Residing on base at Camp Lejeune, Mary Freshwater was exposed to chemically contaminated water. She suffered the loss of two babies; one of whom was born with no cranium, the other with an open spine. Freshwater spoke out against the great injustices those who lived near Camp Lejeune were forced to live with as a result of the poisoned water. Ultimately, she lost her battle with acute leukemia, a diagnosis that has been linked to the toxins in the water. The story of Mary Freshwater is only one of many unfathomable horror stories arising out of Camp Lejeune. It is a heartbreaking, real-life tale uncovering the ramifications of the deception of the United States.
What Happened at Camp Lejeune?
The Marine Corps Camp Lejeune was established to help train Marines for beach landings and other amphibious assault tactics. The Navy engineers responsible for the design of the base drew water from an aquifer that became contaminated by numerous toxic chemicals by the military activities above. The poisoned wells were found in 1985, nearly 40 years after the base opened, and were removed from the base between 1985 and 1987. Specifically, trichloroethylene, tetrachloroethylene, vinyl chloride, and benzene were found in the water, all of which are known carcinogens.
The CDC observed mounting health concerns and published the “Volatile Organic Compounds in Drinking Water and Adverse Pregnancy Outcomes United States Marine Corps Base, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina” report, signaling to the research community that more investigations were needed to truly understand the full scope of harm suffered as a result of exposure. Since then, research and the passage of time have shown that people who drank and bathed in the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune may be diagnosed with kidney cancer, liver cancer, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, leukemia, multiple myeloma, Parkinson’s disease, aplastic anemia, breast cancer, bladder cancer, oral cancer, tongue cancer, tonsil cancer, lung cancer, esophageal cancer, scleroderma, renal toxicity, hepatic steatosis, and infertility.
New Legislation for Camp Lejeune Exposure Victims
While there is no remedy to right the wrongs that occurred decades ago, hope is on the horizon. Sponsored by Rep. Mark Takano, H.R.3967, otherwise known as the Honoring our PACT Act of 2022, has passed in the Senate and is on its way to President Biden’s desk. This act, if passed, would improve health care benefits for veterans exposed to toxic substances. All eyes have been on this legislation, including the “Camp Lejeune Justice Act”. Section 804 of the bill states that individuals, including veterans or their loved ones, who resided, worked, or were otherwise exposed (including in utero) for 30 or more days to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina from August 1, 1953, to December 31, 1987, can bring claims against the United States.
The Camp Lejeune Justice Acts marks a historic opportunity to honor the men and women who bravely served and gives them and their loved ones a chance to have their voices heard in court. Grewal’s team of personal injury lawyers are ready to fight for you. If you believe that you may be entitled to financial compensation, call (888) 227-4770 or visit our website for a free and confidential consultation.