Deadline to File Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Claims Quickly Approaching

The U.S. government has finally acknowledged its responsibility for the devastating health impacts caused by the contaminated water supply at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. After decades of denial and inaction, the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 has opened a narrow window of opportunity for those affected to seek long-overdue compensation.

However, the clock is ticking. Victims and their families must act quickly, as the deadline to file a claim is rapidly approaching. This two-year statute of limitations, ending on August 10, 2024, underscores the urgency for those who lived or worked at Camp Lejeune between 1953 and 1987 to take legal action before time runs out.

Illnesses Linked to Contamination Water at Camp Lejeune

The contamination of Camp Lejeune’s water supply is one of the worst environmental disasters in U.S. history. For over three decades, toxic chemicals like trichloroethylene (TCE), tetrachloroethylene (PCE), vinyl chloride, and benzene infiltrated the base’s water treatment plants, exposing as many as one million service members, their families, and civilian workers to these hazardous substances.

The consequences have been dire, with a wide range of serious and potentially life-threatening health conditions emerging among those exposed to Camp Lejeune’s contaminated water. Cancers, such as bladder, kidney, liver, leukemia, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and multiple myeloma, as well as neurological disorders like Parkinson’s disease, have all been linked to the toxic water supply at Camp Lejeune.

Timeline of the Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Crisis

The origins of the Camp Lejeune water contamination crisis can be traced back to the early 1950s, when the base was first established in Jacksonville, North Carolina. Over the next three decades, the water supply from two major treatment plants – Hadnot Point and Tarawa Terrace – became increasingly polluted with industrial solvents and other hazardous chemicals. In 1980, water testing at Camp Lejeune detected trace levels of industrial solvents in the water supply, and an Army lab found that treated water from the Hadnot Point plant was “highly contaminated with low molecular weight halogenated hydrocarbons.” Marine leadership was notified of these findings.

It wasn’t until 1985 that the Marine Corps finally shut down the most contaminated wells supplying water to Camp Lejeune. In 1988, a memo indicates that the Marine Corps knew for years that the base’s fuel farm was leaking 1,500 gallons of fuel per month, posing a “continuing potential threat to human health and the environment,” but took no action. In January 2014, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) issued a position statement finding that “past exposures from the 1950s through February 1985 to trichloroethylene (TCE), tetrachloroethylene (PCE), vinyl chloride, and other contaminants in the drinking water at the Camp Lejeune likely increased the risk of cancers.”

The Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022

In August 2022, President Biden signed the Honoring Our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act, which included the Camp Lejeune Justice Act (CLJA), allowing those harmed by the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune to sue the government for damages. The CLJA has established clear criteria for determining who is eligible to file a claim against the U.S. government for injuries and illnesses related to the base’s toxic water supply. To qualify, individuals must have:

  1. Lived or worked at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 days between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987.
  2. Developed a serious health condition that has been linked to the contaminated water, such as:
    • Cancers: Bladder, kidney, liver, leukemia, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, multiple myeloma, pancreatic, lung, ovarian, prostate
    • Neurological disorders: Parkinson’s disease
    • Reproductive issues: Aplastic anemia, female infertility, birth defects, cardiac defects
    • Other conditions: Esophageal cancer, brain cancer, Crohn’s disease, scleroderma

Camp Lejeune Litigation and Compensation Efforts

In the wake of the Justice Act’s passage, thousands of claims have been filed by service members, their family members, and civilian workers who were exposed to the contaminated water during the specified time period. As of May 2024, more than $9.6 million has been paid out to over 40 families through the Elective Option program, which allows eligible claimants to receive a settlement offer based on a predetermined compensation schedule, rather than going through the full litigation process. However, this represents only a small fraction of the estimated $21 billion that the government has projected to pay in total Camp Lejeune compensation.

Camp Lejeune Justice Act Deadline Approaching in August 2024

The majority of Camp Lejeune claimants are still awaiting resolution, as the claims make their way through the legal system. As the two-year window for filing claims rapidly approaches, it is crucial for those who lived or worked at Camp Lejeune during the contamination period to act quickly and submit a claim. The opportunity to hold the government accountable and secure the compensation they deserve may soon be lost.

Camp Lejeune Lawsuit Information

Camp Lejeune lawsuits are alleging a link between the military base's contaminated water supply and an increased risk of cancer and other serious health problems. Learn more by clicking on the button.
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