(July 9, 2022) – It is the time of year to celebrate America’s Independence. Americans spent time watching fireworks displays and eating barbecue with friends and family this week. We also took the opportunity to reflect with gratitude on the men and women who serve in our Armed Forces. Their commitment, dedication, and contributions secure our independence.
This year, the United States is honoring their contributions in a different way. This is because the promise that we all make to our men and women is that we will stand behind them and will care for them following their service. This will soon include caring for Marines and their families who were harmed in ways they never expected.
Starting in the 1950’s, Marines trained at a facility in Jacksonville, North Carolina. It was called Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune. The unique location took advantage of its proximity to the coast near two deep-water ports.
Beginning in 1953, Marines and their families who were living in on-base housing used water from the wells for bathing and drinking. Over time, it became clear that the water treatment facilities were contaminated with toxic chemicals (including industrial solvents and benzine). Marines and their families exposed to these chemicals developed cancers and neurological diseases. Some of their children had serious developmental disabilities or did not survive.
For many years, the U.S. Department of Defense did not acknowledge the extent of contamination or the health impacts. The harmful chemicals continued to contaminate the water supply until the end of 1987.
But in recent years, advocates got the attention of Congress. This led to the recent passage of the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022. The Act will provide for compensation for Marines, their families, and others impacted by health conditions that resulted from contamination.
If you or your family member was stationed at Camp Lejeune, call our office. If you have questions about cancers or other health conditions afflicting Marines or their family members or others who were at Camp Lejeune during the relevant period, give our attorneys a call. The U.S. is taking action and taking responsibility for harms caused by the contamination