The Camp Lejeune Justice Act was passed on Aug 10, 2022 along with the PACT Act. This act has made it possible for certain individuals to sue and recover damages for harm that was suffered due to exposure to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina between August 1, 1953 and December 31, 1987.
There are a few things to know about this act.
- The person must have lived at Camp Lejeune, worked there, or otherwise been exposed (including in utero exposure) for not less than 30 days.
- The individual may bring an action (sue) in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina to obtain the appropriate relief from any harm caused by exposure to the water. This is the ONLY court currently that is authorized jurisdiction over the actions.
- The burden of proof is on the party filing the action.
- Anyone who brings an action under this section for harm, including a latent disease (a disease which doesn’t manifest until later), is prohibited from bringing a tort action against the US for such harm through any other law.
- Any award will be offset by the amount of any disability award, payment, or benefit already provided to the individual under:
- And VA program (VA disability, etc)
- Punitive damages will not be awarded for any action
In addition, individuals have to comply with section 2675 of title 28, US Code before bringing an action under this Act. This means that the individual must present a claim to the appropriate Federal Agency (VA for Veterans) and have his claim approved or denied in writing first.
And finally, there is a statute of limitations. That is the later of:
- Two years after the enactment of the Act, or August 9, 2024 OR
- 180 days after the date on which the claim is denied under section 2675 of title 28, US Code
There you go. There are dozens of law firms rushing to get Veterans signed up for class action lawsuits. Just know that this is NOT necessarily in the interest of the Veteran. It is, however, greatly in the interest of the law firms because the more Veterans they can get signed up, the more money the Law Firms will get. Remember, punitive damages will not be awarded, so the only reason for law firms to file class action lawsuits on behalf of hundreds of people is because it means more money in the pockets of the law firms.
If you want to file action, do your investigation. Understand what the law says. And think about getting your own lawyer to tackle this issue.