Many of our clients served in the military between 1953 and 1987. Some of them spent time at Camp LeJeune in North Carolina, became very sick, and pursued claims at the Veterans Administration for service-connected compensation over the years. Now there is a new avenue for civil lawsuits to be brought to obtain possible compensation. On August 10, 2022, President Biden signed the Camp LeJeune Justice Act of 2022 into law, aimed at helping veterans who were exposed to toxins in the contaminated drinking water during their service. This Act provides an opportunity for compensation to United States Marines and other servicemen and servicewomen (and their families) for serious health consequences they suffered as a result of that exposure.
The Criteria to qualify for compensation are as follows:
o The individual must have been exposed (including in utero exposure) to drinking water at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 days;
o The exposure must have occurred between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987;
o The party bringing the claim, or the legal representative, must produce evidence that the relationship between the ingestion of tainted water and the injury is “at least as likely as not.”
People who file civil claims under this act will NOT lose their entitlement to any disability payment or benefits through the Veterans Administration process.
There is a statute of limitations which limits the time frame in which to file the suit. Claims must be brought before the later of: (A) 2 years after the effective date of this Act or (B) 180 days after denial by the Veterans Administration of a related claim for service-connected disability compensation. This means that even if you developed cancer or another serious health condition decades ago or your loved one died many years ago from one of these conditions, you or the decedent’s family can now seek compensation See 28 USC Sec. 2675
A wide array of cancers and other serious health conditions have developed in individuals who were exposed to the colorless, odorless chemicals in the contaminated drinking water at Camp LeJeune. This Act now enables injured members of the service and their families to retain private counsel to seek redress.
If you are interested in discussing your case, call us at 732-382-6070.