As part of the aptly named ‘Honoring Our PACT Act,’ the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 will allow veterans and families exposed to toxic water at Camp Lejeune to file lawsuits in federal court for compensation.
Between 1953 to 1987, over one million people, including unborn children, were exposed to toxic water at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune and Marine Corps Air Station-New River. Exposure to the toxic chemicals at Camp Lejeune has been associated with a wide array of debilitating cancers and neurological diseases.
The bipartisan bill, passed by the House of Representatives on March 4, is now moving through the Senate.
Who Is Eligible to File a Camp Lejeune Justice Act Lawsuit?
Military service members and family, including individuals exposed to contaminated water in utero, who have developed Camp Lejeune water toxin-related health conditions, could be eligible to file a claim.
To file a Camp Lejeune lawsuit against the U.S. government, claimants must meet two requirements:
- Worked or lived at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune or North Carolina’s Marine Corps Air Station-New River for a minimum of 30 consecutive days between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987, and
- Has been diagnosed with a health condition associated with exposure to contaminants in Camp Lejeune water.
Currently, the list of diseases associated with Camp Lejeune toxic water includes:
- Systemic Sclerosis
- Renal Toxicity Scleroderma
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
- Neurobehavioral Disorders
- Myelodysplastic Syndrome
- Multiple Myeloma
- Lung Cancer
- Liver Cancer
- Kidney Cancer
- Hepatic Steatosis
- Female Infertility
- Esophageal Cancer
- Cardiac Defects
- Breast Cancer
- Bladder Cancer
- Birth Defects
- Aplastic Anemia
Eligible parties include military veterans, guards, reserve members, their spouses, ex-spouses, biological children, stepchildren, and legal dependents.
Cancer-Causing Chemicals in Camp Lejeune Water
Those working and living in and around North Carolina’s Camp Lejeune drank, bathed, and cooked with water supplied and represented as safe. Government officials denied contamination for over a decade. As ten years is the statute of repose in North Carolina, those affected were not able to sue for compensation.
The Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 would bypass this legal limitation, allowing those affected to file a claim against the U.S. government for injuries and illness.
Samples taken from Camp Lejeune drinking water revealed toxic chemicals up to 300 times greater than safe for human consumption. These poisonous chemicals included life-threatening carcinogens like:
- Vinyl Chloride (VC)
- Trichloroethylene (TCE)
- Perchloroethylene (PCE)