How long do I have to File a Camp Lejeune Lawsuit?
The PACT Act, which stands for the Honoring Our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics Act, was passed on August 2, 2022 and signed by President Biden on August 10. Effective from the signing date, over one million military members, civilians, contractors, and their family members can finally seek justice if they were harmed by toxins in the water supply at Camp Lejeune military base.
According to this legislation, affected individuals can file a lawsuit against the U.S. government if they meet the following conditions:
- The claimant was a resident or employee at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 days between August 1, 1953 and December 31, 1987.
- The claimant has health complications that can be linked to toxins in the water at Camp Lejeune during the contamination period.
- The claimant was not dishonorably discharged from the U.S. military.
We will go into further detail regarding the health conditions that will qualify you for a Camp Lejeune injury claim. Additionally, we will advise you on the amount of time you have to bring a lawsuit against the federal government. However, we can only provide general information, and you are likely to have questions that are specific to your own case. Please contact our office and speak to one of our attorneys during a free case evaluation.
Toxic Chemicals in the Drinking Water at Camp Lejeune
Residents and employees at Camp Lejeune were exposed to the following toxins in the water supply between the years of 1953 and 1987:
- Trichloroethylene (TCE)
- Tetrachloroethylene (PCE / PERC)
- Vinyl Chloride
These contaminants came from a number of sources, including fuel tanks that leaked toxins into the groundwater. Chemicals were also released due to improper disposal of industrial waste, as well as PCE and PERC chemicals used by a nearby dry cleaner. This was common knowledge among U.S. military officials, who consistently denied reports of injury, disease, and death from being exposed to these chemicals.
Health Conditions caused by Contaminated Water at Camp Lejeune
Countless members of the military, civilians, and contractors, as well as their families, suffered various health issues, which were caused by the water supply at Camp Lejeune. Here is a list of those health conditions, as identified by the Department of Veteran’s Affairs:
- Bladder cancer
- Breast cancer
- Esophageal cancer
- Aplastic anemia (and related syndromes)
- Parkinson’s disease
- Hepatic steatosis
- Kidney cancer
- Liver cancer
- Lung cancer
- Female infertility
- Multiple myeloma
- Myelodysplastic syndromes
- Neurobehavioral effects
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
- Renal toxicity
Though victims and their loved ones reported these illnesses for many years, they were ignored time and time again by federal agencies. Some of these individuals died from one of the above mentioned diseases without the care and assistance they deserved from the U.S. military. Finally, the PACT Act allows victims and their family members to seek justice and achieve a sense of resolution.
What is the Statute of Limitations for Filing a Camp Lejeune Case?
If you qualify for a Camp Lejeune personal injury lawsuit, you will have two years to file a claim from the date that the PACT Act was signed, which is August 10, 2022. Plaintiffs must be diagnosed with one of the conditions mentioned in the section titled “Health Conditions caused by Contaminated Water at Camp Lejeune.” Additionally, they must show evidence that the condition was caused by contaminants in the water at Camp Lejeune during the years of 1953 to 1987.
The deadline is different if you were exposed to toxins in the water during the contamination period, but have not developed an illness yet. In this case, you have two years from the date you receive a diagnosis to file a claim for damages. Determining the statute of limitations can be challenging in any lawsuit, but it’s especially complicated when you are suing a government agency. To ensure that your lawsuit is filed on time, please give us a call and verify the SOL for your Camp Lejeune case with one of our attorneys.
Can I File a Claim if my Family Member Passed Away?
Yes, you can pursue a claim for wrongful death compensation if your family member died from a health condition that’s associated with contaminated water at Camp Lejeune. It does not matter how long ago your loved one passed away. However, you must be able to prove that your family member:
- Lived or worked at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 days from August 1, 1953 and December 31, 1987.
- Did not leave military service due to a dishonorable discharge.
You have two years from the signing date of the PACT Act to file a Camp Lejeune claim for wrongful death compensation. Our lawyers can walk you through the entire process and ensure that you are fairly compensated for the harm you’ve suffered.
How do I File a Camp Lejeune Claim for Compensation?
It is highly recommended that you seek help from an attorney if you plan on fling a Camp Lejeune compensation claim. Because you are suing the federal government, there are specific procedures that must be followed. Primarily, you will need to start the process by filing an injury or wrongful death claim with JAG (the Judge Advocate General’s Corps of the U.S. Navy). The agency has 6 months to review your claim and approve or deny your request.
If your claim is rejected or 6 months have gone by without a response from JAG, you can file a lawsuit with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina. Gathering the necessary evidence and making a strong claim for damages is extremely challenging when it comes to a lawsuit against a federal agency. Our lawyers have the skill and experience you need to succeed in a Camp Lejeune lawsuit.
What is the Value of my Camp Lejeune Case?
The value of your Camp Lejeune settlement will depend on many factors that are unique to your own case. Based on similar lawsuits, personal injury settlements may range from $25,000 to over $1 million, but keep in mind that this is only an estimate.
It’s likely that the highest settlements will go to victims who have been diagnosed with cancer or Parkinson’s disease. High case values are also expected for wrongful deaths claims, probably in the range of $250,000 to over $1 million. One of our lawyers can give you a better sense of what you may receive during a free consultation.
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It’s astounding to believe that so many cases of illness and death were ignored by military officials, but that’s the unfortunate reality of what happened at Camp Lejeune. Finally, these victims and their loved ones can hold the government responsible and seek the damages they deserve. However, the compensation process is complicated when a federal agency is involved, so it’s essential to seek representation from an experienced law firm.
The lawyers of DTLA have many years of experience in national mass tort injury cases against government and public entities. As a sign of our commitment to you and your family, we will offer a Zero fee guarantee, meaning all our fees are deferred until the end of your case. Our fees are factored into your settlement award, so we don’t get paid unless you do. If you’re ready to explore your legal options as a Camp Lejeune contaminated water victim, contact our office as soon as you can.