Victims of the toxic water from Camp Lejeune are finally seeing the end of the road for the suffering and death of the worst water contamination incident in U.S. history. While we are nearing the end, there is still much to be done to obtain the compensation you deserve. In June of 2022, the House and Senate passed a bill that offers legal options for anyone on Camp Lejeune to receive compensation for their illnesses and injuries.
However, it was a long and arduous process to get to this point. In 2014, the supreme court ruled against service members and their families' ability to file a claim through North Carolina. The Supreme Court instead ruled that the 10-year statute of repose overrides federal Superfund law, quintessentially saying that service members could not file a claim because it had been far more than a decade since the water contamination happened. With the new bill, however, there is a two-year statute of limitations, so those affected individuals must move quickly and hire a Camp Lejeune water contamination attorney.
Getting this close to compensation for your ailments has been a long process. Knowing how the U.S. government has gotten to this point is essential. A brief timeline of the lawsuit goes as follows:
1941: Camp Lejeune is established as a military base
1951: Tarawa Terrace treatment plant is made
1953: One Hour Dry Cleaner begins operations near Tarawa Terrace
1979: Hadnot Point Fuel Farm leaks 20,000 to 30,000 gallons of oil
1985: Hadnot Point is completely shut down
1989: EPA finds One Hour Cleaners and Camp Lejeune as Superfund site
2016: 800 Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuits are thrown out, citing North Carolina's 10-year statute of repose
2021: Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2021 is introduced
2022: Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 is introduced with sponsors
- Camp Lejeune Justice Act is added to the Honoring Our Pact Act of 2021
- House passes both acts
- Motion to proceed to consideration is introduced
- The bill is signed into law
The timeline is not all-inclusive as the government and other parties took many other actions. Now that we are at the present day, Camp Lejeune water contamination victims finally have options to get the compensation they deserve.
The Camp Lejeune Justice Act
The federal government is the primary defendant in the Camp Lejeune lawsuit. Compensation is said to be based on the extent of the victims' injuries, so it will vary from case to case. To file a claim, you must contact a Camp Lejeune water contamination attorney in Philadelphia immediately.
Hazards of the toxic water
The water at Camp Lejeune had two very specific toxic chemicals from two water treatment facilities in the area. The two contaminants are perchloroethylene (PCE) and trichloroethylene (TCE). The contaminant PCE affects the central nervous system, kidneys, and liver. TCE crosses the placenta explicitly and goes to a fetus resulting in birth defects. Remember that dry cleaning facility we mentioned previously? Well, PCE is a chemical that is used in dry cleaning services.
TCE came from the Hadnot treatment plant and is a chemical unsafe for human consumption. There is no sole source of the contaminant from Hadnot, and it causes congenital heart defects in newborns. Hadnot also had mercury in the water in 2012. So even after 30 years of poisoning Camp Lejeune residents, the water treatment plant continues to have adverse health effects on nearby residents.
Medical conditions from Camp Lejeune water contamination
The toxic water flowed through Camp Lejeune for over 30 years, leading to millions of soldiers being affected. Those who have not died from ingesting and using the water have instead lived a life with myriad medical conditions. Cancers are common among Camp Lejeune victims.
Contact a Camp Lejeune water contamination attorney
While the bill has officially passed, there will still be various legal complexities. All lawsuits will need to be filed in North Carolina, regardless of where the victim currently resides. You do not need to move or contact a lawyer in North Carolina. Kwartler Manus, LLC has a Camp Lejeune water contamination attorney ready to discuss your circumstances and file a claim. Call our office at (267) 214-8608 to schedule a consultation today.