Injury attorneys can help you prepare for water contamination claims. They can help you connect your water contamination with active duty. They can help you determine the time limit for filing a claim. If you were affected by Camp Lejeune’s contaminated water, read on to learn how to make a claim. Then, read about the sources of the toxins found in the water. Here are some things to consider when filing a claim.
Camp Lejeune Justice Act
Under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act, people who were exposed to toxic chemicals during their childhood may be entitled to file a lawsuit against the U.S. military. The chemicals found in the water were known to cause a wide variety of health problems, including cancer, birth defects, and neurologic disorders. Although the U.S. military was aware of the link between the camp’s water and such illnesses for decades, it did not make the connection widely public until the 1990s.
The wrongful death claim can be filed by surviving family members or a legal representative of the deceased. Under the CLJA, eligibility extends to anyone who lived at Camp Lejeune. This would include civilians and government contractors, but not necessarily Marines stationed on the base. In addition to Marines, wrongful death claims can also be filed by a surviving spouse, child, or parent of a deceased person.
Legal options for those harmed by contaminated water at Camp Lejeune
People afflicted by the Camp Lejeune water contamination claims have various legal options to recover damages. There is an upcoming law that provides a right to sue the government for damages due to contaminated water. The Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 was passed by the Senate in June 2018 and the House passed it in March. It is expected to be signed into law by President Biden this summer.
Veterans are able to file lawsuits for damages and disability benefits due to exposure to contaminated water. Because of the sweeping nature of the contamination, many cases have been settled. The government has already made VA disability benefits available to victims of cancer caused by exposure to toxic water. The Obama Administration has also implemented a new program that provides disability benefits to veterans who were exposed to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune.
The time limit for filing a claim
If you or a loved one has been exposed to contaminated water, you may be able to file a water contamination claim. This is especially important if you were exposed to contaminated water for a period of time. For example, if you were exposed to the water at Camp Lejeune during the 1950s, you may have a strong claim for compensation. But if your health condition didn’t develop until the 1980s, your time limit may be gone forever. In these cases, you need to prove that you were exposed to the water for at least 30 days.
If you or a loved one contracted an illness as a result of the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune, you should act quickly. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed a bill, S.B. 3337/A.B. 5477, that will remove the three-year limitations period. Previously, the plaintiff could file a lawsuit from the date the injury or damages “should have” been discovered. This new law ensures that new discoveries of contaminants are eligible to be considered as individual “contaminants” in the claim.
Sources of toxins in contaminated water at Camp Lejeune
In 1980, military chemists began testing the drinking water at Camp Lejeune, using dozens of wells. Results from this first test revealed trace amounts of toxins. Despite warnings from a military physician, the government did nothing to protect its Marines. Instead, an Army lab began testing the Hadnot Point water system for a potentially dangerous chemical byproduct of chlorination. But the findings of this first study were contradicted by the results of subsequent tests because organic compounds can interfere with chemical testing.
A study conducted in the late 1980s found that the drinking water at Camp Lejeune contained cancer-causing solvents including trichloroethylene and benzene. These toxins have been linked to a range of serious health problems including cancer, birth defects, and congenital defects. Moreover, the toxins were found in the drinking water of Marines and their families for 60 years.