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Arizona veterans to sue government over Camp Lejeune water contamination

Posted at 10:17 PM, Aug 05, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-06 18:30:55-04

Former service members previously stationed at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina plan to sue the federal government for medical expenses and suffering.

The PACT Act, if approved, would create a pathway for veterans and their families to file lawsuits for being exposed to toxins in the water.

The bill was approved by Congress last week and is headed to President Joe Biden's desk.

According to the federal government, between 1953 and 1987, hundreds of thousands of veterans and their families were exposed to the contaminated water.

Experts said those toxins may cause illnesses including cancer.

"There's also contractors who were working at Camp Lejeune who were exposed to the water," said Brian Snyder, an attorney with Snyder and Wenner. "There are workers who weren't military and those people relocate over time and we know from calls we're getting, there are plenty of people here in Arizona."

A few years ago, Marine Corps veteran Lawrence Davidson was diagnosed with stage 5 prostate cancer.

"Bottom line, it has destroyed my life," Davidson said.

Davidson is now 71 years old. He told ABC15 the treatment he's receiving is so aggressive that doctors can only use it for a few more months.

Since being diagnosed, Davidson has received 43 rounds of radiation.

"I think it's time they pay the piper. I think it's time they try to restore these families, and since I won't be around to take care of my family... Maybe they will," he said.

Attorneys say they've been getting calls from other veterans worried about their health.

According to Snyder, former service members that were stationed at Camp Lejeune during those years should seek medical attention if they think they have one of the diseases linked to the exposure.

Biden is expected to sign the bill next week.