With growing anticipation surrounding the introduction of the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022, veterans, their family members, and civilians across the country are preparing to pursue legal claims over illnesses allegedly caused by exposure to contaminated water at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune. In one new lawsuit brought against 3M Company, Chemguard Inc., DuPont de Nemours, Inc., and other chemical and safety equipment manufacturers earlier this month, a former U.S. Marine stationed at Camp Lejeune from 1985 to 1987 alleges that he developed ulcerative colitis from drinking water that was polluted with PFAS chemicals from AFFF firefighting products. If you or someone you love has developed a serious illness allegedly caused by exposure to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune, contact Consumer Safety Watch today to find out whether you may qualify for a claim against the government or another allegedly negligent party.
The Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 opens the door for legal claims by servicemembers and civilians who allege that the government knew about volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the water supply at Camp Lejeune between the 1950s and 1980s and failed to warn people living and working there about the potential risk of exposure. The majority of reports related to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune have dealt with exposure to trichloroethylene, tetrachloroethylene, perchloroethylene, vinyl chloride, and benzene contamination from an off-site dry cleaner, industrial area spills, leaks in underground storage tanks, and waste disposal sites. However, there are other toxic chemicals that made their way into the drinking water at the military base from other sources.
In a lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina on July 6, a former Marine says that he developed ulcerative colitis from exposure to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF). Firefighting foam has been used by military and civilian firefighters for decades to rapidly suppress petroleum and jet fuel fires during emergency situations, training exercises, and even to fight fires at commercial airports. These AFFF products are made with PFAS chemicals like perfluorooctane acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS), which have been linked to a number of cancers and other health problems, including:
In his lawsuit, plaintiff Joseph Harper states that he was stationed at Camp Lejeune from 1985 to 1987, during the time the water supply was known to be contaminated with toxic chemicals, and regularly used and drank the water there. Investigations into the water contamination at Camp Lejeune have revealed PFAS levels at 172,748 parts per trillion (ppt), nearly 2,500 times the EPA’s maximum contaminant level of 70 ppt for PFAS in drinking water. In or about 2000, Harper was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, an inflammatory bowel disease linked to PFAS contamination, and began treatment. It wasn’t until 2020, more than 30 years after his exposure, that Harper learned that PFAS was a potential cause of his ulcerative colitis, the lawsuit states. Harper claims that 3M, DuPont, and other chemical manufacturers knew since the 1980s that PFAS chemicals from firefighting foam were contaminating water supplies and putting exposed people at risk for serious injury.
The Camp Lejeune Justice Act brings veterans and families adversely impacted by toxic chemicals in the water supply at Camp Lejeune one step closer to suing the government for damages and getting the justice they deserve. If you or a loved one lived or served at Camp Lejeune between 1953 and 1987, and subsequently developed cancer or another serious injury or illness, we can help. Contact Consumer Safety Watch as soon as possible to find out whether you may be able to recover compensation by filing a Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit.