Congress has passed the Camp Lejeune Justice Act, which applies to anyone who lived, worked, or served at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune between 1953 to 1987, including military personnel, guardsmen, reservists, military family members, and civilian employees who worked on the base. The Act is designed to help anyone who suffered injuries or death from exposure to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune to bring a claim within two years from when the Act becomes effective. President Biden is expected to sign the Act in the coming weeks. Beasley Allen lawyers are working with clients eligible for relief under this Act and are pursuing litigation against the federal government on their behalf.
“Our clients and others dedicated their lives to serving our country; in return, they were poisoned with hazardous chemicals and left to suffer life-threatening injuries,” said Beasley Allen attorney Julia Merritt.
From 1953 to 1987, more than one million military service personnel and their families were exposed to contaminated water at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune and Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) New River in North Carolina. The water was contaminated with volatile organic compounds, degreasers, chemicals used on heavy machinery, and more than 70 other highly toxic substances. The government knew about this contamination but took no action, ignoring warnings from experts, site inspections and reports, and comments from military service members and their families that the water tasted of chemicals.
“68 years after the contamination period started and 34 years after it ended, Congress finally acknowledged the damage the United States caused to its military population at Camp Lejeune and MCAS New River. Now, victims have only a short time to bring claims,” said Beasley Allen attorney Trisha Green. “Unfortunately, many of the victims are unaware of this Act.”
Any person that resided at Camp Lejeune or MCAS New River for at least 30 days between August 1953 and December 1987 and has a serious illness, miscarriage, or birth defect is potentially eligible for disability, health care, and compensation.
Common injuries include:
- Bladder Cancer
- Breast Cancer
- Cervical Cancer
- Esophageal Cancer
- Kidney Cancer
- Liver Cancer
- Lung Cancer
- Ovarian Cancer
- Stomach Cancer
- Birth Defects and Birth Injuries
- Multiple Myeloma and other Myelodysplastic Syndromes
- Adult Leukemia
- Aplastic Anemia and other Bone Marrow Conditions
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Renal Toxicity
- Neurobehavioral Effects
- And Death
The contaminated water was used for drinking, cooking, and bathing in enlisted family housing, barracks, schools, base hospitals, recreational areas, and administrative offices. Any individual who was present at Camp Lejeune during these years, including veterans, family members, civilian workers, reservists, and guardsmen may be eligible for relief under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act.
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