Between 1957 through 1987, the Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune hosted the United States Marine Corps (USMC) members, as well as their families. After responding to several new regulations from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Camp Lejeune base began to test the water for contamination of trichloroethylene and several other toxic chemicals.
After multiple tests and investigations from 1980 through 1981, the U.S. Marine officials on the base were informed that the water at Camp Lejeune was highly contaminated with solvents. Speculations of the source of contamination heavily surrounded the off-base dry cleaning company which was located nearby the base. The combination of chemical use in order to clean the military equipment on base as well as possible leaks from fuel storage tanks underground likely led to the serious water contamination found in Camp Lejeune.
After several warnings from multiple contracted investigative chemists and chemical companies, a terrifying number of toxic chemicals were discovered to be present within these waters. Following the release of this information to the public years later, many lawsuits were filed in regard to the negative medical repercussions being felt by those Marines and their family members who had been living on the base.
Jerry Ensminger was a retired Marine master sergeant who had been living on the Camp Lejeune base with his family. Thirty years after the closing of the base, in 2007, Jerry Ensminger came across a document from 1981 which detailed information regarding a radioactive dump site. The dump site was located close to a rifle range at Camp Lejeune and according to this report, the waste in this dump site contained Strontium-90. Strontium-90 is an isotope that has been linked to both leukemia and cancer.
These documents found by Ensminger in 2007 were previously discovered by Marine officials in 2004, yet no mention of the contamination documentation was administered to those who had lived on the base, such as the Ensminger family.
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The Janey Ensminger Act
After the disturbing discovery of contamination on base from the multiple sources listed above, Marine officials and the U.S. government understood that action must be taken. Following several attempts by members of both the Senate and House Veterans’ Affairs Committees requesting that health care be given to these Camp Lejeune victims and their families, Jerry Ensminger got involved.
Jerry Ensminger initialized a petition to be sent to the U.S. Government requesting such health care to Camp Lejeune veterans who had been exposed to the toxic, contaminated water. Jerry Ensminger felt especially close to these terrible occurrences because his daughter, Janey, had been diagnosed with cancer following her stay at Camp Lejeune. The cancer took Janey’s life in 1985; she was only 9 years old.
Jerry Ensminger’s petition did not go unnoticed by the government. On July 18, 2012, the U.S. Senate passed the Janey Ensminger Act, honoring both Jerry and his daughter Janey. The bill stated that authorization has been given to offer medical services to both military and family members who had lived on the Camp Lejeune base from 1957 to 1987.
The people who have developed any kind of medical conditions following their stay at the Marine base are entitled to health care. The bill has been said to apply to upwards of 750,000 people. The Janey Ensminger Act was approved by the House on July 31, 2012 and was signed by President Obama on August 6, 2012.
If you or a loved one falls under the restrictions outlined by the Janey Ensminger Act, you may need to contact a Camp Lejeune water contamination attorney.
The Janey Ensminger Act applies to specific ailments and diseases that are said to be directly linked to the toxins present in the water at the camp. The medical care will be provided by the Department of Veteran Affairs. The following are the 15 ailments which are covered under the Act:
Cancer of the bladder or kidney
If you or a family member has experienced any of the above medical conditions after your stay at Camp Lejeune, you may be entitled to compensation. Speak with a Camp Lejeune water contamination attorney today to learn more.
Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Attorney
Gordon & Doner is in the midst of taking on claims for sufferers who had lived on the Camp Lejeune base in North Carolina between 1957 and 1987. Our veteran’s benefits lawyers have years of experience in protecting the rights of those who serve our country. Our law offices are dedicated to seeking justice for those Marines and their family members who have suffered medical conditions. Gordon & Doner’s West Palm Beach staff all share a deep appreciation for those who have served our country. It is our honor and privilege to represent our veterans in the court of law.
To speak with a Camp Lejeune water contamination attorney today, please complete a Free Case Evaluation on this page.