Victims Sickened By Camp Lejeune Contaminated Water Can Sue
Parkinson’s disease. Birth defects. Kidney diseases. These are all serious injuries and complications you would expect could result from some type of poisoning or exposure to some kind of carcinogenic substance. Not from drinking water. And certainly, not from drinking the water on a United State Army and Military base.
People Killed, Sickened at Camp Lejeune
But this is exactly what happened to United States service members at Camp Lejeune, for over 30 years, because of serious contamination to the camp’s water supply. It is believed that the water supply was contaminated by nearby waste sites (most of which closed around 1982-1985) that allowed toxic, cancerous chemicals to leak into the ground.
Carcinogens found in the water supply include chemicals that make plastics, those that degrease metals, and industrial grade solvents.
It was not just the service people who suffered; it was their babies as well, many dying at or shortly after childbirth due to contamination.
Government Ignores Service Members Concerns
When problems were discovered, and service people started getting sick, the government not only did nothing about it, but tried to deny that they owed any compensation to the military families. Many government agencies asserted that the military families had brought their claims too late, and that they had missed the statute of limitations, or statute of repose, both of which cut off someone’s right to sue (the Federal Tort Claims Act only allows people 2 years to sue the federal government for injuries).
Many veterans seeking help from Veterans Administration hospitals were turned away when the government said that the service members’ medical conditions couldn’t be proven to be related to Camp Lejeune.
New Law Makes it Easier to Sue
Thankfully, new laws have now been enacted, which take effect in 2022, allowing service people who were at Camp Lejeune to sue for their injuries if they served anytime from 1953-1987. The Camp Lejeune Justice Act is separate from the Federal Tort Claims Act, the law that normally must be followed when suing the federal government.
The law doesn’t just apply to service members either; anybody who worked at Camp Lejeune during that time period is also eligible to sue under the new law. That includes contractors, employees, and guardsmen, so long as you worked, or were stationed at the camp, for more than 30 days.
Over 30 different illnesses and injuries are covered by the new law, and the list of eligible illnesses is still growing as more are added. Almost every kind of cancer is also included. That list includes injuries to newborns, miscarriages, fetal malformations and other types of birth defects.
For veterans that already get some form of benefits from the Veterans Administration, or as part of their service, suing under the new act will not risk or jeopardize any remaining benefits.
Although the law is designed to make it easier for affected service members to sue, you can bet the government will still fight these claims vigorously. Don’t just fill out a form online and wait to get paid. That will likely end in frustration; a good class action and toxic tort attorney can help you.
Call the Clinton camp lejeune justice act lawyers at Fox Farley Willis & Burnette, PLLC, today if you have been a victim of toxins, poisonings, or contamination of any kind, including if you may have been made ill or injured by contamination at Camp Lejeune.