Veterans stationed at Camp Lejeune between the years 1953 and 1987 were exposed to dangerous levels of toxic compounds every single day. The water sources at the camp were compromised, and this caused millions of residents of Camp Lejeune to interact with toxic water sources throughout their time there. If you, or someone you love lived at the camp during these years, here are six must-know facts about the Camp Lejeune Justice Act:
1. There Was an Active Cover Up
One of the most tragic aspects of the Camp Lejeune water contamination scandal was that the US government knew of the severe risks the contamination posed to Camp Lejeune residents for years. Until they were pressed to take action, they allowed people to suffer from exposure to toxic compounds daily. It’s estimated that more than one million people were exposed to dangerous levels of toxic compounds during the several decades when the government was actively covering up Camp Lejeune’s water contamination issues.
2. More than Just Veterans Qualify
Veterans make up the large majority of the population that was negatively impacted by Camp Lejeune water contamination. However, their family members, civilian contractors, and several other groups were also harmed. Due to this, the Camp Lejeune Justice Act ensures that all of the affected groups qualify for compensation and damages. If you’re uncertain as to whether you qualify, contacting an attorney familiar with Camp Lejeune can help you learn more about the lawsuit and its many details.
3. The Act Covers Decades of Damage
Unfortunately, the Camp Lejeune water contamination scandal happened over several, long, and painful decades. The text of the Camp Lejeune Justice Act ensures that anyone who lived on the base for 30 days or more, between August 1st, 1953, and December 31st, 1987, qualifies for damages. According to those who worked to get the bill signed into law, these dates are the best possible accurate representation of when the water was toxically compromised. If you’re looking to file a suit, however, you’ll need official documentation that proves you were living at the Camp Lejeune base during this period.
4. There are Class Action Suits You Can Join
Once the Camp Lejeune Justice Act was officially signed into law, those affected began to qualify for lawsuits against the US government. In addition to tons of resources online that can help you file a Camp Lejeune-related lawsuit, there are government offices set up to assist you as well. That being said, the fastest way to file a lawsuit, or join a class action lawsuit, is to set yourself up with a trusted, experienced Camp Lejeune Justice Act attorney. The PACT Act, which was the larger bill that included the Camp Lejeune Justice Act, ensured that veterans who suffered from government negligence are finally getting the payout and health assistance that they deserve.
5. A Settlement is Separate from VA Disability Benefits
Even if you’re already receiving VA disability benefits, you still qualify for a fully separate payout from the Camp Lejeune Justice Act. Alongside setting up funds for those who were affected by the water contamination, the Camp Lejeune Justice Act determined that those affected could also qualify for several VA disability benefits. Once again, the family members of those who were affected are eligible as well. That being said, only 15 specific illnesses were covered by this portion of the Camp Lejeune Justice Act:
6. There were Multiple Toxic Contaminants Found in the Water
There was more than one toxic contaminant found in the water sources at Camp Lejeune. These dangerous chemicals and contaminants, known as volatile organic compounds (VOCs), are the source of the diseases that veterans, their family members, and contractors were afflicted by. It was discovered that these compounds came from toxic wells and broken storage tanks in the Camp Lejeune area. Among the common compounds found in the Camp Lejeune water sources were benzene, tetrachloroethylene, vinyl chloride, and several other volatile compounds. The continued exposure residents experienced during their time at Camp Lejeune has continued to affect their health and livelihoods to this day.
Take Legal Action Now
By taking legal action now, you can begin the process of finally receiving the compensation you deserve if you were affected by the Camp Lejeune water contamination. If you know someone who lived on the base, consider sharing this information with them so that they can receive the support they deserve.