The statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit over Camp Lejeune’s water contamination is generally two years after a person realizes they have suffered exposure-related harm. However, due to the Camp Lejeune Justice Act (CLJA) passage, victims may have until August 10, 2024, to file.
If you filed a claim that was denied, you should take action immediately, as you only have six months to appeal the denial. The statute of limitations for a wrongful death claim due to contamination at Camp Lejeune is generally two years from your loved one’s passing.
If your injury or loss can be traced to toxic chemicals in Camp Lejeune’s water, a personal injury lawyer could help you file a mass tort lawsuit.
Six-Month Deadline for Adjudication
Another time limit you may have heard about is the six-month deadline for adjudication. However, this deadline applies to the government, not you.
The six-month deadline applies to the Department of Defense (DoD) and the Marine Corps, which are responsible for investigating any claims related to polluted water at Camp Lejeune. This deadline requires that these agencies submit their findings and recommendations in writing within six months of receiving a claim.
The legal process requires claims to also be filed with the Department of the Navy. The Navy then has just six months to adjudicate each claim. However, it is important to note that this six-month deadline does not apply to individuals filing their own lawsuits.
An experienced attorney can explain how and if this deadline applies to your case.
Camp Lejeune Contaminated Water Crisis Timeline
According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the contamination of drinking water at Camp Lejeune started as early as the 1950s, and polluted wells were shut down between 1985 and 1987. Unfortunately, this was too little, too late.
Marines and personnel of any armed forces branch and their families who spent time at Camp Lejeune’s main base and various housing areas may have consumed and bathed in contaminated water.
This water had toxins at concentrations hundreds of times higher than those permitted by safety standards.
Discovery of Toxic Chemicals in Camp Lejeune’s Drinking Water
The Camp Lejeune water poisoning crisis began in 1982 when researchers found hazardous substances in several samples they tested. But unfortunately, the Marine Corps and the government have neglected the issue for years.
Full Resolution of the Issue
It was not until December 1987 that the government finally resolved the issue and made the general public aware of the devastating contamination.
The Enactment of the Camp Lejeune Justice Act
The Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 empowers all victims of the base’s contaminated water to seek justice for their losses. Still, time is of the essence when it comes to filing a Camp Lejeune claim and obtaining the compensation and health care benefits you require.
The act’s provisions allow claimants to file a lawsuit against the U.S. government for failing to warn the residents and workers of the contamination. Under the act’s provisions, claimants would have two years from August 10, 2022, to file a claim, which is where the 2024 deadline comes from.
Conditions Linked to Camp Lejeune’s Polluted Water
When considering whether you are eligible for financial compensation, it is important to understand which health conditions have been associated with the contaminated water supply.
The VA recognizes fifteen health conditions linked to contaminated water. These conditions include the following:
- Bladder cancer
- Renal toxicity
- Esophageal cancer
- Breast cancer
- Female infertility
- Kidney cancer
- Hepatic steatosis
- Lung cancer
- Multiple myeloma
- Neurobehavioral effects
- Myelodysplastic syndromes
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
Other Adverse Affects That May Be Associated With Camp Lejeune
Medical conditions not listed above could still potentially be traced to the toxic drinking water on the now-infamous military base. These conditions include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Liver cancer
- Brain cancer
- Cervical cancer
- Ovarian cancer
- Prostate cancer
- Rectal cancer
- Aplastic anemia
- Parkinson’s disease
- Congenital disabilities (if your mother spent time in the affected area while pregnant with you)
Important Requirements for Filing a Lawsuit
The CLJA of 2022 allows veterans and their family members to file a legal claim if they have been exposed to contaminants in the Camp Lejeune water supply.
Those who file suit must meet certain requirements to be eligible to receive compensation and damages for any health effects associated with this exposure.
- Receiving an official diagnosis: To qualify for compensation, an affected veteran or family member must prove that they were diagnosed with one or more of the diseases associated with contaminants in the water.
- Establishing that exposure occurred within the applicable time period: Claimants must demonstrate that any health problem was caused by exposure to toxins during a specific timeframe. Proof of residence for 30 days or more between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987, when most contamination occurred, is required.
- Proving causation: Individuals filing suit must first prove a direct connection between their time at the base and an injury or death resulting from drinking contaminated water. This is typically done using medical records or other evidence.
A law firm with experience in mass tort law and a track record of successful case results is invaluable when seeking compensation due under the CLJA.
These cases require significant research into causation and the establishment of ground rules for seeking compensation. Our team has the expertise and resources to represent you and help you get the money you need to move forward.
Don’t Wait to Contact a Personal Injury Attorney
If you or a loved one has suffered an adverse health condition from exposure to the harmful chemicals in Camp Lejeune’s water, don’t wait to take legal action. The August 2024 deadline is looming, so it is in your best interest to allow a qualified lawyer to start building your case now.