The Camp Lejeune Justice Act was recently passed as part of the larger PACT Act, which was signed into law by President Joe Biden. Now, countless people across the country are taking the first steps to start a Camp Lejeune lawsuit for toxic exposure. What are those Camp Lejeune lawsuits really all about, though?
For decades, people at U.S. Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina were exposed to volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the water. As a result, an unknown number of people have suffered life-changing illnesses, cancers, birth injuries, and more. After many years of legal fighting, the Camp Lejeune Justice Act will finally allow those people to take civil action to demand justice and compensation. Find out if you can do the same.
Camp Lejeune Justice Act Eligibility
Military veterans and their families can use the Camp Lejeune Justice Act to seek compensation after being exposed to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune before being diagnosed with cancer or certain chronic illnesses. A two-year lookback window was created by the PACT Act, so the time to take legal action is limited. Furthermore, strict eligibility requirements will limit the number of people who can start a lawsuit.
Eligibility to file a Camp Lejeune Justice Act lawsuit:
- You served, lived, or worked at Camp Lejeune between 1953 and 1987.
- You were exposed to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 days, consecutive or not.
- You were diagnosed with cancer or a specific chronic illness (see below); or,
- You were born with a birth injury after your parents spent time at Camp Lejeune; or,
- You lost a loved one to a terminal illness after they spent time at Camp Lejeune.
Benefits of the Camp Lejeune Justice Act
Two important benefits given by the Camp Lejeune Justice Act are:
- The federal government is not permitted to use specific defense arguments that are usually used in toxic exposure mass torts and lawsuits.
- The two-year lookback window allows claims to be filed while ignoring the typical six-month statute of limitations for claims against the federal government.
Under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act, the lawsuits will be handled under a mass tort. It is expected that millions of people were exposed to the toxic water at Camp Lejeune between 1953 and 1987. Tens of thousands of those people could have a valid claim due to illnesses and losses. You should bring your case to a professional Camp Lejeune lawsuit attorney, so you can be sure that your case is built correctly and not overlooked in the legal shuffle.
Contaminated Water Treatment Plants at Camp Lejeune
The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) conducted an independent evaluation of the water at Camp Lejeune. It uncovered that the Tarawa Terrace facility and the Hadnot Point facility were both dispensing water that was dangerously contaminated with volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The contamination was likely occurring from the installation of these water treatment plants in August 1953 until after the ATSDR report, around the end of 1987.
According to the ATSDR report, the VOC levels often exceeded 400 times the maximum amount that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) considers “safe.” As a result, anyone who drank, cleaned with, or bathed in the water at Camp Lejeune for more than 30 total days has likely been put at severe health risks.
Illnesses Caused by VOC Exposure
The EPA and other health agencies have known for decades that VOC exposure is extremely dangerous, especially when the exposure is repeated. VOC exposure can cause a variety of different illnesses, many of which can be terminal if severe enough. The ATSDR concluded that people who stayed at Camp Lejeune and were exposed to the water were three times more likely to be diagnosed with one such disease than a control group that had never been there.
Camp Lejeune VOC exposure has been linked to many different illnesses and cancers, including:
- Prostate cancer
- Bladder cancer
- Kidney cancer
- Higher risk of birth injury
- Higher risk of miscarriage
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
- Parkinson’s disease
- Scleroderma or systemic sclerosis
Camp Lejeune Justice Act lawsuit plaintiffs must have been diagnosed with a specific illness recognized by the Act. Talk to an attorney to see if your illness or that of a late loved one qualifies under the act. (The list of recognized diseases is larger than the brief list above.)
Demand Compensation & Justice with Our Help
Houssiere Durant & Houssiere, LLP would be honored to offer our legal services to military service members and their families who were harmed by toxic exposure at Camp Lejeune. You deserve so much for serving our country. You don’t deserve to be pushed around by the federal government as it tries to escape liability. Let us stand up for you, just as you have done so many times for us. Let us help you understand your rights and legal options as granted by the Camp Lejeune Justice Act. We are proud to offer our legal services to military veterans and service members, as well as their families and military contractors who spent time at U.S. Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina.
Contact our Camp Lejeune lawsuit attorneys online for more information during a FREE consultation.