What is a Camp Lejeune Lawsuit?

Friday, October 21, 2022

What is a Camp Lejeune Lawsuit?

Written by Malman Law, reviewed by Steve J. Malman.

For nearly 35 years, service members and their families who were living at Camp Lejeune were exposed to dangerous toxins in the water that they bathed in and drank. One water treatment plant used water that was drawn from a well located dangerously close to a chemical dump, while another treatment plant was contaminated by chemicals that traveled downhill from an off-base dry cleaner. These toxic chemicals caused scores of illnesses, including blood diseases, different types of cancer, and Parkinson’s disease.

If you want to know if you have a Camp Lejeune lawsuit, speak with the legal team at Malman Law today.

Victims Previously Had No Right to Sue

Ordinarily, victims who were sickened by toxic water would be legally entitled to financial compensation from the party responsible for the contamination. Here, there were two problems that were preventing Camp Lejeune victims from suing for compensation:

  • The injuries were connected to military service, meaning a legal doctrine applied that prohibited negligence lawsuits
  • There was a North Carolina state law that barred lawsuits filed more than ten years after the last act of pollution, and the federal government did not inform people of the cause of their illness until many years later

A New Federal Law Allows Victims to File a Claim for Camp Lejeune Injuries

Recently, President Biden signed the PACT Act into law. This legislation was a comprehensive bill that provides for injured veterans who were sickened by exposure to toxic chemicals. The legislation included the Camp Lejeune Justice Act. This part of the law created a new cause of action that allowed injured service members and their families to file a claim against the federal government for injuries connected to Camp Lejeune water.

Anyone who stayed at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 days between 1953-1987 may file a lawsuit if they meet certain criteria. The law somewhat reduces the standard of causation that you would find in a normal personal injury lawsuit. You may be entitled to compensation if you can that you harm:

  • Was caused by exposure to the water;
  • Was associated with exposure to the water;
  • Was linked to exposure to water; or
  • Exposure to the water increased the likelihood of such harm

Your first step is to contact an experienced personal injury lawyer who can help you compile your claim. You would still need to meet your burden of proof to be eligible for financial compensation.

The steps to financial compensation are as follows:

  • You must first file your claim directly with the federal government
  • The government would decide whether to deny your claim or make you a settlement offer
  • You may negotiate financial compensation with the federal government
  • If you do not reach a satisfactory result with your government claim, you would file a lawsuit in federal court in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina.

You must act now to file your lawsuit. The new cause of action created by the Camp Lejeune Justice Act will expire two years after the bill was signed (August 2024).

Contact a Camp Lejeune Injury Attorney Today

The attorneys at Malman Law can help you file your claim and secure financial compensation when you are legally entitled to it. To schedule your free initial consultation, you can message us online or call us today at (888) 625-6265.

Steve Malman

Malman Law’s founder Attorney Steven Malman has over 30 years of experience handling personal injury, nursing home, medical malpractice, truck accidents, car accidents, premises liability, construction, and workers’ compensation cases in Chicago, IL.

Years of experience: +30 years
Justia Profile: Steve Malman
Illinois Registration Status: Active and authorized to practice law—Last Registered Year: 2024

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This page has been written, edited, and reviewed by a team of legal writers following our comprehensive editorial guidelines. This page was approved by President and Founder, Steven J. Malman who has more than 20 years of legal experience as a personal injury attorney.

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