What You Should Know About The Camp Lejeune Justice Act
Congress passed legislation known as the Camp Lejeune Justice Act on August 2, 2022, and President Biden signed it into law shortly thereafter. But what does this mean for people who served and worked at Camp Lejeune? At Summers, Rufolo & Rodgers, we are formulating answers to the questions you may have about this historic legislation and what it could mean for you and your family. Here are the answers to a few of those questions:
What caused the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune?
Chemical spills and leaks occurring both on- and off-base caused contamination at two water treatment plants on the base. The U.S. Marine Corps has been aware of the contamination since 1982.
Why did Congress pass legislation allowing lawsuits for people who served at Camp Lejeune?
The purpose of the Act is to allow people who served, lived and worked at Camp Lejeune from 1953 to 1987 the right to sue the U.S. government for exposure to toxic chemicals in the water supply. Prior to the Act, those injured could not sue the U.S. government for compensation because of North Carolina’s statute of limitations for injury claims.
What types of conditions and injuries are covered by the Act?
The Act allows compensation for a long list of medical conditions linked to the toxic chemicals at issue. Examples include:
- Neurological disorders
- Systematic sclerosis/scleroderma
- Many types of cancers, including leukemia, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and breast cancer
- Chronic renal failure
- Reproductive issues
This is by no means all of them. To find out whether your medical condition is covered by the Act, discuss your case with one of our attorneys in a free consultation.
What compensation does the Justice for Lejeune Act allow?
Victims can sue the U.S. government for reparations for medical coverage, loss of quality of life and pain and suffering. Your medical coverage includes past, present and future costs. If you have received veteran’s benefits to cover past medical care, you will not receive reimbursement twice, but you can receive reimbursement for any out-of-pocket costs.
How is this different from the Janey Ensminger Act of 2013?
The Obama administration passed that law in 2013 to create a VA service related connection for injury and illness servicemembers experienced as a result of contamination at Camp Lejeune, allowing them to receive VA benefits and medical care. That law did not extend to civilians, non-servicemember family members or dependents and did not cover any medical costs accrued before the law went into effect.
Let Us Help You Find Answers
You may have many other questions about your situation and your possible claim. We offer free consultations to help you find answers. Call our Chattanooga office at 423-933-2738 or fill out our online contact form to get started.