On August 10, 2022, President Joe Biden signed the Honoring Our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics Act (PACT) into law. This legislature contains the Camp Lejeune Justice Act (CLJA), also known as H.R. 6482, which sheds light on water contamination at Camp Lejeune that occurred between 1953 and 1987. During this period, several military service members, their families, workers, and other community members near Camp Lejeune were exposed to carcinogenic contaminants.
Suppose you or a loved one served in the U.S. military and was stationed at Camp Lejeune between August 1, 1953 and December 31, 1987. In that case, you may qualify to file for compensation if you developed an illness potentially caused by water contamination exposure. Our team at Schiller & Hamilton offers free case evaluations to discuss your legal options.
Some Military Service Members and Personnel May Qualify to File a Lawsuit
The CLJA holds the federal government accountable for exposing people to carcinogens between 1953 and 1987. It references a 2007 report by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), which found that water supply wells for Camp Lejeune had traces of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), such as:
- Perchloroethylene (PCE)
- Trichloroethylene (TCE)
- Vinyl chloride (VC)
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), contaminants like PCE are “widely used for dry-cleaning fabrics and metal degreasing operations.” If inhaled or ingested, PCE can irritate the upper respiratory tract and eyes and cause other negative symptoms, such as headaches, disorientation, mood and behavioral changes, and even kidney dysfunction. In severe cases, PCE and other contaminants can cause people to develop cancer in the kidneys, liver, and bladder, among other areas of the body.
Who Qualifies to File a Camp Lejeune Lawsuit?
If you are interested in filing a Camp Lejeune lawsuit, you must meet the following eligibility criteria:
- You were in Camp Lejeune for at least 30 cumulative days between August 1, 1953 and December 31, 1987. Cases related to Camp Lejeune water contamination exposure are not exclusive to military service members. As long as you lived and/or worked at Camp Lejeune during the qualifying window period, you may file your case.
- You became ill or suffered an injury as a result of being exposed to contaminants in Camp Lejeune’s water supply. You will need to prove how you were exposed to the contaminants, such as by drinking water or taking showers. If your or your family’s medical history relates to your illness or injury, you may have to establish how the water contamination exposure may have aggravated your condition.
- You were honorably discharged if you served in the U.S. military. Those dishonorably discharged from the military may be barred from pursuing compensation from the federal government.
Our legal team can review your case and confirm what steps we can take to prepare your lawsuit.
Our Legal Team Knows How to Prepare Your Camp Lejeune Lawsuit
Many people are unaware of their rights and might feel intimidated by filing a case against the federal government. Our attorneys at Schiller & Hamilton want to give you a voice in court and stand up for your right to financial recovery. If you or a loved one was affected by Camp Lejeune water contamination exposure, we want to help you prepare a comprehensive case.
Should you decide to work with our team, we can:
- Collect evidence to support your claims: We’ll conduct our own investigation to gather documentation about your injuries/illness, proof of military service, and other necessary records to support your case.
- Manage all administrative tasks and communications: Our team will handle legal paperwork, including filing your lawsuit with the federal court system. If another party reaches out to you for a statement, you can also refer them to your lawyer or our firm, and our team will handle those communications as well.
- Advocate for you throughout your case: Our lawyers’ legal representation goes beyond the courtroom. If there is an opportunity to settle your case through negotiations, your lawyer will do the back and forth to discuss your demands. We care about each client we take on, allowing us to fight for their stories and share their struggles.
If you have additional questions, we can answer them in a future consultation.
Pursuing Financial Compensation Can Help You Recover Damages You Suffered
People wanting to file a Camp Lejeune lawsuit may do so to recover the following types of damages:
- Current and future medical treatment expenses
- Lost wages and future loss of wages if the plaintiff’s injuries are long-term or permanent
- Damages related to living with a permanent disability or physical disfigurement
- Diminished quality of life
- Reduced earning potential
- Emotional distress, including depression and anxiety
- Pain and suffering and inconvenience
You may claim other damages not listed in this article. We will review your case with you to discuss what damages you faced. We can estimate a compensation figure that fairly covers your damages, then use this as a goal when representing your case.
Is There a Legal Deadline for Camp Lejeune Lawsuits?
Yes. Per 28 U.S. Code § 2401, all lawsuits filed against the federal government must occur within two years of the commencing action. President Biden signed CLJA into law on August 10, 2022, so the two-year window will end on August 10, 2024. If you do not submit your case within the legal filing period, you may be barred from demanding compensation in federal court.
The Office of the Judge Advocate General (JAG) of the Navy’s Tort Claims Unit (TCU) is currently accepting claims through the JAG’s website, where you can fill out a CLJA claims form about your case. However, over 15,000 claims have been submitted, with more to come, which may prolong the review process. Our legal team will monitor responses from the federal government should any changes affect your case.
Call Schiller & Hamilton Today to Get a Free Case Evaluation
There is still time for you to submit your claim to the Department of the Navy. If you or a loved one became sick or developed an injury due to water contamination exposure in Camp Lejeune, you may qualify to pursue compensation if this occurred between August 1, 1953 and December 31, 1987. Our legal team can help you build a legal case against the U.S. government and advocate for your right to financial recovery.
Call now to get a free consultation with a team member at Schiller & Hamilton. We can assign a Camp Lejeune lawsuit lawyer to your case and give updates as they come. Start your legal journey today.