Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawsuit Updates
Over the past couple of years drinking water contamination has been all over the news.
- April 2013 is considered the start of the Flint, MI water crisis;
- 2017 USA Today: “63 million Americans exposed to unsafe drinking water.
- October 2021 EPA proposes a roadmap for 2021-2024 Drinking Water;
- June 2022 -$1 billion in funding from infrastructure law devoted to clean drinking water;
- In June 2022 both the House and the Senate passed the Camp Lejeune Justice Act.
Water is essential for healthy living. When people do not have access to safe drinking water it causes numerous health issues. We rely on clean water for bathing, drinking, and cooking. Most of the major health crises in the United States going back to the 1800s have been connected to poor water.
Many of these problems were eradicated in the 30s and 40s with the advent of modern water distribution systems. The EPA was established in 1970 and is tasked with research, monitoring, and regulation of various pollution issues.
A major issue with water contamination problems is that the symptoms and diseases don’t necessarily manifest immediately. Some people are showing signs of disease and health problems decades after the exposure.
Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022
U.S. House Representative Matt Cartwright from PA introduced the Camp Lejeune Justice Act which will address the freeze on claims that North Carolina has held firm on. Some veterans have been able to get some benefits but many have been denied.
“The service members who signed up to defend their country and the people who supported them at Camp Lejeune were let down in a big way by their government. This tragedy was a major failure on the part of the Department of Defense, and all those who suffered for it deserve justice,” said Rep. Cartwright.
Honoring Our Pact Act of 2022
The Camp Lejeune Justice Act has been working its way through congress and is connected to a larger bill called: Honoring Our Pact Act of 2022. The bill was introduced to the house in June of 2021. The bill was discussed and revised several times but was passed in the House on March 03, 2022. Subsequently, the bill was passed in the Senate on June 16, 2022.
Image source: here.
The next step is for President Joe Biden to sign the bill. Once it becomes law it will give victims a path forward to seek benefits and damages related to the Camp Lejeune water contamination.
VA Disability Benefit
Veterans will need to seek VA disability benefits claims. This process can be long and complicated. A qualified legal representative can help families get the benefits they deserve. This process may also be expedited if you meet the following conditions.
- Proof you served at Camp Lejeune or MCAS for at least 30 days (consecutive or nonconsecutive).
- Proof served at Camp Lejeune or MCAS sometime between August 01, 1952, and December 31, 1987.
- No dishonorable discharge.
- You must have suffered one or more of the following eight conditions:
- adult leukemia;
- aplastic anemia and other myelodysplastic syndromes;
- bladder cancer;
- kidney cancer;
- Lliver cancer;
- multiple myeloma;
- non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma;
- parkinson’s disease.
If you do not qualify for the presumptive service you can still seek benefits. However, you will need to provide evidence that connects your injury or illness to Camp Lejeune contaminated water exposure and can fulfill the usual qualifying service criteria to seek VA disability benefits.
Victims and Family Members May Seek Compensation
Beyond VA disability benefits victims (which include family) will also be able to seek compensation for damages. Damages can include more than medical bills and may include lost income, funeral expenses, and possibly other compensation.
What you may need to build your case:
- proof of residency at Camp Lejeune or 1the nearby MCAS;
- military service records;
- proof of work for civilian contractors;
- medical records. Diagnoses, doctor’s notes, and test results
- medical expenses;
- proof of disability benefits if any.
It is recommended that you consult with an attorney early in the lawsuit to ensure that you are not wasting your time. A qualified attorney can help guide you in the process.