Camp Lejeune miscarriage lawsuit deadline is fast approaching. Marc Whitehead & Associates is actively reviewing miscarriage and fetal death claims associated with exposure to contaminated water at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune. If you or a loved one suffered early pregnancy loss after living or working at the marine base, you may be entitled to compensation.
By now, everyone has heard of the toxic water tragedy at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina and the resulting cancers and diseases suffered by thousands of men and women who served and lived there. But there is another vulnerable group of victims needing justice.
They are the unsuspecting pregnant mothers who drank, cooked, and bathed in the contaminated water. As a result, future children were lost due to in-utero exposure to highly toxic chemicals.
Camp Lejeune Miscarriage Lawsuits under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act (CLJA)
Veterans, family members, and civilians exposed to toxic water at the Marine Corps base can finally bring individual Camp Lejeune lawsuits – including miscarriage claims – against the federal government for long-overdue restitution.
This is possible thanks to the passing of the Camp Lejeune Justice Act. The CLJA allows anyone who lived or worked at the base to pursue damages for harm from exposure to toxic water at Camp Lejeune between 1953 and 1987.
You have until August 10, 2024, to file a Camp Lejeune miscarriage lawsuit. If you believe you have a case, contact us immediately. A Camp Lejeune lawsuit lawyer at Marc Whitehead & Associates will help you understand your case eligibility and answer any questions you have about your case.
What Is a Miscarriage?
Pregnancy loss generally refers to the death of an unborn baby at any time during pregnancy.
A miscarriage is the sudden, unplanned loss of an embryo or fetus, usually within the first trimester. But a miscarriage can technically happen up to the 20th week of gestation. Miscarriage is also known as a “spontaneous abortion.”
Stillbirth, or fetal death, is when the fetus dies after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
What Causes Miscarriage?
Most miscarriages are outside the mother’s control. Miscarriages happen because the fetus stops developing and growing and dies in the womb. Sometimes the specific cause of the miscarriage is never identified. Common complications during pregnancy that can cause miscarriage include:
- Chromosomal abnormalities in the embryo
- Underlying medical conditions of the mother, such as infections, diabetes, high blood pressure, or autoimmune disease such as lupus
- Injury or trauma to the mother or fetus
- Complications of the uterus or cervix
- Exposure to toxic chemicals and substances. Exposure to toxins is relevant in tragedies such as the water contamination at Camp Lejeune. Toxic exposure may also be appropriate if the mother takes certain medications, such as anticancer medicines.
Did the Contaminated Water at Camp Lejeune Cause Miscarriages?
Scientists have known for decades that prenatal and maternal exposure to toxic substances in drinking water are linked to a mother’s risk for miscarriage, fetal death, female infertility, birth defects, and other neonatal disorders. Pregnant women, young children, and those who consumed the water are among the highest exposure risks.
A Camp Lejeune miscarriage lawsuit will focus on high levels of four toxic chemicals, known as volatile organic compounds, that contaminated the Camp Lejeune drinking water:
- Trichloroethylene (TCE) – a solvent used as a degreaser for metal parts
- Tetrachloroethylene – a.k.a. Perchloroethylene (PCE) – used for dry cleaning and metal degreasing
- Benzene – a solvent used to make industrial chemicals and is a component in fuel
- Vinyl Chloride – an industrial chemical used to produce polyvinyl (PVC) plastic
Preliminary Science Supporting Camp Lejeune Miscarriage Lawsuits
In 1989, the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health (JECH) published a scientific study, “Spontaneous Abortions and Congenital Malformations among Women Exposed to Tetrachloroethylene in Dry Cleaning.” The goal was to determine whether exposure to tetrachloroethylene (TCE) during the first trimester of pregnancy could adversely affect pregnancy. The study found TCE exposure to be “significantly associated with spontaneous abortions.”
The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), a division of the CDC, has done ongoing research to evaluate adverse birth outcomes for children whose mothers resided at Camp Lejeune. One study examined whether maternal exposure to Camp Lejeune water increased the risk of birth defects and childhood cancers.
ATSDR found sufficient evidence to link preterm birth cases, including miscarriages and fetal growth retardation, with in-utero exposure to PCE, TCE, and Benzene.
The CDC also found 106 cases of birth defects in children born at Camp Lejeune, including
- neural tube defects (NTDs), spina bifida, and anencephaly),
- oral clefts (cleft lip and cleft palate), and
- childhood hematopoietic cancers (leukemia and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma [NHL])
Recent risk evaluations by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of the primary Camp Lejeune contaminants are as follows:
- Tetrachloroethylene (PCE) – presents an unreasonable risk to human health. The immediate health risks are neurological effects from short- and long-term exposure to the chemical and cancer from long-term exposure. (EPA, December 2022)
- Trichloroethylene (TCE) – presents an unreasonable risk of injury to human health under its conditions of use. Health risks include neurotoxicity and cancer from inhalation or dermal exposures to TCE. (EPA, January 2023)
- Benzene – EPA has classified benzene as a known human carcinogen for all routes of exposure. Reproductive effects were reported for women exposed by inhalation to high levels, and adverse effects on the developing fetus were observed in animal tests. There is an increased risk of leukemia with occupational exposure to benzene. Chronic inhalation exposure has caused blood disorders. (EPA, Benzene, January 2012).
- Vinyl Chloride – is carcinogenic in humans when inhaled, and it is considered a human carcinogen from oral exposure. In addition, chronic exposure by oral ingestion at high levels may cause liver effects from lifetime exposure. (EPA, Vinyl Chloride, March 2020).
VA Compensation for Miscarriage
Claims under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act are separate from VA disability compensation claims.
The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) has publicly acknowledged Camp Lejeune’s water contamination. However, VA does not grant disability compensation for miscarriages. The VA does not consider miscarriages themselves as disabilities for VA rating purposes, as they do not result in impairment of earning capacity.
Military service personnel or spouses who suffered a miscarriage due to in-utero exposure to Camp Lejeune water qualify for VA health care benefits. These VA benefits are designed explicitly for the U.S. Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune victims.
It is important to note here that while there is no explicit VA rating for miscarriage, miscarriage or loss of pregnancy may lead to VA rated disabling impairments, such as depression or PTSD.
Camp Lejeune Miscarriage Lawsuit under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act (CLJA)
The CLJA empowers military personnel who suffered a miscarriage to sue the U.S. government (not the Department of Veterans Affairs) for reparations for toxic water injuries. Under the Act, miscarriages are recognized as compensable claims. Therefore, an eligible veteran or spouse can now file an injury claim for compensation through a Camp Lejeune miscarriage lawsuit.
The accredited VA attorneys and Camp Lejeune litigation attorneys at Marc Whitehead & Associates can help you with every aspect of receiving appropriate VA healthcare benefits for miscarriage and filing your federal CLJA lawsuit for miscarriage or other reproductive injuries.
What Are Possible Damages in Camp Lejeune Miscarriage Lawsuit?
An unexpected pregnancy loss is a devastating event and a time of sorrow. Mothers and couples who experience miscarriages struggle through the grief of losing their baby, often needing help through psychotherapy or counseling to recover physically and emotionally.
Damages (sums of money) that the U.S. government can award include compensation for:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma and anxiety suffered by mothers
- Medical costs, including pre-and post-delivery expenses
- Costs for mothers who are unable to have children after miscarriage
- Compensation for loss of life enjoyment after child loss
- Wrongful death compensation, i.e., the family of a mother who died from complications in pregnancy due to contaminated water exposure, may qualify for wrongful death benefits.
Settlement Amounts for Camp Lejeune Miscarriage Lawsuits Can Vary Greatly
Legal counsel from injury attorneys experienced in toxic exposure can position your claim for maximum compensation. We look for economic support for factors that plaintiffs may not have realized could earn them additional settlement money.
Please get in touch with us immediately if you believe you were affected by the military base’s polluted water supply. Our attorneys are here to help you and your family win your claim for reparations from the United States government.
How to File a Camp Lejeune Miscarriage Claim or Lawsuit
To have “legal standing” to file a Camp Lejeune miscarriage lawsuit, you must meet a few requirements:
- You lived or worked at Camp Lejeune between August 1, 1953, to the end of December 31, 1987, for no less than 30 days;
- You were exposed to water at Camp Lejeune and had a miscarriage.
All lawsuits will be filed exclusively in the Eastern District of North Carolina Federal Court.
As required by the CLJA, lawsuits begin as administrative claims filed with the Department of the Navy, Office of the Judge Advocate General (JAG). You must first exhaust the administrative actions.
The process is as follows:
- CLJA claims must first be filed with the JAG office.
- JAG has six months to adjudicate each claim.
- If no settlement is reached, plaintiffs can file lawsuits—but only in the Eastern District of North Carolina.
How Can Marc Whitehead & Associates Help You
Camp Lejeune miscarriage lawsuits can be complicated. The strength of your miscarriage claim will depend on the severity of your condition and how clearly we can connect your pregnancy loss to the contaminated water.
We take into account the following:
- What chemicals were you exposed to
- When you were exposed (I.e., during pregnancy),
- How much contamination were you exposed to,
- For how long were you exposed,
- How were you exposed (breathing, drinking, bathing, and cooking).
Claims can date back as far as seven decades. Documentary evidence in a CLJA miscarriage claim, even going back years ago, must be located and authenticated. We can help you obtain the following:
- Medical records confirming the loss of pregnancy and associated medical bills during or immediately after your time at Camp Lejeune
- Proof of your time spent at camp Lejeune, such as military service records, work records, housing records, or birth records
- Documentation of any further reproductive issues and diagnoses
- In some cases, you will need to obtain copies of records proving your parents or family members were at Camp Lejeune
- Expert witness testimony
These and other pieces of evidence can be hard to locate and retrieve. Having a Camp Lejeune disability lawsuit lawyer to help you and your family recover the necessary evidence and build your case is essential.
A successful Camp Lejeune miscarriage lawsuit calls for detailed documentation and proof. Contact us today for direct answers and decisive legal help. We are here to fight for your rights for the reparations you deserve.
PubMed, NIH, National Library of Medicine: Evaluation of contaminated drinking water and preterm birth, small for gestational age, and birth weight at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina: a cross-sectional study. 2014.
ATSDR:Morbidity Study of Former Marines, Employees, and Dependents Potentially Exposed to Contaminated Drinking Water at U.S. Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune. April, 2018.
Federal Register: Schedule for Rating Disabilities; Gynecological Conditions and Disorders of the Breast; April 2018