President Biden has signed the long anticipated PACT Act which includes the Camp Lejeune Justice Act. This bill represents a huge step forward for military veterans, their families and all who have lived and worked at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina.
For many decades, people exposed to the contaminated water at the base were becoming seriously ill and dying. Due to a 10 year statute of repose law in North Carolina, those victims were not able to have their day in court. But this new bill changes that. It finally allows those exposed to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune to seek aid through lawsuits. What follows below are answers to some of the most asked questions about the Camp Lejeune Justice Act.
Who Is Eligible To File A Claim Under The Camp Lejeune Justice Act?
Any person that lived, worked or stayed at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 days between August 1, 1953 and December 31, 1987 may be entitled to compensation through a civil claim. You do not need to be a veteran in order to file a lawsuit nor do you need to go through the Department of Veteran’s Affairs.
The family members of those who have died after exposure to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune may also be able to file claims. A large number of the illnesses associated with exposure to the pollutants in the water may not appear until years later. Many of them can also be fatal. If you are unsure about your legal options, you can speak with one of our experienced attorneys anytime at 800-529-9997.
How Much Is My Camp Lejeune Claim Worth?
If you have been injured by the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. The Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 has removed procedural hurdles that previously prevented military veterans, their families and all who stayed at Camp Lejeune from filing civil claims. There is no cap on damages spelled out in the bill. The value of a claim will come down to whatever a jury decides is fair. However, there are certain factors that will help determine how much a Camp Lejeune claim may be worth.
- The duration of a person’s exposure.
- The amount of lost earnings/ economic damages a person suffered.
- The amount of out-of-pocket medical expenses a person incurred.
- The amount of non-economic damages (e.g., pain and suffering) a person incurred.
The benefit of having a skilled attorney is that they can negotiate on your behalf to get the highest settlement possible for your claim. This is why it is so important to pick the right attorney. Toxic tort claims can be challenging and require a great deal of skill to litigate. It does not cost anything to hire an attorney and they only get paid if they are able to successfully resolve your claim.
What Documents Do I Need To Pursue A Camp Lejeune Claim?
If you are thinking about pursuing a Camp Lejeune claim, there are a few documents that you should gather. This includes military records showing that you served at the base. It could also include any record which demonstrates that you worked or lived at the base for at least 30 days from August 1, 1953 to December 31, 1987. This could include proof of residency such as a lease agreement. You will also want to gather medical records showing that you have been diagnosed with a condition resulting from the contaminated water.
What Chemicals Were In The Water At Camp Lejeune?
In the 1980’s military researchers started testing the water at the two major water treatment plants for Camp Lejeune. They discovered numerous chemicals in the water including trichloroethylene (TCE), tetrachloroethylene (PCE), vinyl chloride (VC) and benzene. TCE is an industrial solvent used for cleaning metal. PCE is used for dry cleaning and metal degreasing. Benzene is used to make chemicals which are then used to make plastics. These chemicals were found in quantities hundreds of times higher than what would be considered safe. If taken in sufficient quantities, they can lead to serious ailments and fatal cancers.
What Illnesses Are Associated With The Water At Camp Lejeune?
The chemicals solvents and degreasing agents found in the water at Camp Lejeune have been scientifically linked to numerous ailments and cancers. What follows below are some of the diseases and cancers that have been linked to exposure to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune.
- Bladder cancer
- Breast cancer
- Esophageal cancer
- Female infertility
- Hepatic steatosis
- Kidney cancer
- Lung cancer
- Multiple myeloma
- Myelodysplastic syndromes
- Neurobehavioral effects
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
- Renal toxicity
It has been estimated that over 1,000,000 people were exposed to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune. Many of the illnesses that people developed were not readily apparent. It is best to consult with your doctor if you know that you were exposed. You should look out for numerous symptoms including fatigue, shortness of breath, abdominal pain and pain in the back of the throat.
Getting Help With Your Camp Lejeune Claim
Do you need help after being diagnosed with an illness associated with your stay at Camp Lejeune? The toxic tort attorneys at Gersowitz Libo & Korek, P.C. are here for you. Our team of litigators have decades of experience. In fact, they have recovered nearly $1 billion for their deserving clients. They care deeply that veterans, their families and all people affected by the toxic water at Camp Lejeune get the support and justice that they are entitled to. Whether you would like to know more about the Camp Lejeune Justice Act or are looking to pursue a civil claim, we are here for you. You can reach out to us anytime at 800-529-9997.