Water contamination is often not well understood by the general public. That’s understandable because water contamination is often a highly technical and scientific topic. However, there are instances when contaminants find their way into water supplies that people rely on for drinking, bathing, and other uses. When this happens, the contamination can lead to serious health problems for many people in the area. Camp Lejeune is one of these locations where contaminated water has become a serious public health problem.
Here is what you need to know about water contamination and the legal options you may have as a victim of water contamination at Camp Lejeune.
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What You Need to Know About Water Contamination at Camp Lejeune
Camp Lejeune was one of the largest military bases in the United States for more than 50 years. It housed thousands of U.S. Marines and their family members in North Carolina. The base also provided support services to nearby civilian communities. From 1953 to 1987, contaminated drinking water served at the base sickened at least 1 million people.
Unfortunately, the problems at the camp went undiscovered for years. During that time, many people developed severe health problems that were linked to exposure to contaminated drinking water. Because so many victims have lived with the health effects of being exposed to contaminated water for so long, there is currently a great deal of interest in finding out more about the impact of contaminated water on health and how to prevent it from happening in the future.
How Contaminated Water Can Lead to Serious Health Problems
● The chemicals found in the water have been linked to several diseases, including various forms of cancer, infertility, birth defects, brain damage, and other illnesses like adult leukemia tied to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune.
● Children under the age of six are particularly at risk for health problems caused by exposure to contaminated water because they tend to drink more water than adults and are, therefore, more susceptible to poisoning from heavy metals and other harmful contaminants.
● Military personnel stationed at the base for an extended period have also been more likely to develop health problems, including adult leukemia tied to contaminated water.
● People who were exposed to contaminated water for a long period of time may experience delayed symptoms of the diseases that were caused by exposure to the chemicals in the water.
● Many people who were exposed to contaminated water have experienced significant long-term effects on their health and can suffer from a variety of ailments as a result. In some cases, the damage is irreversible.
What Legal Options are Available
Some of the people who got sick from exposure to contaminated water at the camp were never identified or told about the contamination by the military or government agencies in charge of the base. They never received any treatment or compensation for their injuries. Sadly, many never lived long enough to even realize that they had been harmed by the contaminated water.
Fortunately, the law allows for people who have been injured by the negligence of another party to be compensated for their losses and pain and suffering. If you are a victim of a personal injury accident, you may be entitled to compensation under a number of different legal theories, including negligence, product liability, and even medical malpractice. Your lawyer can help you determine which theory applies to your case and help you file your claim with the courts for the maximum damages available under the law.
Exposure lawsuits allege that the defendant’s actions (or inaction) in causing the plaintiff’s injury caused them to inhale toxic substances or ingest them orally or through their skin.
Experts may conduct a number of tests to determine the level of exposure that was sustained during a victim’s illness to determine the cause of the disease and to demonstrate the level of negligence of the defendant that led to the victim’s condition.
The incubation period for a disease caused by a toxic substance is usually between two and six months, depending on the substance involved. If the disease is not diagnosed during this period, it is possible that it was not caused by the toxic chemicals that were introduced into the body.
People in the military who were stationed at Camp Lejeune between 1953 and 1987 may be eligible to file a lawsuit against the government for their injuries and illnesses that were caused by the contamination of the water at the base.
Family members of those soldiers who died from exposure to the contaminated drinking water may also be eligible for compensation. If you or a family member was exposed to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune, it is important to speak to an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible to make sure that your legal rights are protected.