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5 Biggest Lawsuits Filed by Military Servicemen

The United States military is one of the most powerful forces in the world. With over 480,000 million active-duty military personnel, it’s no surprise they are involved in many lawsuits. 

While some lawsuits are against them, many are filed by them for the problems they face while serving the nation. Camp Lejeune, 3M Effective Earplugs, and many others are a part of such lawsuits. This article will look at some such big lawsuits filed by military servicemen.

What Are Lawsuits?

Lawsuits are used to resolve disputes between parties. A lawsuit is filed in court, and the plaintiff must prove their case by providing evidence and testimony that supports their version of events.

The two most common types of lawsuits are personal injury and contract disputes. In a personal injury lawsuit, someone sues another individual or organization for causing them physical or emotional harm due to negligence or malpractice. A contract dispute involves disagreements over whether one party has fulfilled its part of an agreement.

Camp Lejeune is a U.S. Marine Corps base in Jacksonville, North Carolina. The military base is located on the banks of the New River and has been in operation since 1942.

The water contamination at Camp Lejeune was discovered in the 1980s when studies revealed that many people were found to have been exposed to contaminated drinking water at the facility. Since then, many people who have lived at Camp Lejeune have developed illnesses from ingesting toxic chemicals from their drinking water supply. This includes cancers and other diseases like leukemia and kidney failure.

The military has admitted that they are responsible for the contamination. Hence, the veterans or others exposed to hazardous water at Camp Lejeune have filed a lawsuit for compensation. If you, too, have faced any problems after being exposed to contaminated water, you can file a lawsuit with the help of an experienced lawyer.

The amount of settlement you get will depend on how long you have been exposed to and the severity of the disease you have developed. While the payout for the Camp Lejeune lawsuit is unclear, it is estimated that the amount can be close to $6.7 billion.

3M Defective Earplug Suit

In this lawsuit, the Department of Justice (DoJ) has accused 3M of defrauding the US government. The DoJ claims that 3M knew their Combat Arms Earplugs were too short to be inserted properly and failed to conduct proper testing before selling them to the military. 

They also claim that 3M deliberately tried to hide these defects by removing off-specification earplug samples from its production line to avoid detection by auditors and competition.

The DoJ further claims that because of these actions, thousands of servicemen suffered hearing loss or tinnitus as a result of repeated use of defective earplugs during training exercises and combat operations. Around 230,000 servicemen have filed a lawsuit against 3M for the defective earplugs.

Aearo Technologies, Inc., the subsidiary company that made the earplugs and supplied them, has been declared bankrupt. However, the court ordered that the bankruptcy of the subsidiary company would not rule out lawsuits against the parent company, 3M.

Toxic Burn Pits

Veterans have filed some other lawsuits. One of these is the toxic burn pits used to dispose of waste at military bases in Iraq and Afghanistan. The waste included human waste, plastics, metals, chemicals, antifreeze, tires, and batteries.

The waste was often burned in open pits or metal barrels when there was not enough room to be buried properly. The smoke from these fires contained dangerous substances like dioxins, carcinogens or cancer-causing agents, and lead particles inhaled by those who worked near them daily, including soldiers fighting on the battlefields overseas.

Toxic burn pits have been connected with multiple diseases, including asthma, chronic bronchitis, brain cancer, emphysema, etc. The veterans are not set to get benefits for these problems after the Honoring Our PACT Act came into effect. With this, around 3.5 million American veterans can now claim benefits.

Military Base Pesticide Exposure Case

Pesticides are chemicals used to control pests, such as insects and weeds. Some pesticides can be dangerous if used incorrectly or by the label’s instructions. The US Army uses pesticides on military bases to control pests and prevent infestation by animals like rodents or insects. In some cases, several military personnel have been exposed to pesticides through their work with these chemicals on base land.

The complaint was filed against the companies that rented military families’ homes on rent at the Marine Corps Base Hawaii. The military family alleges that they were exposed to pesticides without proper safety equipment or instructions from the companies that offered them the houses on rent.

This caused them to get harmed in the form of physical symptoms like headaches, nausea, dizziness, and blurred vision. Moreover, they have also claimed to have felt mental health problems like depression, cancerous tumors, damage to internal organs, etc.

Military Families Sue Landlord at JBLM

At Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington, around 15 military families have filed a lawsuit against their privatized housing landlord. The lawsuit alleges that the condition of the homes has led to health problems and financial losses. They have filed the claims to settle the expenses and get compensation. Alongside the privatized landlord, the defendants include all the company employees renting the space.

While most families are military, the plaintiffs have requested not to disclose the service members’ names, branches, or ranks. The plaintiffs claim to have faced water intrusion and mycological contamination.

Conclusion

We hope you enjoyed learning about these lawsuits filed by military servicemen. There are many more such lawsuits filed by military personnel against others. Honoring Our PACT Act has become a boon for military professionals. This act makes filing claims and receiving settlements more accessible for veterans.

It is important to understand the laws and regulations that protect those who serve our country and their families. Please contact a professional law firm today if you are interested in learning more about how they can help with your legal issues.

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