There have been significant developments in the Camp Lejeune lawsuits as of early 2023. This blog will explain the current legal process and provide a Camp Lejeune lawsuit 2023 update. These legal claims involve complex medical and scientific issues. A Camp Lejeune toxic torts attorney who handles toxic torts and medical device litigation could help you seek the compensation you deserve for the harm you suffered.
Developments in the Camp Lejeune Lawsuits
Under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act, passed on August 10, 2022, people who qualify under the law can file a claim, called an administrative “Claim for Injury or Death” with the Office of the Judge Advocate General (Jag Unit – Department of the Navy). After the claim process, they can file a lawsuit for compensation for the harm they suffered because of the contaminated water at the military base.
Injured people who meet the eligibility requirements under the Act had to first file an administrative claim with the Department of the Navy (DON). The Navy got 180 days to respond to the claim. The military could accept, deny, or allow the claim to expire.
Cases that were not resolved within the 180-day waiting period could then be the subject of lawsuits. The 180 days expired on February 10, 2023, for the claims filed on August 10, 2022. Thousands of the initial administrative claims did not get resolved during the waiting period. Federal courts in North Carolina expect to receive thousands of lawsuits quickly.
The Department of the Navy notified attorneys in February of 2023 that 4,487 of the people who filed claims in August now had “perfected claims.” “Perfected” is the term the military uses for a properly filed administrative claim. The military also warns these individuals that there are already a number of scams targeting them.
The Judge Advocate General (JAG) blames the slowdown of the claims process on security concerns. People who wish to file a lawsuit after waiting for the 180-day period to expire are now free to do so. People typically have to go through the administrative claim process before going to court and filing a lawsuit when their claim is against the government. They must exhaust their administrative remedies first before engaging in litigation.
What Happened at Camp Lejeune
The drinking water on the base was contaminated with toxic chemicals between 1953 and 1987. People who lived or worked on the base had exposure to these dangerous chemicals when they drank, bathed in, and cooked with this water. The military did not close down the contaminated wells until the 1980s.
People who served in the military at Camp Lejeune, their families, and civilian workers on the base developed medical conditions linked to the chemicals found in the water. These chemicals include:
- Parkinson’s disease
- Birth defects
- Kidney disease
- Fertility issues
- Multiple types of cancer, including liver cancer, adult leukemia, multiple myeloma, kidney cancer, bladder cancer, and Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
- Anaplastic anemia and other myelodysplastic syndromes
You can talk to a toxic torts and medical device litigation attorney if you developed a disease after serving, living, or working at Camp Lejeune. We offer a free initial consultation with no obligation. For help with your case get in touch with our office today.