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Camp Lejeune Justice Act Gaining Momentum in Progress

By Rheingold Giuffra Ruffo Plotkin & Hellman LLP

The Camp Lejeune Act of 2022 is moving through Congress and gaining momentum as well as influential supporters such as Senator Marco Rubio of Florida. 

From 1953 to 1987, more than a million men, women, and children bathed in and ingested Camp Lejeune’s toxic water. It was until the early 1980’s that officials discovered the contamination.  Yet, to this day, there has been no justice for our patriotic veterans and their families.

In an opinion piece published by the Hill, Senator Marco Rubio wrote, “

n 1986, Audrey Williams Pride laid her infant son to rest. She blamed herself for his death—but it was actually the government’s fault. The authorities at Camp Lejeune, the North Carolina Marine Corps base Audrey called home, had contaminated the drinking water.

Audrey is not alone. From 1953 to 1987, more than a million men, women, and children bathed in and ingested Camp Lejeune’s toxic water. Hundreds of babies died, so many filling a stretch of a nearby cemetery that it received the grim title “Baby Heaven.” And children were not the only victims of the poisoning. Tens of thousands of Marines, military family members, and civilian staff have since developed severe illnesses, from cancer to Parkinson’s, linked to the contamination. 

For years, government officials covered up their crime. Then, when the truth came out, they relied on legal loopholes to escape the consequences. North Carolina’s strict 10-year statute of repose, which has been altered by the state legislature but still applies to past cases, denies most families the ability to sue in court. Moreover, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has refused care to those in need on the basis of “insufficient evidence of causation.” 

Senator Rubio is right.  Why is it that our elected officials can approve hundreds of billions in foreign aid but refuse to assist Americans who defended this nation? 

Fortunately, the Camp Lejeune Act of 2022 is picking up support from members of Congress.  Both parties are recognizing the injustice to the segment of our population most deserving of our respect and honor-military veterans.  Now, it appears this important legislation will be approved and signed into law. 

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