On August 2, 2022, the U.S. Senate passed the Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring Our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act. The Act was signed into law by President Joseph Biden on August 10, 2022. The PACT Act includes the Camp Lejeune Justice Act (CLJA) which allows veterans to file claims against the U.S. government for compensation for injuries sustained as a result of exposure to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune.
In order to qualify, a claimant must have been exposed for 30 or more days to the on-base water supply at Camp Lejeune between August 1, 1953 and December 31, 1987. The claimant must also have been diagnosed with one of the following diseases deemed presumptive of exposure by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA):
- Kidney cancer
- Other kidney disease
- Liver cancer
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
- Adult and Childhood leukemia (developing after qualifying exposure at Camp Lejeune)
- Multiple Myeloma
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Aplastic anemia and other myelodysplastic syndromes
- Bladder cancer
- Cardiac Defect
- Systematic Sclerosis/Scleroderma
Other diseases that have been linked to exposure at Camp Lejeune include:
- Breast cancer
- Esophageal cancer
- Hepatic steatosis (fatty liver disease)
- Lung cancer
- Birth defects, stillbirths, miscarriages and neurobehavioral effects
Claims can be filed by military service members, their family members, and any contractors and civilians who worked at Camp Lejeune during the designated period. The CLJA provides for a two year statute of limitations within which claims can be filed.
The first step claimants should take is to file an administrative Camp Lejeune claim with the Office of the Judge Advocate General (JAG) of the Navy’s Tort Claims Unit. Claims seeking compensation for personal injury or in the case of deceased claimants, wrongful death can be filed on the Navy JAG website. If the claim is denied a civil lawsuit can then be filed with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina. Receiving benefits from the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) is not a barrier to recovery under the Act.It is important that CLJA claims be filed timely and following the administrative process laid out by the Navy Office of the Judge Advocate general.
Read our other Camp Lejeune blog below:
President Biden Signs PACT Act toI ncrease Veteran’s Health Care Benefits