Camp Lejeune Litigation

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Camp Lejeune, a military base in North Carolina, was contaminated with volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in its water supply between 1953 and 1987, affecting an estimated 1 million people, including military personnel, their families, and civilian staff. Decades of unsafe waste and fuel storage practices led to contamination of the groundwater with over 50,000 gallons of leaked fuel and harmful substances such as trichloroethylene (TCE), perchloroethylene (PCE), benzene, vinyl chloride, and other VOCs, leading to one of the worst water contamination incidents in U.S. history.

The evidence strongly suggests that the Navy was aware of the presence of these chemicals and did nothing about them. Then, as people started getting sick, the Navy conducted a study and discovered that the chemicals in the water were likely to have caused severe illnesses in the people who drank, cooked, or bathed in the toxic water during those periods—sometimes decades after their exposure.

Injuries associated with toxic water exposure at Camp Lejeune
  • ALS
  • Bladder Cancer
  • Brain Cancer
  • Breast Cancer
  • Cervical Cancer
  • Colorectal Cancer
  • Congenital Birth Defects
  • Esophageal Cancer
  • Prostate Cancer
  • Parkinsons
  • Infertility
  • Kidney Cancer
  • Kidney Disease
  • Laryngeal Cancer
  • Leukemia
  • Lupus
  • Liver Cancer
  • Lung Cancer
  • Neurological effects
  • Male Breast Cancer
  • Multiple Myeloma
  • Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
  • Multiple Miscarriages
  • Multiple Myeloma
  • Myelodysplastic syndromes
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Pancreatic Cancer
  • Soft Tissue Cancer
  • Fatty Liver Disease

In August 2022, Congress passed the Camp Lejeune Justice Act, allowing affected individuals to file civil lawsuits against the U.S. Government for harm caused by exposure to contaminated water.

Sbaiti & Company has extensive experience in mass tort litigation. It is one of the only firms in the United States with both a resident lawyer who served at Camp Lejeune and an in-house epidemiologist who investigates patterns and causes of disease and injury. We currently represent hundreds of veterans and civilians whose illnesses are linked to their time at Camp Lejeune.

History of Camp Lejeune Litigation

Camp Lejeune is a sprawling military base in North Carolina. It houses around 170,000 individuals and primarily serves as a readiness facility for military units.

The Camp LeJeune disability area also includes MCAS New River and MCB Stone Bay. Personnel from these stations may also be affected by the contamination.

Contamination issues began in the mid-1950s and persisted until the mid-1980s, when the contaminated wells were closed. The contamination primarily originated from the mishandling of industrial solvents and fuel spills on the base.

Estimates show that up to 1 million individuals were exposed to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune, including military personnel, their families, and civilian workers.

Numerous studies, including those by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) and National Research Council, have linked Camp Lejeune’s contaminated water to various health issues, including cancer and reproductive disorders:

  • Cancer: Numerous studies have linked exposure to contaminants in Camp Lejeune’s water supply to various forms of cancer. These include Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, bladder cancer, kidney cancer, leukemia, liver cancer, breast cancer, and more. The elevated levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) like trichloroethylene (TCE) and perchloroethylene (PCE) found in the water are considered carcinogens by organizations like the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).
  • Reproductive Issues: Exposure to contaminated water is associated with reproductive problems such as male and female infertility and multiple miscarriages among individuals stationed at Camp Lejeune. Studies have shown that certain contaminants, including TCE and PCE, can disrupt hormonal balance and interfere with reproductive functions.
  • Neurological Disorders: Research suggests a correlation between exposure to toxic substances and neurological disorders. Conditions like ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, tremors, Alzheimer’s, and neurobehavioral effects have been reported at higher rates among individuals exposed to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune. The neurotoxic properties of some contaminants, such as TCE, may contribute to the development of these disorders.
  • Liver and Kidney Diseases: Exposure to chemicals like benzene and vinyl chloride found in Camp Lejeune’s water supply is linked to liver and kidney diseases. These contaminants can affect organ function and can lead to long-term health complications.
  • Autoimmune Diseases: Studies have indicated a potential association between exposure to contaminated water and autoimmune diseases such as lupus and scleroderma. The immune system may be adversely affected by prolonged exposure to toxic substances, leading to the development of autoimmune disorders.
  • Other Health Issues: Additionally, individuals exposed to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune have reported a wide range of other health issues, including respiratory problems, gastrointestinal disorders, skin conditions, and cardiac birth defects in children born.
Key Dates and Timeline
  • 1941: Camp Lejeune is established near Jacksonville, North Carolina, as a Marine Corps base.
  • 1950s: Industrial activities on the base, including the use and disposal of solvents and fuels, lead to groundwater contamination.
  • 1963: The first reported instance of drinking water contamination is documented at Camp Lejeune.
  • 1970s: Investigations into water quality begin, prompted by reports of unusual tastes and odors in the water.
  • 1980: Formal identification of groundwater contamination occurs, revealing the presence of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the water supply.
  • 1985: Closure of contaminated supply wells begins, but the full extent of the contamination is not yet known.
  • 1999: The Marine Corps notifies personnel and families stationed at Camp Lejeune between 1953 and 1987 about potential exposure to contaminated water.
  • 2005: The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) releases a public health assessment confirming the health risks associated with exposure to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune.
  • 2009: The National Research Council releases a report confirming the extent of the contamination and its health implications.
  • 2010: The United States Marine Corps releases a report acknowledging the extent of the contamination and its impact on personnel and families stationed at Camp Lejeune.
  • 2012: The Honoring America’s Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act is passed, providing healthcare benefits to affected veterans and their families.
  • 2014: A comprehensive mortality study confirms elevated risks of various health conditions, including cancer, among individuals exposed to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune.
  • August 2022: The Camp Lejeune Justice Act is signed into law, allowing affected individuals to file civil lawsuits against the U.S. Government for harm caused by exposure to contaminated water.
  • August 2024: Deadline for filing claims in the Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit.
Why Sbaiti & Company

Sbaiti & Company, a boutique law firm headquartered in Dallas, focuses on significant mass tort litigation and appeals, including cases involving product liability claims like Suboxone. Our team comprises seasoned lawyers who have previously practiced at larger firms but now prefer the agility and personalized service that a boutique environment offers. While based in Dallas, our reach extends nationally and internationally, allowing us to serve clients effectively wherever they may be.

Clients choose Sbaiti & Company because of our track record of success and dedication to delivering tailored legal strategies. With experience representing plaintiffs across various legal areas, we offer a comprehensive understanding of complex litigation dynamics. Whether stepping in to resolve contentious matters, navigating trials, or handling post-trial appeals, our team is committed to achieving favorable outcomes for our clients. We prioritize clear communication, rapid responses to client concerns, and meticulous research and analysis, ensuring that our legal counsel is informed, strategic, and aligned with our clients’ objectives.

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Mazin A. Sbaiti

Founding Partner

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Asim M. Badaruzzaman


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