What Are Camp Lejeune Claims?
Camp Lejeune claims are a historic and groundbreaking avenue for victims to seek justice for harm caused by water contamination at the military base.
Unlike VA disability compensation and other VA benefits, Camp Lejeune claims allow people to receive compensation from the federal government outside the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
It is important to understand that Camp Lejeune claims do not affect VA benefits — the two are completely separate.
The opportunity to file Camp Lejeune claims came after years of advocacy and struggle by victims and their supporters.
Section 804 of the Honoring our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act, known as the Camp Lejeune Justice Act (CLJA) of 2022, permits individuals who were harmed by the polluted water to take legal action.
This landmark law means that Camp Lejeune victims and their loved ones, who have been waiting and suffering for decades, finally have a pathway to legal assistance and compensation.
Watch our short video that explains how the PACT Act helps victims of the Camp Lejeune water contamination disaster. You may find out that you are now eligible for financial aid.
Learn what the recently signed PACT Act means for veterans and their loved ones stationed at Camp Lejeune between 1953 and 1987. View Transcript.
Duration: 01 min 51 sec
Camp Lejeune 101: What the PACT ACT means for Camp Lejeune 101 veterans. On August 10th, 2022, United States President Joe Biden signed the PACT ACT, a bill that offers the most significant increase in critical healthcare and disability benefits to millions of veterans in their families in more than three decades, but what does this bill specifically mean for veterans who are stationed at Camp Lejeune?
Between 1953 and 1987, nearby businesses were dumping hazardous chemicals that made their way into the Camp Lejeune water supply systems. The water contained toxins, such as benzene, perchloroethylene, trichloroethylene, and vinyl chloride, chemicals that can cause cancer, infertility, miscarriages, and other illnesses. Residents and staff were repeatedly exposed to the site’s tap water system, including drinking and bathing in the water.
The PACT Act includes the Camp Lejeune Justice Act, a bipartisan bill that allows veterans and their families who were exposed to the water contamination at Camp Lejeune to file lawsuits and recover compensation for the harm done. If you or your loved ones were exposed to the toxic drinking water at Camp Lejeune, you may be entitled to financial compensation. The Camp Lejeune Claim Center has been helping veterans and their families pursue compensation for their injuries. Call (866)-473-4764 today to request a free case review and see how we can help you too.
How Do Camp Lejeune Water Claims Work?
Camp Lejeune claims under the CLJA must be submitted to the Department of the Navy (DON) Judge Advocate General (JAG), even if you have already filed with the VA. These are called administrative claims.
If the Navy denies an administrative claim or if the claim remains unresolved after six months, claimants then have the option to file a Camp Lejeune lawsuit against the government in federal court in the Eastern District of North Carolina.
Remember, claims filed with the VA are separate from claims permitted under the CLJA.
While you don’t need an attorney to handle your Camp Lejeune claim, the process involves navigating a complicated legal landscape. Therefore, having skilled legal representation on your side is highly recommended.
“After decades of waiting and suffering, Lejeune families now must maneuver a legal maze to get help, though it’s better than the roadblocks they’ve faced for years.”
—WRAL, North Carolina
Hiring a top law firm to handle your Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit could make all the difference in how much money you receive. The Camp Lejeune Claims Center can connect you with a top law firm to get you the best results possible if you are eligible.
Find out how we can help — get a free Camp Lejeune claim review now.
Who Can File Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Claims?
Anyone who lived or worked at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune or Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) New River for at least 30 days between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987, and developed health problems may be eligible to file Camp Lejeune claims.
Unfortunately, many have already passed away, but their survivors may qualify for Camp Lejeune claims on their behalf or wrongful death lawsuits.
It is important to note that service members were not the only ones exposed. Military spouses and children have suffered, as well as civilian workers and their family members.
Since babies were born on the base, those eligible to file Camp Lejeune water contamination claims could be as young as 35, with the most senior victims now being in their late 80s or older.
Examples of people who may be able to file Camp Lejeune claims include:
- Marine and Navy personnel
- Civilian workers
- Women who couldn’t get pregnant or lost a child to miscarriage or stillbirth
- Babies who were born on the base
- Children who lived on the base
- Family members who visited for at least 30 days (even if the days weren’t back-to-back)
- Survivors who lost a loved one to a Camp Lejeune water illness
For decades, Camp Lejeune toxic water victims were left with no relief. Chronic Camp Lejeune health conditions and mental anguish plagued their lives while health care expenses piled up.
Thankfully, help is finally available. Even if you have already been denied a VA disability claim or if the exposure was long ago, it is not too late for you to seek justice.
Camp Lejeune Disease List
Camp Lejeune water exposure led to many health issues. These include multiple forms of cancer, reproductive issues, birth defects, and many more.
“Science and Congress finally caught up to what they suspected for years — the water was killing people and somebody needed to pay.”
—WRAL, North Carolina
The numerous health conditions are due to volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that had been in the water for decades, such as benzene, trichloroethylene (TCE), vinyl chloride, and perchloroethylene (PCE).
VOCs caused Camp Lejeune water contamination illnesses including:
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease)
- Aplastic anemia
- Birth defects
- Cancer (bladder cancer, kidney cancer, liver cancer, lung cancer, multiple myeloma, and more)
- Heart disease
- Hepatic steatosis
- Infertility, miscarriage, and stillbirth
- Myelodysplastic syndromes (disorders that affect blood cell production)
- Neurological disorders
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
- Pancreatic cancer
- Parkinson’s disease
- Renal toxicity (kidney poisoning)
- Scleroderma (chronic hardening of skin tissue)
If you or a loved one suffered from any of these illnesses after spending at least 30 days on the base while the water was contaminated, connect with us now.
Do not delay — call (866) 473-4764 now to directly connect with a claims advocate. We are standing by 24/7 to speak with you.
When Was Camp Lejeune Water Contaminated?
Camp Lejeune had two contaminated water supply systems from 1953 to 1987. During that time, about 1 million people were exposed to toxic chemicals.
The following timeline explains the history of Camp Lejeune water contamination.
Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Timeline
- 1941: Camp Lejeune was founded on North Carolina’s Atlantic coast, becoming one of the Marine Corps’ largest and busiest bases.
- 1953: The dry cleaning industry began using TCE and PCE to clean clothes. ABC Cleaners, a dry cleaning business near Camp Lejeune, was among those using the chemicals.
“ABC cleaners discharged thousands of gallons of the hazardous solvents into its septic system. The chemicals leaked from the tank and seeped into the groundwater, eventually winding up in the two wells that supplied drinking water to 6,200 residents of a Marine housing complex.”
–North Carolina Health News
- 1970s: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) labeled Camp Lejeune a “major polluter” due to evidence showing oil and industrial wastewater being dumped into storm drains and potentially buried radioactive materials.
- 1974: A written regulation shows the government knew about the dangers of organic solvents since it outlined safe disposal and warned that solvents could contaminate drinking water. The Marine Corps didn’t release this regulation.
- 1979: A significant amount of fuel has already leaked from Camp Lejeune storage tanks due to a persistent issue.
“The fuel depot was a long-standing problem at Camp Lejeune. In 1979, up to 30,000 gallons of fuel had been spilled.”
–Tampa Bay Times
- 1980: Military chemists begin analyzing base drinking water and find it highly contaminated.
- 1982: A North Carolina state-certified laboratory is hired to test Camp Lejeune water and finds synthetic organic cleaning solvents had contaminated the drinking water where thousands of Marines and their families lived.
- 1983: The Marine Corps tells the state of North Carolina and EPA about the ongoing fuel leak.
- 1984: Chemists begin testing base wells directly, even though the Marine Corps wouldn’t do so.
- 1984/1985: Ten wells are shut down because of contamination.
- Late 1980s: The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) begins assessing Camp Lejeune’s toxic water health risks.
- 1989: The leaking fuel depot is shut down.
- 1998: The ATSDR completes its first study on the health of children born from 1968-1985 to mothers exposed to Camp Lejeune toxic drinking water during pregnancy.
- 2008: President George W. Bush signs the 2008 National Defense Authorization Act. The act requires the Navy to work with the ATSDR to conduct Camp Lejeune contaminated drinking water health surveys.
- 2012: President Barack Obama signs the Honoring America’s Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act of 2012 (Camp Lejeune Act). The Act provides medical care for veterans and families exposed to the toxic water.
- 2017: ATSDR releases its final Camp Lejeune Drinking Water Public Health Assessment, acknowledging that the drinking water was contaminated with VOCs.
- 2022: President Joe Biden signs the PACT Act into law, which includes the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 as a major component.
How to File Camp Lejeune Contaminated Water Claims
Camp Lejeune water contamination claims can be filed on your own or with the help of a lawyer.
As of September 6, 2023, The Department of Justice (DOJ) and the DON introduced a voluntary “Elective Option” to speed up the resolution of Camp Lejeune claims. The aim is to allow those harmed by Camp Lejeune’s water to get financial aid faster. However, some legal experts feel this will mean reduced Camp Lejeune settlement amounts for victims.
Because these claims are still so new, working with a skilled Camp Lejeune lawyer with experience handling complex cases may be your best option. And the Camp Lejeune Claims Center may be able to help.
Do not worry if you don’t know whether you are eligible or where your loved one was stationed. Our claims advocates can quickly and effectively help you determine your eligibility.
Your dedicated Camp Lejeune claims team will do all the heavy lifting, as they understand that you and your family have already been through enough.
See if you qualify right now with a free Camp Lejeune claim review.
Is There a Deadline to File Camp Lejeune Claims?
Yes, the Camp Lejeune Justice Act set a two-year window starting on August 10, 2022, for individuals to submit Camp Lejeune claims to the Navy’s Tort Claims Unit (TCU) in Norfolk, Virginia.
This means anyone who wants to file a Camp Lejeune claim must do so with the TCU by August 2024. While this may seem like a lot of time, the claims process has been backlogged and plagued by unforeseen delays. Do not wait any longer.
Remember, no matter how far back your exposure was, you may be newly eligible to file a claim. Even if your loved one has passed away, you may qualify.
Don’t miss your chance to be included.
RELATED: Stay informed on the status of Camp Lejeune claims at our Camp Lejeune lawsuit update page.
Connect With a Camp Lejeune Claim Law Firm
The best Camp Lejeune law firms are personal injury firms involved in the fight to get justice for Camp Lejeune water supply victims.
Top Camp Lejune attorneys and law firms have:
- Ability to handle Camp Lejeune water contamination claims in all 50 states
- Experience with class actions or multidistrict litigation (MDL)
- Trained Camp Lejeune claims advocates on staff
There is no cost or obligation to get a case evaluation, and the information you provide is completely confidential. Connect with us today to get your free consultation.
Camp Lejeune Claims FAQs
How do I file a Camp Lejeune claim?
To file a Camp Lejeune claim, you must submit the required documents to the Department of the Navy. If the Navy denies your claim or doesn’t respond within six months, you can pursue a lawsuit in North Carolina’s federal court.
Remember, VA claims and Camp Lejeune claims are completely separate. And filing a Camp Lejeune claim does not affect your VA benefits. However, navigating the legal process is challenging, making professional legal assistance highly recommended.
What if I already got Camp Lejeune water contamination benefits?
Your Camp Lejeune water contamination claim is entirely separate from VA disability claims or any other VA benefits you may be receiving. Even if you were denied disability compensation in the past, it doesn’t matter. Camp Lejeune water claims may still be an option.
What is the deadline for Camp Lejeune claims?
The deadline for Camp Lejeune claims is August 10, 2024. While this may seem far enough in advance to wait, acting promptly will ensure you are allowed to take action. The legal process can take time — don’t get left behind, learn if you can file now.
Do you offer Camp Lejeune claims help?
Yes, the Camp Lejeune Claims Center provides assistance for Camp Lejeune claims. Our dedicated team connects victims with top law firms experienced in handling Camp Lejeune claims, ensuring they receive the best representation and guidance through the claim process. Connect with us right now to find out how we can help.
Has anyone gotten money for the Camp Lejeune lawsuit?
No one has been compensated since the Camp Lejeune Justice Act passed in August 2022. Legal experts project that the settlement timeline for Camp Lejeune claims will begin by the end of 2023.
The process of settling Camp Lejeune claims and distributing payments could take up to ten years, which could mean Camp Lejeune claims will be processed until 2033.
But remember, there are strict deadlines to be included. Don’t miss your chance — find out if you can file a Camp Lejeune claim with a free case review right now.
Who is entitled to the Camp Lejeune lawsuit?
Anyone exposed to Camp Lejeune’s toxic water for at least 30 days between 1953 and 1987 could be eligible to file a Camp Lejeune claim or lawsuit.
This includes service members, their families, and civilian employees affected by the water contamination. Connecting with a top Camp Lejeune claims lawyer is the quickest way to find out if you are eligible.