Camp Lejeune Justice Act 2022: How Does it Protect Those Affected?

In the early 1950s, the contamination of drinking water at Camp Lejeune began, leading to the closure of its most polluted wells in 1985. Those who lived in Camp Lejeune during that time period faced potential health threats such as cancer, nervous system disorders, reproductive problems, and birth defects.

In this regard, the Camp Lejeune Justice Act has provided a recourse for former residents of the Marine Corps base who were affected by the contaminated water. Now, they have the opportunity to file a lawsuit against the government to avail monetary compensation for the harm caused by this tragic incident. 

Let’s delve into the details of the Act and understand how it can offer relief to those impacted by this unfortunate situation. 

What Happened at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina? 

Between 1953 and 1987, the drinking water sources at Camp Lejeune, a US Marine Corps base, became tainted with hazardous chemicals like vinyl chloride, tetrachloroethylene, trichloroethylene, and benzene. These substances are notorious for causing cancer, birth defects, and other severe health issues.

Throughout that period, Marine veterans and their families residing and working on the base unknowingly consumed and used the contaminated water for drinking and bathing. It is estimated that over 1 million individuals have experienced various chronic illnesses due to their exposure to these harmful chemicals. In some cases, the concentration levels of the contaminants were 400 times the safe limit. 

But what caused the Camp Lejeune water contamination? As per TorHoerman Law, the tragedy was caused by leakage of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) from underground storage tanks of water treatment plants. 

These VOCs include toxic chemicals like degreasers, dry cleaning solvents, and other hazardous chemicals that were found in the water supplied to the housing base and other buildings at the camp. 

Although the first traces of the dangerous compounds in the groundwater and drinking water at Camp Lejeune were found in 1982, the authorities were slow to react.

Approximately 1 million individuals are thought to have been exposed to contaminated water, though the long-term health effects on Marines and their family members remain uncertain. 

In August 2022, the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 was finally enacted, providing a chance for justice to the residents of Camp Lejeune. Many of these residents, dealing with various cancers, now have an opportunity to seek accountability for the harm caused by the toxic water pollutants.

The Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022

US President Joe Biden signed the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 into law on August 10, 2022, marking a significant step in restoring rights for injury victims in three key ways.

  • Firstly, individuals who suffered specific medical conditions due to exposure to contaminated water are now eligible to claim disability. The Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) has announced that residents who were on active duty at Camp Lejeune between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987, are presumed to have been exposed to water contamination and can thus receive free health care.
  • Secondly, the Act removes the federal government’s claim of sovereign immunity from lawsuits. This crucially means that victims of Camp Lejeune water contamination can now pursue legal action against the U.S. Government.
  • Thirdly, the Act permits victims to file a lawsuit for injuries and illnesses resulting from chemical exposure up to 70 years ago. This provision is especially vital for individuals whose loved ones have succumbed to conditions linked to Camp Lejeune water contamination.

Veterans, civilian employees, and their families are now empowered to file disability claims if they have experienced any of the specific presumptive medical conditions outlined in the Act.

Presumptive Illnesses Under Camp Lejeune Lawsuit

If a Veteran within a specific group is diagnosed with a presumed condition, they may qualify for disability compensation. Recognizing the impact of water contamination at Camp Lejeune, the VA has established a presumptive service connection to facilitate disability compensation for residents exposed to the contamination.

For a successful claim, the individual has to be diagnosed with one or more of the following presumptive conditions:

  • Adult leukemia
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Myelodysplastic disorders, such as aplastic anemia
  • Bladder cancer
  • Liver cancer
  • Kidney cancer
  • Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Furthermore, veterans and their family members can also receive reimbursement benefits for medical conditions from a broader list of disorders. This extended list includes female infertility, miscarriage, hepatic steatosis, neurobehavioral effects, scleroderma, and renal toxicity. 

The goal of the Federal Government is to provide comprehensive support to the victims of the Camp Lejeune water contamination tragedy.

How Can Victims and Their Families Fight For Their Rights

For years, the federal government has been aware of the health issues linked to the Camp Lejeune water contamination and has made efforts to tackle the problem. 

Despite these efforts, a substantial and meaningful response has been lacking. Records reveal that the Veterans Administration has rejected over one-third of the claims related to Camp Lejeune, underscoring the inadequacy of addressing the consequences of the water contamination.

The VA has associated these denials with botched paperwork or lack of evidence of presumptive illnesses. However, it was soon revealed that more than 17,000 veterans were not informed of the specific evidence that they needed to provide in the first place. 

To ensure proper documentation and receive disability compensation payments, it is ideal for the victims to consult the best lawyers for the Camp Lejeune Lawsuit. With legal support and expert guidance, victims can file a lawsuit to claim for what’s rightfully theirs. 


For decades, the drinking water at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune was poisoned with toxic chemicals. The full spectrum of potential health effects stemming from exposure to VOCs is still under investigation by researchers. 

For those dealing with one of the 16 medical conditions presumed to be linked to this exposure, the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 provides a pathway to justice. While the progress since the enactment of the Camp Lejeune Justice Act has been gradual, signs of momentum are now beginning to emerge.