Lejeune Marines May Lose Lawsuit Battle
“Yes, it is entirely up to us.”
Marine veterans in fight for compensation from injuries.
(WASHINGTON, DC) – The Supreme Court in a 7 to 2 decision on June 9th ruled in favor of the CTS Corporation, Asheville, NC. The ruling supported North Carolina’s statue of repose, which establishes a 10 year clock for an injured party to file a lawsuit. After the 10 years, lawsuits alleging injury from the environmental contamination are banned.
This decision appears to slam the shut on toxic tort claims filed by Lejeune Marine veterans and their dependents. The Obama Administration sided with the polluter in a formal friend of the court briefing, effectively telling the Marines get lost:
The United States also has a particular interest in the interaction of CERCLA with the North Carolina statute of repose because of ongoing litigation against the United States under the [Federal Tort Claims Act] involving allegations of contaminated drinking water at the Camp Lejeune Marine Corps Base in North Carolina.
The residents’ lawsuit over the former CTS Corp. land was filed 24 years after the company sold the property. An appellate court said the suit could proceed, on the grounds that the federal statute of limitations preempted the state’s statute of repose. The question facing the Supreme Court was whether North Carolina’s statute of repose was different than the statute of limitations established in the 1980 federal Superfund law, which gives an individual 3 years to file a claim after the injured party becomes aware of the pollution. The court’s majority ruled in favor of the 10 year statue of repose.