Frequently Asked Questions and Answers about the Camp LeJeune Water Litigation
|What is the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022?||President Biden signed the Camp Lejeune Justice Act into law on August 10, 2022. Under this new law, victims may now sue the federal government for injuries they suffered as a result of their exposure to the base’s contaminated water.
Under the Act, if you were exposed to the water at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 days between 1953 and 1987—whether you lived, worked, or were otherwise exposed to the water at or from Camp Lejeune—you have the right to sue the government for harm caused by the contaminated water. If the victim has passed away, the proper legal representative may bring the claim on his or her behalf. In that instance, an estate may need to be initiated depending on the applicable law.
|How do I bring a claim under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act?||The Camp Lejeune Justice Act lays out a two-step process: an administrative claim process and filing a lawsuit in federal court.
First, you must file an Administrative Claim with the Navy. The Navy then has the opportunity to evaluate your submission. The Navy has six months to respond.
Second, if the Navy denied the claim or the six month period has lapsed, you can file a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina.
|By when should I file my claim with the Navy?||It could be helpful to file your claim as soon as you’re able to, as the government will not be able to make a settlement offer until your claim has been filed.
The Camp Lejeune Justice Act states the following:
(2) STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS.—A claim in an action under this section may not be commenced after the later of—
(A) the date that is two years after the date of enactment of this Act; or
(B) the date that is 180 days after the date on which the claim is denied under section 2675 of title 28, United States Code.
|Am I required to have a lawyer to bring a claim?||No. We recommend that you hire a lawyer, but you always have the right to represent yourself. Also, it is important to know that the Court will not allow a non-lawyer to represent another person (for example, a non-lawyer husband cannot represent his wife in court, nor could he represent the estate of his deceased father).|
|What injuries and diseases are linked to Camp Lejeune toxic water exposure?||The Camp Lejeune Justice Act does not list specific diseases that are covered. Anyone can sue if they resided, worked, or were otherwise exposed (including in utero exposure) to water at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 days between 1953 and 1987, so long as they can show that they suffered harm as a result of their exposure to the water.
However, a United States government agency study has concluded that certain diseases are more closely associated with exposure to the toxic water at Camp Lejeune.
This is not an exhaustive list. If you were exposed and suffer from a different disease not on this list, you may still be entitled to compensation.
Cardiac birth defects
Female breast cancer
Hepatic steatosis/fatty liver disease
Male breast cancer
Non-cardiac birth defects
This list will be updated as we continue to learn about other conditions that are associated with exposure to the chemicals that were in the water at Camp Lejeune. Again, even if a condition or disease is not listed above, it may still have been caused by the toxic water at Camp Lejeune and you are entitled to seek compensation for them, provided you comply with the time frames set forth above.
|Will filing a claim under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act put my VA benefits at risk?||No. If you are already receiving VA benefits or other compensation for injuries caused by the water at Camp Lejeune, the Act still gives you the right to sue—and you will not lose your benefits even if you bring an action under the Act.
The VA has plainly stated in its official guidance that "if you are awarded relief from a CLJA lawsuit, your VA benefits will not be reduced, and your eligibility for other VA benefits will not be affected." So you do not need to worry about your VA benefits being reduced or stopped.
|Do I need to have my military or health records before I can bring a claim?||No documentation is required to file an administrative claim with the Navy unless you are filing a claim on behalf of a deceased person’s estate, in which case you need documentation showing you are the appropriate representative of the estate.|
|Can I file a Camp Lejeune Justice Act lawsuit in my home state (not in the Eastern District of North Carolina)?||No, you cannot. The Camp Lejeune Justice Act requires that all claims under the Act must be filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina. Claims that are filed in another State’s courts or in another federal court other than the United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina are subject to dismissal.|
The FAQs and this website will be updated regularly to provide current information on the status and progress of the Camp Lejeune litigation. Please consult it for news and information on the case and the claims process.