In June 2023, Legal Scoops reported on Camp Lejeune and its long-standing history with contaminated water that caused several ailments to the residents. Between the 1950s and 1980s, toxins and dangerous chemicals remained in the base’s water supply, which led to ample health issues and ailments for several military personnel and their family members. The outcomes of this water pollution have prompted federal legislation, lawsuits, and investigations on behalf of the ones who suffered.
The Camp Lejeune Justice Act was proposed as a response to this crisis to allow victims to file for reimbursement claims at the federal court. Several complaints have been filed by the victims in the past. However, the current support and legal systems for victims are ineffective. Hence, there should be ongoing initiatives towards compensation and justice.
In May 2023, Port City Daily reported that the senators in North Carolina had asked the U.S. government to expedite the settlement process for lawsuits related to the polluted water in the region, as approximately 3.5 million people have been affected by it.
Looking back to August 2022, Joe Biden signed the “Honoring Our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics Act”, which talks about the adverse impact on veterans who got affected by toxic chemicals at the time of their service. The Camp Lejeune Justice Act is a part of this legislation, enabling individuals who have suffered ailments from drinking contaminated water to get the compensation that they deserve.
According to U.S. legislators, it is deemed “necessary” for the Navy to ensure that individuals receive the justice they deserve.
Port City Daily reporting highlighted that approximately 25% of a total of 5,792 toxicity claims that got filed between the years January 2011 and June 2019 received approval from the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs. However, the current administration should consider accepting all qualified candidates for claims without needing any “burden of proof” to establish their exposure to contaminated water.
In the past, several veterans faced denial of medical coverage, receiving letters stating their inability to prove their illnesses during their service at Camp Lejeune.
Is There Scope for A Quick Payout?
In August 2022, Marine Times reported on the presence of eye-catching mailers and TV advertisements encouraging individuals who resided at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune before 1988 to seek compensation. However, advocates are cautioning people considering participation in these lawsuits that they may not receive any monetary compensation, and even those who do may face lengthy delays before receiving any funds.
Shane Liermann, the deputy national legislative director at Disabled American Veterans, emphasized the importance of veterans being well-informed about the facts before engaging in any legal action to avoid incurring additional expenses. Protecting veterans’ benefits is crucial, as no veteran would want their benefits to diminish.
In 2012, Congress passed legislation that eased eligibility requirements for veterans and their family members who suffered from rare forms of cancer and other ailments, aiming to provide them with necessary healthcare through the Department of Veterans Affairs.
However, advocates argue that the current process fails to address numerous issues and only compensates families who have lost loved ones due to the effects of toxic water. Moreover, the newly proposed bill allows individuals to file civil lawsuits for compensation, providing some financial assistance.
Greg Rinckey, a founding partner of Tully Rinckey, explained that receiving compensation is not automatic. Individuals must file a Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit to pursue damages. Nonetheless, legal action can be taken to seek monetary compensation.
Navigating The Legal Path
Veterans stationed at Camp Lejeune have experienced numerous physical ailments as a consequence of exposure to contaminated water. In May 2023, CNN Health reported a startling finding that residents and occupants of Camp Lejeune face a 70% higher risk of developing Parkinson’s disease. Trichloroethylene (TCE), a prevalent environmental contaminant, appears to be the primary culprit, as it can adversely affect the nervous system and contribute to the onset of this debilitating brain disorder.
Furthermore, TorHoerman Law asserts that the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune can also have detrimental effects on children’s health, potentially leading to various childhood ailments and birth defects. Neural tube defects, lymphoma, and leukemia are among the conditions that have been linked to exposure to this toxic water. Additionally, a study conducted by the CDC reveals an increased incidence of kidney, liver, cervix, esophagus, and ovarian cancers among those affected.
If you or a loved one have suffered from these ailments as a result of exposure to the toxic water at Camp Lejeune, it is crucial to seek prompt medical treatment. Once it has been established that the contaminated water is indeed the cause of your illness, you have the option to file a legal complaint, supported by the medical evidence you possess, to pursue rightful compensation. The compensation amount will vary based on individual circumstances and available evidence.
While veterans and individuals affected by the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune seek compensation for their ailments and suffering, it is important to recognize the complexities and challenges involved in these legal processes. The presence of long-standing health issues, the need for extensive evidence, and the intricacies of the legal system can contribute to delays in obtaining monetary compensation.
However, the pursuit of justice and rightful compensation remains vital for those impacted by the Camp Lejeune water contamination. It is crucial to consult with legal experts, gather supporting medical evidence, and navigate the legal procedures diligently to maximize the chances of a successful claim. While a quick payout may not always be guaranteed, persistence and commitment to the cause can help individuals secure the compensation they deserve for the harm endured.