Camp Lejeune Lawsuit: A Comprehensive Overview
The Camp Lejeune lawsuit pertains to allegations that water contamination at the Camp Lejeune military base in the District of North Carolina led to various health problems, including cancers and congenital disabilities, among veterans, their families, and civilian employees.
People are accusing the U.S. government and other parties of failing to adequately warn individuals about the contaminated water and its potential health risks.
Latest Camp Lejeune Lawsuit Update
As of January 2024, the Camp Lejeune water contamination litigation faces several critical issues ahead of its first trial, which is potentially scheduled for April. Key pending decisions include whether the trials will be bench or jury if they involve single or multiple plaintiffs and how attorneys’ fees will be resolved. The government has raised concerns about the representation of plaintiffs in the Track 1 Discovery Pool, arguing that it disproportionately includes individuals with longer exposure to contaminated water, which could result in unrepresentative outcomes and higher verdicts.
In addition to these procedural matters, there have been 1,483 lawsuits and 158,252 administrative claims filed, with prostate cancer and kidney disease being the most common claims. The average settlement so far is approximately $242,000. The Department of Justice and the Department of the Navy have issued warnings about fraudulent activities targeting claimants, emphasizing the importance of verifying communication sources.
Finally, the plaintiffs are appealing a decision denying access to a critical cancer incidence study, which they argue is essential for substantiating their claims, suggesting a possible strategic delay by the government in releasing this data.
Why Are Victims Filing Camp Lejeune Lawsuits?
Victims are filing Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune lawsuits to seek compensation for health issues they believe were caused by exposure to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune. The water supply at the base was contaminated with hazardous and other toxic substances, chemicals, and volatile organic compounds, for several decades.
The Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune contamination is linked to a range of serious health conditions, such as cancers, kidney disease, and birth defects. Veterans, their families, and civilian employees who lived or worked at the base are alleging that their health problems resulted from this exposure, and they are suing for medical expenses, pain, suffering, and other damages.
Additionally, the lawsuits claim negligence on the part of the U.S. government and other responsible parties for failing to warn residents and employees about the dangers of the contaminated and contaminated drinking water. The aim is to hold those responsible accountable and to secure financial compensation for the physical and emotional suffering inflicted on the victims.Get a Free Legal Case Review Now!
Health Implications of Camp Lejeune
The main health implication involved in the Camp Lejeune litigation is the development of various types of cancers, including kidney, liver, and bladder cancer, among others. Victims allege that these cancers were caused by long-term exposure to hazardous chemicals and toxic substances present in the contaminated drinking water supply at the Camp Lejeune military base.
Known Injuries and Side Effects
Besides cancer, the following are the other known issues associated with consuming the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune:
- Kidney disease: Impaired kidney function or total kidney failure requiring dialysis
- Leukemia: Various forms of blood cancer that affect the bone marrow and blood cells
- Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma: A cancer that originates in the lymphatic system
- Multiple Myeloma: A blood cancer affecting plasma cells
- Parkinson’s Disease: A progressive nervous system disorder affecting movement
- Systemic Sclerosis: A rare autoimmune disorder causing hardening and tightening of the skin and connective tissues
- Birth defects: Various congenital anomalies affecting newborns of mothers who were exposed to the contaminated water
This list is not exhaustive but highlights the severe and wide-ranging health implications that claimants attribute to their exposure to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune.
Eligibility for Victims and Legal Procedures
You may be eligible to file a Camp Lejeune lawsuit if you are a veteran, a family member of a veteran, or a civilian employee who was stationed or worked at the former Camp Lejeune veterans military base and have developed health issues you believe are linked to exposure to the contaminated water at the Camp Lejeune veterans base.
Am I Eligible to File a Camp Lejeune Lawsuit?
Eligibility largely hinges on factors like the duration of your exposure to toxic chemicals in the contaminated water and the type of health condition you have developed. Specific illnesses such as certain types of cancers, kidney disease, and other conditions have been highlighted in the lawsuits, making cases involving these diagnoses more likely to be considered eligible. It’s also important to have medical records that support your claims and medical records linking your health condition to the contaminated water exposure.
Additionally, family members who have lost a loved one can file wrongful death claims due to health complications believed to be caused by the water contamination at Camp Lejeune. A qualified attorney can assess the specifics of your family members’ situation to determine your eligibility and the strength of your family member’s case.
Steps to File a Camp Lejeune Lawsuit
You can file a Camp Lejeune lawsuit by following the steps below:
- Consult an attorney: The first step in filing a lawsuit is to consult with an attorney experienced in mass tort or environmental law cases. They can assess your eligibility and guide you through the legal process.
- Gather evidence: Collect all medical records, employment history, or residency documents related to your time at Camp Lejeune. This evidence will be crucial in proving your case.
- File an administrative claim: Before suing the federal government, you must file an administrative claim with the appropriate governmental agency, typically within two years from when you first became aware of the injury. This is generally done using Standard Form 95.
- Await response: The agency has six months to respond. They can approve, deny, or fail to respond to your claim. If denied or not answered, you can proceed to file a lawsuit.
- File a lawsuit: If the administrative claim is not satisfactory, your attorney will file a formal lawsuit in federal court. This initiates the legal process that may end in a trial or settlement.
Potential Compensation and Settlements
The U.S. government has introduced a settlement program with payouts ranging up to $450,000, depending on the specific illness and the length of time the individual was at the base. For example, a veteran diagnosed with kidney cancer who stayed at the base for over 5 years could receive $450,000, while someone who was there less than a year might receive $150,000. Wrongful death claims could receive an additional $100,000. However, many experts and victims feel that these amounts are not adequate.
The potential compensation could be higher if you choose an individual lawsuit rather than opting into the government’s settlement offer.
All Camp Lejeune Updates
January 25, 2024
The Camp Lejeune litigation is preparing for its first trial, with key decisions pending on trial format and plaintiff representation, amid concerns of unrepresentative samples in the Track 1 Discovery Pool. Additionally, plaintiffs are appealing a ruling denying access to a crucial cancer study, while warnings have been issued about fraudulent activities targeting claimants in this case involving over 1,400 lawsuits and an average settlement of approximately $242,000.
December 13, 2023
A study by the U.S. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry links elevated cancer rates at Camp Lejeune to contaminated water, sparking controversy over its delayed release. Concurrently, the Plaintiffs’ Leadership Group criticizes the government for not adhering to case protocols in selecting eligible plaintiffs and questions the conduct of a lawyer representing some affected individuals, jeopardizing the integrity of the legal process.
November 30, 2023
The Department of Justice has processed 16 settlement cases under an Executive Order, with various outcomes including rejections and pending decisions. The Navy has forwarded 62 claims to the DOJ, of which 13 have resulted in settlement offers, with four accepted and eight pending. Accepted settlements, including for Parkinson’s disease and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, total one million dollars.
October 30, 2023
The EPA is proposing a ban on TCE, a chemical linked to cancer and other health problems, with a plan to eliminate its use in consumer and commercial products within a year while considering some exemptions. This action comes after findings showed an unreasonable health risk, highlighted by historical contamination at Camp Lejeune that increased Parkinson’s disease risk among marines.
September 6, 2023
The U.S. government has recently introduced a settlement program for the Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune water contamination cases, offering payouts of up to $450,000, depending on the specifics of each claim. However, many Camp Lejeune lawyers feel that the settlement amounts are too low for most Camp Lejeune victims to consider. The aim is to expedite the resolution of the over 93,000 claims already filed, but this Camp Lejeune settlement could make sense only for cases that would be hard to prove in the District of North Carolina court, such as those with limited exposure and other risk factors.
September 4, 2023
The DOJ is taking a slow approach to Camp Lejeune lawsuits, suggesting they’re “immature” and need time to develop. The government’s intent is to settle the bulk of these claims before going to trial, potentially to avoid large payouts.
September 1, 2023
Federal judges have appointed a leadership team to handle the Camp Lejeune lawsuits. A dispute has arisen over whether the case should be designated as multidistrict litigation (MDL), but the existing leadership argues that this is not a requirement for moving forward.
August 30, 2023
Both plaintiffs and the government have submitted plans for categorizing the Camp Lejeune cases for trial. The key disagreement is over which diseases should be prioritized for early settlement payouts, with plaintiffs advocating for a broader range of conditions.
August 18, 2023
The total number of civil cases filed under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act has now exceeded 1,100. The rate of new filings has slowed down considerably compared to earlier in the year.
August 17, 2023
The government is using “assumption of risk” as a defense in the lawsuits, a move that has frustrated some families of Marines. However, this defense may have been included for procedural reasons and should not necessarily be taken seriously.
August 14, 2023
One year after the passage of the Camp Lejeune Justice Act, there’s increasing concern about the slow pace of claims processing, leading to a rise in wrongful death cases. A CNN story highlighted these concerns.
August 13, 2023
The Department of the Navy has stated its commitment to resolving over 80,000 claims related to Camp Lejeune, with a special unit set up to focus solely on these cases. They are working to develop a framework for expedited claims processing.
August 1, 2023
The first joint status report for the Camp Lejeune lawsuits was submitted by both parties. They have requested an extension until September 1, 2023, for individual case deadlines to allow time for a global case management order to be developed.
Camp Lejeune FAQs
It can take 1 to 2 years to settle a Camp Lejeune lawsuit. If you are planning to be compensated, it’s best to file your case now.
The time limit to file a legal claim regarding water contamination at Camp Lejeune is typically two years from the moment an individual becomes aware that they have sustained injuries due to exposure.
As of September 2023, no payouts have been settled yet with regard to the Camp Lejeune lawsuit.
Finding an attorney experienced in Camp Lejeune lawsuits is straightforward with our help. All you need to do is fill out our contact form. Once you’ve submitted it, one of our team members will be in touch with you shortly to connect you with an experienced attorney for your case. Don’t hesitate, get the professional help you need today by reaching out to us.
Health Issues From Camp Lejeune?
If you’ve faced health issues due to Camp Lejeune’s water contamination, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact us now to see if you qualify.
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Early stages (More Than 800 Civil Lawsuits Pending)
Cancer, infertility, and renal toxicity