Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Survivors Recount Their Experiences
Cancer may strike later in life since the disease has a ten or twenty-year latency when it lies dormant in the body waiting to develop and cause death
Sunday, August 20, 2023 - It has been a year since the Camp Lejeune Justice Act was signed into law by President Biden and still not a penny of monetary compensation has been paid. More than 90,000 Camp Lejeune Justice Act claims have been made and the Navy recently admitted that only 17,000 are being processed. About 1100 unpaid claims have expired past the 6-month deadline from the time of filing and have turned into Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuits. Experts fear that personal injury claims may escalate into wrongful death claims as the Navy drags its feet and plaintiffs die from deadly water contamination-related diseases.
The Camp Lejeune Justice Act was supposed to provide a rapid, streamlined procedure to pay compensation for up to one million Marines, civilian employees, and their family members who developed cancer due to drinking contaminated water on the base. The parameters that must be met to receive compensation are that a person must have served or been on the marine base for at least 30 days anytime from, 1953 to 1987, and have been diagnosed with one of more than a dozen types of cancer including kidney cancer and breast cancer. Other illnesses assumed to have been caused by drinking Camp Lejeune water include Parkinson's disease, a deadly neurological disorder. Thousands of otherwise healthy former US marines have died from Camp Lejeune water cancer and the survivors are now entitled to file a claim. Women who were at Camp Lejeune during their pregnancy and gave birth at Camp Lejeune have reported their children may have low birth weight, and birth defects and others have developed childhood leukemia or cancer at a later stage of life.
Mike Partain is the son of a US marine stationed at Camp Lejeune and was born on the base. Partain developed male breast cancer at age 39 due to his mother drinking the contaminated water and also from using the water to mix with baby formula during the first year of his life. CBS News reported on Partain's situation saying, " Reflecting on a picture of his mother, Lisette Partain, holding him in the base hospital, Partain said, "That's supposed to be the happiest day of my life. My mom's holding me the day I was born."But when the 55-year-old drew CBS News' attention to one of his first bottles of powdered baby formula in the photo's lower left corner, Partain was overcome. "All made with contaminated water that was provided to us by the Marine Corps," Partain said. "I mean, it's haunting because you look at that and I'm in my mom's arms, supposed to be the safest place in the world, and it wasn't." Partain's mother still remembers how he suffered unexplained cramps after feeding as a baby. "He was crying," she said. "It was not a normal cry. It was a hurt cry."