“Veterans, family members and civilian contractors injured by the toxic water at Camp Lejeune who suffered Death, any type of Cancer, Parkinson’s Disease, Heart, Liver or Kidney Injuries, Birth Defects, Fertility Issues, Miscarriage, or a wide range of illnesses now qualify to file a personal injury claim against the government regardless of how far back the injury/death occurred.”
After decades of fighting for justice for veterans injured and sickened as a result of exposure to toxins at military bases, the Senate finally passed the Honoring our Pact Act which widely expands health care resources and benefits to those exposed to burn pits and could provide coverage for up to 3.5 million toxic-exposed veterans. It adds conditions related to burn pit and toxic exposure, including hypertension, to the Department of Veterans Affair’s list of illnesses that have been incurred or exacerbated during military service.
Burn pits were commonly used to burn trash, munitions, hazardous material and chemical compounds at military sites throughout Iraq and Afghanistan until about 2010. They were often operated at or near military bases, releasing dangerous toxins into the air that may have caused short- and long-term health conditions. However, up until now, over 70% of claims filed for disabilities related to burn pit exposure were denied by the VA.
The PACT Act will now fix that. The legislation will provide hundreds of billions of dollars over the next decade to help veterans and their families as well as civilian contractors who lived or worked on some bases. Going forward, veterans exposed to burn pits will now have the presumption of having contracted certain respiratory illnesses and cancers, allowing them to more easily obtain disability payments.
The Honoring our Pact Act also includes The Camp Lejeune Justice Act. The Camp Lejeune Justice Act will provide long-overdue judicial relief to victims of water contamination at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina.
Veterans, family members and civilian contractors who live, worked or were in utero at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune or Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) New River in North Carolina between 1953 and 1987, had regular exposure to contaminants in the drinking water on the base.
Routine water testing found that drinking water sources at Camp Lejeune were contaminated with toxic chemicals including:
Scientific and medical evidence has shown a significant association between exposure to these chemicals and development of certain diseases later in life. For many years Camp Lejeune victims have suffered with no relief from the US government which was aware of the contamination for decades, yet covered it up to protect themselves from liability. When they finally acknowledged the contamination and the link to illness, injury and death, the hid behind statutes of limitations and other red tape that protected them from liability while millions of our veterans and their families suffered.
The above contaminants are known carcinogens and are proven to be harmful to humans. Contamination of the water Camp Lejeune was found to have up to 300 times acceptable levels of these contaminants in some instances. The government knew about this yet covered it up and hid behind legal loopholes. Finally justice is coming for potentially millions of our veterans and their families who lived and worked at Camp Lejeune.
How does the Camp Lejeune Justice Act affect those who lived or worked there?
Veterans, family members and civilian contractors who lived, worked or were in utero at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune or Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) New River in North Carolina between 1953 and 1987 will now be eligible for additional VA benefits and additionally will be eligible to file personal injury lawsuits against the US government. These lawsuits can be filed regardless of how long ago the victim was diagnosed, even if they have passed. The Camp Lejeune Justice Act will reset the statute of limitations to 2 years from the date it is signed into law and it will void the North Carolina Statute or Repose. Even if someone died 30-40 years ago, their family members will still be able to file a claim on their behalf.
What Injuries will be eligible for personal injury lawsuits?
Due to the severe toxicity of the chemicals and contaminants in the water at Camp Lejeune, a wide range of injuries will qualify. The illnesses listed below include some but not all eligible injuries and illnesses.
Any Blood Cancers Including:
Any Organ Cancer Including:
Other Non-cancer Injuries:
Locations of Camp Lejeune Toxic Drinking Water
To be eligible to file a Camp Lejeune lawsuit, you must have lived or worked at the Camp Lejeune military training facility. The facility spans 246 square miles near Jacksonville, North Carolina, and includes the following locations:
Those eligible to collect financial compensation in a Camp Lejeune lawsuit include military members, civilians, family members, and anyone who developed health conditions or congenital disabilities from in utero exposure.
How did the senators vote?
The Pact Act passed the Senate 86 to 11 with 3 senators not voting.
Not Voting – 3