Today, U.S. Representatives Matt Cartwright (D-PA-08), Gregory Murphy, M.D. (R-NC-03) and David Price (D-NC-04) announced the House passage of legislation to ensure servicemembers and their families can receive justice for their exposure to toxic chemicals in drinking water at Camp Lejeune.
Over a 30-year period spanning the 1950s through the 1980s, thousands of Marines, their families, civilian workers and personnel used government provided tap water that was contaminated with harmful chemicals, found at levels ranging from 240 to 3400 times the levels permitted by safety standards. These exposures likely increased the risk of cancers, such as renal cancer, multiple myeloma, leukemia and more. It also likely raised their risk of adverse birth outcomes, along with other negative health effects.
The Camp Lejeune Justice Act
provisions included in the Honoring Our PACT Act
allow a member of the U.S. Armed Forces, and/or their family members, that were injured or died as a result of the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune to file under the Federal Tort Claims Act
for fair compensation. This type of claim would already be permitted anywhere else in the United States, but because of a unique provision in North Carolina law, this legislation is necessary for those harmed at Camp Lejeune finally to seek justice.
“The servicemembers who signed up to defend their country and the people who supported them at Camp Lejeune were let down in a big way by their government. This tragedy was a major failure on the part of the Department of Defense, and all those who suffered for it deserve justice,” said Rep. Cartwright.
“The Camp Lejeune Justice Act
, included in the Honoring Our PACT Act
, is an important step forward in achieving that goal.”
“I am so glad to see the Camp Lejeune Justice Act
pass the House as part of the PACT Act
today,” said Rep. Murphy.
“This much-needed legislation eliminates red tape and gives our veterans, their dependents, contractors, and civil servants who were exposed to toxic chemicals in drinking water at Camp Lejeune their day in court. Over a million people who served at Camp Lejeune during that period drank contaminated water, and tragically, many have died or been seriously injured as a result. We owe it to these Marine families, civil servants, and contractors to seek justice and ensure they receive the benefits and health care they deserve. I am so grateful to my colleague Rep. Cartwright for his work on this essential bill, and look forward to bringing the Camp Lejeune Justice Act
across the finish line.”
“For over three decades, thousands of service members and their families were exposed to contaminated tap water at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, likely increasing their risk of developing cancers and adverse birth outcomes,” said Rep. Price.
“The bipartisan Camp Lejeune Justice Act
, included as part of today’s Honoring Our PACT Act
, closes a legal loophole to give those impacted their day in court. I’m grateful for the tireless advocacy of affected Marines and their families, supportive allies, and congressional colleagues that allowed for this culmination of long-deferred justice.”
H.R. 3967, The Honoring Our PACT Act
, passed the House by a vote of 256-174 on Thursday, March 3, 2022.
Full text of the bill can be found HERE.