It is not that the Navy did not understand the risk of water contamination with these chemicals.  As early as the 1940s, wells would sometimes be found with TCE, PCE, and other toxic chemicals.  When this happened, the water was deemed unpotable and the wells were shut down or restricted to non-drinking and non-culinary use.

So it is hard to pretend the Navy did not understand the risk of water with these toxins. But if the Navy did not know, it should have.  This will be a critical point of contention in a Camp Lejeune lawsuit if the government’s lawyers point to the lack of established clear drinking water standards.

In previous Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuits 15 years ago, the government’s lawyers found an expert who contended that environmental scientists and engineers did not address TCE, PCE, and other chlorinated solvents as potential soil and groundwater contaminants until the early 1980s.  This same expert also contended – incorrectly our Camp Lejeune lawyers would argue – that there was a “prevailing belief” that chlorinated solvents would evaporate or be assimilated into the soil and not contaminate the water.

How will this play out practically?  The government’s attorneys will defend Camp Lejeune lawsuits because that is how our system works.  But these same government lawyers know that the very same government that is defending the Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuits is the same government that specifically crafted a law to allow victims to bring compensation claims.  My point is that the overwhelming likelihood is that the government offers a reasonable Camp Lejeune settlement amount long before these lawsuits go to trial.

Core Issue in Every Camp Lejeune Lawsuit

Every Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit will allege that the water supply at Camp Lejeune was contaminated between the 1960s and 1980s.  The lawsuit will also claim that the United States negligently caused injury or death by allowing contaminants into the Camp Lejeune water supply and not warning people when they should know these water issues could cause awful side effects that included death.

Camp Lejeune Lawsuit Timeline

Let’s walk through the chronology of events that led to the Camp Lejeune Justice Act and the expected Camp Lejeune class action lawsuit.

1941: Camp Lejeune becomes a Marine Corps military base.

1951: Camp Lejeune builds the Tarawa Terrace well field for water.

1953: One Hour Dry Cleaner begins operation across the street from the well field.  Investigations later show that this dry cleaner allowed tons of toxic chemicals – notably PCE – to contaminate the water at Camp Lejeune. Much of the contamination from this dry cleaner came from the Tarawa Terrace drinking water system.

1979: A reported 20,000 to 30,000 gallons of oil leaks in the ground from the Hadnot Point Fuel Farm.

1984: An outside contractor finds TCE, PCE, and benzene at the Hadnot Point Water Well.

1985: All contaminated Hadnot Point well that had not already been closed are shut down

1989: The EPA identifies Camp Lejeune and ABC One Hour Cleaners as Superfund sites.

1990: The CDC declares PCP is the greatest cause of injury, death, and birth defects from Camp Lejeune.

2008: President Bush signs a bill that requires the Navy to further investigate injuries and deaths from contaminated drinking water at Camp Lejeune.

12-12-2016: Over 800 Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuits filed under the Federal Tort Claims Act and consolidated into an MDL are dismissed based on North Carolina’s 10-year statute of repose.

9-20-2018: Appeals of the dismissal of the Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuits are exhausted, leaving thousands of victims without legal recourse.

3-22-2021: The Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2021 is introduced as a bill in the U.S. House of Representatives. The bill is eventually sent to the committee and goes nowhere.

1-25-2022: A new bill called the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 (CLJA) is introduced in the House by Congressmen Matt Cartwright (D. North Carolina) along with 16 co-sponsors. The co-sponsors include 10 Democrats and 6 Republicans from 8 different states.

2-28-2022: The CLJA is combined into a larger bill called the Honoring Our Pact Act of 2021 which addresses health care benefits, and other resources for veterans exposed to toxic substances during military service.

3-3-2022: House passes the CLJA (as part of the Honoring Our Pact Act) by a vote of 256 to 174 and the bill is submitted to the Senate.

5-17-2022: Prominent Republican Senator Marco Rubio of Florida issues a press release publicly announcing his strong support for the CLJA and urging his fellow Senators to vote on passing the CLJA as part of the Honoring Our Pact Act.

6-16-2002: Senate passes an amended version of the CLJA as part of the PACT Act by a vote of 84-14. The amendments to the bill require approval by the House.

camp lejeune water lawsuit

What Toxic Chemicals Were in the Camp Lejeune Water Supply?

Two specific chemical compounds were contaminating the water supply at Camp Lejeune from 1953 to 1987 and they were coming from two specific water treatment facilities servicing the base: Perchloroethylene (PCE) and Trichloroethylene (TCE).

PCE Caused the Greatest Harm

PCE was the greatest cause of the water contamination and the injuries and deaths that followed at Camp Lejeune.  PCE is a clear liquid chemical that is widely used in the drying cleaning industry to clean fabrics.

PCE is absorbed following oral, inhalation, and dermal exposures. It travels through the bloodstream to the lungs. PCE targets the central nervous system, liver, and kidneys and accumulates in fat cells. Tetrachloroethylene also crosses the placenta and distributes to the fetus, which is why there were so many birth defects at Camp Lejeune.

PCE Related Injuries

The evidence is strong that PCE can cause a variety of maladies, including kidney cancer, liver and kidney injuries and bladder cancer, multiple myeloma, and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Learn more about Camp Lejeune diseases.

PCE Levels at Tarawa Terrance Water Treatment Were Off the Charts

For 346 months, the Tarawa Terrance water treatment and supply facility at Camp Lejeune was contaminated with dangerously high levels of PCE. The source of the contamination was identified as a nearby dry cleaning company. The EPA’s maximum safe level for PCE in drinking water is 5 ug/L.  The peak level of TCE contamination in 1985 in the Camp Lejeune water supply was 215 ug/L.

Digest that number.  That is 43 times – 43 times! – the safe level for TCE.  It is a wonder there were not more Camp Lejeune water contamination deaths and injuries than have been reported.

Trichloroethylene (TCE) at Hadnot Point Water Treatment Facility

TCE is an industrial chemical that is used in the manufacturing of refrigerants and other hydrofluorocarbons.  It is a bad chemical that has long been known to be unfit for human consumption.  TCE has been used as a solvent and also to kill insects as a fumigant.

The body absorbs trichloroethylene most from inhalation but also through oral and dermal exposure.  The bloodstream pushes this chemical to major organs that receive blood and deposit in fat cells. The body metabolizes TCE mostly in the liver and, secondarily, the kidneys and lungs.   Humans extensively metabolize inhaled doses of trichloroethylene. Metabolites may play a role in the adverse health effects described in studies.

TCE was also commonly used as solvent and degreaser on metal military equipment. The Hadnot Point water treatment facility servicing Camp Lejeune was found to be highly contaminated with TCE. The contamination is believed to have come from numerous sources. EPA’s maximum safe level for TCE in potable water is 5 ppb. The Camp Lejeune water supply was contaminated with TCE as high as 1,400 ppb.

Heart Defects at Birth from TCE

With newborn children, congenital heart defects are common from mothers who drank and bathed in the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune.  There are human and animal studies that strongly suggest a link between a mother’s exposure to TCE during pregnancy and congenital heart defects.

Other Toxic Chemicals in the Camp’s Well Water


In 2012, the Hadnot Point water facility was also found to be contaminated with mercury. Mercury may have come from water pressure meters at the facility that was removed in the 1980s.

Vinyl Chloride and Benzene

These were not the only toxic chemicals found on the base.  Vinyl chloride and benzene, both toxic chemicals that can cause many of these same injuries alone, were also found on the base.  The fact that these toxic chemicals in the water supply are treated as a footnote underscores the remarkable stew of tragic mistakes that caused harm to so many Marines and their families.  This is why Congress is stepping in with the Camp Lejeune Justice Act (our attorneys discuss this further below).

Everyone Agrees the Water at Camp Lejune Was Contaminated

These facts are unlikely to be disputed by the government in a Camp Lejeune lawsuit.  In 1989, the EPA placed Camp Lejeune on the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (“CERCLA”) National Priorities List for environmental cleanup activities. You may have also heard it called a “Superfund” site.   A Superfund is a euphemism for toxic mess.  The U.S. Navy agreed to work with the EPA in environmental remediation efforts that continue to this day.

camp lejeune water contamination lawsuit

Chemicals in Camp Lejeune Water-Linked to Cancer

The industrial chemicals that were contaminating the Camp Lejeune water supply are known to be very toxic to the human body and have been linked to cancer, birth defects, and neurologic disorders. Scientific and medical evidence has shown that chronic exposure to the chemicals TCE and PCE can cause increased rates of certain types of cancer.

The types of cancer that have been scientifically linked to the consumption of harmful chemicals contaminating the water at Camp Lejeune include:

Exposure to these chemicals has also been linked to other health conditions including aplastic anemia (and other myelodysplastic syndromes) and neurologic disorders such as Parkinson’s disease.

Non-Cancer Camp Lejeune Injuries

The science and medical evidence continues to build linking other injuries besides cancer.  They include:

Contaminated Water at Camp Lejeune Caused Birth Defects

Birth defects are one of the big tragedies of Camp Lejeune. Over the years, thousands of pregnant women were exposed to toxic water at Camp Lejeune. In 2013, the CDC released the results of a study that confirmed that children who were born to mothers that lived on Camp Lejeune or drank the water supply had four times the rate of birth defects such as spina bifida.

The CDC also indicated that children who were exposed to the contaminated Camp Lejeune water during fetal gestation had an increased risk of developing childhood cancers like leukemia. These same children may also end up having a higher risk of adult cancer.

What Caused the Water Contamination at Camp Lejeune?

Again, PCE is the contaminant that caused the most harm at the Marine Corps base in Camp Lejeune.  We later found out that the chemical was used by a nearby dry cleaner as early as 1953. Tragically, this was compounded by on-base sources that further contaminated the water supply.

Camp Lejeune Victims May Soon Be Able to Get Compensation

The water contamination at Camp Lejeune has negatively impacted the lives of hundreds of thousands of people who lived or worked at the base over the years. Many of these people have developed cancer, died, and suffered other very serious consequences.

So far, however, most of the victims of the Camp Lejeune water contamination have never been able to get justice or compensation. North Carolina (where the base is located) has a law known as a “statute of repose” which puts a maximum year limit on how long someone can wait before filing a civil lawsuit even if they never could have known that the water issues caused injuries until after the deadline to sue had already passed.

Victims Could Not Bring a Camp Lejeune Lawsuit Under the Old Law

Under North Carolina’s statute of repose, no civil tort lawsuit can be filed after more than 10 years. This law has effectively blocked Camp Lejeune victims from bringing lawsuits seeking financial compensation. In 2016, multi-district litigation involving 850 former Camp Lejeune residents (Straw v. the United States) was dismissed based on the North Carolina repose statute.

In 2012, the Janey Ensminger Act was passed, which authorized the U.S government to pay for the costs of medical care to family members who were harmed by the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune.

The Ensminger Act had limitations. It was basically disability benefits.  Worse, Marines’ families were excluded.

Many in Congress think Marines and their families should not be limited to VA benefits. That thinking led to the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022.

New Legislation Allows Camp Lejeune Lawsuits

Many Lejeune victims are on disability. But everyone knows that disability compensation does not take the place of a reasonable settlement amount.  Providing health care benefits to Marines is not enough. Everyone also knows we must stand behind the United States Marine Corps that has stood by all of us.

Congress,  passed a new federal law called the Camp Lejeune Justice Act (“CLJA”) of 2022. The CLJA circumvents the North Carolina response statute and give Camp Lejeune victims the right to bring a contaminated water lawsuit in federal court for cancer or other disorders caused by contaminated water.

Under the new law, anyone with exposure to Camp Lejeune water for 30 days between 1953 and 1987 is eligible to file suit and fight for a Camp Lejeune payout in the Eastern District of North Carolina.  This is not a class action lawsuit.  Each case stands alone.

 Camp Lejeune Justice Act Passes the House and Senate

The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed the CLJA with a vote of 256-174. The CLJA was approved by the Senate in a slightly different form. This bill became law on August 10, 2022.

Who Is Being Sued in Camp Lejeune Lawsuit?

The defendant being sued in the Camp Lejeune lawsuit is the United States federal government.

Camp Lejeune Settlement Amounts

It is too soon to project Camp Lejeune settlement amounts.  But the settlement compensation for Camp Lejeune injuries will be based on the extent of the victims’ injuries and your drinking water contamination lawyer’s ability to tie the injuries or death to the toxic water. There are so many types of injuries from this toxic drinking water. You can expect Camp Lejeune settlement amounts to be tailored to the type of injury the victims suffered.

What Average Camp Lejeune Cancer Settlement Amounts Do Your Lawyers Expect?

So many of these Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuits involve cancer.  The average settlement amounts our lawyers see in other class action lawsuits involving cancer typically range from $150,000 to $750,000.  

Cancer and Parkinson’s Disease Settlement Amounts

You can expect the largest Camp Lejeune settlement amounts to go to cancer victims and their families and Parkinson’s disease lawsuits.  The average settlement for Parkinson’s disease cases could reach $500,000.

So we won’t have a situation where everyone gets the same settlement compensation payout. Instead, there is likely to be complex points award system that compensates victims based on a laundry list of facts that should provide greater settlement amounts to victims who have suffered the most.

Our Lawyers Will Narrow Settlement Compensation Projections

Granted, this is a broad range of settlement amounts and there will likely be Camp Lejeune settlement payouts that are both higher and lower than this range.  But it is still early in the litigation.  Our Camp Lejeune attorneys will know more as the litigation progresses.  Our lawyers will update and narrow our Camp Lejeune settlement amount as we go.

$6.7 Billion Allotted to Camp Lejeune Settlements

Unlike most class action lawsuits, the decision as to the settlement amounts to compensate victims will involve politics and policy instead of projected jury compensation payouts.  One looking glass to the ultimate settlement: the government has allocated $6.7 billion to pay Camp Lejeune settlement amounts and jury payouts.  This final settlement number could go up or down. But it is a strong anchor for the Justice Department when it starts offering settlement amounts to Camp Lejeune victims.

So you can do some back-of-the-napkin math to calculate average settlement compensation payouts.  But the key question is how many Lejeune class action claims will be filed? For example, if there are 33,500 claims accepted, that would be an average per person Camp Lejeune settlement amount of $200,000.

The real total settlement compensation and jury payout for Camp Lejeune lawsuits could more than double that $6.7 billion.  But, either way, the amount of any Camp Lejeune lawsuit payout will hinge in some part on the total number of filed claims.

Political Pressure to Raise Camp Lejeune Lawsuit Payouts

The low range of the average Camp Lejeune lawsuit payout our attorneys projected above was $150,000.  The question: is this what Congress intends?  The politics of compensating veterans for the harm done to them probably does not jive with an average Camp Lejeune lawsuit settlement amount $150,000.  This is why the likely average per person Lejeune claim will probably be more than double that amount of money.

Settlement Amount Projections By Type of Camp Lejeune Claim

Our lawyers have made Camp Lejeune compensation payout projections for specific types Camp Lejeune claims:

How Do Attorneys' Fees Work in a Camp Lejeune Lawsuit?

First, almost every Camp Lejeune lawyer will not receive a fee until after you receive a settlement. So with our law firm and almost any law firm in this litigation, you will not put up any money or risk losing money.

Our firm has a 33% contingency fee for Camp Lejeune claims, unlike many firms who are charging victims 40%.

Who Will be Eligible to Bring a Camp Lejeune Lawsuit?

When Congress eventually passes the Camp Lejeune Justice Act (CLJA) it will give thousands of former Lejeune residents, employees, and soldiers a legal right to bring a civil lawsuit against the federal government for injuries caused by the Camp Lejeune water contamination. So exactly who will be eligible to file a Camp Lejeune lawsuit under the CLJA?

Broad Language in Camp Lejeune Justice Act

The very broad eligibility requirements are set forth in § 804(b) of the CLJA:

An individual, including a veteran, . . . or the legal representative of such an individual, who resided, worked, or was otherwise exposed (including in utero 22 exposure) for not less than 30 days during the period beginning on August 1, 1953, and ending on December 31, 1987, to water at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.

What this language essentially says is that anyone who can prove that they were exposed to the water at Camp Lejeune for at least 1 month during the period of contamination (i.e., 1953 to 1987) will be eligible to file a claim under the CLJA. Set forth below is a breakdown of each part of the eligibility requirements under the CLJA.

Subsection (A):  Individual, Veteran, or Legal Representative

CLJA § 804(b) states those eligible to bring a case under the CLJA will include “[a]n individual, including a veteran, … or the legal representative of such an individual[.]” This language is intended to include anyone and everyone who lived, worked, or was stationed at Camp Lejeune during the relevant time period.

This group of eligible plaintiffs under the CLJA includes:

⦁ Marines (or other military personnel) who were stationed at Lejeune
⦁ Family members of Marines who lived in on-base housing at Camp Lejeune
⦁ Marines who worked or were assigned to Camp Lejeune
⦁ Civilian employees who worked at or near Camp Lejeune
⦁ Anyone else who was exposed to the Lejeune water

If the person who lived or worked at Camp Lejeune has passed away, their surviving family members or “legal representative” will be eligible to bring a wrongful death claim.

Subsection (B):  Resided, Worked, or Otherwise Exposed (Including In Utero)

The language § 804(b) of the CLJA says that eligibility extends to anyone who can prove that they lived or worked at Camp Lejeune. Individuals who lived at Camp Lejeune would mostly be limited to Marines who were stationed at the base and their families who lived in the on-base housing. Employees at Camp Lejeune could include both civilian employees, government contractors, and military personnel who worked at the base but did not live there.

The language “including in utero” is intended to extend eligibility to individuals who suffered prenatal exposure to the water at Camp Lejeune when they were still a developing fetuses inside their mother’s womb. Public health studies have estimated that 20,000 to 30,000 pregnant women lived at Camp Lejeune for at least 1 month during the contamination period. These studies have also shown that prenatal exposure to Lejeune toxic water caused higher birth defect rates. Individuals who were born with birth defects after in utero exposure to the Lejeune water will be eligible to file claims under the CLJA.

The phrase “or was otherwise exposed” in subsection (b) is intended to be a catch-all term to include anyone who may not have lived or worked at Lejeune but can show that they were exposed to the contaminated water. For example, this might include people who worked just off base but used or received contaminated water from Camp Lejeune.

Subsection (C): For Not Less Than 30 Days

The final eligibility requirement under CLJA is that the individual’s connection to Camp Lejeune (either as a resident, employee, or otherwise) lasted for a cumulative total of a least 30 days. In addition, that 30-day period of living or working at Camp Lejeune had to have occurred during the recognized “contamination period”: August 1, 1953, to December 31, 1987.

Proving Eligibility for a Camp Lejeune Lawsuit

In order to bring a Camp Lejeune settlement payout under the CLJA, prospective plaintiffs will need to be able to produce some type of documentary evidence to prove that they lived or worked at Camp Lejeune for 30-days during the relevant period.

Marines and other military personnel will need to provide their military service records in order to prove that they were at Camp Lejeune. Family members of Marines who were stationed at Camp Lejeune can use the same military service records to establish their residence on the base. Civilians seeking compensation can prove that they worked at Camp Lejeune by producing social security employment history records or other types of employment verification.

Prospective plaintiffs who cannot present some type of documentation to verify their connection to Camp Lejeune can still pursue a claim, but they will have a hard time establishing their eligibility without support documents.  But your Camp Lejeune lawyer will work to track down these records for you.

Can You Bring a Claim for Someone at Camp Lejeune Who Died Many Years Ago?

Yes, you can are eligible to bring a Camp Lejeune wrongful death claim for someone who died many years ago.  Many people are confused by this. But it is exactly how a wrongful death lawsuit works.  This unique Camp Lejeune law just increases eligibility for claims that would usually be barred by the statute of limitations.

How Do You File a Camp Lejeune Toxic Water Lawsuit Under the Federal Tort Claims Act?

Our attorneys will not know the exact rules for filing a Camp Lejeune toxic water lawsuit to seek compensation under the Federal Tort Claim Act until we see the final legislation.  Unless the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 makes filing a lawsuit easier, Camp Lejeune lawyers will first file a Federal Tort Claims Act with the Department of the Navy as required by federal law.  See 28 U.S.C. sec. 2675.

The government has six months to accept or reject the claim (or ignore it).  Procedurally, the government would deny the claim.  Your Camp Lejeune lawyer may then file suit in federal court in North Carolina.

Details of the New Federal Law Allowing Camp Lejeune Victims Right to Sue

By the end of this year, there will be a new federal law passed by Congress that will give the victims of the Camp Lejeune water contamination the legal right to bring civil lawsuits and seek financial compensation for their injuries. The new law is the Camp Lejeune Justice Act (CLJA), which was incorporated into a larger bill known as the Honoring Our Pact Act.

Our lawyers have carefully reviewed the language of the CLJA and in this section, we will provide a summary of the CLJA. We will also explain the details and procedures for how the CLJA will work, such as (a) who will be eligible to file suit, (b) what will the deadline be, (c) what can victims sue for, and (d) what are the qualifying criteria for getting a settlement payout.

Who Can File a Camp Lejeune Lawsuit?

The opening section of the CLJA defines the group of people that will now be entitled to seek a settlement payout or compensation from a jury via a Camp Lejuene civil lawsuit. This group includes:

(a) Anyone (including veterans and their families) who lived at Camp Lejeune for a minimum of 1 month anytime between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987.
(b) Anyone who worked at Camp Lejeune (including civilian contractors) for a minimum of 1 month anytime between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987.
(c) Anyone who was “otherwise exposed” to the drinking water at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 days between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987.

Anyone who meets these basic criteria will be covered by the CLJA provisions which give them the right to file a civil lawsuit. Keep in mind that you will need to be able to prove that you meet these “residency” criteria with some type of evidence, preferably documentary evidence.

Veterans and their families should be able to produce military service records to prove that they were stationed at Lejeune for the required period. Civilian contractors and other non-military personnel use other documents to prove that they meet these criteria, such as social security employment records.

What Can Camp Lejeune Victims Sue For?

Individuals who can prove that they lived or worked at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 days between 1953 and 1987 will meet the initial eligibility criteria under the CLJA. These individuals will then have the right to file a tort lawsuit seeking a verdict or settlement payout against the United States government alleging that they suffered physical harm or injuries that were caused or associated with exposure to the water at Camp Lejeune. Lawsuits not related to alleged exposure to the toxic water at Lejeune or not involving physical injuries will not be permitted.

What Will Lejeune Victims Have to Prove to Get a Settlement Payout or Verdict?

Individuals who meet the qualifying criteria under the CLJA (i.e., lived or worked at Lejeune for 30 days during the applicable period) will NOT automatically qualify for settlement compensation.

Rather, these individuals will simply have the right to file a lawsuit for their alleged injuries. To get financial compensation, plaintiffs who file lawsuits under the CLJA will still need to prove that their injuries were caused by the contaminated water at Lejeune.

The CLJA does establish a lower burden of proof which will make it easier for plaintiffs who bring Camp Lejeune water lawsuits under the CLJA to prove their case. Specifically, section (b)(2) of the CLJA provides that Lejeune plaintiffs can satisfy their burden of proof with a scientific study concluding that their alleged injury (i.e., kidney cancer, etc.) could be linked to exposure to the water at Camp Lejeune:

Use of Studies – A study conducted on humans or animals, or from an epidemiological study, which ruled out chance and bias with reasonable confidence and which concluded, with sufficient evidence, that exposure to the water described in subsection (a) is one possible cause of the harm, shall be sufficient to satisfy the burden of proof described under paragraph (1).

This provision appears to suggest that plaintiffs under CLJA will be allowed to prove their claims if they can simply cite a single study suggesting a link between their type of cancer (or other injuries) and the Lejeune water. This would appear to eliminate the requirement of expert witness testimony, although it is not entirely clear who to interpret this provision.

How to File A Camp Lejeune Lawsuit

Potential plaintiffs who meet the qualifying criteria under the CLJA can file their civil lawsuit by contacting an attorney. Our law office provides legal assistance to to victims to file a Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit. Our Camp Lejeune lawyers offer a free consultation and we answer question for free.  We want to help.

CLJA claimants will be required to file their civil lawsuits in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina. This is the only available venue because the CLJA gives the Eastern District of North Carolina exclusive jurisdiction over the Lejeune water lawsuits.

Camp Lejeune Claim Must First Be Filed

Section (g) of the CLJA clarifies that before any eligible plaintiff can file a civil lawsuit, they first must comply with 28 U.S.C. § 2675. This means that plaintiffs will need to first file a “claim” for the alleged injuries with the “appropriate federal agency” and have that claim denied before they can bring a civil suit. When claims are submitted, federal agencies must approve or deny them within 6 months.

For a Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit, the appropriate federal agency will be the Department of Defense. In most situations, filing this sort of claim with a federal agency is just a formality that plaintiffs go through before filing their lawsuit.

For Camp Lejeune lawsuits, however, the DOD may offer settlement amounts to resolve what appear to be legitimate claims. That would make sense considering Congress in passing this law because they want deserving victims to get a settlement payout.  Otherwise, what is the point of all of this?  This would offer a much faster route for victims to get financial compensation.

Deadlines for Filing a Claim Under CLJA

Section (j) of the CLJA creates a special statute of limitations deadline for Camp Lejeune victims who want to bring claims under the CLJA. Under § (j)(1), the general statute of limitations to file suit for claims by Lejeune victims was originally two years after the date on which “the harm occurred or was discovered.”  The final version President Biden signed had a hard two-year deadline from August 10, 2022, to bring a claim.

So for victims who have developed cancer, suffered birth defects, or been diagnosed with another condition possibly related to the Lejeune water, they will need to file their claims within 2 year deadline.

How Camp Lejeune Wrongful Death Claims Work?

The newly enacted CLJA allows tort claims to be brought on behalf of former Camp Lejeune residents or employees that are now deceased because of injuries related to the water contamination.

Exposure to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune occurred in North Carolina, so these cases would involve wrongful death and survival claims under North Carolina law. In this section, our Camp Lejeune attorneys provide a brief overview of death claims in North Carolina.

North Carolina Wrongful Death Claims

North Carolina law allows for 2 types of tort claims that can be filed on behalf of someone after their death: (1) wrongful death claims; and (2) a survival action. Both causes of action are created by statute.
North Carolina Gen. Stat. § 28A-18-2 allows the estate of a deceased person to bring a wrongful death claim against any person who negligently or intentionally caused the death of the decedent.

Only Personal Representative Can Bring Camp Lejeune Wrongful Death Lawsuit

Unlike other many other states, which allow wrongful death claims to be brought by any close family member of the decedent, North Carolina only permits the personal representative of the decedent’s estate to bring the claim. If the wrongful death claim is successful, the settlement proceeds or damages are distributed to the decedent’s heirs.

Camp Lejeune Wrongful Death Damages

In a North Carolina wrongful death claim, damages can be awarded for:

  1. medical expenses
  2. pain & suffering of the decedent
  3. loss of the decedent’s income, personal services and companionship, and
  4. funeral expenses

Camp Lejeune Puntiive Damages

Punitive damages are only allowed if the death was the result of “malice or willful wanton conduct.”
In addition to a wrongful death claim, the personal representative of a decedent’s estate can also bring a separate survivorship claim under North Carolina Gen. Stat. § 28A-18-1.

Camp Lejeune Survival Actions

The survival claim can recover for pre-death injuries that are separate and distinct from the wrongful death claim. Just like wrongful death cases, North Carolina law only allows the personal representative of the decedent’s estate to bring survival claims.

Rules of Camp Lejeune Wrongful Death Claims

Under the newly passed CLJA, wrongful death claims can be brought by the estate of any former residents or employees of Camp Lejeune who died because of injuries related to their exposure to the contaminated water.

Personal representatives could also potentially bring survival claims under the CLJA, although they would have to show that this claim seeks pre-death damages based on separate and distinct actions. This would be difficult to show, so most Camp Lejeune water contamination cases would involve only wrongful death claims and no separate survivorship claim.

Contact Our Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawyers

Our lawyers believe that this new law was passed because Congress wants Camp Lejeune water contamination victims to receive fair settlement amounts for the harm that has been done while they or a family member was serving our country.

Our Camp Lejeune lawyers are offering legal assistance to individuals who were harmed by exposure to Camp Lejeune contaminated water and meet the following criteria:

  • You served, lived, or worked at the Camp Lejeune Marine Corps base in North Carolina for at least 30 days between the years 1953 and 1987.
  • You were subsequently diagnosed with leukemia, bladder cancer, kidney cancer, liver cancer, multiple myeloma, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, or any other conditions our lawyers laid out above.

Contact our Camp Lejeune attorneys today for a free consultation at 800-553-8082 or get a free no-obligation online consultation. Our attorneys only get paid if you do.

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