The Camp Lejeune Justice Act was finally signed into law this past month, giving those who may have been affected by the contaminated water at the camp a chance to achieve justice and compensation for the severe medical damages resulting from the contaminated water supply.
Camp Lejeune was a United States Military training facility in Jackson, North Carolina. The Camp was first established in 1942, covering almost 250 square miles. Unfortunately, it was found that the water supply at the camp was contaminated with VOCs, or volatile organic compounds, between the years 1953 and 1987. During this time, military members and their families, as well as nearby residents, were exposed to toxic water for both drinking and bathing. It is estimated that nearly one million people consumed this toxic water.
It has been found that many of those who were exposed to the contaminated water have experienced serious health issues as a result. The water consumption has been known to cause several types of cancer, infertility, and neurobehavioral issues, such as Parkinson’s disease. In March of this year, the House voted on the PACT act, which includes legal matters regarding military members’ exposure to toxic elements, including Camp Lejeune. The Camp Lejeune Act was then passed by the Senate in mid-June, becoming law in August 2022.
Previously, those impacted were unable to take serious legal action because of North Carolina’s statute of repose, which offers those affected a six-year window to file a claim and in addition there was immunity for the United States government. The Act gives those impacted by the contaminated water the chance to take legal action and receive financial compensation for their various damages. The Act allows this to take place for a two-year window which is now in effect.
In order to take legal action, you or a family member must have been exposed to this contaminated water at Camp Lejeune for thirty (30) days and must have been affected by the consumption or suffered harm from it. Just a few illnesses that have been linked to Camp LeJeune water consumption are as follows:
- Liver Cancer
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Bladder Cancer
- Kidney Cancer
- Multiple Myeloma
- Lung Cancer
- Esophageal Cancer
- Hepatic Steatosis
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
- Myelodysplastic syndromes
If you or a family member have been diagnosed with any of these illnesses after being exposed to Camp Lejeune’s water, you may have grounds to take legal action. This could include any family member who has already passed away but who would otherwise meet the requirements for a claim under the Act. The claim may then be brought on behalf of the Estate or the family of the deceased. If you believe you or a family member may fall into one of the categories, be sure to speak to an attorney to determine your rights and ensure your claim is investigated and timely filed within the two year window.
If you have any questions about the Camp Lejeune Justice Act or any other potential claims, please do not hesitate to contact the attorneys at Ward, Shindle & Hall.