For decades, those serving at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune drank, bathed in, and cooked with water containing harmful levels of cleaning agents and other chemicals. This water caused harmful health conditions for several generations of people. Parkinson’s disease is only one of the health issues linked to Camp Lejeune.
For years, veterans living with Parkinson’s disease had little recourse in civil court. Recent changes to the law allow these individuals to pursue financial compensation—even for exposure that occurred decades ago. A Camp Lejeune lawsuit lawyer can help pursue justice.
A Short History of Water Contamination at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina
Between 1953 and 1987, individuals living and working at Camp Lejeune ingested harmful chemicals in their drinking water. Several dangerous substances, including perchloroethylene (PCE) and trichloroethylene (TCE) were present in quantities several thousand times greater than the safe amount.
Even though the camp had rules governing waste disposal, the camp itself contributed to water intoxication through dangerous chemical dumps. Ignored regulations and a sluggish response from camp authorities resulted in exposure for more than 1,000,000 people according to the CDC.
Over time, veterans and civilians living on or near the base developed serious health issues. This alarming trend led the federal government to investigate the nature of these diseases nearly 30 years past the initial date of exposure for some. These assessments determined that numerous harmful or life-threatening conditions resulted directly from the water at Camp Lejeune.
Although governing bodies addressed the water issues by 1987, lingering health issues remain for those exposed. Because government officials had many opportunities to remedy the situation, they are liable for the consequences.
The Link Between Contaminated Water and Parkinson’s Disease
Over the course of six years, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) conducted a health assessment of Camp Lejeune. In addition to other ailments, the ATSDR found clear evidence linking Parkinson’s disease to the contamination.
This research shows that high levels of PCE and TCE in the water make a person much more likely to develop Parkinson’s disease. High levels of these substances in the body can trigger the neurological symptoms commonly referred to as Parkinson’s. For that reason, the federal government formally considers Parkinson’s disease a qualifying health outcome.
Possible Legal Action for Parkinson’s Disease Sufferers
For many years, those exposed to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune had limited legal options. Under the law, the deadline to bring lawsuits based on this harmful exposure expired years ago. However, recent legislation has waived that deadline for a limited period of time. This change in the law allows Camp Lejeune victims the opportunity to seek the financial compensation they deserve.
The Statute of Limitations for Camp Lejeune Cases
Most victims have a two-year window to pursue a legal claim for injuries related to exposure at Camp Lejeune. Thanks to the findings linking Parkinson’s to Camp Lejeune, those living with this condition can still pursue a claim for compensation.
Qualifications to File
If your Parkinson’s disease resulted from your time at Camp Lejeune, you may be able to file a water contamination case. Here are the qualifications:
- You worked, lived, or served at Camp Lejeune or nearby qualifying locations.
- You endured toxic water exposure for 30 or more consecutive/non-consecutive days.
- You have received a diagnosis for a qualifying health condition.
Those looking to file on behalf of a loved one may need unique documentation. A lawyer can help you identify and file these documents.
Research Will Support Your Case for Compensation
The federal government has lowered the burden of proof needed to succeed with these claims. Normally, an ill person would need to prove that their Parkinson’s disease was directly caused by water at Camp Lejeune. Under the law, you can now meet that burden with studies connecting TCE and PCE at Camp Lejeune to Parkinson’s.
Making a viable case for compensation is more difficult alone. You could discuss your options with an attorney that understands the impact Parkinson’s can have on your life and your health.
Talk to an Attorney About Your Legal Options
Thanks to years of research, the drinking water at Camp Lejeune and Parkinson’s disease are finally linked. The presence of high levels of solvents in the water has resulted in a number of diagnoses. If you have received a Parkinson’s diagnosis and meet the qualifications to file, it is now possible to pursue legal action.
The team at Ben Crump Law, PLLC is proud to advocate for the victims of Camp Lejeune. You could finally have the opportunity to seek compensation, so our firm wants to fight for the outcome that you deserve. If you are ready to get started, our firm is here to listen. Reach out to schedule your free consultation.