Over 5,000 claims concerning water contamination allegations at the Marine Base, Camp Lejeune, in North Carolina have been filed in the first 30 days after a new federal law removed legal impediments for lawsuits to be filed, according to the U.S. Navy. This sets the table for one of the largest mass tort litigations in the history of the United States.
The claims for compensation have been pursued with the Office of the Judge Advocate General of the Navy’s Tort Claims Unit in Norfolk, Virginia. These claim filings are the initial process for victims, marines and people who worked or lived at Camp Lejeune to get justice and compensation for harm such as cancer, adult leukemia, Parkinson’s and other harm caused by toxic drinking and bathing water at Camp Lejeune between 1953 until 1988. The lawsuit roadmap is set forth in the PACT Act. This legislation was enacted / signed by President Joe Biden on Aug. 10, 2022.
A representative for the JAG stated in a correspondence that “approximately 5,000” administrative claims were asserted since President Biden signed the legislation.
Camp Lejeune lawyers who represent clients who suffered from Camp Lejeune water contamination expect the amounts of claims to grow exponentially. The Department of Health and Human Services’ (DHHS) Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry has estimated that up to one million victims were exposed to water contamination. Some Camp Lejeune attorneys believe that nearly 500,000 toxic water claims / lawsuits will be filed.
David Slepkow of Slepkow Slepkow & Associates, Inc. has been a vocal advocate for the Camp Lejeune Justice Act, which was a portion of the PACT Act. His firm Slepkow Slepkow and Associates expects to pursue hundreds of claims and potential lawsuits in the initial months. David Slepkow states that he is looking for a small selection of cases that he can make sure he gives individual attention to each tragic case and aggressively pursue top compensation- that each claim deserves.
The Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 allows up a two-year window for marine veterans, their families and others who lived and worked at Camp Lejeune to pursue lawsuits based on exposure to toxic chemicals like trichloroethylene, tetrachloroethylene, vinyl chloride and benzene.
DHHS’ Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (a division of the CDC) admits that the toxic chemicals increase the risk of cancer and other medical harms for victims. In the past the United States Government denied claims asserting a statute of limitations, a statute of repose as well as governmental immunity.
The biggest Mass torts in United States history has been the 3m earplug lawsuits with over 300,000 lawsuits. The Camp Lejeune contaminated water lawsuits could far exceed the 3m litigation.