If you were present on Camp Lejeune between August 1953 through December 1987, for as little as thirty non-consecutive days, the United States, through the Camp Lejeune Justice Act, recognizes you may have been exposed to drinking water contaminated with benzene, industrial solvents and other harmful chemicals. Camp Lejeune’s contaminated and toxic water has resulted in serious health effects for not only military men and women, but also their family members stationed there, as well as civilians and contractors working at the base.
Who does the Camp Lejeune Justice Act Apply to?
The Camp Lejeune Justice Act applies to any person exposed to the water at Camp Lejeune for thirty (30) non-consecutive days during the statutory period. The Act is NOT exclusive to veterans, meaning that family members living on Camp Lejeune, civilian employees or contractors working on Camp Lejeune, and even persons exposed in-utero at Camp Lejeune are eligible to bring a claim under the Act. The thirty days of exposure need not be consecutive. For example, a civilian contractor who worked on a twenty-day project on Camp Lejeune in 1963 and then a ten-day project in 1964 would qualify under the Act.
It is important to note that a claim under the Act has no effect on VA benefits. That is, you are NOT EXCLUDED if you have already claimed a condition caused by Camp Lejeune’s toxic water as part of a prior disability claim. The Act was intentionally drafted broadly to include any person who may have been affected by Camp Lejeune’s toxic drinking water, so do not hesitate to seek more information if you think you may qualify for relief.
What does the Camp Lejeune Justice Act do?
The Act allows qualifying persons to bring a personal injury claim for conditions suffered as a result of exposure to Camp Lejeune’s toxic water. The Act also permits surviving family members to bring a wrongful death claim on behalf of persons who tragically died from such conditions. Affected persons may recover compensatory damages as well as damages for their pain and suffering so long as they can prove that it is at least as likely as not that their conditions were caused by the toxic water at Camp Lejeune. This burden of proof is lower than typical civil lawsuit because Congress’ explicit intent is to provide a path to recovery for the thousands of people whose lives were ruined by Camp Lejeune’s water.
Many medical conditions are linked to the toxic chemicals found in Camp Lejeune’s water. Conditions include, but are not limited to:
- Multiple myeloma
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
- Aplastic Anemia
- Birth Defects
- Cardiac Defects
- Hepatic Steatosis (fatty liver syndrome)
- Kidney damage
- Myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS)
- Neurological Disorders
- Parkinson’s disease
- Other Conditions
It bears special mentioning that in-utero exposure to Camp Lejeune’s water caused many children to be born with a wide variety of birth defects and a greater risk of childhood cancer—often leading to their tragic and untimely deaths. These children are covered under the Act, too, and an action may be brought on their behalf by the appropriate family member.
How long do I have to bring my claim?
Time is of the essence to bring a claim under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act. Affected persons must file their claim before August 10, 2024 (two years from the passage of the Act). This timeline is especially short when considering the amount of time it takes to request decades-old medical records. Do not delay if you think you or a loved one has been affected by the water at Camp Lejeune.
Where can I file my claim?
The Act provides that the exclusive jurisdiction and venue for all claims regarding Camp Lejeune water contamination is the Eastern District of North Carolina (EDNC). Even if you or a family member live out of state, you must file your claim in the EDNC. While out-of-state lawyers may be admitted for limited purposes, the value of experienced, local counsel cannot be overstated. The law firm of Howard Stallings was born here in the Eastern District of North Carolina over 35 years ago and our attorneys regularly practice in federal court. Give your claim “home-field advantage” by trusting the attorneys at Howard Stallings to recover the compensation you and your family deserve.
New Camp Lejeune Justice Act Allows Veterans to File Lawsuits for Contaminated and Toxic Water
On August 10, 2022, the Honoring our PACT Act was signed into law, creating access to justice for veterans and their families who suffered toxic exposures while serving our country. As part of the PACT Act, Congress passed the Camp Lejeune Justice Act, which provides a federal cause of action for any person affected by the toxic water at Camp Lejeune from August 1, 1953, to December 31, 1987. serious medical condition, you may be entitled to compensation under the If you or someone you know was exposed to drinking water at Camp Lejeune during this time period and was later diagnosed with cancer or another Camp Lejeune Justice Act. Our team of local, experienced attorneys is here to help by addressing a few frequently asked questions regarding the Camp Lejeune Justice Act.