May 22, 2024

How You Can File a Camp Lejeune Claim for Your Family Member

How You Can File a Camp Lejeune Claim for Your Family Member - filing a claim

In 2022, after the PACT Act was signed into law, thousands of veterans and their families across the country became eligible to file a claim regarding their exposure to the contaminated waters at the U.S. Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. However, the PACT Act only provided victims of the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune with a 2-year period to file a lawsuit for their injuries. As the cut-off deadline of August 10, 2024, is quickly approaching, it's critical now, more than ever, for you and your loved ones to file a claim before time runs out. 


Who Is Eligible To File a Camp Lejeune Lawsuit?

When it comes to who is eligible to file a lawsuit, initially, it was only available to civilian employees, reservists, and veterans who were stationed at Camp Lejeune for a minimum of 30 days between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987. However, since the passing of the Camp Lejeune Justice Act, today, family members who lived at Camp Lejeune during this specific period may also be eligible to file. 

For those whose loved ones have already passed away, you are still eligible to recover compensation from a Camp Lejeune lawsuit on their behalf. However, before you file, you'll need to ensure you have everything you need in order to prevent your claim from being denied. Below, we've broken down everything you'll need to collect in order to ensure you have the best odds of recovering the compensation you and your loved ones deserve.


Medical Diagnosis

In order to qualify, you'll also need proof of a medical diagnosis related to the military site's contaminated water. Some of the most commonly reported Camp Lejeune water contamination health issues include the following:

  • Birth defects
  • Female infertility and miscarriages
  • Heart disease
  • Hepatic steatosis
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Myelodysplastic syndromes 
  • Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Renal toxicity
  • Sarcoma
  • Scleroderma

Those who lived or worked at Camp Lejeune have also reported developing several forms of cancer, including, but not limited to, bladder, breast, esophageal, kidney, liver, lung, pancreatic, and prostate. 


Military Records

If your loved one was exposed to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune and was diagnosed with one or more of the previously listed health conditions, in order to move forward with a lawsuit, you'll need to request the proper military records for verification purposes. In order to access a veteran's military records, you'll need to gain access to their DD Form 214, also referred to as the Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty. 

The DD 214 form, which is provided through the United States Department of Defense, can be issued once your military service member has retired, been discharged, or otherwise stepped down from service. These forms are managed by the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC), a key entity in this process, and are kept either on paper or on microfilm. To access a DD 214 form, you'll need to contact the NPRC directly to request a printed copy.

While almost anyone is able to request a DD 214 form, the process to obtain a DD214 form from the NPRC may be more complicated depending on your relationship with the U.S. military veteran you are inquiring about. If you are considered a veteran's next-of-kin, you can easily access the DD 214 request form online and then submit it by either mailing or faxing it to the NPRC.

For individuals who are not a veteran's next-of-kin, the process for requesting the form remains the same. However, as a privacy measure, the information shared with you on the 214 form will be limited. If you require additional information on the veteran you are inquiring about, it may be shared with you should the next-of-kin give their consent regarding the records.

If you cannot access specific information on the veteran's DD 214 form, like their specific dates of service, you can still request their complete military records via an online self-service portal operated through the Office of the Secretary of Defense known as milConnect. However, to access certain records on milConnect, you'll need to ensure you have the proper login credentials.

Once you have collected the proper paperwork, including the DD 214 forms and any medical records that verify the health conditions your veteran had developed as a result of contaminated water exposure from their time at Camp Lejeune, you'll be ready to move forward with your claim.


Morgan & Morgan Is Here To Help You Every Step of the Way

If you or a loved one have suffered an injury after working, living, or visiting Camp Lejeune from August 1953 to December 1987, we may be able to help you. For more information, connect with a Morgan & Morgan attorney and fill out our free, no-obligation case evaluation form. At Morgan & Morgan, we have over 35 years of experience in helping our clients seek the justice they deserve, and we want to help you, too. 

The United States government is actively reviewing cases, and thousands have already applied, but time is running out. If you believe your family member was stationed, worked, or visited Camp Lejeune, do not wait to contact a Morgan & Morgan attorney today.