What Is the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 and How Does It Protect Veterans?
In June 2022, Congress passed the Camp Lejeune Justice Act. It allows former service members, civilian employees, and other U.S. Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune residents to pursue a claim against the government for injuries caused by contaminated water. In some cases, it contained chemical levels that were 400 times the safe limits.
The law, which was a part of the Honoring Our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics Act, will allow those who lived or worked at the base for at least 30 cumulative days from the early 1950s through the late 1980s to file a disability claim or a Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit against the federal government.
The Camp Lejeune Justice Act restores rights to injury victims in three ways. First, certain individuals who experienced specific medical conditions related to contaminated water exposure qualify to claim disability. Second, per the Act, the federal government will waive any claim of sovereign immunity from a lawsuit. Third, the Act allows victims to file a lawsuit for injuries and illnesses from chemical exposure that occurred up to 70 years ago. Without the Act, these claims would be barred under North Carolina’s 10-year filing deadline.
If you or a loved one were exposed to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune between 1953 and 1987, you might qualify for a Camp Lejeune lawsuit. Call to schedule a free consultation with our office at Douglas and London to determine whether a lawsuit is the right move for you.
Who Can File a Camp Lejeune Contamination Water Claim
Veterans, civilian employees, and their families could file a disability claim if they experienced any of eight specific medical conditions linked to chemical contamination of water. The conditions include adult leukemia or several other cancers and blood disorders, or Parkinson’s disease. In addition, veterans and their family members can receive more limited disability benefits that reimburse medical expenses for medical conditions from a broader list. This would include neurobehavioral effects, renal toxicity, female infertility, miscarriage, and scleroderma.
The federal government has known about the medical problems associated with the Camp Lejeune water contamination for years and has attempted to address it. However, these attempts have fallen short of a meaningful response. Records show that from 2011 to 2022, the Veterans Administration has denied more than 80% of Camp Lejeune claims.
In the past, groups of injury victims have filed class action lawsuits and multi-district litigation, but those lawsuits were dismissed as being past the 10-year North Carolina statute of repose. The recent law change affords those who have suffered injuries a limited window to file cases. Rather than mere reimbursement of expenses, claimants in a successful lawsuit may recover full compensation for economic losses like lost wages and non-economic losses like pain and suffering.
Speak with a Camp Lejeune Lawyer Today
Though the Camp Lejeune Justice Act allows injured veterans and others to file a lawsuit despite the time limitations under the North Carolina statute, the window to file a lawsuit is still relatively small. If you or a loved one were injured by exposure to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune, now is the time to act. Call Douglas and London today to find out if you qualify to pursue a claim.
- Congress.gov, H.R.6482 — 117th Congress (2021-2022), https://www.congress.gov/bill/117th-congress/house-bill/2192
- CBS News, “Deny until they die”: Some veterans say VA wrongly rejects claims for illnesses they blame on Camp Lejeune’s contaminated water, https://www.cbsnews.com/news/va-camp-lejeune-contaminated-water-veterans-disability-claims/