Camp Lejeune Environmental Contamination
Camp Lejeune is a United States Marine Corps Base Camp in Jacksonville, North Carolina, that is now known to be the site of an environmental and public health disaster. For over three decades, beginning in the 1950s, chemicals from leaking underground storage tanks, industrial area spills, improper waste disposal, and a nearby dry cleaner contaminated the drinking water at Camp Lejeune with toxic chemicals. Anyone who served, lived, or worked at Camp Lejeune between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987 may have been exposed to dangerous chemicals linked to serious illnesses such as cancer.
· We are not TV advertisers who are simply gathering cases to pass off to other attorneys to do the real work.
· Our approach is to establish relationships with our clients, providing them regular updates on the litigation and communicating with them every step of the way.
· We are lawyers who specialize in environmental mass tort litigation with a focus on groundwater contamination.
· Our legal team created and works hand-in-hand with our Military Advisory Board of veterans, the majority of whom are Marines. Their input and involvement are vital in our efforts to advocate for and protect our clients’ rights.
· Our legal team also developed and works alongside a Medical Advisory Board, made up of health care professionals from a wide array of fields related to the conditions veterans and their families are experiencing due to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune. Their expert understanding of these often-complex conditions provides the medical framework necessary to assure the best possible outcome for our clients.
· Our clients will not pay any up-front costs or fees. For our services and as part of our commitment to doing right by those who have served our country, our contingency fee will be 25%.
· We will work to ensure that you understand and apply for possible VA benefits alongside your lawsuit, and our team, which includes VA-accredited attorneys, can help answer any questions you may have.
· We are committed to Truth, Transparency and Accountability and will demonstrate that commitment at every opportunity. At Baird Mandalas Brockstedt & Federico, we have a proven track record of achieving justice for communities ravaged by toxic contamination and an experienced environmental litigation team dedicated to doing right by veterans and their families.
We Protect the Rights of Veterans
At BMBF, we are driven to achieve justice on behalf of veterans and their families who were harmed at Camp Lejeune. You do not need to feel intimidated by this claims process as we will handle every aspect of the case on your behalf, keeping you informed and involved at every step. Our Military Advisory Board and Medical Advisory Board have helped us craft an approach similar to the VA disability and compensation claims process many veterans have gone through, allowing you to receive the direct personal attention of our attorneys. You will know their first names and they will know yours.
We will also ensure that you understand and apply for all possible VA benefits. Our team includes multiple VA-accredited attorneys who can answer your questions. The VA has confirmed that filing a Camp Lejeune claim will not influence VA’s decision to provide benefits or health care based upon exposure and will not affect the amount of benefits or health care VA can provide.
This claims process involves a complex scientific understanding of groundwater contamination and its resulting health impacts. Our team has deep experience in the two primary areas of the law related to this case: environmental litigation and personal injury. We have a proven track record of achieving justice for communities ravaged by the health impacts of groundwater contamination. In 2021, we obtained a landmark $205 million settlement for the people of Millsboro, Delaware, believed to be the largest of its kind after their groundwater had been dangerously contaminated by a local chicken processing plant. We can speak the language and take on the key issues of this case.
We will not only protect your rights, we will keep more of your settlement award in your pocket so you can use it to take care of yourself and your family. To honor this, BMBF’s contingency fee for any settlement award received will be 25%.
In the past, the Veterans Administration denied many claims from those who may have been harmed by exposure to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune. When reviewing claims, the VA may have used physicians who were not specialists and had minimal background on issues stemming from Camp Lejeune to evaluate these claims.
Victims have also been denied justice because of a North Carolina law that prevented toxic contamination victims from bringing a lawsuit more than 10 years after pollution takes place.
After years of suffering because of this stunning environmental contamination, there is now hope in sight for Camp Lejeune victims. In 2021, a group of dedicated citizens helped to introduce the Camp Lejeune Justice Act to Congress. The legislation proposed eliminating the legal barriers that Marine veterans and their families face from the uniquely unfair application of the North Carolina statute in federal courts.
The bipartisan Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 was rolled into the PACT Act, which was passed by Congress on August 2nd, 2022. The passage of this bill now allows service members and their families to seek justice by removing barriers that have stopped those harmed from filing claims.
Chemical Contamination of Drinking Water
In the early 1980s, multiple sources of drinking water at Camp Lejeune were found to contain cancer-causing chemicals. However, according to organizations like the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, the contamination started decades earlier, in the early 1950s. There have been allegations that the government knew about the contamination for decades but failed to take action to protect the community.
Two water treatment plants that supplied family homes, schools, and buildings on the base with water – Tarawa Terrace Treatment Plant and Hadnot Point Treatment Plant – were contaminated with volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, such as benzene, trichloroethylene (TCE), perchloroethylene (PCE), and vinyl chloride (VC).
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention those VOCs were found in the water far exceeding the maximum “safe” level.
Health Impacts of Contamination
It is well established that frequent or large exposures to toxic VOCs in drinking water are linked to several serious health conditions, including cancer, neurological damage, and other illnesses.
- Adult leukemia
- Bladder cancer
- Kidney cancer
- Liver cancer
- Multiple myeloma
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
- Parkinson’s disease
- Breast cancer
- Esophageal cancer
- Female infertility
- Hepatic steatosis
- Kidney cancer
- Lung cancer
- Myelodysplastic syndromes
- Neurobehavioral effects
- Renal toxicity
- Aplastic anemia and other myelodysplastic syndromes
Our Team of Military Professionals is Led by
Jason E. Johns
JASON E. JOHNS is a Past State Commander for the VFW Department of Wisconsin and serves on the VFW’s National Legislative Committee. He is an Iraq War veteran (Army), Purple Heart recipient, and was awarded the Combat Action Badge. He has dedicated his civilian career to advocating for his fellow veterans in the legislative, legal, and nonprofit realms. He is a former deputy secretary for the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs, National Judge Advocate for the Military Order of the Purple Heart, and President of the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims Bar Association.
Jason is the Vice President of Corporate & Community Relations/General Counsel for the Center for Veterans Issues, Inc., a nonprofit organization that provides transitional & permanent housing assistance and supportive services for veterans. He is also a VA accredited attorney who has focused his legal practice on representing veterans with their VA disability & compensation benefits appeals.
Our Team of Medical Professionals is Led by
Dr. Craig H. Llewellyn
CRAIG H. LLEWELLYN, M.D. M.P.H., MSTMH, FACPM, Col. Medical Corps, U.S. Army (Ret.) is an epidemiologist with extensive experience in how exposure to contaminants affects the health of our military and veterans. He served for over two decades, including a 16-month Army Special forces combat tour in Vietnam, and has earned numerous commendations and service badges, highest among them being the Distinguished Service Medal, the highest non-combat decoration in the military. Throughout his career, Dr. Llewellyn has engaged in training and education for health care personnel, including 22 years as faculty at the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences, as a Professor of Military and Emergency Medicine, Preventive Medicine and Biometrics, and Surgery.
He has also served as a consultant to the Surgeon General of the U.S. Army and continues to offer his expertise to other national and international agencies and organizations, including Tactical Emergency Medical Support (TEMS) for law enforcement agencies and medical support for military special operations forces. He is a graduate of Yale University Medical School and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
At BMBF, we are committed to doing right by veterans and their loved ones, and to that end, our pledge to you is Truth, Transparency, and Accountability.
Philip C. Federico
Phil Federico is a partner at BMBF and leads the Mass Tort / Class Action and Environmental Law practices. Phil has been invited by Ed Bell to work on leadership for this case and selected by the America Association for Justice to help lead a webinar on the specifics of how to navigate Camp Lejeune litigation. Phil has been involved in historic litigation with verdicts and settlements totaling over a billion dollars, including as co-lead counsel in a landmark environmental case against the chicken processing plant, Mountaire.
Chase T. Brockstedt
Chase Brockstedt is the lead partner of BMBF's injury litigation department and has served as leadership in trailblazing environmental cases, including as co-lead counsel in the case against Mountaire to reach a $205 million settlement. In addition to environmental experience, Chase has substantial experience navigating personal injury claims, dealing with complicated health care issues, and winning several multi-million-dollar recoveries in damages for pain, suffering, and permanent injuries.
Brent Ceryes is a partner at BMBF who focuses on environmental law, personal injury, and healthcare litigation. Brent's experience litigating complex environmental and personal injury cases will enable him to help guide significant decisions in the litigation. He has served as class counsel in the landmark environmental case against Mountaire and as counsel on large class action cases against health care providers, including $123 million and $190 million settlements.
Matthew P. Legg
Matthew P. Legg is a VA accredited attorney at BMBF representing clients in a variety of mass tort and class action matters. He has worked in critical roles on behalf of individuals exposed to toxic chemicals from groundwater pollution, including in the $205 settlement for people harmed by chicken processing plant, Mountaire. A rising star in litigation, Matthew has been named a Super Lawyers’ Rising Star for the past two years and to the National Trial Lawyer’s top 40 under 40 list for three years in a row.
Catherine M. Cramer
Catherine M. Cramer is an accomplished litigator at BMBF on the Mass Tort and Environmental Litigation team. She has worked on environmental cases with large landmark settlements, including recent work on a team that obtained a $205 million class action settlement for groundwater contamination claims. Catherine was also recently named a Super Lawyer Rising Star in 2022.
Bruce Poole, Esq
Bruce Poole, Esq. of Poole Law Group has been representing clients and trying cases for over 36 years. In civil litigation, Bruce has represented Marines under dire circumstances in several cases and prevailed. These Marines are available to serve as a reference upon request. He has been named by The National Trial Lawyers to the Top 100 Civil Trial Attorneys’ List and, in 2017, received a lifetime achievement membership in America’s Top 100 Attorneys.
Janet Ward Black
Janet Ward Black of Ward Black Law is a member of the Plaintiffs Steering Committee of the Camp Lejeune litigation pending in the federal courts in North Carolina. Black has represented more than 2,000 men and women with diseases caused by environmental hazards in North Carolina federal and state courts. A past president of the NC Bar Association, she has been named in “Best Lawyers in America” by US News & World Report for 18 consecutive years. Her award-winning NC firm has 30 lawyers and staff members. The firm has also served as the Marine Corps “Toys for Tots” kick-off location in North Carolina’s Triad for the last 14 years.
Anabel Rosa has more than 25 years of experience representing injured people and advocating for the Hispanic-Latino community in North Carolina, New York, New Jersey, and in her home jurisdiction of Puerto Rico. She has a long record of public service and is a member of Governor Roy Cooper's Hispanic Latino Council, where she currently serves as a parliamentary clerk and heads the Public Safety subcommittee. Coming from a family of service members who served in the Army, Navy and Merchant Marine forces, she is dedicated to using her legal experience to serve veterans.
John F. Romano is a civil trial advocate board-certified by the Florida Bar and the NationalBoard of Trial Advocacy. John regularly handles and litigates cases in the following areas: auto and truck accident litigation and trials, premises liability cases, product liability, and mass torts.John lectures across America on trial advocacy and tort and criminal law, has authored three textbooks, and has published more than 100 articles in national publications or papers for national presentation. He was admitted to practice law in the state of Florida in 1974. John also proudly served as a Captain and J.A.G. Officer with the United States Marine Corps (primarily with the Second Marine Division out of Camp LeJeune, North Carolina). He was inducted into the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame in 2015.
Eric Romano is a Board Certified Trial Attorney with Romano Law Group in West Palm Beach, Florida. He received his B.S. degree in Business Management from Florida State University in 1993, where he played football for Coach Bobby Bowden, and he earned his J.D. degree from Stetson University College of Law in 1997. He began his career in 1997 as a prosecutor with the Palm Beach County State Attorney’s Office. He has gone to verdict in more than 125 civil and criminal trials. Eric is Past President of the Florida Justice Association, the Southern Trial Lawyers Association and the Melvin M. Belli Society. He concentrates his practice in the areas of personal injury/wrongful death, criminal defense, and commercial litigation, and he frequently lectures in the areas of both criminal and civil trial practice.
Todd Romano, of Romano Law Group, maintains a practice in the areas of Personal Injury/Wrongful Death, Trucking and Bus Litigation, Commercial Motor Vehicle Crashes, Burn/Explosion Injury Litigation, and Product Liability Litigation and Mass Torts. Mr. Romano received his B.A. degree in Sociology from the University of Iowa in May of 1995. He received his J.D. degree from Stetson in May of 1999. Romano served as a JAG office in the USMC at Camp Pendleton, California as a Civil Law Attorney. He was designated to serve as a Trial Counsel (prosecutor) where he prosecuted a wide variety of over 120 criminal cases under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. After honorable discharge in 2003, Mr. Romano returned to Florida and joined Romano Law Group. He is the Best Lawyers® 2023 Product Liability “Lawyer of the Year” award in West Palm Beach, Florida.
Marjorie Levine has considerable experience in managing and navigating all phases of complex legal disputes. Prior to joining the firm, she focused her practice on disputes involving a wide range of medical malpractice, nursing home negligence, construction projects, consumer financial services litigation, appellate work, and environmental enforcement and litigation. She graduated from The George Washington University with a degree in Biology and Environmental Studies and then attended Pace University School of Law where she graduated with an Environmental Law Certificate. She is licensed to practice in Florida, New York and New Jersey.
Scott Crowley is an attorney that served in the United States Marine Corps as a Judge Advocate from 2011-2015. He was stationed on Camp Lejeune from 2011-2012 and is familiar with the water contamination issues on the base. Scott is currently serving as local counsel in Cincinnati. His territorial span encompasses southwest Ohio, northern Kentucky, and southeast Indiana. Scott is dedicated to serving and representing Veterans. After active duty, he served as a prosecutor for the City of Cincinnati. In that capacity he served as the prosecutor for Veterans Treatment Court in Hamilton County Municipal Court. In 2021, Scott began his private practice. He is with the firm Treleven and Klingensmith. In addition to his law practice, he continues to serve with Veterans Treatment Court as a pro bono/ volunteer attorney in the Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas. Scott also serves as the Hamilton County Recorder, a government office that records and preserves DD-214s for servicemembers and issues Veteran ID cards as proof of military service. In addition, Scott is admitted to practice as an attorney before the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. If you are a Veteran that served on Camp Lejeune in the tri-state/ Cincinnati region and think you may have a claim email Scott at Scott@tkcincinnati.com.
Chad Maloney is an experienced and accomplished litigator with a passion for helping others. He joined Goldberg, Goldberg & Maloney in West Chester, PA following a distinguished career as a prosecutor for the United States Marine Corps and the Chester County PA District Attorney’s Office. Chad now uses his significant trial experience to fight for justice for his clients. Chad is also a proud Marine and the son of a proud Marine. He understands that Marines signed up to serve their country at great risk to themselves. They did not sign up to be poisoned by toxic drinking water.
Guy is an accomplished trial attorney in New Bern, North Carolina where he is a partner at the firm of Greene, Crow & Smith, P.A. Prior to private practice, Guy served in the Marine Corps as a Judge Advocate. His billets included Trial Counsel (prosecutor), Defense Counsel, and Battalion Judge Advocate for 1st Battalion, 5th Marines (1/5). Guy is a Major in the United States Marine Corps Reserve where he is the Reserve Staff Judge Advocate for the Commanding General, 2d Marine Logistics Group. His current duty station is Camp Lejeune, NC. He is passionate about representing fellow service members and their families who were poisoned for nearly four decades aboard Camp Lejeune.
Tommy Pope is a managing partner of Elrod Pope Law Firm in Rock Hill, South Carolina, and he has over 30 years of litigation experience. From 1993-2006, Tommy served as the elected Solicitor for the 16th Circuit of South Carolina (Union & York Counties). In this time, Tommy was the lead prosecutor in several different high profile murder cases. He is most often recognized for his 1995 prosecution of Susan Smith in Union County, South Carolina, who made national headlines for the drowning deaths of her two children.