Congress has passed the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 to help military members and their families who suffered health issues as a result of water contamination at the Camp Lejeune military base. The new law will allow victims to potentially sue the government for medical problems they endured from toxic exposure during their time at the camp. This will help veterans to obtain disability benefits for long-term health problems many of them suffered, and help their family members to seek justice as well.
What is Camp Lejeune?
Camp Lejeune is a military base that was originally established in 1941, and which is used for training members of the United States Marine Corps. At any given time, it has between 30,000 and 40,000 military members living on the base, along with around 150,000 family members that live in the vicinity. It remains in use to this day as a home of “expeditionary forces in readiness,” and a staging ground for military exercises involving amphibious assaults.
What Happened at Camp Lejeune?
The Marine Corps discovered in 1982 that certain wells at Camp Lejeune were contaminated with Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) that could have serious negative consequences to anyone who drank from them. Over the next few years, the military began to shut down the VOC contaminated wells, but denied the water contamination at the base for several decades. During that time, people who lived at Camp Lejeune began developing certain severe medical conditions at rates much higher than the normal population, eventually forcing them to admit the problem.
Why Did Congress Pass This Law?
This law was passed to help victims of water contamination at Camp Lejeune to get justice for themselves and their loved ones who suffered as a result of VOC exposure. The law affects anyone who lived at Camp Lejeune or Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) New River in North Carolina between August 1953 and December 1987 for at least thirty cumulative days, and who did not receive a dishonorable discharge from the military. They must have been diagnosed with one of several medical conditions tied to the water contamination, such as aplastic anemia, Parkinson’s disease, and numerous types of cancer.
What Can You Do?
If you or someone you love lived at Camp Lejeune during the affected time period and suffers from one of the listed medical conditions, you may be eligible for disability benefits and potential legal relief. That is why you should speak to a lawyer with experience handling veterans’ disability benefits. They can help you to explore your legal options and help you to get the compensation you deserve.
The attorneys of Sullivan & Kehoe place a special focus on assisting disabled veterans. Our veterans’ disability lawyers are still available for remote consultation on your legal issues. Call our office at (800) 395-7830 to schedule a consultation in our New York City, Garden City, Kings Park, Riverhead, or White Plains office, or visit our contact page.