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Our North Carolina Lawyers are Prepared to File a Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawsuit On Behalf of Affected Veterans and Families Once the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 Becomes Law

For decades, veterans, their families and workers at the base were exposed to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune from 1953 to 1987. There have been limited options for securing just compensation. In fact, federal laws specifically limited the compensation available to those diagnosed with cancers and other medical conditions as a result of drinking contaminated water at the historic Marine Corps Base in Jacksonville, NC. But, thanks to the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022, this may soon change. Our law firm is monitoring this bill as it makes its way through Congress, and we are prepared to file a Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit on behalf of any affected veterans, family members or base workers, once President Biden signs the bill into law.

If you have or have had certain health problems potentially caused by exposure to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune, you have likely encountered many roadblocks when seeking benefits from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). This is unfortunate, and it is important to know that you are not alone. An investigation conducted in 2018 found that the VA had denied 89 percent of all disability claims involving “evidence of an association with the contaminants in the water” at Camp Lejeune. A more recent study also found that over the last decade, the VA has been relying on “subject matter experts” who “lacked expertise in the relevant medical fields.” Further, non-veterans, such as dependents and base workers, were previously not eligible for benefits or damages for injuries.

A Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawyer at Martin & Jones Can Help You Assert Your Legal Rights

Fortunately, the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 is poised to provide veterans and families affected by water contamination not only with increased access to compensation but with access to increased compensation as well.

When the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 becomes law, individuals who were exposed to contaminated drinking water at Camp Lejeune during the relevant time period will be able to file claims for damages with the federal government. These claims for damages can—and should—include compensation above and beyond the disability benefits that most claimants are currently struggling to obtain from the VA. Families who have lost loved ones will also be eligible to file claims.

To file a claim under the new law, veterans and family members will need experienced legal representation. Claimants must file in federal court in North Carolina, and they must prove that they are entitled to compensation. They must also prove how much they are entitled to recover. At Martin & Jones, we are proud to have represented military servicemembers and their loved ones for more than 40 years, and our lawyers rely on decades of experience to recover the compensation our clients deserve. 

5 Requirements to File a Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawsuit

Under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022, there are five main requirements that veterans and their family members need to meet in order to file a successful claim. These requirements are:

1. Exposure to Contaminated Water at Camp Lejeune During the Relevant Time Period

Compensation is only available to individuals and families who are dealing with the effects of water contamination at Camp Lejeune between August 1, 1953 and December 31, 1987. Claimants must be able to establish that they (or their loved ones) were exposed to contaminated drinking water for at least 30 days during this time period.

2. A Verified Medical Condition Linked to Contaminated Drinking Water Exposure

Unlike the disability benefits that are currently available through the VA, compensation under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 is available to anyone who can establish “one or more relationships between the water at Camp Lejeune and the harm” they or their loved ones have endured.

This broad language is intended to maximize the number of individuals and families that are eligible to receive compensation under the new law. Some examples of medical conditions that have been linked to Camp Lejeune water contamination include:

  • Bladder cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Female infertility
  • Hepatic steatosis
  • Kidney cancer
  • Leukemia
  • Lung cancer
  • Miscarriage
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Myelodysplastic syndromes
  • Neurobehavioral effects
  • Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  • Renal toxicity
  • Scleroderma

Again, these are just examples. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with any serious medical condition that you believe may be linked to contaminated water exposure at Camp Lejeune between 1953 and 1987, you should speak with a lawyer about your legal rights.

3. Filing in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina

The Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 only allows claims to be filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina. This court is located in Raleigh, NC.

Our firm has offices in Raleigh, Wilmington, and Durham, North Carolina and we are able to represent clients both locally and remotely. If you have a claim, we can help you, and we can arrange for you to speak with a Camp Lejeune water contamination lawyer as soon as possible. 

4. Filing Within Two Years Is Required (In Most Cases)

The Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 includes a statute of limitations for water contamination claims. The statute of limitations is two years from the date of the statute’s enactment.

Additionally, before filing a Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit, an individual must exhaust his or her administrative remedies. Once an individual receives a final administrative denial, he or she then has 180 days to file in court. This 180-day rule applies even if the two-year limitations period has expired.

A prior version of the bill included an additional two-year statute of limitations that would have allowed claims to be filed two years after the date of discovery of a contamination-related medical condition—if the discovery occurred after the date of enactment. However, this has been removed in the 2022 version. As a result, unless the law is amended, all claimants will be subject to the same two-year limitations period.

5. Meeting the Burden of Proof

To recover compensation under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022, individuals and families must present evidence that is either:

  • “Sufficient to conclude that a causal relationship exists; or
  • “Sufficient to conclude that a causal relationship is at least as likely as not.”

In other words, simply filing a claim is not enough. Claimants will need clear evidence of their right to compensation, which may include studies, medical records and various other forms of documentation. Claimants will need evidence that proves the long-term costs of their (or their loved ones’) medical conditions as well.

FAQs: Filing a Lawsuit Under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022

What Medical Conditions Does the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 Cover?

The Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 covers all medical conditions linked to contaminated drinking water exposure. This includes cancers, neurological conditions, infertility and miscarriages, and myelodysplastic syndromes, among many others.

Is There a Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Class Action Lawsuit?

At present, there is not a Camp Lejeune water contamination class action lawsuit. All individuals who are interested in seeking compensation under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 will need to speak with a lawyer about independently asserting their legal rights.

Can I File a Claim Under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 if I Already Received VA Disability Benefits?

Yes, you can file a claim under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 if you have already received VA disability benefits. If your claim is successful, the amount of your award will be offset by the amounts you previously received.

How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Lawyer to File a Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawsuit?

It will cost you nothing in attorneys fees or expenses to file a claim unless we recover for you. Our firm is handling all claims involving water contamination at Camp Lejeune on a contingency fee basis. This means you will never receive a bill for our services, you will only pay an attorney fee if we recover for you on your claim. In any case, you will not have to pay anything out of pocket, and we will only collect a fee once we help you recover just compensation.

Can I File a Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Claim if I (or My Child) was Exposed In Utero?

Yes, the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 covers anyone who, “resided, worked, or was otherwise exposed (including in utero exposure),” to contaminated water at the Marine Corps base in Jacksonville, NC. If you were exposed in utero during the relevant time period, or if your child was exposed during the relevant time period and is unable to file a lawsuit on his or her own behalf, you should consult with a lawyer about filing a claim for damages.

Schedule a Free Consultation with a Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawyer

If you need to know more about filing a claim for water contamination at Camp Lejeune between 1953 and 1987, we encourage you to contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation. We handle a variety of claims filed by members of the military  and can help you understand your options and pursue all claims you have available. To speak with a Camp Lejeune water contamination lawyer in confidence as soon as possible, call 800-662-1234 or request an appointment online today.

 

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