Camp Lejeune Lawsuit: Updates and Settlement Options
For over three decades, residents and personnel at the Camp Lejeune military base in North Carolina were unknowingly exposed to drinking water contaminated with volatile organic compounds. This exposure has been linked to a range of serious health conditions, including various types of cancer and neurological disorders.
The federal government, after years of denial and resistance, has finally acknowledged this tragedy. The Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 has opened the doors for victims and their families to seek compensation for the harm they have suffered. The Act allows those who lived or worked on the base during the relevant period and suffered a related injury or illness to pursue legal action against the government.
The victims of this tragedy have been unaware they were entitled to Camp Lejeune VA benefits since then. After decades of frustration and heartbreak, Camp Lejeune settlement agreements will allow victims to finally receive money — completely separate from VA disability benefits.
We encourage you to take action if you qualify for compensation.
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What is the Camp Lejeune Lawsuit?
The Camp Lejeune lawsuit refers to legal actions taken by individuals affected by the water contamination at the Camp Lejeune military base. These lawsuits are primarily filed against the US government for their role in the exposure of over a million people to hazardous chemicals in the base's water supply between 1953 and 1987.
The contamination was primarily caused by a nearby private dry cleaning business and ongoing base operations. The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) identified volatile organic compounds (VOCs) such as benzene, dichloroethylene (DCE), tetrachloroethylene (PCE), trichloroethylene (TCE), and vinyl chloride in the water supply. Exposure to these VOCs has been linked to various severe health conditions.
The Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022, a landmark legislation, has paved the way for victims and their families to seek legal redress. This Act permits individuals who lived or worked on the base for at least 30 days from 1953 to 1987 and have suffered a related injury or illness to file lawsuits and pursue financial compensation.
Why is the Camp Lejeune Lawsuit Important?
The Camp Lejeune lawsuit is of immense importance for several reasons.
Firstly, it recognizes and validates the suffering of thousands of people who were unknowingly exposed to toxic chemicals. It acknowledges the government's responsibility in this disaster and the need for accountability.
Secondly, the lawsuit has significant implications for the veterans, active-duty service members, their families, and other base workers who have been affected. Many of these individuals have suffered severe health conditions, including various types of cancer, neurological disorders, and even birth defects in children born to parents exposed to the contaminated water. The lawsuit provides these victims an avenue to seek compensation for their medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other related costs.
Moreover, the potential for compensation can significantly improve the quality of life for the victims and their families. The compensation can cover medical treatment costs, including travel expenses, funeral bills in wrongful death cases, lost wages, and more. This financial relief can be a lifeline for those who have been grappling with the effects of the water contamination for decades.
Finally, the lawsuit is also a powerful reminder of the need for stricter regulations and oversight to prevent such disasters from happening in the future. It underscores the importance of environmental safety and the dire consequences of negligence.
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What Health Conditions Are Recognized by the VA Due to the Camp Lejeune Water Contamination?
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) recognizes a number of health conditions which they have presumptively connected to the water contamination at Camp Lejeune. If you've been diagnosed with any of the following illnesses, you might be eligible to participate in the Camp Lejeune lawsuit:
- ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease): A progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord.
- Birth Defects and Injuries: Serious conditions present at birth that can cause physical or mental disabilities.
- Brain Damage: Significant, long-term damage to the brain that can impair cognitive and physical functioning.
- Cardiac Defect: Any abnormality of the heart that was present at birth.
- Epilepsy: A neurological disorder that causes frequent seizures.
- Fatty Liver Disease: A condition where too much fat builds up in liver cells, impairing the liver's ability to function properly.
- Hepatic Steatosis: Another term for fatty liver disease.
- Immune Disorders: Conditions that disrupt your body's immune response, leading to frequent infections and potentially serious complications.
- Infertility: The inability to conceive a child after a year or more of regular sexual intercourse without the use of birth control.
- Miscarriage: The spontaneous loss of a pregnancy before the 20th week.
- Myelodysplastic Syndromes: A group of disorders caused by poorly formed blood cells or cells that don't work correctly.
- Neurobehavioral Effects: Changes in behavior or cognitive function caused by damage to the nervous system.
- Parkinson’s Disease: A progressive nervous system disorder that affects movement and can cause shaking, stiffness, and difficulty with walking, balance, and coordination.
- Aplastic Anemia and Other Bone Marrow Conditions: Conditions that affect the bone marrow's ability to produce enough healthy blood cells.
- Renal Toxicity: Damage to the kidneys caused by harmful substances or compounds.
- Scleroderma: A group of rare diseases that involve the hardening and tightening of the skin and connective tissues.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with any of these conditions and were exposed to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune, you could be entitled to compensation. Don't hesitate to reach out for help and take the first step towards getting your compensation
Who is Eligible for the Camp Lejeune Lawsuit?
You may be eligible for the Camp Lejeune lawsuit if:
- You lived or worked on the base from 1953 to 1987 for at least 30 days and have suffered a related injury or illness.
- You are an active-duty service member or a military veteran who was stationed at Camp Lejeune during this time.
- You are a child of a family who lived on the base, a spouse of a service member or veteran, or a base worker or family member of a base worker.
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Estimated Payouts Per Person
Here is a range of the estimated Camp Lejeune lawsuit payout per person:
- Colon cancer: $150,000–$500,000
- Myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS): $150,000–$450,000
- Scleroderma: $150,000–$450,000
- Bladder cancer: $200,000–$700,000
- Infertility: $200,000–$400,000
- Breast cancer: $250,000–$700,000
- Cervical cancer: $250,000–$500,000
- Kidney cancer: $250,000–$450,000
- Leukemia: $250,000–$550,000
- Lymphoma: $250,000–$500,000
- Esophageal cancer: $300,000–$600,000
- Ovarian cancer: $300,000–$500,000
- Lung cancer: $350,000–$650,000
- Brain cancer: $800,000–over $1 million
- Parkinson’s disease: $750,000 or more
- Birth defects (severe): $1 million or more
- Wrongful death: $650,000–over $1 million
How to Participate in the Camp Lejeune Lawsuit?
- 1. Evaluate Your Eligibility: You are eligible for the lawsuit if you lived or worked at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 days between 1953 and 1987 and having suffered a related injury or illness.
- 2. Document Your Case: Gather all necessary documents, which include medical records proving your condition, evidence of your time at Camp Lejeune, and any other documents that could support your case.
- 3. Contact a Lawyer: Lawyers can help you navigate the complex legal process, gather evidence, negotiate with the government, and ensure your rights are protected throughout the process
- 4. File a Claim: Your lawyer will help you file a claim. Remember, Camp Lejeune water lawsuits must be filed by August 10, 2024.
- 5. Follow the Legal Process: Once your claim is filed, your lawyer will guide you through the legal process, which may include discovery, negotiation, and possibly a trial.
Follow the Legal Process. Once your claim is filed, your lawyer will guide you through the legal process, which may include discovery, negotiation, and possibly a trial.
Frequently Asked Questions
You can use military records, employment records, or other types of documentation that show you were at Camp Lejeune during the relevant period. In some cases, witness statements can also be used.
Several health conditions have been linked to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune, including various types of cancer, neurological disorders, and other serious illnesses. The VA recognizes a list of 15 conditions that they have presumptively connected to the water contamination.
Yes, surviving family members, such as spouses or children, can file a claim on behalf of a deceased person who would have been eligible to participate in the Camp Lejeune lawsuit.
If your initial claim is denied, it may be possible to appeal the decision. The specifics of this process can vary, and it's advisable to consult with a legal professional, such as The ConsumerShield, who can provide guidance based on the specifics of your case.
The timeline for these lawsuits can vary significantly based on a variety of factors, including the specifics of your case and the overall volume of cases the courts are handling. After you file a claim, the process generally involves evidence collection (discovery), negotiation, and possibly a trial. Contact the ConsumerShield team to help you out.
Consumershield is here to help you
Our team can provide you with the necessary guidance and support to ensure your claim is handled efficiently and effectively The deadline to file a Camp Lejeune water lawsuit is August 10, 2024. Contact us today and let us help you take the first step towards justice you and your family deserve.
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Senior Associate, Livingston & Charles LLP