The contamination of U.S. Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune’s water for more than 30 years was an unacceptable act that should never have been allowed to occur. Now, those who lived, served, or worked at Camp Lejeune are suffering the life-altering effects of exposure to a variety of toxic substances.
Cancer, miscarriages, neurological defects, and so many other diagnoses could have been wholly prevented had the U.S. Government taken action to protect marines, veterans, contractors, and civilians alike. As the impact of decades-long inaction has come to light, lawmakers have created a legal avenue for victims to recover compensation for their illnesses, financial losses, and more. This is the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022.
Answers to Camp Lejeune FAQs
We understand that for many people, this is a very confusing and overwhelming period of time. You may feel like you have an endless stream of questions, but nowhere to go for answers. We hope that feeling ends here.
Below are some Camp Lejeune commonly asked questions, answered by one of Frost Law Firm, PC’s attorneys, Tiffany N. Lawson, Esq.
I Currently Receive VA Benefits Unrelated to Camp Lejeune Water Exposure—Will Pursuing a Claim Affect Those Benefits?
VA benefits for injuries unrelated to Camp Lejeune water exposure injuries will not be affected by pursuing a claim under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act (CLJA).
I Currently Receive VA Benefits Related to Camp Lejeune Water Exposure—Will Pursuing a Claim Affect Those Benefits?
If there is an overlap between the injuries for which you are receiving benefits and those for which you are claiming were caused by the water at Camp Lejeune, this will not result in the VA or Medicare retaliating against you by cutting off your benefits.
The only possible result in this circumstance may be a repayment to the VA or Medicare. This is paid from any reward you receive from your CLJA claim, not out of your own pocket.
Have Any Settlements Been Reached Under the CLJA?
As of March 10, 2023, no settlements have been reached under the CLJA.
The JAG office makes a very important point to recognize that there are a lot of scams surrounding these claims. Specifically, people should stay away from emails claiming that a settlement has been reached, requiring them to accept a settlement offer before it expires.
All communication from the government will be written on Department of the Navy letterhead, from the official CL Claims email address, or by first-class mail.
Do I Have a Claim Under the CLJA if I Was a Dependent and Not a Marine?
Yes, anyone who “resided, worked or was otherwise exposed (including in utero exposure) for not less than 30 days during the period beginning on Aug. 1, 1953, and ending on Dec. 31, 1987, to water at Camp Lejeune North Carolina…may bring an action.” This includes military dependents such as spouses or children of marines and civilian workers.
How Can I Show That I Was at Camp Lejeune Considering that it Was More Than 30 Years Ago?
Veterans may obtain military records from the National Archives military record request database. Military records such as form DD 214 (separation documents), official military personnel files, and medical and health records can be obtained here.
We understand that not everyone bringing a claim under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act is a veteran with official military records, and thus anything showing placement at the Marine Corps base may be considered. Examples of things that could help strengthen a case include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Pictures taken at Camp Lejeune
- Civilian employee contracts
- Medical records
Do My Injuries and Time Spent at Camp Lejeune Make Me Eligible To Pursue a Claim Under the CLJA?
Anyone who was exposed to the water at Camp Lejeune between Aug. 1, 1953 and Dec. 31, 1987 for a period of at least 30 days and who has suffered a serious illness may bring a claim under the Act.
There is no requirement that the 30-day period exposure be consecutive.
How Long Do I Have To Bring a Claim Under the CLJA?
Generally, a claimant has two years from the date of enactment of the CLJA to file a claim. The Act was signed into law on Aug. 10, 2022, meaning that you have until Aug. 10, 2024 to bring your claim.
I’m Awaiting a Decision About My VA Benefits—Can I Also File a Claim Under the CLJA?
David Barrans, a lawyer for the VA, has confirmed that filing a Camp Lejeune claim under the Act will not affect a person’s eligibility for VA benefits. So yes, you can still file a CLJA claim even if you have already applied for VA benefits and are still awaiting a decision.
Have More Questions? Frost Law Firm, PC Is Here To Help
The substances found in Camp Lejeune’s drinking water between 1953 and 1987 included human carcinogens and other chemicals known to be toxic to human health. We want to be clear, you deserved better.
While we can’t undo the past, our hope is to help you face the future with dignity. We arm our clients with all of the information they need to make the most informed decisions possible, including whether to move forward with a claim under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act.
If you have questions that weren’t answered above, or would like further clarification regarding any information found within this article, please contact us online or by phone—a compassionate attorney is standing by to speak with you.