Water contamination is a serious issue that can affect not only the health of individuals but also the value of real estate. One example of this is Camp Lejeune, a military base located in North Carolina that experienced water contamination from the 1950s through the 1980s.
Various health issues have been linked to the water contamination at Camp Lejeune, resulting in a significant number of legal cases.
Reuters reported that individuals have filed over 900 lawsuits against the U.S. government in a federal court in North Carolina since August 2022, when a law was passed allowing veterans and their families to seek compensation for their exposure to the contaminated water at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune. The ongoing legal cases related to the Camp Lejeune water contamination can have a significant impact on the real estate market near the base.
In this article, we will discuss the impact of Camp Lejeune’s water contamination on real estate, what buyers and sellers need to know, and the current status of the lawsuits.
Water Contamination and Real Estate: The Camp Lejeune Crisis
Camp Lejeune’s water contamination crisis has had a significant impact on real estate in the surrounding area. The value of properties near the base has decreased, and many potential buyers are hesitant to invest in these areas. This is due to concerns about the health risks associated with the contaminated water.
In addition to plummeting property values, some lenders are hesitant to provide loans for properties near Camp Lejeune due to the potential for a future Camp Lejeune lawsuit. Sellers can find it difficult to find buyers, and buyers can also find it challenging to secure financing.
According to TorHoerman Law, a personal injury law firm, several discriminatory real estate practices and zoning ordinances led to the disproportionate suffering of communities of color around military bases like Camp Lejeune. Worse still, such practices have been affecting these communities for a long time. This provides another reason why individuals and families may choose to pursue legal action against the government for compensation.
What Buyers Need to Know
If you are considering purchasing a property near Camp Lejeune, it is essential to do your research and be aware of the potential risks associated with the contaminated water.
Buyers should have the property thoroughly inspected for any signs of water damage or contamination. It is also important to be aware of any health risks associated with the contaminated groundwater and take steps to protect yourself and your family.
Buyers should also be aware that purchasing a property near Camp Lejeune could make it more challenging to secure financing. Some lenders may require additional documentation or may be hesitant to provide loans for properties near the base.
What Sellers Need to Know
Disclosing any potential hazards linked to the polluted water is critical when selling a property near Camp Lejeune. Failure to do so may result in legal action and adversely affect the property’s value. The importance of this disclosure cannot be overstated, particularly given the severe and long-lasting contamination of the soil, groundwater, and surface water in the area, as highlighted by militarypoisons.org.
Sellers should also be aware that properties near Camp Lejeune may take longer to sell and may sell for less than comparable properties in other areas. It is essential to work with a knowledgeable real estate agent who understands the potential impact of water contamination on the local market.
The Camp Lejeune Lawsuits
Water contamination at Camp Lejeune has caused individuals to experience health issues that resulted in numerous lawsuits. Many of these lawsuits have reached significant settlements, while others are still awaiting resolution. Despite this, efforts have been made to address the issue of those affected by the contaminated water, such as the enactment of the Honoring America’s Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act in 2012 by Congress.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ official webpage states that individuals who actively served at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 days between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987, qualify to receive comprehensive healthcare services from the VA.
Despite these efforts, the contaminated water has also affected the real estate market around Camp Lejeune. Homeowners living in the vicinity of Camp Lejeune have filed lawsuits against the government to claim compensation for the decline in the value of their properties resulting from the water contamination.
Likewise, some buyers who purchased properties in the area and later discovered the contamination have filed lawsuits against sellers for failing to disclose this information.
The case of Camp Lejeune’s water contamination highlights the significant impact that environmental issues can have on real estate markets. It underscores the importance of thorough research and disclosure of potential hazards when buying or selling properties, particularly in areas with a history of contamination.
This case also illustrates the need for effective government regulation to prevent such situations from arising and to ensure that affected individuals and communities receive proper compensation for their losses.
The ongoing legal cases demonstrate the importance of holding responsible parties accountable for environmental damage and promoting transparency to protect the public interest.