Thousands of military members and their loved ones were significantly affected by exposure to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune for over 30 years, and those individuals and their families finally have a chance to reclaim the benefits they so rightfully deserve to help cover the cost of their medical issues.
New legislation known as the Camp Lejeune Justice Act has made it possible for Marine veterans to file lawsuits over the contaminated water and the negligence of the very government they fought for. Since these doors have opened, the Navy has received over 93,000 claims.
In an effort to speed up the processing of this overwhelming response, the Navy has announced that they will offer a preset payment option to claimants with certain diagnosed illnesses related to their exposure to the toxic water at Camp Lejeune.
This new path to paying claims is a voluntary elective option (“EO”), meant to provide a simple settlement solution outside of a court. The elective option would pay victims between $100,000 and $450,000 depending on their illnesses and the amount of time they spent at Camp Lejeune.
Those eligible for the elective option must have been diagnosed with specific diseases identified by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry as linked to Camp Lejeune’s toxic water before Aug. 10, 2022. The qualifying specific diseases fall into two payment tiers. The first-tier diseases include kidney cancer, liver cancer, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, leukemia, and bladder cancer. The second-tier illnesses are multiple myeloma, Parkinson’s disease, kidney disease (end-stage renal disease), and systemic sclerosis or systemic scleroderma.
Tier 1 diagnoses could pay individuals up to $450,000 for exposure to Camp Lejuene’s toxic water by working or living on the post for more than five years. It could also pay those exposed for one to five years up to $300,000, and those exposed for 30 to 364 days up to $150,000, according to DOJ documents.
Tier 2 diagnoses could pay $400,000, $250,000, or $100,000 to those exposed for more than five years, those exposed one to five years, and those exposed 30 to 364 days, respectively, according to the documents. Claims involving a death would pay an additional $100,000.
Those who choose to accept the elective option will forfeit the right to sue the government over the Camp Lejeune water issue, but it will have no impact on an individual’s VA benefits.
We’re Here to Help Our Veterans
As an affected veteran or family member, deciding how to proceed can feel challenging, if not daunting. Hiring an attorney who knows how the system works can often be helpful.
At Morgan & Morgan, one of our claims attorneys can help you discover what legal option best suits you, ensure the process goes smoothly, and help to fight for the compensation you need and deserve for your damages.
Our law firm has over 35 years of experience in helping veterans with their VA benefits claims, and some of us are veterans ourselves. We understand the importance of this decision and are ready to lend a helping hand when we can.
Connect with us today by completing our free, no-obligation case evaluation form and learn more about how we may help.