The Camp Lejeune lawsuit can potentially become the biggest civil case in United States history. At the heart of the lawsuit is the claim that the United States government, through the United States Marine Corps, negligently exposed military personnel and their families to contaminated drinking water at the Camp Lejeune military base in North Carolina.
- 1 What Is the Camp Lejeune Lawsuit?
- 2 How Many Claims Are Filed in This Water Contamination Lawsuit?
- 3 Toxic Substances Found in Camp Lejeune Water Contamination
- 4 Other Large Civil Lawsuits in the History of the USA
- 5 Conclusion
What Is the Camp Lejeune Lawsuit?
Camp Lejeune is located in North Carolina, near Jacksonville. It is the largest Marine Corps Base and the second-largest United States military installation, with over 150,000 Marines and sailors on site. The base was founded in 1942 to be used as an amphibious training center for WWII. Still, it has since been used for many other purposes, including support during the Vietnam War and Operation Desert Storm.
The Camp Lejeune lawsuit is a water contamination lawsuit resulting from the fact that the water supplied to Camp Lejeune was found to be contaminated by the ATSDR. The contamination, which occurred from the 1950s to the 1980s, has been linked to various serious health problems, including cancer, birth defects, and other illnesses.
The lawsuit is being brought by thousands of former military personnel and their families, who seek compensation for the harm they have suffered due to the contamination. If successful, the lawsuit could result in billions of dollars in damages awarded to the plaintiffs, making it one of the largest civil cases in U.S. history.
How Many Claims Are Filed in This Water Contamination Lawsuit?
According to data from a Reuters article, over 5,000 claims have already been filed within a single month after the roadblock removal. But this is just the beginning.
Due to the large size of the Camp Lejeune Marine Base and based on the number of veterans and their family members stationed there, it is estimated that around 1 million people might be exposed to contaminated water. Of these, over 500,000 people are estimated to file claims, making this one of the biggest, if not the biggest, lawsuits in U.S. history.
Moreover, efforts are made to ensure that all those exposed to water contamination get the settlements they are rightly owed. Hence, many law firms are marketing to spread the word and encourage veterans or their family members to file claims.
Another Reuters report shows that $45 million were spent on ads for the Camp Lejeune Legislation. The numbers hint at the amount of money at stake in this class action lawsuit. The same is also highlighted by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).
CBO estimates that besides the $6 billion in direct spending, the Camp Lejeune Lawsuit will require an additional $15 billion after 2031. This would take the total direct expenditure to $21 billion, which is only the current estimate. As the number of claims filed increases with time, the total settlement amount will also increase.
Toxic Substances Found in Camp Lejeune Water Contamination
The drinking water contamination at Camp Lejeune resulted from chemicals like tetrachloroethylene, perchloroethylene, carbon tetrachloride, 1,4-dioxane, trichloroethylene, and hexachlorobutadiene being released into the groundwater.
These toxic substances can lead to serious health issues, as assessed in a study published on the NCBI website. These diseases can include cancerous tumors in various body parts, including liver cancer or leukemia. Other severe complications include kidney damage along with neurological issues such as dementia or Parkinson’s disease, which affect people later in life after they’ve been exposed as children or young adults, respectively.
Other Large Civil Lawsuits in the History of the USA
There have been many big class action lawsuits in the history of the USA. Here are some of these lawsuits.
3 M’s Military Earplugs Lawsuit
3 M’s military earplugs lawsuit is one of the most significant civil lawsuits in the history of the United States. Nearly 300,000 people filed the lawsuit. The company defended the earplugs to be safe for use. However, the verdict was mixed. Each case was supposed to be seen individually, and of the cases that got judgment, half were won by the plaintiffs and the other half by 3M.
The case was filed in 2018, and it has not yet been decided whether 3M will be convicted. The trial will take place in 2020, so there’s still time for more information regarding this case to come out before then.
Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement 1998
The Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) was reached back in 1998. It was an agreement between the tobacco companies and the states to resolve many years of litigation. The MSA created a massive fund of billions of dollars, which would be paid out over 25 years by 40 cigarette manufacturers. This money is used for the following:
- To pay reparations to victims who were addicted or who got sick from smoking.
- To compensate the government for Medicaid expenses incurred due to smoking-related illnesses.
- To reimburse the tobacco industry for potential liability costs associated with future lawsuits involving smoking-related diseases.
B.P. Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill
In 2010, the largest oil spill occurred due to an explosion on B.P.’s Deepwater Horizon drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico. This resulted in 11 deaths and released almost 5 million barrels of crude oil into the ocean over 87 days.
B.P. paid more than $20 billion for cleanup costs, compensation for victims, and fines related to safety violations. But even after this massive payout, tens of thousands of individuals still have not received any relief from B.P. or its contractors due to injuries related to this disaster.
Settlement terms include:
- Compensation for physical injuries resulting from exposure to harmful chemicals during cleanup efforts
- Compensation for emotional distress resulting from exposure during cleanup efforts
- Compensation for economic loss incurred by those who lived within 1 mile of an oiled beach during cleanup
- Compensation for economic loss incurred by those who lived outside a specified area but were required entry into such areas as part-time workers or volunteers
- Compensation for future medical monitoring fees associated with long-term effects from exposure
If you or someone you know has suffered from health issues related to Camp Lejeune water contamination, you must file a claim. The law firms will help you through the process and ensure that your rights are protected. Find attorneys who have worked on many other large-scale cases that have helped thousands of people get compensation for their injuries.