Attorneys at AVA Law Group, Inc. are currently in the process of filing hundreds of notices of claim under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 on behalf of U.S. service members and their families, seeking compensation for the injuries they suffered as a result of exposure to toxic substances while living at U.S. Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune.
On August 2, the U.S. Senate passed the Honoring Our PACT Act, which will allow Marines, their families, and individuals who served, lived, or worked at Camp Lejeune between 1953 and 1987 to pursue financial compensation for damages related to contaminated water at the base. President Biden signed the bill into law on August 10.
“We are so honored to represent individuals that were exposed to toxic water at Camp Lejeune. We are engaged with the Judge Advocate General Admiralty & Claims Division in Norfolk, VA and we are optimistic that progress will be made in each case through the administrative process. Failing a mutual agreement though, we will try and force the Federal Government to do the right thing through litigating these issues in the Eastern District of North Carolina. We look forward to seeing Justice finally prevail for those affected,” says Andrew Van Arsdale, managing partner with AVA Law Group, who has already filed 126 administrative claims with the Department of the Navy for his clients’ injuries. Another 1,000 claims are estimated by the firm to be filed within the next two weeks.
Administrative Claims Must Precede Civil Lawsuits
To start the process, an administrative claim must be filed on behalf of the injured party to the judge advocate general of the Department of the Navy before filing a civil lawsuit.
The agency will then have six months to accept or deny the claim. Only then can a federal lawsuit be filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina. There will be no class-action lawsuits filed, only individual tort lawsuits.
A decade ago, more than 800 lawsuits were filed under the Federal Tort Claims Act, alleging the toxic water at Camp Lejeune had harmed plaintiffs. They were eventually consolidated into a class-action lawsuit, but all cases were dismissed because they exceeded the 10-year rule.
There are expected to be a wide range of health issues in the cases to be decided. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has linked the contaminants found at Camp Lejeune to bladder cancer, liver cancer, kidney cancer, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, adult leukemia and Parkinson’s disease, among many others.
AVA Law Group is a nationwide firm that represents the people against the powerful. The firm is best known for its work representing victims of childhood sexual abuse in organizations such as the Boy Scouts of America, the LDS Church, and other large institutions that are known to have harbored sexual predators. AVA Law Group also prides itself on the representation of veterans and has assisted service members over the years in personal injury claims. For more information, please visit AVALaw.com.