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Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Claims

A local Cleveland attorney standing up for Marine veterans and their families

For decades, Marines and their families stationed at Camp Lejeune and nearby MCAS New River were exposed to toxic chemicals that caused long-term health issues. With the recent passage of the Camp Lejeune Justice Act as part of the Honoring Our PACT Act, they finally have legal recourse. While the fight for justice for Camp Lejeune victims is national in scope, these cases are deeply personal for veterans and their families, and so is the choice of an attorney.

By now, you’ve probably seen many ads from out-of-state law firms looking to sign up cases among Marine families in Ohio. It’s important to understand that this type of litigation may take years to resolve, and it will likely be handled nationally as a mass tort case with a global settlement. Unfortunately, it’s far too common in these cases for victims to be treated like numbers, not people. The last thing you need is an impersonal, out-of-state lawyer who you’ll never have the chance to talk to.

Hiring a local lawyer means you will have someone advocating for your rights and your justice every step of the way, answering your questions and addressing your concerns. In this type of litigation, it’s often unclear from the outside how the case is progressing and how it will affect your future. If you work with us, you’ll be able to talk to attorney Tom Merriman directly about the progress of the case and make sure you’re in the loop about what’s happening nationally, from start to finish. We partner with the national firms as co-counsel, so you still have the same amount of resources directed at your case, but you also get a degree of personal attention that an out-of-state firm can’t provide.

Remember, it doesn’t cost anything out of pocket to hire a local attorney

There is no additional cost to hire a local Cleveland attorney to help you with your Camp Lejeune case. These matters are handled on a contingency fee, which means the attorney’s fee is a percentage of the recovery, not paid out of pocket by the client. When we work as co-counsel with national firms on mass tort cases, we split the fee with the other firm, so the cost to you is the same – and you get the personal service you deserve.

Merriman Legal is honored to stand up for Ohioans who served our country and provide personal attention and answers throughout the process. If you or a loved one became sick after being stationed at Camp Lejeune, contact us for a free consultation.

What happened at Camp Lejeune?

For over three decades, Marines and their family members who resided at Camp Lejeune and MCAS New River were exposed to contaminated water. Specifically, the following chemicals were present in the wells that they used for drinking, cooking, and bathing water:

  • Trichloroethylene (TCE), which was used to clean munitions.
  • Tetrachloroethylene/perchloroethylene (PCE), used to clean uniforms.
  • Vinyl chloride (VC), a highly toxic chemical created when TCE and PCE break down in the environment.
  • Benzene, which is found in synthetic fabrics like Nylon as well as some plastics and resins.

The water at Camp Lejeune was toxic as early as the 1950s and remained so until the Department of Defense closed down the most contaminated wells in the mid to late 1980s. That means for over 30 years, service members and their families, as well as civilian employees and contractors, were exposed to these chemicals. Some of the medical conditions associated with these toxins include:

  • Various types of cancer, including bladder cancer, breast cancer, esophageal cancer, kidney cancer, leukemia, lung cancer, multiple myeloma, myelodysplastic syndromes, and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
  • Miscarriage, stillbirth, and female infertility.
  • Hepatic steatosis (fatty liver disease).
  • Neurobehavioral effects.
  • Renal toxicity.

What are your rights under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act?

The Camp Lejeune Justice Act creates an exception to the general ban on lawsuits against the federal government by servicemembers with regard to military matters. There are two criteria to have a case:

  • You resided at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 days between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987. This includes in utero (that is, if your mother resided at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 days while pregnant with you).
  • You have an injury or illness caused by exposure to the toxic water at the base.

If you lost a loved one who would have had a case under the new law, you may be able to bring a claim on behalf of their estate.

Civil claims or lawsuits under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act can pursue compensation for your medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and other losses resulting from toxic exposure. Note that taking legal action will not change your eligibility for VA benefits.

If you or a loved one were exposed to toxic chemicals at Camp Lejeune, we would be honored to listen to your story and explain your legal options. Contact us online or give us a call today for your free case consultation.

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