Articles Posted in Camp Lejeune Water

Camp Lejeune toxic water litigationIn today’s blog post, we’re going to go dig a little deeper into Camp Lejeune claims arising from the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 (CLJA). I’ve written about this remarkable legislation on several occasions, from when it was just a bill to after it got signed into law by President Biden in August 2022.

If you read those blog posts, you’ll recall that before you can file a lawsuit to recover damages for your exposure to the contaminated water, you have to first file an administrative claim with the appropriate federal agency as required by 28 U.S.C. § 2675. Only if this administrative claim gets denied can you sue the federal government. Read on to learn more about this requirement and what it entails.

Where Do I File This Administrative Claim?

Camp Lejeune Marine Base NCToday we’re going to discuss the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022. Great people have been trying to get this legislation passed for many years, and the new law is going to offer a pathway to financial compensation for those people who were exposed to toxic water on the Camp Lejeune Marine Corps Base in North Carolina. Many of those people developed serious health problems, including certain cancers. We’re going to get into the details of this legislation, but first I wanted to tell you about my personal connection to Camp Lejeune Marine Corps Base, and to Jacksonville, North Carolina, which is where the base is located.

Back before I went to law school I was an English instructor at Coastal Carolina Community College in Jacksonville. For a few years down there I taught US Marines, their spouses, children, and I even taught several classes directly on the Marine Corps Base at Camp Lejeune. And so this legislation is very important to me both as a lawyer but also as a person who had a pretty close connection to Camp Lejeune. I guess I would say that there are virtually no other attorneys handling these Camp Lejeune cases that can say they worked on the Camp Lejeune Marine Corps Base as I did. I am very familiar with Camp Lejeune. I’m very familiar with that area. I wanted to share that personal experience, but let’s dive into this Camp Lejeune Water Act that recently passed.

I think it might be important to read certain parts of the bill, which was signed by President Joe Biden earlier this month in August 2022. It’s a straightforward bill, and the language is just astonishing. It starts with this:

Marine Corps Camp Lejeune Toxic WaterIt’s been known for a while now that many members of our armed forces and their families were exposed to toxic chemicals from the drinking water at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune (Camp Lejeune). Right now, getting compensation for injuries that resulted from the toxic water exposure is limited.

However, a new law will hopefully change that. The purpose of this blog post is to answer some questions you might have about your rights concerning health issues stemming from contaminated water at Camp Lejeune.

1. What Chemicals Contaminated the Water at Camp Lejeune?

U.S. MarinesMarine Corps Base Camp Lejeune (Camp Lejeune) is an important military base and training facility for the U.S. Marine Corps. Located on the coast of North Carolina, many Marines and their families have spent extended time at this base. In fact, before law school I was an English instructor at Coastal Carolina Community College, located just a few miles away from Camp Lejeune. I taught hundreds of students who were active-duty Marines or Marine-dependents, and many of them lived or worked on the base.

However, from at least August 1, 1953 to December 31, 1987, many of the base residents were likely exposed to toxic chemicals from the drinking water. And this exposure has potentially led to a variety of serious medical issues, including death.

But for the time being, taking legal action for injuries relating to toxic water exposure at Camp Lejeune has been impossible. But the likely enactment of a new federal law should change that.

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