Find Litigation FAQs here…
What contaminated the water at Camp Lejeune?
- Water treatment plants that supplied water to Camp Lejeune, North Carolina were contaminated with toxic chemicals for over 30 years. Toxic chemicals leaked into the water from several sources, including illegal chemical dumping and disposal.The contaminated water may have injured untold numbers of victims who had no idea that the water they were bathing in and using was contaminated.Studies conducted by multiple independent agencies of the US government have shown that the drinking water supply at Camp Lejeune was contaminated from 1953 to 1987. Toxic chemicals from several on base and off base sources leaked into the groundwater that was tapped to supply drinking water to the base.The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) is the lead federal agency currently conducting Camp Lejeune health studies.
ATSDR’s studies have shown that those who were exposed to the contaminated water developed serious health problems, including cancer, Parkinson’s disease, and kidney disease. Exposure of at least 30 days on base between August 1, 1953 and December 31, 1987 has been shown to cause serious illness and birth defects.
Service members and others who worked on base and the families who lived on base before the contaminated wells were shut down could have bathed in and ingested tap water that was contaminated with harmful chemicals.
People did not know about the toxic water and the connection to their health issues because the government covered up the problem for over 30 years. Once the government did disclose the contamination issue, it was too late for injured people to file a lawsuit under North Carolina law. Any claims or cases that were filed prior to the passage of the Camp Lejeune Justice Act were dismissed. The Camp Lejeune Justice Act will be the only chance for those injured by the toxic water to be compensated for their injuries.
Please read our Reports for more about the water contamination here...
What types of injuries were caused by the toxic water?
Many different diseases and health conditions are linked to the toxic chemicals found in the water supply at Camp Lejeune. Those conditions include:
- Kidney Cancer
- Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
- Multiple Myeloma
- Leukemia (all types)
- Liver Cancer
- Bladder Cancer
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Kidney Disease
- Systemic Sclerosis/scleroderma
- Cardiac Defects (birth defects)
- Pancreatic Cancer
- Breast Cancer (male & female)
- Rectal Cancer
- Prostate Cancer
- Esophageal Cancer
- Brain/CNS Cancers
- Hepatic Steatosis (fatty liver)
- Infertility (female)
- Aplastic Anemia and other myelodysplastic syndromes
- Neurobehavior Effects
Other conditions are still being studied. Serious medical conditions not on the list above may be eligible for compensation.
What does the Camp Lejeune Justice Act do?
The Camp Lejeune Justice Act is part of the Sergeant Heath Robinson Honoring our PACT Act of 2022. President Biden signed the bill into law on August 10, 2022.
The Act will allow those who were exposed (even in utero exposure) to water contamination at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 days between August 1, 1953 and December 31, 1987 to file a lawsuit for compensation for injuries caused by the exposure. Marines, Naval personnel, civilians, and their families who can prove they spent at least 30 days on base during this period of contamination are eligible. Many potentially eligible claimants have sadly passed away prior the bill being signed. The personal representative of the estate of a deceased person will have a right to file a claim on behalf of a deceased person who was injured due to the contaminated water.
Where will these cases be filed?
A lawsuit may be filed 180 days after the administrative claim is denied. Administrative claims that are not decided within 180 days of filing will automatically be deemed denied. Then a civil lawsuit can be filed in federal court. All lawsuits must be filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina.
What is the Honoring our PACT Act/PACT Act?
This is historic legislation that will help thousands of injured people finally be able to hold the government accountable and get compensation for their injuries.
The full name of the legislation is the Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act of 2022. It’s called the PACT Act or Honoring our PACT act for short.
This historic bipartisan legislation is one of the largest health and benefits expansions in the VA’s history. The bill overcame last-minute unexpected resistance by a group of Republican Senators and achieved final passage on August 2, 2022. President Biden quickly signed it into law on August 10, 2022.
The PACT Act expands disability compensation and health care benefits for millions of Veterans exposed to toxic substances during their military service. The Act adds new presumptive conditions that are eligible for VA benefits and healthcare. The PACT Act addresses illnesses acquired by exposure to toxic burn pits, radiation, certain herbicides, Agent Orange, and other toxins that have been harming Veterans for decades.
This legislation expands healthcare for combat veterans who served after 9/11, creates a framework for the establishment of future presumptions of service related to toxic exposure, expands the VA’s list of service presumptions, and improves resources to support the VA’s claims processing. The PACT Act also strengthens the VA’s workforce, facilities, and claims processing capabilities.
The Senate voted to name this legislation in honor of Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson who was deployed to Iraq and Kosovo with the Ohio National Guard. Sgt. Robinson died in 2020 after a 3-year battle with a rare form of lung cancer related to toxic exposure during his military service.
Will I lose my VA benefits or other benefits if I file a case?
No. If you currently receive VA disability benefits, your benefits should not be affected. Your disability payments will remain the same. If you obtain compensation for a Camp Lejeune Justice Act claim, the amount you receive can be offset by past amounts paid by the VA related to the injury that was caused by the Camp Lejeune toxic water exposure. The offset would not apply to benefits the VA paid for medical conditions that are not related to the toxic water exposure.
If I have disability benefits from the VA for a presumptive condition caused by exposure at Camp Lejeune, can I still get compensation under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act?
Yes, you can receive under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act even if you are already receiving VA disability benefits or any other benefits.
Compensation awarded to a Camp Lejeune Justice Act claimant would be offset by the VA disability payments only if those benefits are related to an injury caused by the toxic exposure at Camp Lejeune. Essentially, the offset ensures that a claimant is not paid a second time for the same thing.
What if I previously filed a claim and it was denied. Does that mean I cannot file another claim?
You can still file a new claim after the bill passes.Victims have been barred from recovering money for any previous claims due to North Carolina’s statute of repose, which prevents claims from being filed after a certain period of time. North Carolina’s time limit requires claims must be filed within 10 years of the contaminating event. The government did not notify the public about the contamination until well over 10 years after the contamination occurred.
North Carolina is one of the only states in the country with such a strict statute of repose for toxic exposure. The Camp Lejeune Justice Act essentially overrides the North Carolina statute of repose and restarts the clock. Injury claimants will now have 2 years to file a claim after the date the bill was signed.