What is the Camp Lejeune Justice Act?

The Camp Lejeune Justice Act is a piece of legislation signed in 2022 allows both veterans and their families to recover compensation for illnesses caused by toxic contaminated water at Marine Corps Base (MCB) Camp Lejeune near Jacksonville, North Carolina. Between 1953 and 1987, over one million military members, their families, and civilian workers were exposed to high levels of toxins in the base’s water supply, leading to serious illnesses. The Marine Corps discovered the contamination in 1982.

Until recently, veterans and civilians had little recourse for these illnesses. But last year, The Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 changed that. Sponsored by Representative Matt Cartwright (D-PA-8), the bill allows individuals to bring suit and prohibits the U.S. government from asserting specified immunity from litigation in response to such a lawsuit.

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The PACT Act

The VFW-championed Honoring Our PACT Act of 2022 was signed into law in August. Section 804 of the PACT Act, known as the Camp Lejeune Justice Act, authorizes veterans and military families who were exposed to toxic water at Camp Lejeune to file a federal tort claim for harm caused by such exposure. Veterans applying for VA benefits frequently saw their claims denied for toxic exposure cases. The PACT Act  is the law that expands VA health care and benefits for Veterans exposed to burn pits, Agent Orange, and other toxic substances

The full name is The Sergeant First Class (SFC) Heath Robinson Honoring our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act. The intent is to increase the availability of healthcare to veterans that suffered illnesses and injuries from burn pits used for waste disposal in recent years. The PACT ended a requirement that veterans prove that their illnesses were caused by the burn pits in order to receive healthcare and other benefits. The VA denied 78% of claims submitted by veterans from 2007 through 2020 that were exposed to burn pits. Veterans who were previously denied disability for burn pit claims can receive retroactive back pay.

Specifically Section 804 of the PACT Act-the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022’s intent is to specifically allow injured parties to file a claim for compensation. Prior to the Camp Lejeune Justice Act, only veterans could get VA disability for illnesses suffered from contaminated water. Civilians were prohibited from filing a claim, or receiving any restitution, and could not receive any assistance from the VA. They were further prohibited by North Carolina’s ten-year statute of repose, which disallowed any suits after ten years. This made it difficult for victims whose illnesses weren’t linked to the water contamination until much later.

What The Camp Lejeune Act Means For Everyone

For anyone—military or civilian—who spent 30 days or more at Camp Lejeune and became ill later with a presumptive condition can now file a claim for compensation, which can include:

• Financial compensation for prior medical care related to the illness

• Continuing healthcare for those illnesses from the government

• Health and disability benefits for those rendered unable to work by illness from the contamination

Survivors may also file a wrongful death claim on behalf of a deceased loved one.

While there is a list of presumptive illnesses, even those whose illnesses aren’t considered presumptive may still have a claim.

“Presumptive” only means that there is a definite link to the contamination exposure. The U.S. government will be prohibited from asserting specified immunity, meaning that someone who can demonstrate exposure and illness can file a claim for themselves.

There is a two-year time frame for filing claims and lawsuits, which must be filed by August 10, 2024. Claims take time to build, so it’s imperative to start immediately. If you’re considering filing a claim, contact a Camp Lejeune water contamination attorney today to begin the process.

Camp Lejeune Claim? Contact The Herren Law Firm Today

If you served at (military personnel) or worked (non military worker) at Camp Lejeune and are now suffering a chronic illness, you may have a claim under this act. If you are a family member of military personnel who was also exposed at Camp Lejeune, you may have a claim under this Act. For more than 30 years, the Herren Law firm has helped veterans and other disabled people with their benefits claims and appeals. Bill Herren has indicated that he can bring suit if warranted for illnesses not on the presumptive illness list. While there is a list of presumptive illnesses, even illnesses that aren’t considered presumptive may still have a claim.

If you or someone you know became ill after being stationed at Camp Lejeune, get in touch with us immediately. There is a deadline of two years to file a claim so do not wait to find out if you may have a claim. We have extensive experience dealing with governmental agencies and the claims that are filed with them.

We’ve helped over 4,000 people, and we can help you as well with your Camp Lejeune lawsuit. Contact us today by calling (713) 682-8194 or using our online contact form our consultation is free, and let us talk about your case.

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