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How Was the Water at Camp Lejeune Contaminated?

Were you exposed to dangerous toxins present in the drinking water during your time at Camp Lejeune from August 1, 1953, through December 21, 1987? You likely weren’t the only one to be exposed to toxic drinking water and many victims, like yourself, have developed long-term health conditions, which impede on your everyday life. Because so many veterans are exposed to toxins each year – from burn pits, Agent Orange, contaminated water and other toxic chemicals – President Joseph Biden has put into law the Promise to Address Compressive (PACT) Act on August 10, 2022.

In the past, victims of Camp Lejeune’s water contamination were unable to file lawsuits and seek compensation for their medical conditions. However, the PACT Act, for people unaware, contains a stimulation referred to as the Camp Lejeune Justice Act that removes previous restrictions which had prevented victims from filing lawsuits for their exposure to contaminated water – the PACT Act also includes not just servicemembers but their families and civilian contractors to cover medical treatment, emotional damage and wrongful death.

But, now that many victims are getting the compensation they deserve, many are wondering how the contaminated water came to be. Here’s what you should know:

How a little mistake can go a long way

Camp Lejeune, as you may know, is a Marine base established in 1941. Like most bases at the time, this one provided the basic needs of its residents, however, lacked environmental oversight. As such, many toxic materials – oils, pesticides, wastewater and radioactive materials – were likely disposed of on-site.

One such major contributor to the pollution was a local dry cleaning facility by the name of ABC One-hour Cleaners had constantly disposed of wastewater laden with dry cleaning chemicals. These chemicals then, as a result, were absorbed into the soil and contaminated local wells and public water supplies – leading to many unwitting residents drinking the contaminated water for over two decades.

What victims can do for themselves

While each case is unique, this kind of environmental negligence, which contaminated a main water supply, injured a large group of people – but getting paid for their injuries may not be so straightforward. Most personal injury cases would call for an individual lawsuit, but, with so many victims, this would likely call for a mass tort or class action lawsuit to help victims collect compensation for their medical treatments and losses. Many victims are now able to receive their justly due benefits with the passing of the PACT Act.

 

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