Camp Lejeune Justice Act Allows Victims of Water Contamination to File Lawsuits

Lever & Ecker, PLLC August 16, 2022 Personal injury

Between 1953 and 1987, more than one million people who passed through Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in eastern North Carolina were exposed to drinking and bathing water that contained toxic substances. The contaminated water was caused by dangerously high levels of benzene, industrial solvents, and other carcinogens which were disposed of near the base’s wells for years. While the contamination began in the 1950s, the wells containing the contaminated water were not fully shut down until 1985.

Veterans and civilians alike who occupied the base during that time period were sickened from the toxic water exposure. Many developed very serious illnesses such as Parkinson’s disease, liver cirrhosis, and various forms of cancer, including leukemia, kidney cancer, and pancreatic cancer, while others suffered from severe reproductive health conditions such as infertility and birth defects.

The Honoring Our PACT Act, legislation which includes the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022, was signed into law by President Biden on August 10, 2022, paving a sound road to justice for victims who were exposed to the contaminated water at the base between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987. The Act permits those who worked or lived on the base, who were exposed to contaminated drinking water at the base for at least thirty (30) days, and subsequently diagnosed with a health condition related to the contaminant exposure, to be eligible for compensation. The Act only covers individuals who have not already been compensated and requires that the injured person or their representative first file an administrative claim for damages with the appropriate federal agency within two (2) years after the date of enactment. Notably, the Act states that the U.S. government may not assert any claim of immunity that would generally be available. 

More information on the Camp Lejeune Justice Act can be found on the following web page from the United States Congress

If you or someone you know was a victim of contaminated water at Camp Lejeune, please know that, under this law, the window to bring legal action against those responsible and achieve justice for yourself or a loved one is August 10, 2024, two (2) years from the enactment of the Act. We at Lever & Ecker, PLLC would welcome the opportunity to help you.

Lever & Ecker, PLLC is a personal injury firm located in White Plains and the Bronx, NY. Our attorneys have represented clients in a wide variety of personal injury cases including automobile accidents, slip/trip and fall accidents, construction accidents, and nursing home negligence, among various others. Please contact us at (914) 288-9191 or for more information. 

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