The U.S. government has indicated that Marines and others who previously filed Camp Lejeune water contamination claims that were denied by the U.S. government must provide new notice of their claim under the requirements of the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022. Plaintiffs with previously denied Camp Lejeune claims argue, however, that they satisfied the notice requirements when they originally filed their claims years ago, and should therefore be exempted from going through the same administrative process under the new law. If you or someone you love has suffered cancer or another serious health problem you believe to be related to the drinking water at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, which is known to have been polluted with toxic chemicals between 1953 and 1987, contact Consumer Safety Watch as soon as possible. You may be entitled to financial compensation for your medical bills, pain and suffering, and other damages, which you can pursue by filing a Camp Lejeune water contamination claim.
An estimated one million people, including military servicemembers, their loved ones, and other civilians stationed at the base, were likely exposed to the contaminated water supply at Camp Lejeune during the 30-year period when testing identified toxic chemicals like benzene, trichloroethylene (TCE), tetrachloroethylene (PCE), and vinyl chloride (VC) in the water. For years, active-duty personnel, National Guard members, Army Reservists, family members, and local citizens living or working at the base drank, bathed in, and cleaned with the contaminated water, and many have since been diagnosed with serious medical conditions. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have linked the industrial solvents and other chemicals found in Camp Lejeune’s water supply to specific cancers and various other injuries, including:
People adversely affected by the water contamination issue at Camp Lejeune say these devastating side effects occurred as a direct result of the military’s failure to acknowledge and address the problem. Unfortunately, by the time the full extent of the damage caused by the polluted water was uncovered, the U.S. government was able to hide behind North Carolina’s ten-year statute of repose, and hundreds of Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuits seeking compensation for this damage were dismissed.
When President Joe Biden signed into law the $300 billion Honoring Our PACT Act, and with it the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022, he opened up a two-year window for Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuits to be brought against the federal government. Among other things, the Camp Lejeune Justice Act effectively overrides North Carolina’s ten-year statute of repose, which prevented so many military servicemembers and other individuals from pursuing compensation for their injuries when they were originally discovered. Finally, Marines, their loved ones, and others who were exposed to the contaminated drinking water at Camp Lejeune between 1953 and 1987 have an opportunity to recover the compensation they deserve for the harm they suffered.
Any Camp Lejeune lawsuits filed under the new law will be handled by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina. However, the law stipulates that, before pursuing a civil lawsuit against the federal government, claimants must first provide notice of their Camp Lejeune water contamination claim to the U.S. Navy’s Office of the Judge Advocate General (JAG). Once the administrative claim is filed, JAG has six months to either accept or deny the claim. Only then can a lawsuit be brought against the federal government. In response to this requirement, plaintiffs who previously filed Camp Lejeune lawsuits that were denied by the government argue that they should be able to immediately reinitiate their lawsuits without having to exhaust the administrative claims process.
The U.S. government is expected to face a flood of Camp Lejeune lawsuits by individuals who lived or worked at Camp Lejeune between 1953 and 1987 and were exposed to the contaminated water there, including exposure that occurred in utero, which could make it one of the largest individual tort litigations in U.S. history. Military personnel stationed at Camp Lejeune during this time, their family members, and other individuals pursuing claims for cancer, birth defects, Parkinson’s disease, and other serious health problems allegedly linked to Camp Lejeune’s tainted water supply may benefit from the guidance of an attorney with experience handling toxic exposure claims. To learn more about the compensation that may be available to affected individuals under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022, or to find out if you may be eligible to file a Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit against the government, contact Consumer Safety Watch today.