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[2024 Update] Camp Lejeune Birth Defects Lawsuit

Use the chatbot on this page to find out if you qualify for a Camp Lejeune Lawsuit Claim.

Contact TorHoerman Law for a free consultation.

Camp Lejeune Birth Defects Lawsuit Overview

On this page, we’ll discuss an overview of the Camp Lejeune Birth Defects Lawsuit, other health conditions linked to the water contamination at Camp Lejeunewho qualifies to file a Camp Lejeune Lawsuit, and much more.

Intro to the Camp Lejeune Birth Defects Lawsuits

Toxic chemicals contaminated drinking water at United States Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune and the nearby Marine Corps Air Station New River for over 30 years, between 1953 and 1987.

The toxic substances found in the water at Camp Lejeune were volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that have been linked to several types of cancer, diseases, neurological disorders, and more.

Military members, family members, and civilian workers exposed to these dangerous chemicals suffered for years without adequate compensation from the federal government, despite Camp Lejeune officials knowing about the rampant water contamination at Camp Lejeune for decades.

Exposure to contaminated drinking water at Camp Lejeune in-utero has been linked to birth defects.

Camp Lejeune Birth Defects Lawsuit

If you’re considering filing a Camp Lejeune Birth Defects Lawsuit, you likely have some questions.

Below, our attorneys look at the studies conducted on the water contamination at Camp Lejeune, and evidence linking these substances to birth defects and other conditions.

If you or a family member were at Camp Lejeune between 1953 and 1987 and had a child with birth defects, you may be eligible to file a Camp Lejeune claim.

Contact TorHoerman Law for a free case evaluation

You can also use the chatbot on this page to see if you qualify to file a Camp Lejeune lawsuit instantly.

Camp Lejeune attorneys can help victims through the administrative claims process and subsequent Camp Lejeune litigation.

If you have any questions about the Camp Lejeune administrative claims process, Camp Lejeune Justice Act, or any concerns about your eligibility for Camp Lejeune Lawsuits, reach out to us today.

Our law firm is here to help you understand your rights and strategize the best route to secure financial compensation.

Table of Contents

Birth Defects Linked to Contaminated Drinking Water at Camp Lejeune

Between 1953 and 1987, the water at Camp Lejeune was contaminated with shocking amounts of volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

Based on investigations carried out by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), the contaminated drinking water at Camp Lejeune came from various water treatment plants in and around the Marine Corps base.

The contaminated drinking water at the base rendered active-duty personnel, National Guard members, family members of service members, civilian workers, and others susceptible to various illnesses.

Besides various cancers and autoimmune conditions, Camp Lejeune victims reported birth defects after being exposed to contaminated drinking water.

Although birth defects are not listed on the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) list of health conditions with a presumptive service connected, there is significant amounts of scientific evidence supporting the connection between exposure to toxic substances and the risk of birth defects.

If your child has suffered from birth defects and you were exposed to contaminated drinking water at Camp Lejeune between 1953 and 1987, you need to seek justice.

Contact TorHoerman Law for a free consultation.

You can also use the chatbot on this page to find out if you qualify for the Camp Lejeune litigation.

About Birth Defects

Birth defects are physical or developmental abnormalities that occur in babies before they are born.

They can affect various parts of the body like the heart and brain and often lead to lifelong health challenges.

Some birth defects are due to exposure to volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which are chemicals that can easily become gases and are often found in products and environments.

What Are the Different Types of Birth Defects?

Birth defects can vary widely in terms of their types and the body systems they affect.

Here are some of the different kinds of birth defects:

  • Structural Birth Defects
  • Genetic Abnormalities
  • Metabolic Disorders
  • Functional Birth Defects
  • Developmental Delays
  • Facial Abnormalities
  • Gastrointestinal Defects
  • Genital and Urinary Tract Abnormalities
  • Sensory Impairments
  • Central Nervous System Defects

Birth Defects and Water Contamination at Camp Lejeune

The onset of birth defects can be traced to various causes, including prenatal exposure to hazardous chemicals like volatile organic compounds (VOCs) found in the water at Camp Lejeune.

VOCs are commonly found in products like paints, solvents (like those found in the Camp Lejeune water supply), cleaning agents, and some building materials.

Ingesting, inhaling, or absorbing these chemicals during pregnancy may pose a risk to the developing fetus.

Published in 2013, a study conducted by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) examined exposure to contaminated drinking water at Camp Lejeune and specific birth defects and childhood cancers.

The ATSDR study looked particularly at children born between 1968 and 1985 to mothers with residential exposure to contaminated drinking water at Camp Lejeune, attempting to determine an increased risk for childhood hematopoietic cancers, neural tube defects (NTDs), or oral clefts.

Findings from the ATSDR study on birth defects related to Camp Lejeune water contamination included the following:

  • The odds of having neural tube defects (NTDs) for those exposed to any benzene were 4.1 times higher, and the odds of having NTDs for those exposed to trichloroethylene above 5 parts per billion were 2.4 times higher.
  • The odds of childhood cancers for those exposed to any tetrachloroethylene were 1.6 times higher.
  • The odds of childhood cancers for those exposed to any vinyl chloride were also 1.6 times higher.

Besides neural tube defects and the risk of childhood cancer, one birth defect that has been attributed to VOC exposure is congenital heart disease (CHD) and other cardiac birth defects.

Besides CHD, VOC exposure also led to low birth weights and other birth defects.

One 2017 study suggested that prenatal VOC exposure can significantly decrease birth weights.

Low birth weight is a serious birth defect since it’s a sign of poor physical development.

The lack of development predisposes infants to various infections and illnesses, ultimately leading to a failure to thrive.

Another study from researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) emphasizes the link between VOC exposure and birth defects.

According to a 2016 CDC study, prenatal VOC exposure increased a child’s risk for developing neurocognitive impairments, respiratory ailments, and even cancer.

Other studies linking exposure to certain VOCs in the water at Camp Lejeune include the following:

Other Possible Causes of Birth Defects

While the Camp Lejeune Lawsuit is focused on birth defects related to water contamination, there are several other possible causes of birth defects.

Possible causes of birth defectsinclude:

Complications of Birth Defects

Birth defects can profoundly alter the course of a mother and child’s life, leading to enduring physical challenges and deep-seated emotional repercussions.

Birth defects resulting from VOC exposure can result in the following complications:

  • Structural Abnormalities: Birth defects from VOC exposure can result in structural abnormalities in a baby’s organs or body parts. For example, heart defects, cleft lip or palate, limb malformations, or neural tube defects can occur.
  • Neurodevelopmental Issues: VOC exposure during pregnancy might affect the baby’s nervous system development. This issue could lead to intellectual disabilities, learning difficulties, or behavioral problems later in life.
  • Respiratory Problems: Some VOCs can harm the development of the baby’s respiratory system, potentially causing issues like asthma or other respiratory disorders after birth.
  • Low Birth Weight and Prematurity: VOC exposure may increase the risk of premature birth or low birth weight, both of which can have serious health implications for the baby.
  • Miscarriage or Stillbirth: In severe cases, exposure to certain VOCs may even lead to miscarriage or stillbirth.

Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawsuit Overview

The Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit is a legal case against the U.S. government.

It involves veterans, their families, and civilian employees who were exposed to polluted water at Camp Lejeune Marine Corps Base in North Carolina between 1953 and 1987.

The water contained harmful chemicals like trichloroethylene (TCE), benzene, and vinyl chloride, which can lead to severe health problems like birth defects.

Although the first lawsuits were filed as early as 2009, the Camp Lejeune litigation gained full momentum in 2022 with the enactment of the Camp Lejeune Justice Act.

This law signed by President Joe Biden allows eligible individuals to seek compensation for injuries caused by the contamination.

Since the act’s passage, thousands of active-duty personnel, National Guard members, and their family members have filed Camp Lejeune lawsuits.

If successful, these victims may receive Camp Lejeune settlements from the U.S. government, including VA healthcare benefits and disability compensation otherwise only available through the lengthy Camp Lejeune administrative claims process.

Adverse Health Effects of Camp Lejeune Water Contamination

The consumption of Camp Lejeune contaminated water has been linked to many cancer and non-cancer diagnoses.

Camp Lejeune victims have developed a number of severe health conditions, and countless veterans exposed to contaminated water have passed away.

Certain cancer diagnoses potentially linked to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune include:

  • Bladder Cancer
  • Breast Cancer
  • Esophageal Cancer
  • Kidney Cancer
  • Leukemia
  • Lung Cancer
  • Multiple Myeloma
  • Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
  • Prostate Cancer
  • Colorectal Cancer
  • Rectal Cancer
  • Pancreatic Cancer
  • Central Nervous System Cancer
  • Myelodysplastic Syndromes
  • Brain Cancer
  • Cervical Cancer
  • Ovarian Cancer
  • Appendix Cancer
  • Bile Duct Cancer
  • Gallbladder Cancer
  • Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
  • Intestinal Cancer
  • Sinus Cancer
  • Soft Tissue Sarcoma
  • Spinal Cancer
  • Thyroid Cancer

Non-cancer diagnoses suffered by Camp Lejeune victims include:

  • Hepatic Steatosis
  • Miscarriage & Fetal Death
  • Neurobehavioral Effects
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Aplastic Anemia
  • Kidney Disease
  • Scleroderma
  • ALS
  • Lupus
  • Epilepsy
  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Cardiac Birth Defects
  • Infertility
  • Renal Toxicity
  • Autoimmune Disease
  • Birth Defects
  • Liver Disease
  • Cognitive Disability
  • Microcephaly
  • Renal Disease
  • Tooth Decay
  • Hypersensitive Skin Disorder
  • Nerve Damage
  • Oral Cleft

Service members, their families, civilian workers, and countless others were diagnosed with deadly health conditions, and for years could not secure the benefits they desperately needed.

What Toxic Substances Were Found in the Water Supply at Camp Lejeune?

The EPA and ATSDR discovered four VOCs to be in the highest concentrations in two water treatment plants, namely the Hadnot Point Treatment Plant and the Tarawa Terraces Water Treatment Facility.

The toxic substances found in the water at Camp Lejeune are all known carcinogens and have also been linked to birth defects and miscarriages.

The four main toxic chemicals in the water at Camp Lejeune were:

  • Trichloroethylene (TCE)
  • Tetrachloroethylene (PCE)
  • Benzene
  • Vinyl chloride

What Caused Water Contamination at Camp Lejeune?

Camp Lejeune’s water contamination had multiple origins, including leaks from underground storage tanks, waste disposal sites, and commercial operations.

As a result, the water provided to base housing and other facilities contained volatile organic compounds (VOCs), including dry cleaning solvents and at least 70 other hazardous chemicals.

What Is the Camp Lejeune Justice Act?

For far too long, Camp Lejeune victims lived and passed away without any form of compensation or benefits provided by the federal government.

Some legislative efforts brought on by Camp Lejeune veterans and Camp Lejeune victims attempted to secure relief.

The Camp Lejeune Families Act of 2012 aimed to provide active-duty and former military personnel VA health care benefits, disability compensation, and other forms of relief for any illnesses they developed from the contaminated water supply at Camp Lejeune.

Too often, however, veterans exposed to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune were refused health care benefits for their conditions.

It wasn’t until the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 that any person who lived or worked at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune between 1953 and 1987 could claim compensation.

Under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act, Camp Lejeune veterans and their family members can file through the Department of the Navy under the Camp Lejeune administrative claims process.

Within Camp Lejeune claims, victims can demand a certain amount of compensation for their Camp Lejeune settlement.

If the Navy’s Tort Claims Unit denies a Camp Lejeune claim, or a victims waits longer than 6 months for a decision, you may be eligible to file a Camp Lejeune Lawsuit in the US District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina.

Experienced Camp Lejeune Lawyers can help you throughout the Camp Lejeune administrative claims process and subsequent Camp Lejeune litigation if necessary.

Contact our Camp Lejeune attorneys for more information and a free consultation.

Do You Qualify for the Camp Lejeune Lawsuit?

Victims of Camp Lejeune water contamination have waited far too long for justice.

Far too many veterans exposed to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune have passed away without official acknowledgement from the US Military or federal government of the causes of their illnesses.

Now under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act, victims and their family members can file claims for compensation.

Family members of service members and others who have passed away from health conditions linked to Camp Lejeune water contamination can also file wrongful death claims.

If you or a loved one were exposed to water contamination at Camp Lejeune between 1953 and 1987, you may be eligible to file a Camp Lejeune Lawsuit.

Contact TorHoerman Law for a free consultation.

You can also use the chatbot on this page to find out if you qualify for the Camp Lejeune Lawsuit instantly.

Experienced Camp Lejeune law firms can help victims throughout the administrative claims process and Camp Lejeune Lawsuits.

Camp Lejeune lawyers will help victims gather evidence for Camp Lejeune claims, and assess damages to be included in compensation demands.

Gathering Evidence for Camp Lejeune Lawsuits

Gathering evidence is a critical step in filing a Camp Lejeune lawsuit claim.

This is a part of the process that Camp Lejeune victims can begin on their own, but experienced Camp Lejeune lawyers can help you gather and retain evidence crucial to your case.

Evidence in a Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit may include:

  • Documents proving residence at Camp Lejeune
  • Military service records indicating dates and locations served
  • Medical records and diagnoses
  • Medical bills
  • Travel records
  • Health care information
  • Records on disability benefits or VA compensation benefits

Assessing Damages for Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawsuit Claims

Ensuring you receive a just settlement involves a meticulous evaluation of your losses.

Our Camp Lejeune attorneys consider your financial hardships and will add medical expenses, lost wages, and rehabilitation bills to your settlement calculation.

Potential damages in Camp Lejeune claims may include:

  • Medical bills
  • Pain and suffering
  • Lost wages
  • Disability benefits
  • Loss of companionship, consortium, enjoyment of life, and earning capacity
  • Permanent disability
  • Wrongful death

TorHoerman Law: Your Camp Lejeune Lawyers

Camp Lejeune water contamination resulted in numerous health problems for those exposed, even children of pregnant mothers who consumed contaminated water at Camp Lejeune.

Several types of cancer, neurological problems, birth defects, and other health conditions have been linked to the toxic substances found in Camp Lejeune’s water supply.

TorHoerman Law has decades of experience securing adequate compensation for people suffering from chemical exposure.

We are here to help you and other former Camp Lejeune residents be a step closer to a fair Camp Lejeune settlement.

If you or a loved one were exposed to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune between 1953 and 1987, you may be eligible to file a Camp Lejeune Lawsuit.

Contact TorHoerman Law for a free consultation.

You can also use the chatbot on this page to find out if you qualify for the Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawsuit instantly.

Our Camp Lejeune lawyers are prepared to represent you and your family members.

Reach out to us with any questions you may have about the Camp Lejeune Justice Act, Camp Lejeune Lawsuits, scientific evidence linking water contamination to health conditions, and more.

We are here to help you seek justice.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can Exposure to Toxic Substances Cause Birth Defects?

    Yes, exposure to toxic chemicals, such as those in the water at Camp Lejeune, can result in several different types of birth defects.

    Prenatal exposure to toxic chemicals and volatile organic compounds is highly dangerous.

    Birth defects can occur when pregnant women ingest, inhale, or are otherwise exposed to chemicals like trichloroethylene (TCE), benzene, and vinyl chloride.

    These chemicals can pose a risk to the developing fetus if inhaled or ingested during pregnancy.

  • Birth defects aren't on the VA's presumptive conditions list. Can I still file a claim?

    The answer is yes.

    Under the PACT Act of the Camp Lejeune Justice Act, Camp Lejeune victims can file claims for conditions caused by exposure to contaminated water even if the condition isn’t on the VA’s presumptive list of conditions.

    There is significant scientific research that connects exposure to toxic substances in the Camp Lejeune water supply to the onset and risk of birth defects.

  • What evidence must I have to file a Camp Lejeune lawsuit?

    To file a Camp Lejeune lawsuit, gather the following evidence if possible:

    • Documents showing your stay at Camp Lejeune between 1953 and 1987
    • Service records that prove your service at the Camp during this time
    • Medical records, including a diagnosis of your child’s birth defect
    • Records proving that you were pregnant with your child during the time of exposure (i.e., birth certificates, sonogram results, etc.)

  • What is the Average Camp Lejeune Settlement?

    The settlement amount for each individual case will differ based upon the injuries suffered, conditions diagnosed, time spent at the base, and more.

    Lawsuit settlements would also contain damages incurred, which can include medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, emotional damages, and more.

    Depending on injuries suffered, conditions diagnosed, and evidence available, individual settlement amounts for exposure to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune could be significant.

    Camp Lejeune water contamination settlement amounts could be between $10,000 and $500,000 depending on the strength of your case.

    These estimates for Camp Lejeune settlement amounts are only estimations based on the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) budget for Camp Lejeune claims.

    These estimates are not a guarantee by any means of certain compensation for Camp Lejeune settlements.

    Visit this page for more updates on settlement amounts for Camp Lejeune lawsuits as the information becomes more widely available.

Written By:
Tor Hoerman

Tor Hoerman

Owner & Attorney - TorHoerman Law

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