Victims will have to prove that they spent at least 30 days at Camp Lejeune during that period, but these days don’t have to be consecutive.
At long last, victims of the water contamination at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina may get their day in court and the damages they deserve for the terrible health problems they’ve been dealing with for decades.
On June 16, 2022, the US Senate passed the Camp Lejeune Justice Act which allows anyone who lived or worked at the Marine Corps base in North Carolina between 1953 and 1987 for at least 30 days to file a claim against the U.S. government.
The Camp Lejeune Justice Act, which is encompassed in the Honoring our PACT Act of 2022, is now on President Biden’s desk and will be passed into law once it is signed.
To file a claim under this act, anyone who was at the Camp Lejeune base during the specified period must reach out to an experienced North Carolina accident lawyer. This is not a class action suit so each victim will have to file an individual claim.
The story behind the Camp Lejeune water contamination scandal
According to estimates, more than 1 million people passed through Camp Lejeune between 1953 and 1987, and some 500,000 experienced various health issues due to exposure to the contaminants in the water they used to drink, cook or clean themselves.
The two nearby water treatment plants were contaminated by leaking underground storage tanks, industrial area spills, and waste disposal sites. According to a study by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), the contamination started somewhere around August 1953.
The Marines, their families and the personnel at the base were unwittingly exposed to known carcinogens at up to 280 times the standard safety level in the water, including trichloroethylene (TCE), tetrachloroethylene (PCE), vinyl chloride (VC), and benzene.
Studies showed that these toxic substances increase the risk of developing various types of cancer, cardiac problems, renal toxicity, and liver problems. They also cause immunity problems, low fertility, miscarriages, and birth defects.
What’s next for Camp Lejeune victims?
Previous legislation introduced to compensate victims offered only limited benefits, mostly available through the Department for Veteran Affairs. When the Camp Lejeune Justice Act is signed into law, all those exposed to the contaminated water at the base will be able to file a personal injury lawsuit.
Unlike previous legislation which offered only economic damages, victims can now also seek non-economic damages for the pain and suffering they were put through. To understand how pain and suffering damages are calculated and how much their claim is worth, victims or their families must contact knowledgeable North Carolina accident lawyers.
Those who passed away while waiting for this moment can still get some sort of justice. Families must set up an estate on behalf of the deceased and file a claim in his name. Skilled accident lawyers can help you with that.
Victims have two years since the moment the bill is signed into law to file a claim. However, legal experts warn that people should not wait too long. There’s a lot of documentation to be done and you don’t want to miss the chance to get the compensation you deserve.
Victims will have to prove that they spent at least 30 days at Camp Lejeune during that period, but these days don’t have to be consecutive. As long as the time spent there adds up to 30 days, a person is eligible to seek damages.
If you’re among those waiting for justice for the suffering caused by the water contamination at Camp Lejeune, schedule a free consultation with a tough attorney at the Greg Jones Law firm in North Carolina. They’ll help you prepare the documents you need and they’ll fight to get you the justice you deserve.
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