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New Law Finally Allows Those Affected to Take Legal Action Over Camp Lejeune’s Toxic Water
The morning of Aug. 10 brought some welcome news for those who have suffered life-changing illnesses or lost loved ones due to the toxic water in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. This was the day President Joe Biden signed the Honoring our PACT Act, which includes the Camp Lejeune Justice Act, marking the culmination of a 25-year fight for justice.
Grave Health Consequences
This law means that those who suffered grave illnesses such as cancer as a result of living and working at the Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina from 1953 to 1987, can exercise their constitutional right to legal action against the U.S. government for toxic water exposure on the base.
For nearly three decades, enlisted service members, their families, and contractors who were on the base drank, bathed, and cooked with water containing known carcinogens, up to 280 times the standard safety limits. A long list of health complications has been linked to ongoing exposure to toxic water.
Many Families Endure Tragedies
One such story is that of Retired U.S. Marine Master Sgt. J.M. Ensminger recently wrote a column in the Marine Corps Times. He said he lived with his family for nearly 12 years at Camp Lejeune where his daughter Janey was conceived and her mother had unknowingly consumed the toxic water. Janey, the only one of his four children conceived at Camp Lejeune, died of leukemia at age 9.
Because of an obscure North Carolina law, Janey’s loss, along with hundreds of deceased babies and many others suffering horrible health issues, has never been acknowledged by the military or the U.S. government, Ensminger says. However, that will change, he says, with the Camp Lejeune Justice Act. Now, anyone who lived or worked on Camp Lejeune for 30 days o more over that three-decade period can file a claim against the U.S. government to seek compensation for the damages caused.
Right to Justice and Compensation
Our toxic exposure attorneys are relieved that these families finally have won their right to due process in the civil justice system. Even those who received health benefits from the VA are eligible under this new law to receive compensation for past and future medical expenses, loss of quality of life, and pain and suffering. We will continue to raise awareness about Camp Lejeune’s toxic water exposure issues, and we will continue to fight for the rights of these victims and their families.
Brian Chase is the managing partner of Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys, LLP. He is the lead trial lawyer and oversees cases handling dangerous and defective products that injure consumers. Brian is a top-rated attorney with many honors and awards for his work relating to auto defects and dangerous products. His firm has recovered over $800M for its clients.
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