In the first eight months since the Camp Lejeune Justice Act was signed, attorneys have filed about 800 cases for service members, their families, and civilians who became ill after exposure to contaminated water at the military base camp in North Carolina.
Toxic chemicals were in the drinking and bathing water at Camp Lejeune from 1953 to 1987, exposing those who lived or worked on the base to health risks, such as cancer, leukemia, Parkinson’s disease, birth defects, and fertility problems. The new Congressional Act allows those who suffered injuries from this exposure to file a claim for compensation within two years.
In a recent hearing before the U.S. House and Senate Veterans Affairs committees, various veteran organizations urged the committees to impose a cap on attorneys’ fees. The main opposition didn’t focus on whether a fee cap was appropriate. Many are in favor of working within a reasonable percentage. However, some argue that dropping the fee too low could discourage qualified attorneys from taking these cases, leaving veterans with less qualified representation.
Beasley Allen has an entire team of lawyers and staff dedicated to investigating, filing, and establishing causation for claims by people or survivors of individuals who were exposed to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune and were later diagnosed with certain health conditions. The team is co-led by Julia Merritt and Leslie LaMacchia, under the Toxic Torts practice group led by Rhon Jones. The timetable for filing claims for exposure to toxic water at Camp Lejeune is two years from signing the Act into law on Aug. 10, 2022. Contact a lawyer on the Toxic Torts team at Beasley Allen to help you with your Camp Lejeune claims.
In Harm’s Way
We promised to care for our service members and their loved ones and pay for that care in return for their service to us. Yet, Congress has historically turned its back on those affected by the toxic chemicals that tainted the water at Camp Lejeune. Records show that both military and the Environmental Protection Agency knew that dangerous chemicals were leaching into the water at the base camp as early as the 1970s. Several studies well into the 1980s confirmed these findings.
Toxic agents seeped into the soil along the base camp at fuel depots, base junkyards, and at least one dry cleaner. The chemicals poisoned groundwater for over 34 years, beginning in 1953, and sickened millions. Over months, years, and decades, they suffered from multiple cancers, neurological disorders, miscarriages, and birth defects. Many died from their diagnoses.
Those who became ill after exposure to the contaminated water were at the mercy of North Carolina’s statute of repose, which placed a strict 10-year time period for individuals to bring a lawsuit seeking compensation for their injuries until President Biden signed the Camp Lejeune Justice Act into law.
Long-Awaited Justice for Camp Lejeune Victims
Congressional Act, which went into effect on Aug. 10, 2022, allows anyone who lived or worked at the base for at least 30 days from Aug. 1, 1953, to Dec. 31, 1987, who suffered certain health problems to file a claim against the U.S. government. There is a strict two-year statute of limitations for administrative claims, so time runs out on filing a Camp Lejeune administrative claim on Aug. 10, 2024.
The government handles the claims in a two-part process involving an administrative claim to the Department of the Navy followed by a lawsuit with the U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of North Carolina. Investigating and filing these claims takes time, so those seeking to file a claim should act quickly.
Our nationally recognized attorneys represent Camp Lejeune victims throughout the country to get the compensation they deserve. Call us today to discuss your case. We have the resources to represent clients nationwide while never losing sight of the individual. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.