June 20, 2022 – It’s been (at least) 35 years, but for Veterans and their families harmed by toxic drinking water on Camp Lejeune base, the wait is almost over. A recent vote on a bill in the United States Senate has brought the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 one big step closer to being made law, finally opening the doors for new claims on behalf of service members, their families, and civilian employees who had been harmed decades earlier.
Camp Lejeune lawsuits are personal injury legal matters that arise out of toxic exposure claims. In these lawsuits, plaintiffs allege that they suffered harm—a diagnosis of one of the numerous medical conditions that have been linked to chemical exposure—from ingesting toxic chemicals that are known to have contaminated some of the water supply on Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune between 1953 and 1987. A Camp Lejeune lawsuit is a civil legal matter and a claim for financial compensation for harm the plaintiff suffered.
Although there are no Camp Lejeune class action lawsuits proceeding at this time, those affected by the drinking water at Camp Lejeune—Veterans, active-duty service members, family members who lived in base housing at Camp Lejeune, and civilian employees—can move forward with individual personal injury or wrongful death lawsuits.
Generally, the plaintiffs in Camp Lejeune lawsuits claim that they suffered harm due to exposure to the chemicals that were detected in the water supply, which include trichloroethylene (TCE), tetrachloroethylene/perchloroethylene (PCE), vinyl chloride, and benzene. Many medical conditions have been linked to these chemicals, including cancers, Parkinson’s disease, end-stage renal disease, fertility problems, and birth defects. Published research findings have shown sufficient evidence to prove a causal relationship between exposure to one of these chemicals and several health conditions, including Non-Hodgkin lymphoma, kidney cancer, liver cancer, bladder cancer, and leukemias.
Veterans previously stationed at Camp Lejeune and their family members that lived in base housing can seek compensation for the harms they have suffered, but significant barriers have prevented many plaintiffs from getting the money they deserve. Under North Carolina’s statute of repose, too many years have passed since the contaminating event (in the 1950s) for many plaintiffs to be allowed to move forward with claims.
The Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 aims to change this. The language of the bill includes the following:
“An individual, including a veteran (as defined in section 101 of title 38, United States Code), or the legal representative of such an individual, who resided, worked, or was otherwise exposed (including in utero exposure) for not less than 30 days during the period beginning on August 1, 1953, and ending on December 31, 1987, to water at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, that was supplied by, or on behalf of, the United States may bring an action in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina to obtain appropriate relief for harm that was caused by exposure to the water at Camp Lejeune.”
The bill also addresses the Statute of Limitations regarding these matters, establishing that claims must be commenced by “the date that is 2 years after the date of enactment of this Act.”
The Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 was introduced to the United States House of Representatives on January 25, 2022. As part of the Honoring our PACT Act of 2022, the Camp Lejeune Act was passed in the House of Representatives on March 3, 2022, by a vote of 256 to 174. On June 16, 2022, the Senate voted 84 to 14 to pass the bill.
The bill is expected to be signed into law by President Joe Biden as early as this week, allowing military families to finally start moving forward with claims seeking the compensation they deserve.
This important bill is now on the verge of becoming law, but potential claimants don’t have to wait until the Camp Lejeune Justice Act is officially enacted to start learning about their legal rights and options. You’ve waited long enough as it is.
Our Camp Lejeune lawyers are now seeking to interview Veterans, their families, and civilian employees who have been diagnosed with a serious illness or medical condition after having lived or worked at the base and being potentially exposed to toxic chemicals during the time water systems were contaminated. We can investigate whether the medical condition you or your loved one developed is linked to the chemicals detected in contaminated water at Camp Lejeune and start building your case for compensation—at no upfront cost to you.
The consultation is free, confidential, and risk-free. Our Camp Lejeune lawyers handle every claim on a no-win, no-fee basis, so it costs you nothing to find out your options or to move forward with a claim for compensation. To get started, call (866) 778-5500 or contact us online today.