How Do I File a Claim for Camp Lejeune Water Contamination
If you would like to file a claim for Camp Lejeune water contamination injuries, the U.S. Navy Judge Advocate General’s Corps (JAG) provides the following instructions:
- Submitting your claim by email: Fill out the Camp Lejeune Justice Act (CLJA) claims form and email the form to the JAG’s Tort Claims Unit (TCU) at CLclaims@us.navy.mil. When saving the file to your computer, please format the title of the document as “LAST NAME FIRST NAME MM.DD.YYYY,” with the date being the day you submit the form.
- Submitting your claim by mail: Fill out the CLJA form, then print it out. Mail the form to the following address:Department of the Navy
Office of the Judge Advocate General
Tort Claims Unit Norfolk
Attention – Camp Lejeune Claims
9620 Maryland Avenue, Suite 205
Norfolk, VA 23511-2949
You can also choose to work with an attorney from our law firm, Poulin | Willey | Anastopoulo, LLC. Our attorneys can ensure that your claims form is accurate and prepare your case for federal court if necessary. Our team helps workers who have suffered on-the-job injuries and chemical hazards, and that includes military personnel who were in Camp Lejeune between 1953 and 1987. We offer the first consultation for free.
Understanding the Camp Lejeune Lawsuit and Who Qualifies to File
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In August 2022, Congress signed the Honoring Our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics Act (PACT) into law, which included the Camp Lejeune Justice Act (CLJA) or H.R. 6482. The CLJA holds the federal government accountable for exposing military service members, their families, and workers to contaminated drinking water between August 1, 1953 and December 31, 1987.
This is based on information reported by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) in 2007, which found that Camp Lejeune contained carcinogens in the water supply wells between 1953 and 1987, exposing as many as 950,000 people during this time. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) also confirmed that water contaminants included tetrachloroethylene (perchloroethylene), which is commonly found in dry cleaning chemicals and increases a person’s risk of developing cancer.
Who Is Eligible to File a Camp Lejeune Lawsuit?
You must meet the following eligibility requirements to file a Camp Lejeune lawsuit:
- You lived or worked in Camp Lejeune between August 1, 1953 and December 31, 1987 for at least 30 cumulative days.
- You developed an injury or illness as a result of drinking or being exposed to contaminated water in Camp Lejeune.
- If you served in the U.S. military, you did not receive a dishonorable discharge.
U.S. Congressman Gregory F. Murphy (NC-03) issued a press release that alerted military service members of the CLJA, but other individuals outside of the military may also qualify to file a lawsuit, including spouses, children, and civilian workers who were exposed to the toxic water and became ill.
Water Contamination Exposure Poses Several Health Risks, Including Cancer
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced that chemical waste existed in the drinking water supply, including volatile organic compounds (VOCs) such as benzene, trichloroethylene (TCE), mercury, vinyl chloride (VC), and perchloroethylene (PCE).
Per VA’s website, people who were exposed to contaminants in Camp Lejeune’s drinking water may develop:
- Cancer in the kidneys, liver, or bladder
- Other cancers, such as breast cancer, esophageal cancer, and lung cancer
- Multiple myeloma
- Aplastic anemia and other myelodysplastic syndromes
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
- Infertility issues, including miscarriages
- Pregnancy complications and birth defects
- Parkinson’s disease
- Hepatic steatosis
- Renal toxicity
Those who suffer from any of the above health conditions may file a lawsuit for their medical care costs and related damages. If your loved one passed away as a result of their illness, you or your loved one’s personal representative may file a lawsuit on their behalf.
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What You Need to Properly Document Your Injuries
If you are interested in filing a Camp Lejeune water contamination claim, you will need documentation to show a correlation between your illness and your time at Camp Lejeune. This will involve collecting evidence such as:
- Your current medical records to show your diagnoses
- Your medical records from the military if you began showing symptoms during your military service
- Lab work or blood tests
- Documentation demonstrating that you lived or worked at Camp Lejeune during the qualifying time period, such as discharge paperwork or employment information
- Your military service records, including DD214
Should you decide to work with a South Carolina personal injury lawyer at Poulin | Willey | Anastopoulo, LLC., our legal team can help retrieve this information and use it as evidence for your case.
A Lawyer from Our Firm Can Protect Your Rights and Help Build Your Case
Filing an electronic or mail-in claim to the federal government is just the first step of the claims process. Ultimately, you will be subject to the review process just to hear if your claim has been approved or denied. While JAG has six months to respond to current claims, reported numbers are already above 15,000, with many thousands more expected.
Hiring a South Carolina camp lejeune water contamination lawyer may expedite a response from the federal government since you could file a claim or lawsuit with the federal court system. Through litigation, your lawyer can:
- Advocate for your right to pursue compensation based on the Camp Lejeune Justice Act
- Calculate how much compensation you may qualify to claim based on your personal damages
- Retrieve information for your case, such as records from the military and reports about the Camp Lejeune water contamination
- Maintain communication with appropriate parties so that your case continues moving forward, and you are always kept up to date
Our legal team can assign a personal injury lawyer to represent you and fight for your rights during the process.
The Legal Process and What to Expect When Working with our Attorney
Other services you might expect from our legal team include:
- We will investigate your case and collect evidence to support your claims.
- We will handle communication with other attorneys, court officials, and government officials. Should third parties reach out to you for a statement, you can refer them to your lawyer instead.
- Your lawyer will attend all legal appearances as your representative; they will present your case on your behalf.
- If possible, our team will negotiate a settlement agreement out of court. Otherwise, we will prepare your case for trial.
- Our team will provide legal counsel whenever you have questions about your case, rights, or legal decisions.
Our team works hard to be transparent with our clients to build trust and confidence with them. If you have concerns along the way, we are prepared to put your mind at ease and solve problems collaboratively.
Beware of Camp Lejeune Lawsuit Scams
Information about which military personnel were in Camp Lejeune during the affected time period is open to the public, which means third parties can sell contact lists to scammers hoping to take advantage of vulnerable individuals. If you are approached by someone claiming to be a lawyer or representative of a law firm and they demand immediate payment for their services, you should consider this a red flag.
Most personal injury law firms like Poulin | Willey | Anastopoulo, LLC., work on a contingency-fee basis, meaning they do not collect any attorney’s fees unless they win your case. This also means they will not collect their fees until your case settles, not before. Keep note of other red flags to avoid being scammed:
- Contingency fees are based on a percentage of your compensation award, which our team would inform you of before signing you as a client.
- Law firms that work on a contingency-fee basis do not charge hourly rates. Additionally, if a scammer asks for hourly rates and these rates fluctuate in price, this is also a red flag.
- Be aware of anyone promising huge sums of money very quickly. A legitimate legal case may take time, and a reputable attorney will try to give you an accurate picture of what you may be owed.
You Can Pursue Compensation for Any Illnesses Caused by Water Contamination
If you decide to file a Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit, you may recover compensation for the following types of damages:
- Past, current, and future medical expenses
- Income loss
- Pain and suffering
- Permanent disability
- Reduced earning potential
- Loss of consortium
- Emotional distress
- Diminished quality of life
If you lost a loved one because of an illness they developed as a result of Camp Lejeune water contamination, you may qualify to file a wrongful death claim on their behalf. This would allow you to pursue other types of damages, such as funeral service expenses or loss of companionship.
Call Poulin | Willey | Anastopoulo, LLC. to Get a Free Case Review Today
If you or a loved one developed an injury or illness as a result of exposure to contaminated water in Camp Lejeune between 1953 and 1987, you may qualify for a federal lawsuit to pursue compensation for your damages. The Department of the Navy is currently reviewing administrative claims about Camp Lejeune water contamination and has until June 2023 to respond to them. However, you do not have to wait to build your case.
A personal injury lawyer in South Carolina from Poulin | Willey | Anastopoulo, LLC., can help you file a claim for Camp Lejeune water contamination and represent you in federal court if necessary. Our lawyers work on a contingency-fee basis and offer the first consultation for free. Want to speak with a team member to learn more? Call or fill out our contact form today to start your legal journey.