Camp Lejeune Injury Claims
The Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022, which was recently enacted, allows individuals to recover damages from the United States for injuries that resulted from exposure to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, during 1953-1987. The new law opens up a window of time, at least until August 10, 2024, in which individuals who were harmed by the water contamination at Camp Lejeune may bring a claim against the United States.
A claim for personal injuries or wrongful death can be brought by or on behalf of any individual, veteran or civilian, but before any such claim can be brought in court, it must first be submitted for review by the appropriate federal agency. The agency may, in turn, accept or deny a claim.
In making a claim, there are certain things one has to show:
1. exposure to the water at Camp Lejeune was for at least 30 days during August 1, 1953 – December 31, 1987; and
2. evidence that a causal relationship exists between the contaminated water exposure/ingestion and the injury suffered.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has made a list of physical conditions that it has presumptively found to be related to the Camp Lejeune water contamination. If someone has one or more of diagnoses of these specific physical conditions and meets the criteria of exposure for at least 30 days, then they are presumed to have been harmed by the contamination. Those 8 presumptive conditions are:
- Adult leukemia
- Aplastic anemia and other myelodysplastic syndromes
- Bladder cancer
- Kidney cancer
- Liver cancer
- Multiple myeloma
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
- Parkinson’s disease
The governmental agency has also listed certain conditions as being potentially compensable diseases in connection with the Camp Lejeune water contamination:
- Breast cancer
- Esophageal cancer
- Female infertility
- Hepatic steatosis
- Lung cancer
- Myelodysplastic syndromes
- Neurobehavioral effects
- Renal toxicity
These lists are not necessarily exhaustive of all conditions that could have been caused by the Camp Lejeune water contamination, but non-listed conditions would require more evidence to prove that the contamination was the cause of the condition.
Additionally, veterans making a claim for injuries caused by the Camp Lejeune water contamination can file not only for an award of damages through the Tort Claims Unit mentioned above, but also for VA health care and disability benefits with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Those are two independent avenues for compensation for veterans.
If you or your loved one has been harmed by the water contamination at Camp Lejuene, contact one of our attorneys today to discuss how we can help you make a claim for your damages.