One year ago today, on August 2nd, 2022, a historic law was passed by the U.S. Congress, offering hope and justice to thousands of people who suffered from exposure to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.
The law, known as the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 (or CLJA), allows qualifying individuals to sue and recover damages for harm due to exposure to toxic chemicals found in the drinking water at Camp Lejeune, if they resided or worked there between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987.
The law was introduced by Rep. Matt Cartwright of Pennsylvania, who has directly stated “The brave men and women who served our country at Camp Lejeune deserve justice for the injuries they sustained from the government’s negligence.”
The law was supported by many veterans’ organizations, including the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) (who have endorsed and entrusted the Herd Law Firm to represent such affected veterans and their families) the American Legion, and the Disabled American Veterans. Receiving bipartisan support from lawmakers, this law recognizes the moral obligation to provide compensation to those who were harmed by the government’s failure to protect them.
This law is the first of its kind that provides compensation to the civilian family members of veterans stationed at the base, as well as those who came onto the base for work. Most importantly, the CLJA prohibits the U.S. government from asserting specified immunity from litigation in response to a lawsuit. Eight “presumptive” conditions that are linked to exposure to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune, including adult leukemia, bladder cancer, kidney cancer, liver cancer, multiple myeloma, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, Parkinson’s disease, aplastic anemia and other myelodysplastic syndromes.
The CLJA is a significant victory for the victims of Camp Lejeune water contamination, who have fought for decades to get recognition and compensation for their suffering. According to estimates, as many as one million people may have been exposed to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune. Many have developed serious health problems or died as a result of their toxic exposure. Some of them also have faced difficulties in obtaining health care benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), which only partially covers some health conditions related to Camp Lejeune water contamination.
The Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 is landmark legislation, officially acknowledging the government’s responsibility and accountability for the harm caused by its negligence. The CLJA provides victims and their families a vital legal avenue after being denied justice for far too long. It also represents a testament to the courage and perseverance of its survivors and advocates, who never gave up on their quest for truth and justice.
As we mark the anniversary of this historic law, we celebrate the achievements of those who fought for it, and honor the memory of those who lost their lives as a result. We also hope that this law will serve as a catalyst for more action and awareness about the catastrophic effects of toxic exposure, both in the military and beyond. We owe it to ourselves and future generations to ensure that no one must suffer from such preventable tragedies ever again.
At the Herd Law Firm, PLLC, we support every man, woman, and child exposed to contaminants at Camp Lejeune, and believe you deserve quality, attentive legal representation. We are proud to be able to aid our veterans and their families in seeking restitution for their injuries, and have been entrusted by the VFW to handle these claims on behalf of Veterans and their families.
If you or someone that you know has contracted COVID-19 while on board a cruise ship, you may be entitled to compensation. If so, call the law offices of the Herd Law Firm, PLLC for a risk-free evaluation of your potential case.
With over three decades of experience, Charles Herd concentrates on Jones Act and maritime-related claims, maritime products liability cases and maritime-related commercial matters. He also handles and resolves insurance coverage issues, commercial truck and vehicle wrecks and other serious injury or damage claims.
Charles takes a caring and compassionate approach to legal representation. He enjoys meeting and getting to know his clients and their families and has a strong desire to understand their needs in order to help resolve their legal claims in a favorable manner. He and his legal team carefully guide clients throughout the legal process so that they never feel alone.
With over 35 years of litigation and management experience, Charles Herd concentrates on Jones Act and maritime-related claims, maritime products liability cases and maritime-related commercial matters.