The Camp Lejeune litigation is a series of legal cases filed on behalf of individuals who were exposed to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune U.S. Marine Corps Base in North Carolina. The contamination occurred from the 1950s through the 1980s, and people living or working at the base during this time were potentially exposed to drinking water that was contaminated with industrial solvents, benzene, and other chemicals.
There are a lot of groups that could be impacted by the litigation, including military veterans, family members, and survivors who were exposed to contaminated water at the base. The Camp Lejeune Justice Act (CLJA) of 2022 allows lawsuits for appropriate relief for harm caused by exposure to contaminated water at the base. Under this law, veterans, family members, and survivors (or their legal representatives) can file a lawsuit in the Eastern District of North Carolina after taking appropriate steps.
What Serious Health Conditions Resulted from the Contaminated Water at Camp Lejeune?
Exposure to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune has been linked to various health problems, many of them life-threatening. These include:
- Birth Defects
- Bladder Cancer
- Breast Cancer
- Kidney Cancer
- Esophageal Cancer
- Liver Cancer
- Lung Cancer
- Hepatic Steatosis
The U.S. government acknowledges that from 1953 to 1987, nearly a million veterans and civilians were potentially exposed to dangerous chemicals in the drinking water at the base. The Camp Lejeune Justice Act (CLJA) of 2022 allows victims exposed to toxic water at the base the right to sue the U.S. government for monetary damages for their injuries.
More specifically, the law allows individuals who were exposed to the contaminated water for not less than 30 days during the period beginning on August 1, 1953, and ending on December 31, 1987, to file a claim. Heirs and family members of those who were at the base during the covered period and died from a condition that has been linked to water contamination exposure may also be eligible to file a claim.
It is important to note that those who meet the eligibility requirements can file a claim regardless of their Veterans Administration (VA) disability benefits status. In other words, whether you have been approved or denied VA disability benefits does not impact your eligibility to seek compensation.
What is the Scope of the Damages Sustained by Victims at Camp Lejeune?
The settlement payouts for Camp Lejeune toxic exposure victims are estimated to total approximately $6.7 billion. Individuals who file a claim may receive between $25,000 and $1 million or more, depending on the severity of their illness. In general, those who struggle with more severe illnesses are likely to receive higher settlement amounts. The Office of the Judge Advocate General (JAG) of the Navy’s Tort Claims Unit (TCU) is responsible for processing Camp Lejeune claims.
The specific damages that a claimant could receive from a lawsuit include:
- Medical Expenses: The cost of medical treatment for injuries resulting from exposure to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune.
- Lost Wages: This refers to the income lost due to being unable to work because of the injuries sustained.
- Lost Earning Capacity: The loss of ability to earn income in the future because of various disabilities that resulted from Camp Lejeune-related injuries.
- Diminished Quality of Life: The loss of the ability to participate in activities that you previously enjoyed because of the injuries sustained.
- Damages for Surviving Loved Ones: Surviving loved ones of those who died because of injuries linked to water contamination exposure at the base may be eligible to receive damages for loss of companionship, funeral expenses, and other related costs.
What Steps Should I Take if I Want to File a Camp Lejeune Injury Claim?
If you were injured at Camp Lejeune and want to file a claim, there are certain steps that need to be taken:
- Determine Eligibility: As we talked about earlier, to be eligible to file a claim under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022, you must have resided, worked, or been otherwise exposed to the contaminated water at the base for not less than 30 days during the period beginning on August 1, 1953, and ending on December 31, 1987.
- File a Claim with the Office of the Judge Advocate General (JAG) of the Navy’s Tort Claims Unit (TCU): The first step in seeking compensation under the CLJA is to file an administrative claim through the Navy JAG office.
- Gather Evidence: In order to support your claim, you will need to gather medical records and any other evidence that demonstrates a link between your illness and exposure to the contaminated water at the base.
- Wait for a Decision: Once your claim has been filed, it may take some time to receive a decision. The Navy’s TCU will review your claim and determine whether you are eligible for compensation under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act.
- File a Civil Lawsuit: If the Navy TCU denies the claim or a settlement is not reached, then a civil lawsuit can be filed. All civil lawsuits for Camp Lejeune-related injuries must be filed in the US District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina.
It is highly recommended that you consult with an experienced attorney who can help you navigate the legal process and ensure your claim is handled appropriately. By seeking assistance from an attorney who specializes in handling these types of claims and following the proper steps, you can increase your chances of receiving just compensation for your injuries.
Most firms who are handling Camp Lejeune litigation claims offer free consultations and case evaluations. These firms can also provide more specific guidance on what is involved with each of the steps that must be taken in order to obtain compensation.
Can I Get a Pre-Settlement Loan for My Camp Lejeune Lawsuit?
If you meet the eligibility requirements to file a Camp Lejeune lawsuit and you take the necessary steps to do so, you may be able to obtain pre-settlement funding so you can receive a portion of your compensation upfront. In addition to meeting the other criteria, you must be working with an attorney in order to be approved for a pre-settlement lawsuit loan.
A pre-settlement loan acts as a lawsuit cash advance against your eventual settlement. This type of loan is non-recourse, meaning that your loan is paid back only out of the proceeds from your settlement; if for some reason you do not receive a settlement, you will owe us nothing. Because your settlement acts as security for the loan, there are no credit checks necessary and there is no collateral required.
Direct Legal Funding makes it easy to obtain an affordable Camp Lejeune lawsuit loan. We provide lawsuit funding with the most competitive interest rates in the industry, and we make the process smooth and easy.
All you need to do is call us at 866-941-5588 or apply online and provide some basic information, such as your full name, email, phone number, and your attorney’s contact information. From there, we will process your application and verify some information with your attorney. Upon approval, your lawsuit advance will be issued and deposited into your account within hours.