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Camp Lejeune Toxic Water Contamination Claims

Camp Lejeune Toxic Water Contamination Claims

Benefits for Military and Civilian Personnel Exposed

Drinking water at Camp Lejune, North Carolina, was contaminated by toxic substances, and it is estimated that over one million military personnel, their families, and civilians who lived and worked near Camp Lejune training facility between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987, may have been exposed to hazardous substances.

Severe illness may have resulted from exposure, including birth defects, cancer, and other serious diseases.

On August 10, 2022, President Joe Biden signed into law the Camp Lejune Justice Act of 2022 [The PACT Act] which allows lawsuits to be filed against the US Government. 

Eligibility:

The law provides that anyone (including utero exposure) who worked, resided, or otherwise was exposed for a period of not less than 30 days beginning on August 1, 1953, and ending on December 31, 1987, to water at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, to water supplied by, or on behalf, of the United States, can bring a lawsuit.

The Burden of Proof:

The person or its representative has the burden of proof to produce evidence that the exposure to the water caused the harm. The law outlines the standard in more specific detail.

Damages:

No punitive damages are available under the claim against the United States.

Offsets:

The benefits are credited against Veterans Affairs programs; Medicare programs 42 USC 1395 et seq., and Medicaid programs  42 USC 1396 et seq. in connection with health care or a disability.

Pre-Lawsuit Requirements:

An individual or representative must comply with Federal Agency Requirements before filing a lawsuit. 28 USC 2675.

Period of Filing

“(j) Applicability; Period for Filing.--

            (1) Applicability.--This section shall apply only to a 

        claim accruing before the date of enactment of this Act.

            (2) Statute of limitations.--A claim in an action under 

        this section may not be commenced after the later of--

                    (A) the date that is two years after the date of 

                enactment of this Act; or

                    (B) the date that is 180 days after the date on 

                which the claim is denied under section 2675 of title 

                28, United States Code.

            (3) Inapplicability of other limitations.--Any applicable 

        statute of repose or statute of limitations, other than under 

        paragraph (2) shall not apply to a claim under this section.

Cost of the legislation estimated by the Congressional Budget Office:

"Section 804 would allow people who worked or resided at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in Onslow County, North Carolina, between 1953 and 1987 to seek compensation from the federal government for physical ailments related to exposure to contaminated water. The right to file a claim would be limited to people whose illnesses manifest before the date of enactment. Implementing the section would increase spending subject to appropriation for processing and litigating claims. CBO expects that awards and settlements would be paid from the Judgment Fund, a permanent, indefinite appropriation that is available to pay monetary awards against the United States that are judicially or administratively ordered. Payments from that fund are classified as direct spending. CBO also estimates that, in addition to the amounts shown in this table [$6.1 billion], payments under the section would increase direct spending by about $15 billion after 2031. "

Related Posts on Camp Lejeune Water Contamination:

Burn Pit Benefits: The US Senate Passed The Pact Act 6/17/2022

CDC's Camp Lejeune study links birth defects to marine base's drinking water 12/08/2013

ASTR Health Survey of Pre-1986 Personnel at Camp Lejeune 5/28/2011

Camp Lejeune Toxic Exposure 2/18/2010

ASTAR Archived Documents. Camp Lejeune, North Carolina

CDC - Health Concerns at Camp Lejeune

Recommended Citation: Gelman, Jon L., Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Claims, gelmans.com, Aug. 7, 2022), https://www.gelmans.com/ReadingRoom/TabId/65/ArtMID/1482/ArticleID/1094/Camp-Lejeune-Toxic-Water-Contamination-Claims.aspx

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Jon L. Gelman of Wayne, NJ, is the author of NJ Workers’ Compensation Law (Thomson-Reuters) and co-author of the national treatise, Modern Workers’ Compensation Law (Thomson-Reuters). For over five decades, the Law Offices of Jon L Gelman  1.973.696.7900  jon@gelmans.com  have represented injured workers and their families who have suffered occupational accidents and illnesses.

Updated: 8/10/2022

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