As of March 2022, the United States Government addressed the widespread Water Contamination Lawsuit from water at Marine Base, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. The toxic water claims have been ongoing since 1987. Now, the U.S Government is working towards providing justice to the countless people affected by the poisoned water.
The Camp Lejeune Justice Act was birthed from the PACT Act of 2019-2020. PACT stands for, Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics. This act was made to protect veterans from toxic environments they may encounter while working in high-risk spaces. According to the VA, “This law helps us provide generations of Veterans—and their survivors—with the care and benefits they’ve earned and deserve.” (2022) Due to this Act, the U.S. government must address the water contamination on Camp Lejeune that affected many individuals’ health status and prepare to administer medical and financial alleviations.
The Camp Lejeune Justice Act was first introduced to the House on March 26, 2021. As stated by congress, “This bill allows certain individuals to sue and recover damages for harm from exposure to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987” (2022). As a service member, civilian, employee, family member, or supplier on Camp Lejeune or the New River area of North Carolina, you may have the right to compensation for any medical ailments obtained associated with the toxic drinking water. The Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 was proposed to remedy this long-standing and undiscussed issue of water contamination.
What Happened at Camp LeJeune?
Unsafe levels of Benzene, Tetrachloroethylene, Trichloroethylene, and Vinyl Chloride were found in the water supply of the New River and Camp Lejeune. The chemicals further confirm the water was severely polluted and linked to various cases of life-threatening illnesses. The U. S. Department of Veterans Affairs has confirmed various health conditions that are directly linked to the contaminated water.
- Myelodysplastic syndromes
- Adult leukemia
- Bladder cancer
- Kidney cancer
- Liver cancer
- Multiple myeloma
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
- Parkinson’s disease
- Esophageal cancer
- Breast cancer
- Renal toxicity
- Lung cancer
- Hepatic steatosis
- Female infertility
- Neurobehavioral effects
Am I Eligible for Camp LeJeune Justice Act Benefits?
If you were on base or in the surrounding area from 1953 – 1987 for at least 30 days, and you have suffered one or more of the verified illnesses, you meet the baseline requirement to sue the U.S. Government. Eligible parties include staff working on the base, military service members, families of service members, and even unborn children who were in the womb during the unsafe period. Benefits do not apply to members of the service who were dishonorably discharged during active duty.
Contamination of the water supply systems at and around Camp Lejeune has been in play since the 1950s. Unfortunately, it took over 30 years to realize the water was highly toxic. Between the years 1980-1982, The CDC, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, confirmed there were volatile organic compounds in the supply, but why now in 2022, is the public just hearing about it?
Through the years officials have worked to understand the scope of damage that was done while trying to confirm the chemicals found in the supply and the cause of contamination. Over a decade passed until the government notified former residents about the water and its potential health consequences. The government has not addressed a reason for harboring this information for so long. Considering the severity of the health conditions and even deaths associated with this, it is more than detrimental for the generations affected.
How do I file a claim?
To file a claim against the U.S. government, you must ensure that you meet eligibility requirements and can provide various forms of proof through official documentation. This can include service contracts and medical records. For more information on eligibility requirements, review Rob Levine & Associates Blog, Who Can Pursue Camp Lejeune Toxic Water Claims.
If you are found eligible to file a lawsuit, contacting a legal professional to help you navigate this claim is essential. As the Camp Lejeune Justice Act is not officially passed as of now, get ahead of the claim by contacting VA Disability Lawyer, Rob Levine & Associates to learn more about the next steps.