Since the Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act was signed into law in August, more than 5,000 claims have been filed for injuries suffered from exposure to toxic chemicals at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina (Camp Lejeune water contamination claims total about 5,000 so far, U.S. Navy says). The Act allows victims of exposure to contaminated water at the base to sue the federal government for civil damages.
The claims have been filed with the Office of the Judge Advocate General of the Navy’s Tort Claims Unit in Norfolk, Virginia. After they’ve gone through the administrative process, Marines and their family members will be able to file lawsuits in the Eastern District of North Carolina to seek compensation for injuries caused by toxic drinking water on the base between 1953 and 1987.
According to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) in the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), upwards of one million people may have been exposed to contamination at the base. Legal experts estimate that as many as 500,000 claims could eventually be filed.
The Act creates a two-year window for Marines who served at Camp Lejeune, their families, and contractors who worked on the base to file lawsuits against the government for damages caused by exposure to toxic chemicals including trichloroethylene, tetrachloroethylene, vinyl chloride, and benzene. The ATSDR has conceded that the chemicals in the drinking water created an increased risk of cancer and other health issues for residents of the base, but the government has previously claimed immunity because of a 2016 court case.
The PACT Act officially grants an exception to that governmental immunity, paving the way for one of the largest mass tort litigations in United States history. In order to ensure that you are not left behind, it is essential that you obtain quality representation as soon as possible.
If you have cancer or experienced miscarriages or infertility after exposure (including in utero exposure) to the toxic water at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, please call Davis, Bethune & Jones at 1-800-875-5972 for a free consultation. Our experienced personal injury attorneys will ensure that your rights are protected and you receive the compensation you deserve.