If you found out the government knew the water you were drinking was poisonous, but they did nothing about it, wouldn’t you want to sue for compensation? That’s exactly what happened to civilian contractors and military members stationed and working in Camp Lejeune. Between 1953 and 1987.
Unfortunately, the water shutoff of this contaminated water came too little too late. Many Marines and other civilian members stationed on the base continue to suffer from the long-term effects of health issues due to the contaminated water supply. Fortunately, there is hope on the horizon with the introduction of the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022.
What is the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022?
The Camp Lejune Justice Act of 2022 stems from the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2021. This bill was introduced in March 2021 in the House of Representatives. Its sponsor, meaning the Congress representative that created the first draft of the bill, is Rep. Cartwright, Matt [D-PA-8].
The Bill was introduced into the House in order to provide civilians and military personnel with the ability to sue the Federal government and earn compensation based on the toxic water supply in Camp Lejeune.
Between 1953 and 1987, research shows that groundwater used at the base for people to drink, shower, cook with, and complete other daily activities had toxic chemicals that were almost 2,000 times over the limit dangerous to the human body.
These chemicals include:
- Trichloroethylene (TCE)
- Perchloroethylene (PCE)
- Vinyl chloride
- Other compounds
Unfortunately, these chemicals lead to many civilians and military members being exposed to diseases. Such diseases include:
- Bladder cancer
- Breast cancer
- Esophageal cancer
- Female infertility
- Hepatic steatosis
- Kidney cancer
- Lung cancer
- Multiple myeloma
- Myelodysplastic syndromes
- Neurobehavioral effects
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
- Renal toxicity
The Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 allows civilians to file for VA compensation and disability benefits if they were affected by one of the diseases above.
How Is the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 Changing Laws?
Unfortunately, due to the Federal Tort Claims Act, it was impossible for people to sue the federal government for damages and compensation. However, the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 is changing all of that. President Biden signed the PACT act into effect on August 8, 2022.
The PACT act also includes within it the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022. Therefore, civilian members can now file a lawsuit and file for VA disability claims, which were previously only available to military personnel.
How Do I File a Lawsuit?
It’s important to note that there are still certain restrictions for who can and cannot file a lawsuit. According to the PACT act and the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022, you can only file for disability or a lawsuit if you were stationed on the Camp Lejeune base for 30 days or more between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987.
In addition, you can only file a lawsuit if you have or have had one of the qualifying conditions above. When filing a lawsuit, it’s good to know what to expect in terms of compensation. Please note that you will need to first file for a disability claim with the VA. If this claim is denied, you can then file a civil lawsuit, or you can file a civil lawsuit and your compensation will be offset by any disabilities claim benefits.
If you’re unsure about where to start, the attorneys at Dolman Law can help you file your claim so you can get the compensation you deserve if you’ve been affected by contaminated water in Camp Lejeune.