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What is the Camp Lejeune Justice Act and How Does it Help Victims?

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September 6, 2022 Firm News, Personal Injury

If you or a loved one in Colorado suffered illnesses related to exposure to toxic water at Marine Corp Base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, it’s likely that you’ve waited many years for the chance to receive the compensation you deserve. Unfortunately, due to North Carolina’s Statute of Repose, victims have been unable to seek compensation for injuries received more than ten years ago — until now. A new federal bill passed by the Biden administration allows victims to seek compensation in U.S. federal court for their medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering related to exposure to toxins at Camp Lejeune between 1953 and 1987.

For Colorado residents who were once stationed at Camp Lejeune or have a loved one who spent time training or working at the facility, it can be difficult navigating through the new changes in the legal system to file a claim. A dedicated attorney with skills and experience in personal injury law may be your best chance to receive the compensation you and your loved ones deserve in a timely manner.

What Happened at Camp Lejeune?

At least 900,000 military personnel spent time stationed at the United States Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune between 1953 and 1987, often with family members living in the nearby housing units including the Tarawa Terrace Family Housing and the Knox Trailer Park. Testing later revealed that the water treatment plant servicing the base and the nearby housing facilities was compromised by volatile organic compounds from solvents from a nearby dry cleaning service as well as from leaking underground storage tanks. These chemicals contaminated the groundwater used for drinking, washing, and cooking on the base and in the housing areas. Research now links the contaminants to many types of cancer, Parkinson’s Disease, and other illnesses as well as birth defects and miscarriages. Because many of these illnesses develop over time, North Carolina’s Statue of Repose prevented victims from receiving the compensation they deserved.

The PACT ACT and The Camp Lejeune Justice Act 

The Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxins (PACT) ACT of 2022 expanded the healthcare eligibility for millions of veterans who were exposed to toxins during their military service, including many exposed to toxic smoke from burn pits in Iraq. The exposure to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune also falls under the PACT ACT, leading to the Camp Lejeune Justice Act for those suffering from grave diseases linked to their time at Camp Lejeune. Because the PACT Act expands the number of illnesses considered presumptively caused by toxic exposure, veterans no longer have to prove that the exposure caused their illness. Instead, they automatically qualify if they were stationed during times and in places where exposures occurred and they contracted one of the 23 specific presumptive conditions. Because the data has already proven that the water at Camp Lejeune contained dangerous levels of illness-causing contaminants between 1953 and 1987, The Camp Lejeune Justice Act focuses on ensuring compensation for Camp Lejeune victims under the PACT ACT of 2022.

If you or your loved one suffered from cancer or other illnesses and spent 30 days or more at Camp Lejeune at any time between 1953 and 1987 an experienced personal injury lawyer can help your family finally achieve justice through compensation for your suffering.