Frequently Asked Questions

If you or a loved one suffered due Camp Lejeune water contamination, you may have questions about what to expect. At Rikard & Protopapas, we know taking on tragedy is never easy and can be overwhelming. Our team is ready to support you and your family, help you understand your legal rights, and find a solution to maximize any potential recovery.

Below are some answers to questions we frequently get but remember that every case is different. If you need more information, please contact us to better answer your personal questions.


Anyone who was at Camp Lejeune between 1953-1987 may have been exposed. This includes marines, naval personnel, civilian workers, and other residents (including infants and children) who lived on base during this 34-year period.

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) Report

The ATSDR found four types of chemicals at levels up to 280 times higher than safety standards allow in the water. These chemicals include:

  • Trichloroethylene (TCE)
  • Tetrachlorethylene (PCE)
  • Vinyl Chloride
  • Benzene

Numerous studies show that multiple illnesses are caused by exposure to the chemicals found at Camp Lejeune. The ATSDR identified that at least 20 different health effects could be linked to exposure. Please note this may not be an exhaustive list of all conditions linked to the water contamination.

  • Birth defects
  • Bladder cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Cardiac defects
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Female Infertility
  • Kidney cancer
  • Leukemia
  • Liver cancer
  • Lung cancer
  • Miscarriages
  • Myelodysplastic syndromes
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Neurobehavioral effects
  • Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Renal toxicity
  • Scleroderma


The Camp Lejeune Justice Act is a part of the Honoring our Pact Act which addresses health care for veterans who were exposed to toxic substances during their service. Once signed by Biden, qualifying individuals will be able to sue the US government and potentially recover damages.

We are unsure. After passing the House and the Senate earlier this year, it is now awaiting a signature from President Biden. Once signed, we will share the news on our website and social media.

Individuals or the legal representative of someone who lived, worked, or was otherwise exposed (including in utero exposure) for at least 30 days between August 1, 1953, to December 31, 1987, to the water at Camp Lejeune and suffered harm due to exposure to the water, may file a claim.

We encourage anyone who suffered illnesses after living on Camp Lejeune during the specified time to contact us. Even if the injury or disease is not listed, it could be connected.

Family members may file on behalf of their loved ones who are deceased.

Victims will have 2 years after the date it is enacted. We recommend contacting our attorneys as soon as possible, so we can help file your claim as soon as the bill becomes a law.

Yes. Veterans who have received benefits for illnesses from the Veterans Administration are still able to file a claim. Their potential settlement amount will be offset by the amount of any disability award, payment, or benefit they have already received from the VA.

The Camp Lejeune Justice Act allows all victims and their families to restart their cases and refile claims. We strongly encourage anyone who may have been denied to try filing another claim.


Please call us at 803-978-6111 to speak with a member of our legal team. You can also fill out our contact form and we will reach out to you either by phone or email as soon as we can.

Please be prepared to answer brief questions regarding the victim’s time at Camp Lejeune, what illnesses they suffered, and other basic information. You will speak with a member of our legal team and then we will be in touch with the next steps as soon as possible.

Rikard & Protopapas was established in 2010 and our attorneys have over 119 years of combined legal experience. Robert Rikard, a founding partner, has practiced law since 1997 and devotes much of his practice to protecting the rights of our most vulnerable community members and helping those who have been taken advantage of by others.

Our clients do not pay anything up front. We work on a contingency fee basis meaning we will only get paid if we successfully resolve your case.

Our firm focuses on personal injury cases and has decades of experience successfully handling medical malpractice and nursing home abuse cases. As a plaintiff’s firm, we are prepared to support victims of Camp Lejeune and have the skills necessary to help those who have been injured or passed away due to others’ negligence.

We also handle investment loss, tractor trailer and automobile accident, and insurance bad faith cases. Visit our practice areas page to learn more about us.

No. We have clients across the United States and in every county in South Carolina. We represent clients at both a local and national level in all our practice areas.