Camp Lejeune Justice Act 2022
Many Camp Lejeune veterans still suffer from various health problems due to water contamination at the base. In March 2022, Congress passed The Camp Lejeune Justice Act, which allows these people to file for compensation and provides an expanded statute of limitations from two years to five years
This new Camp Lejeune Justice Act alleges toxic chemicals, including benzene, trichloroethylene & vinyl chloride, were present in the water at Camp Lejeune. These volatile organic compounds cause severe injuries leading to chronic illnesses or even death.
Veterans, their family members, and others stationed at Marine Corps Base in North Carolina for more than 30 days between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987, can file suit for financial compensation.
Did the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune injure you? Contact the personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC to file a benefits claim against the federal government. Call our product liability lawyers today at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) to explore your legal options.
All confidential or sensitive information you share with our legal team remains private through an attorney-client relationship.
Facts About Camp Lejeune Water Contamination
The United States federal government opened Camp Lejeune in the 1940s in North Carolina. However, by the 1980s, water experts found dangerous contaminants in the groundwater at the military base.
Testing showed that the drinking water sources were contaminated with volatile organic compounds (VOCs), including trichloroethylene (TCE), tetrachloroethylene, or perchloroethylene.
The news about Camp Lejeune shocked the nation. It's reported that over 70 dangerous chemicals were discovered to be present at 3400 times higher than what safety standards allow, with some showing up in testing even more frequently.
All these hazardous chemicals are known to cause cancer and other health issues such as endocrine disruption, which can lead to diabetes, infertility, birth defects, and other developmental problems.
Legislators Sponsor the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022
In November 2021, North Carolina Senator Thom Tillis introduced the Camp Lejeune Justice Act to update legislation concerning decades of water contamination at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune. At that time, thousands of service men and women, families, and civilian employees were diagnosed with tragic medical conditions or had died from exposure to hazardous chemicals while working or living at the base.
In 2012, President Barack Obama signed the first Camp Lejeune Justice Act (ongoing Americans veterans and caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act), granting the Department of Veterans Affairs benefits to specific service men and women exposed to contaminated water.
In 2017 the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) presented a disease or condition list identifying health issues directly associated with Lejeune water contamination. Since then, the VA has updated the list, adding additional medical conditions, including Parkinson's disease.
In the early summer of 2022, the United States Senate passed the Justice Act, signed into law by President Biden.
Injured Victims Can Recover Compensation
Anyone with the service connection of living or working at the base between 1953 and 1987 for at least three nonconsecutive days can file a compensation claim seeking benefits through the VA system.
The Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 provides legal opportunities for victims seeking appropriate relief for the damages they incurred through water contamination to file an administrative claim.
Under the PACT Act, the Camp Lejeune Justice Act allows individuals to bring legal action in federal court in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina.
Receiving financial compensation is not automatic. Only the US District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina has exclusive jurisdiction for injured parties wishing to file an administrative claim for damages.
Injured victims filing disability claims must submit the proper documentation to the Navy's Tort Claims Unit (TCU) in Norfolk, Virginia.
The Honoring Our PACT Act of 2022
In August 2022, both the House and the Senate in the United States Congress finally passed the Honoring Our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act of 2022.
The bill addresses "health care, presumption conditions, service-connection, research, resources, and other matters related to veterans who were exposed to toxic substances during military service."
The law’s enactment extends compensation benefits beyond those provided to Camp Lejeune, contaminated water victims. Injured service members, families, civilian employees, and others qualifying for VA medical care can also receive mental health services and counseling. Qualified people for these available benefits defined in the PACT Act legislation include:
- People exposed to hazardous chemicals that have a corresponding entry in an exposure tracking record system
- Individuals who resided or served in specific locations during specified timelines
- Service members deployed to support particular contingency operations
The Act signed by President Joe Biden is a part of the PACT Act of 2022, allowing veterans and others to seek compensation for health issues associated with digesting contaminated water and inhaling dangerous chemicals.
Once President Biden signed the Honoring Our PACT Act, the new legislation superseded North Carolina law, preventing veterans and others from filing civil tort suits due to hazardous exposure.
The Feres Doctrine
The Feres Doctrine is a legal principle that prevents individuals from filing claims or suits based on injuries incurred while serving in the military. This doctrine gained its name after World War II, when it was employed to dismiss several lawsuits filed by Navy sailors who were victims of accidents while serving aboard ships.
The Doctrine has often been called the 'Canyon Walks' theory, after a famous case where an individual was denied relief for his injuries. The legislation is a legal principle that says that individuals cannot file suit or claim based on injuries incident to their service if they are not military personnel.
However, it doesn't only apply within our armed forces--non-military exposure victims were legally prevented from doing so due because of a North Carolina law that prevents tort suits where the last act/omission by the defendant is more than three months before the occurrence date (which in this instance would be shortly before).
Injuries Caused by Camp Lejeune Water Contamination
Service members, families, and civilian workers were exposed to toxic contaminated water at the base for nearly four decades. The toxic exposure to trichloroethylene, vinyl chloride, benzene, perchloroethylene, and others increases the risk of deadly medical conditions, including:
- Adult leukemia
- Adverse birth outcomes, including birth defects
- Aplastic anemia and other myelodysplastic syndromes
- Bile duct (gall bladder) cancer
- Bone Cancer
- Breast cancer
- Brain cancer
- Bladder cancer
- Cardiac defect
- Cervical cancer
- Endocrine cancer
- Esophageal cancer
- Female infertility
- Heart defect
- Hepatic steatosis
- Kidney cancer
- Liver cancers
- Liver diseases
- Lung cancer
- Myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS)
- Nephrotoxicity (kidney damage)
- Neurobehavioral disorders
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL)
- Ovarian cancer
- Plasma cell myeloma
- Prostate cancer
- Rectal, colorectal/colon cancers
- Renal toxicity
- Other diseases and cancers
The level of damage by the contaminated water is likely based on various factors, including:
- The age of veterans exposed to contaminated water while at Camp Lejeune
- The exposure duration
- How they were exposed
Pregnant women, newborns, young children, and others who consume water while at Camp Lejeune are likely highest at risk of developing deadly medical conditions, cancers, and other diseases.
Hiring a Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Attorney to Recover Compensation
Do you suspect that your diagnosis of a severe medical condition is likely the result of exposure to toxic water at Camp Lejeune? Did you lose a loved one through a wrongful death caused by toxic exposure to the Marine base’s water wells?
The personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC represent injured veterans, family members, civil workers, and others injured after living at Camp Lejeune between 1957 and 1987.
Contact our premises liability attorneys today at (888) 424-5757 or use the contact form to schedule a free consultation to file your case to recover damages. Our attorneys accept all cases on a contingency fee arrangement, meaning you pay no upfront fees until we resolve your case through a negotiated settlement or jury award.