I have been inundated with advertisements lately regarding a class action lawsuit that claims that people that have spent a period of time at a Marine base (Camp Lejeune) during the 1990's may have been unknowingly exposed to benzene and may be entitled to compensation.

Are there specific criteria that I must meet to be considered a member of this class or is it really as simple as spending any amount of time there?

I ask because I spent a week or two of time at on base at Camp Lejeune as part of a special JROTC field trip/program during the 90's. I was a minor at the time. I drank the water as well as showered in it so even though my stay was very brief, I was probably exposed. I have a few health problems however I am not sure they could be linked to benzene exposure.

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    Usually, if you follow up with the contract information provided, you will be sent a form that spells out the criteria specifically.
    – ohwilleke
    Aug 16, 2022 at 16:29

2 Answers 2


Each class action case defines the relevant class in its own way, a definition usually proposed by the lawyers for the plaintiff and ultimately approved by the judge handling the case. It is possible that anyone who spent time on the base is a class member, or there may be some further requirements. The clerk of the court handling the cse may be able to provide the approved definition of the class, if that has been established. It may not yet be fully defined, depending on what stage the case has reached.

Lawyers handling class action cases often obtain fees in proportion to teh number of plaintiffs who have signed up with them, and so have an incentive to enlist as many potential plaintiffs as possible.

Settlements of such cases often provide individual plaintiffs only relatively small payments, but everything varies from one case to another.


You are most likely referring to the Camp Lejeune Justice Act, which was signed into law this year as part of the larger PACT Act. As summarized on the Senate website:

This bill allows certain individuals to sue and recover damages for harm from exposure to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987.

This action is available only to individuals who were exposed to contaminated water for at least 30 days.

Based on other sources, it seems people who were previously denied compensation are allowed to retest their claim under the new act.

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    Thank you this is helpful! I was shy of 30 days so it seems I am not eligible. Aug 17, 2022 at 15:17
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    @maple_shaft You're very welcome, I'm glad this information was useful. Note that if you are receiving queries from law firms about joining a class action suit you can still respond. They may be attempting to pursue action outside the limits of this act. (Nothing is filed yet so we do not know how they anticipate defining the class.)
    – Michael
    Aug 17, 2022 at 16:19

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