Victims and Family Members Have Been Waiting Decades
- Thousands of service members and their families were exposed to contaminated tap water at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina
- Red tape and legal loopholes have blocked victims from seeking compensation.
- The recent passage of the Camp Lejeune Justice Act will allow those affected to seek justice.
- In this article, we are going to explain what the Camp Lejeune Justice Act means, what we expect to happen next, and why victims should seek legal advice.
An Essential Base With a Tainted Past
Camp Lejeune is located in Jacksonville, NC. The military base has been an essential training ground for our marines and other military branches. The base is still active and home to over 138,000 military members and their families.
The contaminated water exposure occurred from August 1, 1953, through December 13, 1987. During this time nearly hundreds of thousands of people might have been exposed to the dangerous water.
The NC court system has been blocking lawsuits and requests for disability from individuals affected due to a 10-year statute of limitations and other legal loopholes. North Carolina, the military, and congress have seen several other legal announcements in the past but nothing as big as the recent passage of the Camp Lejeune Justice Act.
Why Does the New Act Matter?
The Camp Lejeune Justice Act is part of a larger bill called the Honoring our PACT Act. This bill was introduced in 2021 and it has recently been approved by both the Senate and the House. President Biden is expected to sign the bill soon. The bill provides at least $6.7 billion in funding for veterans who suffered from exposure to the water.
For the first time in many years, victims and families will be allowed to seek compensation for losses and damages. Suing the federal government for damages can become complicated quickly. This compensation will not just be limited to medical bills, but could also include lost wages, funeral expenses, and other costs.
What This Means For You
If you or a family member of yours meets certain criteria then you might be eligible for VA benefits and you could also seek additional compensation.
The basic requirements are:
- Proof you served at Camp Lejeune or MCAS for at least 30 days (consecutive or non-consecutive).
- Proof you served at Camp Lejeune or MCAS sometime between August 1, 1952, and December 31, 1987.
- No dishonorable discharge.
The eight diseases that are believed to be linked are:
- Adult leukemia
- Aplastic anemia and other myelodysplastic syndromes
- Bladder cancer
- Kidney cancer
- Liver cancer
- Multiple myeloma
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
- Parkinson’s disease
If you haven’t been officially diagnosed with one of the illnesses above you may still have a case. If you or a family has faced an unexplained chronic condition then a qualified doctor might be able to see if your symptoms could be related to contaminated water.
What Should You Do Now
Do not delay. If you have proof of your service and if you have been diagnosed with a serious illness you should seek legal advice. An experienced Camp Lejeune water contamination VA benefits claim lawyer can review your case and see if you should seek compensation. Many cases will be filed in a short time and some will be settled quickly.
The time to contact a lawyer and begin to build your case is now. This window of opportunity may only be available for a short amount of time. It is going to take you some time to gather all the appropriate records so, seeking legal advice early in the process can potentially save you time.