U.S. Marines Exposed to Toxic Waters: Explore Your Legal Options


Nestled on the coast of North Carolina, Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune boasts a rich history steeped in American service and sacrifice. Yet, beneath its storied legacy lies a dark secret—a decades-long saga of water contamination and blatant government neglect.

From 1953 to 1987, the base’s water supply harbored known carcinogens leaching into everyday life. The consequences were devastating.

It is important to understand the complexities of the Camp Lejeune water contamination crisis today. Moreover, we will explore the legal landscape shaped by the Camp Lejeune Justice Act (CLJA).

Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Crisis: An Overview

The Camp Lejeune water contamination originated from decades of industrial activity near the base. Drips from storage tanks and inadequate disposal methods led to the infiltration of harmful chemicals into the local aquifer.

A 34-Year Threat (1953-1987)

For over three decades, unsuspecting residents of Camp Lejeune were exposed to toxic tap water. This prolonged period of exposure significantly heightened health risks.

Analysis of the water supply revealed trichloroethylene (TCE) and perchloroethylene (PCE) as the predominant contaminants. These industrial solvents are classified as potential human carcinogens.

A Public Health Crisis Unfolds

Over 1 million people, including Marines, their families, and civilian base personnel, are estimated to have been exposed to the tainted water supply.

The insidious nature of these chemicals means health effects can manifest years, even decades, after exposure. Veterans continue to face a heightened risk of various illnesses.

Health Risks From Prolonged Exposure

Decades after the first exposure, the repercussions of the contamination on health are still emerging. Industrial solvents and volatile organic compounds like trichloroethylene (TCE) and perchloroethylene (PCE) act as insidious saboteurs within the body.

These contaminants can disrupt cellular function, potentially leading to a series of serious health problems, including an increased risk of cancers.


Moreover, pregnant women exposed to compounds like TCE may face an increased risk of miscarriage and birth defects in their children. Additionally, veterans may experience immune system dysfunction, neurological impairments, and various liver and kidney ailments.

Scientists are actively investigating the health problems potentially linked to this environmental injustice.

Such malignancies can manifest in years, even decades, often presenting a diagnostic challenge. The insidious nature of these contaminants necessitates a proactive approach to health. Prioritizing regular screenings for illnesses linked to the contaminants is paramount.

This vigilance can be instrumental in early detection and potentially life-saving interventions for these delayed-onset illnesses.

Your Legal Rights as a Marine Exposed to Toxins

For decades, veterans exposed to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune faced an uphill legal battle, their health struggles overshadowed by the Feres doctrine. It prohibits service people from suing the American government.

However, according to TorHoerman Law, the tide has turned with the enactment of the Camp Lejeune Justice Act (CLJA) in August 2022. It dismantles the shield of sovereign immunity that previously prevented lawsuits against the government.

Now, the veterans can sue the government and seek legal compensation for a wide range of water contamination-induced health issues.

Moreover, this fight is more inclusive because, unlike Veterans Affairs benefits, there is no presumptive list of diseases for you to claim compensation.

According to a recent Camp Lejeune contaminated water update, approximately 160,000 administrative claims have been filed with the U.S. Navy, along with 1,500 federal lawsuits by victims.

Moreover, initiating the first compensation payouts marks a turning point in this long-fought struggle for justice. The CLJA empowers veterans to seek financial recompense and a measure of accountability for the harm inflicted upon them.

Navigating the Legal Labyrinth: A Guide to Camp Lejeune Lawsuits

While the Camp Lejeune Justice Act offers a path to seek compensation, the legal system can be intricate. This section will empower you to become an informed participant in the legal landscape surrounding the crisis.

Understanding the Statute of Limitations

The CLJA imposes a stringent two-year filing deadline from its enactment (August 10, 2022). This means lawsuits must be filed by August 10, 2024. Missing this deadline could significantly restrict your legal recourse.

Finding a Lawyer

Secure an attorney with expertise in veterans’ rights and toxic exposure cases. These specialists understand the nuances of the CLJA, relevant case law, and the complexities of environmental contamination litigation.


You would want to work with attorneys who have a history of success in obtaining compensation for veterans.

Building a Compelling Case

Gather comprehensive medical records documenting your health conditions. Ideally, establish a temporal link between your residency at Camp Lejeune during the contamination period (1953-1987) and the onset of your illnesses.

Military discharge record documents like the DD-214 and base housing records (if available) will bolster your exposure claim. Your lawyer will guide you through collecting additional evidence to solidify your case.

The Legal Journey Unfolds

The initial step involves a consultation with your lawyer to assess your CLJA eligibility and case viability. Upon completing a comprehensive evidence review, your attorney will proceed to formally submit an administrative claim to the Department of the Navy.

If denied, the litigation process commences, potentially involving pre-trial motions, discovery (exchanging evidence), and ultimately, trial.

To sum up, the Camp Lejeune incident has impacted countless veterans and their families. The Camp Lejeune Justice Act offers a beacon of hope, a legal pathway to seek compensation, and a measure of accountability.

If you once lived at Camp Lejeune and are nursing severe health issues, it is high time you speak up. Explore your legal options by contacting a qualified lawyer specializing in Camp Lejeune water contamination cases. Remember, the deadline to file a lawsuit is approaching. Take action today to secure the resources and support you deserve.



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