The Camp Lejeune Justice Act is a piece of legislation signed into law by President Biden in August 2022. It gives veterans exposed to toxic chemicals at Camp Lejeune the right to sue the government.

It is for injuries and illnesses related to their service at the North Carolina Marine base. You can also get VA healthcare benefits if you have any of the 15 health conditions listed on the VA’s official website. These conditions include bladder, breast, kidney, lung, and multiple myeloma.

The Camp Lejeune Justice Act is important because it provides justice for thousands of veterans who have been exposed to polluted water supplied there. It also shows what can happen when our lawmakers work together for the betterment of our country.

Historical Context: Camp Lejeune Water Contamination

Camp Lejeune was a US Marine Corps base in North Carolina established in 1942. Water contamination began at the base in 1953. It continued until 1987 when the Marine Corps finally acknowledged that chemicals from leaking fuel tanks were causing health problems.

The contamination has been linked to increased cancer rates and other illnesses among those who served at Camp Lejeune and their families. In 2022, President Biden signed this act into law, which provides health care benefits for veterans exposed to toxic substances.

The water contamination exposure had numerous health impacts on veterans and their families. For instance, those exposed were at a higher risk of developing bladder cancer, breast cancer, lymphoma, leukemia, etc.

Hence, many veterans and their family members filed lawsuits against the government to seek compensation. According to a Reuters article, more than 5,000 claims were filed till September 2022 concerning the contamination and its alleged side effects. Due to the sheer number of lawsuits, it is estimated that this can be one of the largest lawsuits in US history.

The Birth of the Camp Lejeune Justice Act

As Camp Lejeune lawsuits rose, the government started using its right to sovereign immunity against litigations. This led to a wide outrage among the people. This was preventing the veterans from seeking compensation for the problems they had faced.

This increasing number of lawsuits and outrage made the government take action. Hence, the Camp Lejeune Justice Act was passed by the Senate and signed into law by President Biden on August 10, 2022.

According to TorHoerman Law, the primary objective of this act was to prohibit the government from claiming immunity against litigations. With this act into action, veterans and their family members saw hope that they could win their claims. The Camp Lejeune Justice Act is a part of the Honoring Our PACT Act.

Key Provisions of the Act

The Camp Lejeune Justice Act is a bill that provides for medical care and disability compensation. It is intended for veterans who served at Camp Lejeune between January 1, 1957, and December 31, 1987.

The act creates a presumption of service connection for diseases linked to the contamination. It also provides a presumption of service connection for various other conditions. This includes several forms of cancer that may be linked to the contamination.

If eligible under this law, you may receive care from VA providers in your area or at one of our specialized centers nationwide. You may also be entitled to disability compensation payments if you qualify based on your diagnosis.

Impact on Military Personnel and Veterans

The Camp Lejeune Justice Act helps military personnel and veterans by providing financial compensation to those exposed to water contamination. It also provides healthcare for them.

The act may be particularly beneficial for veterans who served at the base between 1953 and 1987. The Marine Corps began using water from wells near a landfill that contained chemicals like trichloroethylene (TCE), benzene, and vinyl chloride.

The water used at the base contained TCE levels more than 70 times the approved quantity in the US. This exposure had a long-lasting impact on the lives of those exposed. It wasn’t until 1987 that officials finally warned servicemembers not to drink from these sources. However, the damage was already done until then.

Challenges and Criticisms

The Camp Lejeune Justice Act does not cover all military personnel and veterans exposed to water contamination. It also does not compensate those affected by other diseases related to toxic exposure at the base.

It also means that your case may still be denied if you served in other locations with similar problems. Moreover, the government is also denying claims, stating that the veterans and their families were also negligent on their part. Hence, the court has yet to come to any conclusion or give any compensation to the plaintiffs.

However, this is not supposed to be the case because studies have found excess levels of hazardous chemicals in the water supply. Industrial solvents like benzene and TCE are known carcinogenic chemicals that contaminated the Base Camp’s water from the 1950s to 1980s.

This has led to problems like Hairy Cell Leukemia (HCL). HCL is known for causing malignancy of B cells, which is responsible for 2% of all leukemias. But despite such clarifications, there is no concrete decision taken yet, which is like a failure of the Camp Lejeune Justice Act.

Looking Ahead: Continued Support and Awareness

The Camp Lejeune Justice Act is an important first step in addressing the needs of those exposed to toxic chemicals at Camp Lejeune. It’s not perfect, but it will help some veterans receive compensation and treatment for health issues related to their service.

There are many more challenges ahead. We need to continue to be aware of the issues faced by those affected, both past and present. This awareness will enable us to support them as they move forward on their journey toward healing.


The Camp Lejeune Justice Act is much-needed support for veterans and military personnel exposed to polluted water. The law provides compensation for medical expenses related to exposure and survivor benefits for spouses and children of those affected by toxic contamination.

This bill does not provide direct financial assistance for veterans who were not stationed at Camp Lejeune for at least 20 days. However, it allows family members access to VA benefits, such as disability compensation payments or survivor pensions.

By Manali