Our lawyers are representing victims looking to bring a Camp Lejeune lawsuit in all 50 states. We believe this page provides more information on Camp Lejeune claims than any other resource available.
This page provides:
- daily news and updates on the Camp Lejeune lawsuit
- who is eligible for compensation
- projected Camp Lejeune settlement amounts based on the type of claim
- how we can help you bring a suit to receive the compensation you deserve
Our lawyers provide a new update every day to give you the latest news on the litigation. Our last Camp Lejeune lawsuit update was on Monday, December 5, 2022, at 09:08 a.m.
Contact Our Camp Lejeune Lawyers
If you have a potential Camp Lejeune lawsuit for an injury or death of a loved one, call our lawyers today at 800-553-8082 or get a free online consultation. There is no fee or cost unless you get financial compensation for the harm that was done to you.
Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawsuit Updates
Before we get into the gist of the Camp Lejeune lawsuits and our lawyers take on expected settlement amounts, let’s look at the latest news in the Camp Lejeune toxic water lawsuits:
December 5, 2022 – Media Attention on Frustration in Waiting for Camp Lejeune Compensation
CNN has an article on the frustration many of you have about how long it might take for Camp Lejuene vicitims to see settlement compensation. We recently wrote a page to give you a better idea of the possibilities of when your water contamination lawsuit could get a settlement compensation offer from the government.
December 4, 2022 – Camp Lejeune Attorneys’ Fees
Many Marines and their families are coming to us every day for news and updates on the Camp Lejeune litigation. Here is a text message we received last night:
“From a lawyer’s point of view—I get you probably don’t want this to be made public—but from the victim’s point of view, I believe that it should be made public.”
The reader was referring to this article that discusses a proposal to reduce the amount of attorneys’ fees lawyers can charge for a Camp Lejeune lawsuit. The reader is arguing that while we don’t want to talk about attorneys’ fees, we have an obligation to keep Camp Lejeune victims and their families apprised of all the news and updates that relate to this litigation.
Okay… we agree. On all points. We cannot assume the role of providing news and updates for veterans and their families and cherry-pick the information we provide.
Camp Lejeune lawyers do not want to talk about attorneys’ fees. Lawyers hate talking about attorneys’ fees generally, right? We fight for our clients tooth and nail and… well, we would rather not focus on the inconvenient truth that we profit from our clients’ suffering. This is true in this litigation and every other type of case we handle. Reducing fees – particularly on the insane level suggested by Senator Dan Sullivan (who voted against allowing veterans to seek compensation in the first place, by the way), is not something lawyers want in their own self-interest.
But reducing attorneys’ fees may be catastrophic for veterans, too. Why? Because the economics may force many lawyers to drop cases that are not perfect. Litigation is expensive and time-consuming and trying cases for reduced fees against a government with endless defense costs is a quick path to bankruptcy. So if there was a cap on attorneys’ fees, you might see lawyers dropping all but the best Tier 1 cases. The result would be the government paying a lot less in Camp Lejuene settlements and jury payouts and many victims losing a chance at justice.
December 3, 2022 – Our Law Firm’s Water Contamination Clients (Updated)
What are the most common Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuits?
This is the fourth updated list of our law firm’s Camp Lejeune lawsuits ranked by how many claims we have for each injury or sickness.
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Lung Cancer
- Kidney Cancer
- Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
- Bladder Cancer
- Prostate Cancer
- Breast Cancer
- Liver Cancer
- Hepatic Steatosis
- Multiple Myeloma
- Colorectal Cancer
- Other Cancer
- Brain Cancer
- End State Renal Disease
- Renal Toxicity
- Birth Defects
- Aplastic Anemia
- Myelodysplastic Syndrome
- Soft Tissue Cancer
- Thyroid Cancer
- Cervical Cancer
- Hodgkin’s Disease
- Cardiac Defects
December 2, 2022 – Updated Estimate of 14,000 Filed Administrative Claims
The Navy JAG Tort Claims Unit recently released updated information regarding Camp Lejeune claims under the CLJA. Through the end of November, JAG had received just over 14,000 claims alleging injuries caused by the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune.
That number will likely double over the next few months. JAG has still not made any real progress on getting any of these claims resolved, however, as they continue to work on developing an online claim portal for the submission of supporting documents.
November 30, 2022 – What Have We Learned About the Camp Lejeune Lawsuit?
It has now been three months and twenty days since the Camp Lejeune Justice Act became law. What have we learned?
After over three months, the government does not have a clear plan to administer Camp Lejuene claims. But as this week’s update suggests, the JAG is getting closer. The six-month administrative period buys the DOJ time. But there needs to be a plan in place to evaluate Camp Lejuene lawsuits for settlement. There are “any day now” rumors. But, so far, nothing.
Certainly, the initial hope of the government offering early Camp Lejeune settlement payouts for victims and their families has faded. The JAG lawyers would love to make settlement offers to reduce the number of claims. But the manpower is not yet there to administer all of these claims quickly. This will be a process. We do not expect to see any Camp Lejeune settlements in 2022.
Over 8,000 Camp Lejeune water contamination claims had already been filed. Our attorneys hear conflicting estimates of how many Camp Lejeune victims have signed retainers from other Camp Lejeune attorneys. Those estimates range from 75,000 to 110,000 Camp Lejeune victims that have already signed retainers with lawyers.
How many more Lejeune claims will we see? It is hard to predict. Our attorneys usually see an outburst at the beginning of litigation and then they continue to roll in over time. This month, the number of Lejeune calls was notably less. There are a lot of victims with strong claims that have not found a lawyer. But, internally, we are assuming that we already have more than half of the clients we will represent in this litigation.
But the incessant commercials, texts, and emails that are driving everyone – including us – are starting to recede. Few people who have a Camp Lejeune claim by now have not seen a commercial or heard about the litigation from a friend. So it will be interesting to see how many Camp Lejeune lawsuits ultimately get filed.
November 29, 2022 – NHL Cancer Settlement Amounts
We updated our non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma settlement amount projections for Camp Lejeune. Our attorneys include NHL verdicts and settlement payouts in other claims to support our payout predictions.
November 28, 2022 – The JAG and Records to Evaluate Claims
JAG has received thousands of CLJA claims since the new law was passed in August. But no action has been taken on any of these claims to date. This has prompted speculation that JAG might just allow the 6-month deadline on these claims to expire.
But it now appears that the primary reason for the delay is that JAG is still waiting to launch an electronic claims portal that will enable it to request and review support documentation for claims. The supporting documentation will include things such as military service records and medical records.
The most recent notice on the JAG website makes it very clear that they plan on requesting supporting documentation from certain claims. But those requests will not be made until after the portal is up and running.
November 25, 2022 – Camp Lejeune Scams
Once again, someone sent us their bank account routing number for their Camp Lejeune settlement.
Please be careful. There are so many quick settlement scams out there.
November 23, 2022 – Proving a Camp Lejeune Lawsuit
Many Camp Lejeune lawyers are shifting their attention from getting new cases to proving the cases that they do have. This is where the real work begins.
In every case, you must prove you (or your deceased family member) were at Camp Lejeune for a minimum of 30 days between 1953 and 1987. This is a very simple and straightforward requirement and our Camp Lejeune attorneys expect that the government lawyers will use it as a tool to weed out weak claims. This means that all claimants should be fully prepared to back up this 30 days residency requirement with some type of evidence.
Three different types of evidence can be used to prove the residency requirement:
(1) service records from the military,
(2) other official documents evidencing residency, employment, or connection to Lejeune, and
(3) statements from witnesses with firsthand knowledge.
Claimants who only have witnesses statements to prove their Camp Lejeune connection can expect the government to contest their claim in some cases. But it is hard to imagine an otherwise strong case failing at trial because the jury did not believe the victim was at Lejeune.
November 22, 2022 – Camp Lejeune Advertising
The new law allowing victims of Camp Lejeune water contamination to bring lawsuits against the government continues to fuel a massive lawyer advertising blitz that has driven just about everyone crazy. Our law firm gets calls, texts, and emails every single day complaining about our Lejeune commercials and email blasts. We don’t do either.
A recent report on attorney marketing spending shows that expenditures on Camp Lejeune-related television advertising last month were $53 million. The next closest mass tort in terms of advertising dollars last month was mesothelioma (asbestos), which was a very distant second at $4.5 million.
The advertising should slow down as we head into the new year. Our lawyers are not getting anywhere near the volume of new cases that we were a few months ago and every Camp Lejeune lawyer we have talked to is reporting the same thing.
November 21, 2022 – Camp Lejeune Lawsuit Scheduling Orders
Court hearings have not been set yet in the legacy Camp Lejeune lawsuits awaiting a ruling on the government’s dismissal motions for failure to submit admin claims to JAG before re-filing.
Meanwhile, the first of what will be many automatic scheduling deadlines is starting to pop up in these cases. Notices went out recently advising the parties that they have until mid-December to submit joint discovery plans in the legacy cases.
Our lawyers are eager to see the government do something in these toxic water cases besides just collecting claims. Why? We want more tea leaves on how they intend to approach this sprawling litigation.
November 20, 2022 – Lejeune Administrative Process Yet to Take Flight
We still have optimism for early Camp Lejeune settlements. But it will not be in 2022. The JAG Tort Claims Unit will not attempt to settle any Camp Lejeune lawsuits during this administrative phase.
How do we know this? We STILL don’t have a system to send medical records, as we talk about in yesterday’s update. To make settlement offers, JAG would need to review individual cases and verify that the claims are supported by appropriate documentary evidence (e.g., medical records, service records).
JAG does not have the manpower to do this. Again, they are not even accepting or reviewing any documents submitted in support of CLJA claims, much less doing the hard work to evaluate a claim to offer a settlement payout. This is a clear indication that JAG won’t be doing much with these claims other than acknowledging them. Victims will wait for the statutory period and then file a water contamination lawsuit.
November 19, 2022 – Getting Records for Camp Lejeune Settlement
Since the CLJA was passed in August, the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) has been bombarded with thousands of requests from veterans (and their families) seeking military service records to support their Camp Lejeune claims.
The large influx of requests has overwhelmed NARA and caused a major backlog. At the top of NARA’s Military Service Records webpage is a cautionary box titled “Important Notice Regarding the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022.”
The notice explains that CLJA claimants are not required to submit service records in support of their initial claims, but that JAG may request records later on. This is an obvious attempt to prepare claimants for a delay when requesting service records in connection with Camp Lejeune.
November 17, 2022 – New Camp Lejeune Claims Update
There is a new information post on the JAG Tort Claims Unit webpage regarding Camp Lejeune claims under the CLJA. The JAG is working on a new electronic submission portal for claimants to use when submitting service records and medical records to support their claims.
The website explains that until this system is set up, JAG will not be requiring or expecting CLJA claimants to submit these documents in support of their CLJA claims. So this still means that the JAG is not ready to make Camp Lejeune settlement offers yet.
The site also explains what any lawyer handling these cases already knew – the federal agencies handling service records have recently been overwhelmed with Camp Lejeune-related requests resulting in a backlog.
November 16, 2022 – Kidney Cancer Settlement Amounts
We updated our kidney cancer settlement amount projections. Our attorneys included the kidney cancer verdict and settlement payouts in other claims to support our predictions.
November 15, 2022 – Camp Lejeune Legacy Lawsuits Battle Continues
We have been talking about a battle between the government and plaintiffs who already brought a Camp Lejeune lawsuit. Those plaintiffs want to skip filing an administrative complaint and move forward with their lawsuit.
Does this dispute even matter? Yes and no.
It is hard to understand why the government what to fight a battle with no practical significance. But these plaintiffs have been fighting for a long time for justice. Symbolically, they want to be first. And, practically, they have reason to believe that filing first may put them first in line when a Camp Lejeune suit goes to trial.
(By the way, lawyers have been filing Tier I Camp Lejeune claims first. So, arguably, it is better for everyone else if the government wins the motion because I would rather a Parkinson’s disease case go first than cases chosen because they were already filed many years ago. There may be other arguments to the contrary. But there is no question we want the first case to go to trial to be a strong claim because any verdict will have a bellwether effect on the settlement amounts victims receive. )
Anyway, back to this dispute. The government filed a new brief last week in support of its motion to dismiss the Camp Lejeune legacy cases that were immediately re-filed after the enactment of the CLJA without filing new administrative claims with JAG.
The memorandum filed last Wednesday (in some of the legacy cases) reiterates the sample simple argument that the government has made in support of its motion from the begging. The memorandum asserts that the JAG claims filed by the legacy plaintiffs before the CLJA was passed don’t count and these plaintiffs must refile new claims.
This latest brief, however, is supported by a long declaration from the head of the JAG Tort Claims Brach explaining the factual background of the claims previously submitted to JAG by the legacy plaintiffs.
November 14, 2022 – When Will Your Camp Lejeune Lawsuit Settle?
The recent media and lawyer advertising attention regarding the water contamination at Camp Lejeune has prompted the CDC to initiate a long overdue investigation into possible health risks from other contaminated military sites.
The CDC publicly announced that it was launching a public health study to determine whether former residents of the Fort Ord Army base in California were harmed by exposure to toxic chemicals at the base. Fort Ord was an Army training facility that was closed in 1994 after the EPD named it one of the most polluted sites in the U.S.
November 11, 2022 – 8,000 Camp Lejeune Claims Brought
According to a media inquiry response this week from the JAG Tort Claim Unit, a total of 8,000 Camp Lejeune claims have been filed with JAG under the CLJA to date. JAG advised that none of these claims have been resolved so far. Two months ago, JAG stated that it had already received 5,000 CLJA claims, so apparently slowed somewhat.
Our attorneys believe that this will change and we will see a large wave of new CLJA claims filed over the next three months. Camp Lejeune lawyers were getting so many new cases over the first three months that many law firms we using their resources on new cases.
Now that the tidal wave of water contamination cases has slowed down, attorneys are more focused on getting these cases in position for settlement. Filing the administrative claim is the key first step.
November 10, 2022 – U.S. Supreme Court Denies Camp Lejeune Appeal
The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal brought from one of the initial Camp Lejeune civil lawsuits that were dismissed in 2016. The appeal challenged the lower court’s decision to use the Feres Doctrine (a rule that blocks military service members from suing the government in certain cases) to dismiss the Lejeune cases. The government argued that the passage of the CLJA rendered the issue mute and the justices agreed.
November 9, 2022 – GUARD Act Update
The so-called GUARD Act is a bill under consideration by Congress that was prompted in direct response to the Camp Lejeune attorney advertising blitz following the passage of the CLJA. The GUARD Act would impose penalties on lawyers for advertising for VA benefits when they are not authorized by the VA. The bill was sent to the Veteran’s Affairs Committee and has gone nowhere since. With the mid-terms in the rearview mirror, there is now little chance of the bill getting passed before the end of the year.
Ultimately, I don’t think many Camp Lejeune lawyers were pretending to advertise for VA benefits to attract clients looking to file a Camp Lejeune lawsuit. I could be wrong. I don’t see every ad and there have been approximately five gazillion Lejeune television commercials. But I think a big reason the litigation died was the lack of evidence it was anything other than an isolated problem.
November 8, 2022 – Mid-Term Elections Impact on Lejeune Litigation
The mid-term elections are today. Will a power shift in Congress impact your prospects of a Camp Lejeune settlement?
No. The outcome of the election should have no impact whatsoever on how CLJA claims are handled. This litigation is not a Republican or Democrat issue. Both parties equally support (and don’t support) veterans. Everyone wants to make everything partisan politics in 2022. But, despite some political maneuvering on the CLJA before it passed, there is bipartisan support for this legislation.
Also, the Department of Justice has primary authority over settlement offers and valuing injury and wrongful death claims. The DOJ is part of the executive branch which will not change hands after the election. (And even a new administration really would not change the facts on the ground, anyway.)
November 6, 2022
Last week, a second Petition to Perpetuate Testimony (Nelson v. United States 7:22-cv-186) was filed by a victim of the Camp Lejeune water contamination who is going to die before they can see their CLJA case filed. Mr. Nelson enlisted in the Navy in 1982 and he lived at Camp Lejeune three different times between 1983 and 1986 for training. Nelson lived in the barracks at Camp Geiger, Hadnot Point, and Holcomb Boulevard. In 2018, he was diagnosed with terminal prostate cancer and he was recently admitted to hospice care. Nelson is seeking to preserve his deposition testimony before he dies to provide key evidence in support of his anticipated Camp Lejeune lawsuit.
November 5, 2022
We are getting more bullish on Lejeune lung cancer lawsuits. Certainly, these are strong claims if the victim did not smoke. But, increasingly, our attorneys think the lung cancer water contamination lawsuits for smokers may be more viable than we originally thought. We have revised our settlement predictions for these cases. Lung cancer cases are second only to Parkinson’s disease for the Camp Lejeune clients that we have.
November 3, 2022 – Camp Lejeune Lung Cancer Settlement Projections
We updated our Lejeune lung cancer settlement projections today. Our lawyers think the equipoise bar that lowers the burden of proof required for Camp Lejeune lawsuits could have a meaningful impact on the settlement payouts in these claims.
November 2, 2022 – Camp Lejeune Settlement Scams
Increasingly, we are getting emails, texts, and phone calls from people asking when they can pick up their Camp Lejeune settlement. People are sending banking information to deposit their settlement check. Scammers are using our law firm to lend credibility to their scams.
Camp Lejeune victims should be very cautious about any legal advertising that promises a quick or automatic cash settlement or payout. The new law passed by Congress in August (the Camp Lejeune Justice Act) does not offer victims of Camp Lejeune water contamination immediate cash settlements. The CLJA simply gives Lejeune victims the ability to file a civil lawsuit. There will be no automatic or quick settlement payouts for people who have never even hired a Camp Lejeune lawyer. Victims will still need to prove that their injuries were related to the Camp Lejeune water and either go to trial or get a settlement offer from the government.
October 31, 2022 – Camp Lejeune Attorneys’ Fees
Our lawyers are getting a lot of questions about attorneys’ fees. Many of our clients were frustrated that some Camp Lejeune lawyers were trying to charge them a contingency fee as high as 45%. Most law firm seems to be charging 40%. Our firm’s contingency fee for these cases is 33% which gives us the ability to help more victims.
Price should not be the only consideration when hiring an attorney for your Camp Lejeune lawsuit. You need a lawyer with a track record of success and someone who is going to care about you and what you have been through. But when you are comparing the best lawyers, it is something you should consider.
People often see that we are charging a lower contingency fee and ask if they can change lawyers. Ultimately, if you are happy with your lawyer, you should stay with that attorney.
October 30, 2022 – Camp Lejeune Wrongful Death Settlement Predictions Revised
We revised our Camp Lejeune wrongful death settlement amount estimates yesterday. We introduced some new logical underpinnings behind our predictions that will prove either sage or nonsense.
No two pieces of litigation are alike so comps only have so much value. But how the government has historically valued different types of injuries and wrongful death is important. History repeats and settlement payouts the government paid in previous cases for similar injuries and death are instructive in estimating settlement payouts for Camp Lejeune victims.
October 29, 2022 – Normal Burden of Proof Not Necessary for Lejeune Claim
Victims of the Camp Lejeune water contamination who bring claims under the CLJA will face a much easier evidentiary burden for proving causation. To prove causation, the CLJA merely requires claimants to “produce evidence” showing that “a causal relationship is at least as likely as not.” This is referred to as “equipoise” causation and it will be the first time this standard is applied in a civil case.
So what will this mean for your case? It should mean that you won’t have to battle quite as hard to prove that your disease is connected to the Camp Lejeune water even when you may have other risk factors.
This is a big deal. For example, if you were a smoker, it would be very difficult to prove that your lung cancer was caused by the water and not the cigarettes. Under equipoise, however, the contaminated water could be “at least as likely” as the cigarettes to be the cause. This is is a much easier hurdle to win your case.
October 28, 2022 – Easier to Bring a Camp Lejeune Lawsuit
Bringing a Camp Lejeune lawsuit is easier than bringing a typical civil lawsuit. The CLJA adopted a lower evidentiary standard for claimants to prove that their disease was caused by the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune. Under the CLJA, claimants simply need to prove that “a causal relationship is at least as likely as not.”
This is called equipoise causation. So what exactly will this mean for Camp Lejeune victims? In practical terms, it should mean that CLJA claimants will have a higher chance of success regardless of what their alleged health condition is or what risk factors they may have.
October 27, 2022 – Camp Lejeune Wrongful Death Lawsuits
Many of the victims of the Camp Lejeune water contamination have already passed. The CLJA specifically allows for relatives of the deceased victim to bring a Camp Lejeune wrongful death lawsuit. Nearly half of the Lejeune clients our law firm has have wrongful death claims from a family member seeking a settlement or jury payout for the loss of someone they loved.
The one requirement the CLJA imposes is that death claims must be brought by the estate of the deceased victim. The individual with authority to act for an estate is referred to as the personal representative, administrator, or executor (it varies by state).
Anybody can be the personal representative of an estate. Sometimes it is a lawyer. But the personal representative is usually a close family member of the decedent (e.g., surviving spouse, child, etc.). Any settlement proceeds from a death claim get disbursed to the heirs of the decedent just like the assets of the estate.
October 26, 2022 – How Much of a Settlement Demand for a Camp Lejeune Lawsuit?
There has been an evolution in thinking in terms of how much your settlement demand for a Camp Lejeune lawsuit should be.
The initial optimism that the government might offer early settlement amounts has given way to a pragmatic understanding that the government does not yet have a system to put settlement amounts on the table. The JAG Tort Claims Unit in Norfolk received over 6,000 Camp Lejeune administrative claims in the two months.
All plaintiffs are required to file these claims and JAG has 6-months to either accept or resolve them, at which point the plaintiffs can file suit.
There has been a lot of speculation about whether JAG would be making settlement offers on some CLJA cases during this claim period. The conventional wisdom now is that the JAG cannot meaningfully evaluate this many claims in six months. The office handling these claims is understaffed and needs to ramp up to handle the onslaught of Camp Lejeune settlement applications.
Lawyers are submitting Camp Lejeune settlement demands of as much as $50 million in compensation. Why? Small demands are a cap on your settlement or jury payout. (See September 29, 2022 discussion below.) So if there is no chance a real settlement payout will be offered, there is no reason to put a ceiling on your future settlement compensation or jury payout.
October 25, 2022 – Battle Over Camp Lejuene Legacy Lawsuits Continues
Last week, the government filed a motion to dismiss a group of Camp Lejeune lawsuits filed immediately after the CLJA was enacted. An opposition to that motion to dismiss has already been filed in at least one of those cases (Ensminger, et al. v. United States).
The response brief argues that the plaintiffs previously complied with the administrative claim requirement under the CLJA when they submitted claims to JAG under the FTCA before filing their first lawsuits several years back. The response argues the statutory language of the CLJA does not require the plaintiffs to resubmit claims after the passage of the CLJA and such an interpretation would be contrary to the underlying purpose of the statute.
October 24, 2022 – Camp Lejeune Settlement Estimates
We will continue to revise our average per person settlement amount for specific Camp Lejeune lawsuits. Yesterday, we revised upward our predicted settlement for Parkinson’s disease lawsuits.
October 22, 2022 – Looking for Settlement Tea Leaves
On Monday, the government filed its motion to dismiss all of the Camp Lejeune legacy cases that were filed on the day that the CLJA became law.
A second group of six more Lejeune legacy cases were filed the next day. The government has not filed the same motion to dismiss in any of those Camp Lejuene lawsuits. We won’t get a decision on the motion until at least the end of January or later.
Camp Lejeune lawyers are following this closely. The outcome of these cases is of no consequence. But we are looking for tea leaves of how the government will defend these lawsuits and how they will approach settlement.
October 21, 2022 – Camp Lejeune Advertising Backlash
Understandable fatigue over the proliferation of Camp Lejeune lawyer advertising has prompted Congress to begin working on the passage of a new law called the Governing Unaccredited Representatives Defrauding VA Benefits Act (GUARD Act).
The GUARD Act would impose criminal penalties on lawyers who imply in their marketing that they can obtain VA benefits for clients when the lawyer is not authorized by the VA to handle benefit cases. The law is already there but without criminal penalties.
I was unaware anyone was doing this. I have not seen a television ad or anything online that does this. But the compensation for Camp Lejeune lawsuits is fierce and some attorneys are stepping over the line. The law seems unnecessary – this should be an easy job for state bar associations – but it is not hard to understand the frustration.
As much as everyone despises lawyer advertising (especially at the nauseating level we have seen for Camp Lejeune) it serves a vital public service. A large percentage of Camp Lejeune victims might never even know about the CLJA without the attorney ads offering legal assistance (as annoying as they are for the rest of us).
October 20, 2022 – Our Law Firm’s Water Contamination Clients
What are the most common Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuits?
This is a list of our law firm’s Camp Lejeune lawsuits ranked by how many cases we have for each injury or sickness.
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Lung Cancer
- Kidney Cancer
- Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
- Bladder Cancer
- Prostate Cancer
- Breast Cancer
- Liver Cancer
- Hepatic Steatosis
- Multiple Myeloma
- Colorectal Cancer
- Other Cancer
- Brain Cancer
- End State Renal Disease
- Renal Toxicity
- Birth Defects
- Aplastic Anemia
- Myelodysplastic Syndrome
- Soft Tissue Cancer
- Thyroid Cancer
- Cervical Cancer
- Hodgkin’s Disease
- Cardiac Defects
October 19, 2022 – Government Filed Motion to Dismiss Camp Lejeune Lawsuits
On Monday, lawyers for the federal government filed motions to dismiss all of the Camp Lejeune legacy lawsuits that were dismissed back in 2016 and immediately refiled after the CLJA was passed in August.
The motions argue that these cases must be dismissed. The government contends because the plaintiffs did not satisfy the requirement under the CLJA that they file and exhaust an administrative claim with the Navy JAG before bringing a civil lawsuit. The plaintiffs are going to argue that they already satisfied this requirement when they submitted admin claims to JAG before filing their initial lawsuits several years back.
The government’s view, however, is that those prior administrative contaminated drinking water claims are not relevant because they were filed before the CLJA was enacted. Our lawyers think that the decision on this issue could go either way, but the outcome will have little significance.
Is this a big deal or a little deal? It is a little deal. If the government wins its argument, the legacy plaintiffs will simply have to submit new claims to JAG and then re-file their lawsuits again after JAG denies the claim or 6-months pass without a decision. It is hard to understand the government’s purpose in wanting to delay justice even longer for victims that have already waited so long.
About three-fourths of our cases are injuries that are already deemed presumptively related to the toxic water at Camp Lejeune.
October 18, 2022 – Does It Matter Where You Lived at Lejeune?
The water contamination at Camp Lejeune occurred in three areas: Hadnot Point, Tarawa Terrace, and Holcomb Boulevard.
The Hadnot Point area was occupied by barracks and bachelor housing units. Tarawa Terrace was the family housing area, and Holcomb Boulevard featured the hospital, family housing, and other amenities.
Some have suggested that victims who did not live or work in one of these three areas do not qualify to bring a claim under the CLJA. We do not think Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuits will be fought in these weeds.
The CLJA allows claims by anyone who lived or worked at “Camp Lejeune” with specific reference to these three locations. Why? Because everyone living or working at Lejeune was likely exposed to the contaminated water regardless of where they lived on base.
October 17, 2022 – Is There Settlement Money Set Aside to Pay Camp Lejeune Lawsuits?
Over 6,000 CLJA claims have already been brought by Camp Lejeune victims and it has only been two months since the new law was passed. Is there enough money to compensate all of the victims.
There is a $6.7 billion number a lot of law firm websites are talking about. This number is wrong and it is our fault. We put that number out before the CLJA passed and everyone copied it. The real number that has been set aside appears to be more like $22 billion when you put it all together.
But this is not a Camp Lejeune settlement payout fund. There is no set-aside fund to pay Camp Lejeune settlements. But this estimate is a clear indication that the government is prepared to pay full settlement compensation to Camp Lejeune victims who file meritorious claims.
October 16, 2022 – Who Is Making Decisions at the DOJ?
In all of the Camp Lejeune legacy cases that have been filed in federal court since the CLJA was passed back in August, an appearance as Counsel for the Defendant, United States of America, has been entered by Adam Bain.
Mr. Bain is a Senior Trial Counsel at the Torts Branch of the Department of Justice in Washington, DC. The Director of the DOJ Torts Branch office is J. Patrick Glynn and the Assistant Director is Bridget Bailey Lipscomb.
The Torts Branch is part of the DOJ Civil Division which is headed by Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Brian Boyton.
October 14, 2022 – Guessing at Government Average Camp Lejeune Compensation Projections
So how much money does the government think it will take to pay settlement compensation to Camp Lejeune victims?
When the CLJA was going through Congress, the CBO estimated that compensation payments on Camp Lejeune claims under the CLJA would result in about $22 billion in government spending.
Based on information from other attorneys and reports from the Tort Claims Unit at JAG, it looks like the total number of Camp Lejeune claims could be around 100,000-200,000. There will be some attrition and a large percentage of these claims will be denied, dismissed, or devalued.
Based on that number, however, $22 billion would equal $220,000 per claimant. At 200,000, it would be $110,000 per person.
But we are talking about how the government projects Camp Lejeune settlement amounts. This is different from the compensation victims will receive. It is hard to imagine the average Camp Lejeune settlement being less than $250,000. Yes, there will be weaker cases that lack merit that will get smaller compensation. But there will also be settlements in Parkinson’s disease and other serious cases where the settlements exceed $1 million.
Ultimately, the defendant does not get to choose settlement payouts. Like any other litigation, large jury verdicts will increase average per person settlement amounts for Camp Lejeune victims.
October 13, 2022 – New Camp Lejeune Lawsuit
A new Camp Lejeune civil lawsuit, Douse v. United States (7:22-cv-176), was filed in EDNC recently.
This is the first new case filed under the CLJA since the group of legacy cases that were filed immediately after the law was passed.
Plaintiff David Douse (we changed his first name for privacy) was assigned to Camp Lejeune (specifically the Camp Geiger area) just before being discharged from the Marine Corps in 1976. He also lived on base as a civilian for a short time thereafter.
Douse – a lawyer filing a claim on his own behalf – is seeking compensation because he was later diagnosed with hepatic steatosis (fatty liver disease), which is one of the diseases that has been associated with the Lejeune water.
October 12, 2022 – Government Argues Camp Lejeune Lawsuits Did Not Comply with CLJA
Under the CLJA, all plaintiffs are required to submit an “administrative claim” to JAG before filing a civil lawsuit in the Eastern District of North Carolina (EDNC). Immediately after the CLJA was passed in August, however, victims filed 28 Camp Lejeune lawsuits in the EDNC. These were “legacy cases” that had been filed for years and eventually dismissed in 2016 based on the application of North Carolina law (the event that eventually prompt the passage of the CLJA).
These plaintiffs had previously submitted admin claims to JAG before filing suit the first time around so they took the position that they had already satisfied the JAG claim requirement and were eligible to refile immediately. The government lawyers have objected to that position, however, and are arguing that these cases have not complied with the “administrative exhaustion requirement” under the CLJA. The plaintiffs will submit it on October 21, 2022. The government’s reply will be submitted on November 17, 2022, after which the court will rule.
October 10, 2022 – How Many Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Claims Will We See?
How many Camp Lejeune lawsuits will be filed? Estimates range from 50,000 to 500,000.
The answer to how many water contamination lawsuits we will see lies somewhere in the middle.
There will not be 500,000 viable Camp Lejeune claims. If there were 500,000 claims with an average Camp Lejeune settlement of $300,000, that would be $150 billion. There is no chance of that.
Similarly, based on the flood of cases our law firm has received, 50,000 seems way too low. Our guess from the beginning has been between 100,000 and 200,000. The rumor is that 75,000 to 100,000 people have already hired a lawyer. So we think there could be as many as 200,000 claims. But the more likely number is 150,000.
October 9, 2022 – How to Calculate a Camp Lejeune Settlement
When calculating settlement offers to make to Camp Lejeune water contamination plaintiffs, the government will consider several factors including
(a) what type of disease the victim is alleging and whether it has been linked to the Lejeune water,
(b) the severity of the victim’s disease, and
(c) how long the victim was exposed to Camp Lejeune water.
CLJA plaintiffs will be entitled to the same categories of damages as plaintiffs in normal civil cases. These include lost income, medical expenses, and pain and suffering.
- More discussion of expected settlement amounts
October 8, 2022 – The Judges and Court Hearing Lejeune Claims
The CLJA requires that all Camp Lejeune cases must be filed in the Eastern District of North Carolina (EDNC). EDNC has 6 sitting judges (which includes two senior judges and four full-time judges).
Five of the six EDNC Judges were appointed by Republican administrations. The Chief Judge is Richard E. Myers, II. Myers is a Trump appointee and former UNC Law School Professor who was confirmed by the Senate with (rare today) bipartisan support in 2019.
According to federal judiciary statistics, this courthouse may already be overworked before an influx of over 100,000 Camp Lejeune lawsuits. An average of around 1,600 civil cases are filed in the EDNC each year the median time from filing to case disposition is 12 months. This is the slowest disposition time of any District Court in the 4th Circuit. The fastest is the Eastern District of Virginia with an average of 7 months.
October 7, 2022 – How the Court Will Handle the Volume of Toxic Water Claims
Under the CLJA, all Camp Lejeune cases must be filed in the Eastern District of North Carolina. There has been a lot of speculation regarding the logistics of how the EDNC will handle what is expected to be a massive influx of civil cases. The logistics are daunting.
A motion requesting consolidation and the creation of a “mini-MDL” within the district was rejected last month. This was the right call. We do not want a Camp Lejeune class action lawsuit. Every case is its own tragedy and should be treated and evaluated for settlement as such. So an individual lawsuit is a better path than a class action.
That said, some form of consolidated proceedings – short of a full water contamination class action lawsuit – will be necessary at some point. On average, about 1,600 civil cases get filed in EDNC each year and the total pending civil caseload is around 2,200. JAG received 3,000 CLJA claims in just the first month after the law was passed. This number is reportedly close to 10,000 by now.
Unless a large chunk of toxic water claims are settled, they will all eventually get filed as civil lawsuits in less than six months from now, assuming reasonable water contamination settlement amounts are not offered. This would increase the EDNC civil case by 200% in just the first month alone. It simply will not be possible for the court to handle every Camp Lejeune lawsuit individually without some type of consolidation.
October 6, 2022 – Legacy Plaintiffs May Skip the Administrative Period
No new Camp Lejeune lawsuits have been filed in the Eastern District of North Carolina in October. Almost all the 28 “legacy lawsuits” were filed in the first 2 weeks after the CLJA was passed. A handful of additional cases were filed around the end of August and one case was filed in early September. When the Camp Lejeune MDL was dismissed there were 900 plaintiffs with pending cases, which means we could see more legacy lawsuits filed over the next month.
October 5, 2022 – Insane Camp Lejeune Television Ads
There is a report that $45 million has been spent by law firms on television advertising for Camp Lejeune. It is easy to believe, right? People are sick of the Camp Lejeune ads promising a big settlement. It does not help the public perception of the litigation. We get at least an email or call a day asking us to stop with the Camp Lejeune television commercials.
Our law firm has never run a television commercial or any ad. Our lawyers put our time and effort into providing you with the best and most updated news and information on the Camp Lejeune lawsuits. That is it.
October 2, 2022 – How a Wrongful Death Lawsuit Works
The water at the Camp Lejeune Marine Corps base was contaminated from 1953 to 1987. This means many victims exposed to the toxic water have already passed away. The CLJA permits wrongful death claims on behalf of deceased Camp Lejeune victims. The administrator of the decedent’s estate needs to bring the claim. If you are not the administrator of the estate or the administrator is not available, you can have yourself appointed to that role if you are a family member or interested party, and our Camp Lejeune lawyers can help you with that. If the victim died a long time ago, the estate is probably closed and may need to be reopened for this to happen.
September 30, 2022 – The Administrative Process
The JAG Tort Claims Unit recently sent an email to lawyers offering some guidance and instructions for submitting Camp Lejeune settlement claims to JAG. It explains the process for submitting claims in large batches and explains that links to files cannot be opened or accepted under DoD policies. Finally, the email asks attorneys to provide contact information for the clients when filing so that JAG can use the information to scan for duplicate claims filed on behalf of the same individual by two different attorneys.
Dealing with the JAG and DOJ lawyers is easier than dealing with defense lawyers in other mass tort cases who bill by the hour and are consistently looking to make things difficult for plaintiffs’ attorneys. Both sides have an interest in trying to make the Camp Lejeune settlement claims process as seamless as it can be and hopefully compensate victims as soon as possible to reduce the number of claims.
September 29, 2022 – How Much Should a Camp Lejeune Settlement Demand Ask For?
How much should your Camp Lejeune settlement demand be?
In most cases, a settlement compensation demand is of little consequence. You make a settlement demand, the defendant rejects that demand, and then you file a lawsuit.
The amount you ask for in a Camp Lejeune settlement means everything. Why? Because your settlement demand is a cap on the amount of compensation you receive. So if you make a “reasonable” settlement demand and the Navy rejects that demand, that is the ceiling on the damages you allow. So if you demand $1 million and a jury awards a $10 million payout, your verdict would be reduced by the judge to $1 million.
The client has to have real input on any Camp Lejeune settlement demand. When in doubt, you want to demand more rather than less so you are not limiting yourself in the future.
September 28, 2022 – Pretrial Procedures
On Tuesday, a Petition for Depositions to Perpetuate Testimony was filed in Bishop, et al. v. United States (7:22-cv-170). The action was brought on behalf of a pair of former Marines who served a Camp Lejeune and are now dying.
The first Petitioner, Dale Bishop, developed terminal liver cancer after his time at Lejeune and only has weeks to live. Petitioner Richard Benz was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2017 and is now in hospice care. The purpose is to take their depositions to preserve their testimony for use in future anticipated lawsuits under the CLJA. This is a common and necessary practice. But it does not make you feel awful about what these Marine veterans are enduring when you think about it… you are not thinking about it.
September 27, 2022 – Camp Lejeune Lawsuits Already Filed
Since the CLJA was signed into law on August 10, 2022, a total of 28 Camp Lejeune civil lawsuits have been filed under the new law in the Eastern District of North Carolina on behalf of 77 individual plaintiffs.
All these are Camp Lejeune “legacy cases” that were originally filed years ago only to be dismissed in 2016 based on the application of the North Carolina statute of repose. Since the plaintiffs in these cases already submitted administrative claims when they originally filed, they were not obligated to re-submit those claims and were therefore eligible to file right away. (Arguably, anyway. The government contends they must go through the administrative process again.)
These are good canaries in the coal mine for how the DOJ and the court will handle Camp Lejeune lawsuits.
September 23, 2022 – Claims for the Loss of a Loved One and How a Personal Representative Works
Sadly, so many of the calls our Camp Lejeune lawyers are getting are wrongful death lawsuits. Many family members who lost a loved one many years ago seem confused why they would have a claim after so much time has passed. So let’s clarify a few things about Camp Lejeune wrongful death lawsuits.
First, a CLJA wrongful death lawsuit is not limited to Marine Corps veterans stationed at Camp Lejeune. Anyone (veteran, family member, civilian employee) who lived or worked at Camp Lejeune for a minimum of one month is eligible to bring a claim under the CLJA. If you had a family member who lived or worked at Lejeune but has since passed away, their estate can bring a wrongful death claim. The CLJA allows claims even when the person died years ago and even after their estate has long been closed out in probate.
Second, you can bring a Lejeune wrongful death claim for the loss of your family member even if that death occurred nearly 70 years ago. If a former resident or employee of Camp Lejeune has already died as a result of a disease connected to contaminated water, the CLJA allows wrongful death claims to be brought on their behalf.
Wrongful death claims under the CLJA must comply with North Carolina law, which requires death claims to be brought by the personal representative (PR) of the decedent’s estate. For someone who died a long time ago, the estate may need to be reopened. If the PR is no longer available, a new PR can be appointed for the estate.
September 20, 2022 – No Camp Lejeune Class Action Lawsuit
There will not be a Camp Lejeune class action lawsuit, according to a judge’s ruling yesterday denying pretrial consolidation. This is mostly a good thing.
At the end of August, a group of law firms filed a motion asking that all Camp Lejeune lawsuits in the Eastern District of North Carolina be consolidated for pretrial discovery purposes. The request was seeking something similar to a class action MDL for the Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuits.
In the first month since the CLJA was passed, over 5,000 Camp Lejeune cases have already been filed with JAG and many more are expected. Last week, however, the federal court in North Carolina rejected this request without explanation.
But our Camp Lejeune lawyers support the ruling. The DOJ and the courts already have a plan for how the Camp Lejeune class action lawsuits are going to be handled, treating them as individual claims will lead to victims getting a faster and more appropriate Camp Lejeune settlement.
These claims are not going to be typical class action lawsuits, so classic consolidation similar to an MDL is not necessary or appropriate for the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune lawsuit.
September 15, 2022 – How to Prove a Toxic Water Injury or Death Claim
I was talking to a veteran with Parkinson’s disease on Tuesday. We were discussing, as we do below, the relaxed standard of proof for a Camp Lejeune lawsuit that is different from a civil lawsuit. But there is still a burden for victims of the Camp Lejeune water contamination who want to pursue a claim under the CLJA will need to present documents proving that they lived or worked at Camp Lejeune for 30 days between 1953 and 1987.
Former marines who were stationed on base can do this by requesting their Official Military Personnel File with a DD214 request. If you were a family member of a veteran who was stationed at Lejeune you will need additional documentation to prove a relationship, such as a birth certificate or marriage license, or other proof of residence documents. If you worked at Camp Lejeune as a civilian, you or your attorney will need to get documents proving your employment, such as an SSA Work History Report, paystubs, or tax returns. Our Camp Lejeune lawyers believe the JAG will be flexible about the type of proof that is sufficient. But they will require some evidence that the victims were at Lejeune.
September 12, 2022 – Presumptive Conditions
Which Camp Lejeune claims have the best chances of reaching a quick settlement without litigation? Before the CLJA was enacted, the VA was awarding disability benefits to veterans who were at Camp Lejeune and subsequently diagnosed with one of 7 diseases. These 7 diseases were viewed as presumptively connected to contaminated Lejeune water based on scientific evidence. The 7 presumptive Camp Lejeune diseases were:
These are not the only cases in line for an early settlement. The science has evolved to include many more injuries from the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune. But Lejeune victims who bring a toxic drinking water claim under the CLJA will probably not be required to present causation evidence if they have one of these diseases. This facilitates an early settlement. How long? Hopefully, before a lawsuit is filed during the administrative period required by the new law.
September 11, 2022 – Claim Forms
The JAG office for the Navy has issued a special form for Camp Lejeune plaintiffs to submit with their CLJA claims. In section 10 of the form, CLJA claimants identify what disease or health condition they claim to have developed from the Lejeune water. Section 10 specifically names 12 health conditions which can be selected by checking a box, and an additional section for “other” with a blank space for a description.
Trying to avoid reading the tea leaves from the Navy and JAG when they put out information on Camp Lejeune claims is impossible. Our attorneys believe that the list of the 12 diseases in the check-the-box list is significant because these are the injuries that JAG believes to be presumptively connected to the Lejeune water contamination. The first three injuries are the three our lawyers are seeing over and over: bladder cancer, kidney cancer, and liver cancer.
September 9, 2022 – Excessive Emails and Texts
This is the email our Camp Lejeune lawyers received this morning:
I DO NOT NEED HELP W/ CAMP LEJEUNE, RATHER I AM GETTING ANNOYED WITH YOUR ADS EVERY FEW MINUTES ON NUMEROUS CHANNELS ON TV! IT MAY BE A WORTHY CAUSE BUT YOU’RE ALSO MAKING A “TON OF MONEY” WITH YOUR LAWSUIT! YOUR ADS ARE INTERFERING WITH MY PEACEFUL ENJOYMENT OF TV! WHY DON’T YOU TRY A DIFFERENT METHOD TO GET YOUR MESSAGE TO VETS OR OTHERS WHO NEED ASSISTANCE! PLEASE RESPECT MY PERSONAL FREEDOM AS WELL! THANK YOU!
Our law firm has not run a single Camp Lejeune television commercial. We have never sent emails soliciting Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuits. All our attorneys do is educate people online about the litigation and what they can do to maximize their settlement amount or jury payout.
People are understandably sick of the endless commercials and emails.
September 2, 2022 – Total Water Contamination Settlement Estimates
How much money will go to compensate Camp Lejeune victims and their families in settlement compensation and jury payouts? Our lawyers talk below about per-person settlement amounts we expect for individual claims based on the type of injury. But how much money will the government spend overall on settlements for Camp Lejeune claims?
There is no settlement fund. There have been no Camp Lejeune settlements yet. But the official cost estimate for the CLJA done by the Congressional Budget Office estimates that $6.1 billion will be placed into a permanent settlement fund that will cover settlements and awards to Camp Lejeune victims. The CBO estimates that $200 million will be paid out in just the first 12 months, an estimate that does not jive with early settlements during the six-month administrative phase. Our lawyers expect that is incorrect
We are just one law firm. So our lawyers do not have a sense of how many victims will file a Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit. But we already represent over one-thousand Camp Lejeune victims. And this litigation is just getting started. Other attorneys we work on Camp Lejeune and class action lawsuits with also report large numbers of clients. And the per-person Lejeune payouts are likely to be high.
So that $6.1 billion estimate will be trumped by how much money juries will award and how many victims file a lawsuit. How much money is needed to pay these claims based on the number and strength of the lawsuits will dictate Camp Lejeune settlement amounts, not some number tossed in a CBO budget. Our expectation is that final settlement amounts will exceed $25 billion and could go even higher.
September 1, 2022 – Camp Lejeune Disability Claims Wrongfully Denied
Many victims are led to believe they do not have a viable Camp Lejeune claim because their disability claim was denied. The Department of Defense released a report that found that the Veteran’s Administration may have improperly denied over 21,000 VA benefits claims related to the water contamination at Camp Lejeune.
The DOD report noted that many Camp Lejeune claims were inappropriately denied without the required level of investigation to determine if the alleged medical condition was related to the Lejeune water.
Now, these veterans are eligible to file Camp Lejeune lawsuits under the CLJA and get the compensation that was improperly denied by the VA. The CLJA also allows veterans who were awarded VA benefits to file Camp Lejeune lawsuits.
August 31, 2022 – The Administrative Claim Process
Camp Lejeune Justice Act administrative claims are already being filed with the Navy JAG office. Filing these claims is mandatory under the CLJA before the plaintiff can bring a civil Camp Lejune suit in federal court. Camp Lejeune attorneys are eager to learn exactly how the Navy and DOJ will approach the CLJA admin claim process.
Our lawyers expect that the Navy will use the administrative claim process as an opportunity to identify the strongest cases and make a deliberate effort to settle them by offering a reasonable payout.
This benefits everyone. Victims deserve to be paid now for the harm done to them. But this approach also makes sense for the DOJ. The JAG office is ramping up for this litigation by hiring lawyers and staff to defend these suits. But it has limited resources and cannot actively defend thousands of Camp Lejeune claims.
August 28, 2022 – No Cap on Damages But No Punitive Damages
One recurring question we are getting from victims that our lawyers have heard a lot again this weekend: Is there a cap on damages in a Camp Lejeune toxic water lawsuit? The answer is no. North Carolina law controls all these toxic water claims. There is a limit on the size of payout that a jury can award in a Camp Lejeune suit. This is because there are no economic or noneconomic damages under North Carolina law. The statute is clear there can be no punitive damages.
August 25, 2022 – Claim Guidelines
To prepare for the flood of anticipated claims under the CLJA, the U.S. Navy Judge Advocate General (JAG) has posted guidelines for filing Camp Lejeune cases on its website.
Adhering to these guidelines is important because CLJA claimants are required to file a claim with the JAG Tort Claims Unit before filing a civil lawsuit. JAG has created a CLJA claim form (similar to a civil cover sheet) that will be required for all cases.
The claim form asks for information about the residence or employment at Lejeune and a section that requires the claimant to put a dollar amount on their claim.
August 24, 2022 – New River Claims
Employees or Marines who worked or resided at the New River Marine Corps Air Station may be eligible to file lawsuits under the new CLJA act. MCAS New River is right next to Camp Lejeune and shared the same contaminated water supply. The CLJA eligibility section only refers to “Camp Lejeune, North Carolina,” however, the language of this section arguably extends to New River MCAS and that is probably how it will be interpreted by the DOJ.
August 23, 2022 – How a Camp Lejeune Lawsuit Will Be Defended
A big question that Camp Lejeune lawyers and victims have now that the CLJA has been passed is will the government be looking to settle CLJA claims or aggressively defend them? If you have suffered and have waited this long, you reasonably want to know how long it might be to receive a fair Camp Lejeune settlement amount and how long it will take for your case to settle.
First, it is important to point out that no one knows at this stage how many cases will be offered a payout before filing a lawsuit. But our attorneys are hopeful that quick settlements are possible for a sizable percentage of Lejeune claims. Speedy resolution of the Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuits is in everyone’s best interests. We define quick settlement as reasonable settlement amounts offer during the administrative claim phase or very early in the civil litigation stage.
Our lawyers anticipate that the DOJ and the Navy will screen incoming cases and rank them into some type of tier system based on the severity of the harm done and the likelihood that harm can be linked to Camp Lejeune toxic water.
Under a system like this, the strongest claims will be in Tier I. Weaker claims will be ranked in Tier III or lower. CLJA Tier I cases could settle fairly quickly, possibly during the 6-month preliminary claim phase. Cases in Tier II may need to go through some civil discovery to strengthen their claims before receiving a settlement offer. CLJA cases in the lower tiers will either have to accept more modest settlement offers to settle in the earlier stages of this process.
August 21, 2022 – Too Many Emails and Texts
Every day, we get a text or email from someone angry that our law firm is sending them Camp Lejeune solicitation emails when they have never even heard of Camp Lejeune. But our law firm has never sent a solicitation email in our law firm’s 20-year history.
People are finding us online and assuming we sent them an email. We also do not advertise on television or anywhere else. But we have a history of representing veterans and thousands of Marines have already reached out to our attorneys seeking our help.
August 18, 2022 – Collecting Records
Camp Lejeune water contamination victims who bring lawsuits under the CLJA will need to collect medical records to support their claim. Medical records will help prove that the alleged injury was connected to the toxic water at Lejeune. The VA retains all medical records going back several decades and they are relatively easy to get. For private healthcare providers, obtaining records may be more challenging. Our Camp Lejeune attorneys can help victims track down and collect all relevant medical records and information.
August 17, 2022 – Where a Camp Lejeune Lawsuit Is Filed
Under the CLJA, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina will have exclusive jurisdiction over all Camp Lejeune civil lawsuits. The Eastern District of North Carolina has 4 divisions (East, South, North, and West). Plaintiffs that live outside North Carolina must file in the Southern Division (located in Wilmington). In-state plaintiffs must file their cases in the division closest to their place of residence.
August 16, 2022 – Lejeune Claims Process
Using this “latest news” space to try to answer the questions our Camp Lejeune lawyers have been getting… Camp Lejeune victims who want to get compensation under the CLJA are required to first file an administrative claim with the Navy. The JAG will review these bad water injury and wrongful death claims. After a claim is correctly filed, it must be accepted or rejected by the JAG within six months. Once that happens, the plaintiff can bring their toxic water lawsuit. Every Camp Lejeune lawsuit must be filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina.
Will the JAG make reasonable Camp Lejeune settlement compensation offers before lawsuits are filed? That remains to be seen.
August 13, 2022 – Getting Camp Lejeune Records
Camp Lejeune lawyers are moving forward to dig into the logistics of winning these lawsuits – or hopefully reach a settlement with the JAG before there is a lawsuit.
The recently enacted CLJA imposes a strict 2-year deadline for Camp Lejeune victims (or their surviving relatives) to bring civil compensation claims. Your lawyers will do most of the legwork on your case. There is one thing prospective plaintiffs can do to get a head start on their claim to put their case in a position for an early settlement. You can obtain copies of official documents that will prove that they lived or worked at Camp Lejeune between 1953 and 1987.
Former Marines who were stationed at Lejeune should request their official military service records (known as DD214). Civilians who worked on base can request copies of their Social Security Work History. Collecting these records will help your attorney get your case moving faster and ensure that you get it filed within the deadline.
August 10, 2022 – The PACT Act Is Law
President Biden signed PACT Act into law today at 10:30 a.m. The language of the CLJA is largely the same as the very first version of the bill that was passed by the House in March.
There are a few changes. One significant exception is that CLJA originally had a lowered (easier) evidentiary standard for proving causation that would have permitted reliance on a single epidemiological study.
During the law-making process, this provision was removed. It was replaced with language that creates a normal “preponderance of the evidence” standard for proof of causation in Lejeune water cases. This could have some significance, depending on how the Biden Department of Justice interprets and applies the new law.
August 6, 2022 – Statute of Limitations and Other Deadlines
When Biden signs the PACT Act into law on Monday, the statute of limitations to file a claim will begin to run. Victims will have two years to bring a Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit (or six months from the date the Department of Navy denies the claim).
The deadline to file a Camp Lejeune claim can be confusing because there is a difference between a Camp Lejeune claim and a Camp Lejeune lawsuit. You have two years to file an administrative claim and then six months after the Navy denies the claim. So the two-year Camp Lejeune statute of limitations could practically result in a lawsuit being properly filed nearly three years after the date of enactment.
Under the language of the bill, victims cannot file a claim for new injuries and sicknesses discovered after that deadline. But 98% of the potential claims or Camp Lejeune lawyers have seen are for cancer and other injuries that occurred over 10 years ago. The original version of the bill would have allowed newly discovered claims because so many of these injuries are latent diseases. But that language was removed from the bill.
Update 7:54 p.m. EST: The Senate passes the Senate overwhelming by a vote of 86-11! President Biden will sign the bill tomorrow. Our next latest new update will be a report that Biden signed this bill into law.
July 25, 2022 – Legislative Update
We finally have something on the calendar in the Senate. In just over an hour from now, the Senate will convene at 3 p.m. to resume consideration of the House message to accompany #S3373. This is the legislative vehicle for the PACT Act.
One of the other agenda items in the Senate that could put the PACT Act on hold is the continued political wrangling over the passage of the semiconductor bill. Most of the focus in the Senate last week was devoted to moving forward with the so-called “chips bill” (which seeks to promote domesticthe manufacture of semiconductors). Congress takes its summer recess on August 5 so we only have about a week left.
July 15, 2022 – PACT Act Progress
We are hearing from multiple sources that the Senate will vote on Friday to get the PACT Act passed before the weekend. But the smart money says the law will pass next week because, as we have been reminded throughout this process, the wheels of justice move slowly. The good news is that the overwhelming support in the House pushes the likelihood of a hiccup in the Senate towards zero.
Our attorneys are so focused on the water contamination lawsuits from Camp Lejeune, that we sometimes overlook the bigger picture for veterans with this bill. It will expand healthcare eligibility for 3.5 million veterans exposed to toxins. The bill creates a presumption that every American service member placed in a combat zone for the last 32 years may have been exposed to harmful toxins. The bill authorizes almost $300 billion to treat veterans’ injuries and sicknesses from these exposures.
This is long overdue. Taking care of our veterans needs to be a top priority for this country and this bill is a step in that direction.
July 14, 2022 – Passes House
The PACT passed through the House of Representatives. Off to the Senate…
July 1, 2022 – Camp Lejeune Settlement Budget
When Congress evaluates a new law, the Congressional Budget Office is tasked with reviewing the details of the legislation and generating a detailed estimate of how much the bill will cost the government over the next 10 years. The CBO issued a Cost Estimate for the PACT Act which calculated the 10-year overall cost of the bill at $667 billion.
This is a stunning amount. It is – shockingly – Congress standing up for veterans. But how much money is allocated to paying Camp Lejeune settlement compensation payouts for water contamination lawsuits? The CBO estimated that Camp Lejeune’s settlement payouts and legal expenses will account for $6.7 billion. Sure, this is a relatively large settlement fund. But it is only 1% of the total price tag for the PACT Act.
Is that enough to pay fair settlement amounts to veterans filing Camp Lejeune lawsuits? It is hard to say. Projections as to the number of tainted water lawsuits that will be filed vary widely. It is unclear what estimates the CBO was making when projecting $6.7 billion in Camp Lejeune settlement payouts and other legal costs. Could the cost of water contamination settlement amounts and jury payouts double this amount? No doubt. (Update: As we mentioned above, we think the real number projected now is $22 billion. )
June 28, 2022 – Senate Passes
On June 16, the Senate voted 84-14 in favor of passing the revised version of the PACT Act. The vote was a clear indication that the law has very strong support from both parties. The leader of the very small opposition faction has been Senator Pat Toomey (R-Pa.). Toomey and a handful of other lawmakers are concerned about the excessive cost of the PACT Act. Toomey led the effort to block the last-minute fix proposed by the Senate Veteran’s Affairs Committee last week.
June 21, 2022 – Home Stretch
We are in the home stretch to get the legislation passed that will allow Camp Lejeune cancer lawsuits and other claims involving the contaminated water at this Marine Corps base. The latest update is the House Committee on Rules is set to vote today (afternoon update: sounds like tomorrow) on whether to advance Honoring Our Pact Act (as amended by the Senate) forward to a full and final consideration and vote by the House. The bill has more than enough votes to pass and the vote appears to be a formality at this point. Assuming it passes, it could be signed into law by President Biden before the week is over.
Our lawyers and other Camp Lejeune lawyers are proceeding as if this bill has already been signed. If you have a potential case, there will be a two-year statute of limitations. Call our lawyers today if you believe you may want to bring a Camp Lejeune lawsuit.
On Tuesday, the Senate voted to pass the cloture motion on the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022. This will limit debate and fast-track the final approval process for the Act, which is now part of the larger Honoring Our Pact Act (HOPA).
Is this a guarantee that the Camp Lejeune Justice act will become law? No. But it is a very positive step in the right direction. Senator Patty Murray spoke for a few minutes on the Senate floor last week about the importance of finally bringing justice for Camp Lejeune victims. Her comments in favor of passing the HOPA echo those made by Republican Senator Marco Rubio. So we have senators on both sides of the aisle stepping up for veterans.
June 9, 2022 Update – Kidney Cancer Lawsuit
While many victims of Camp Lejeune water contamination await the passage of new federal law giving them the ability to sue, other former Lejeune residents are pursuing alternative claims.
Last month, a former Marine and Camp Lejeune resident, James Hart, filed a PFAS water contamination lawsuit against manufacturers of AFFF (firefighting foam). Hart was stationed at Lejeune in the 1970s and his lawsuit claims that the use of firefighting foam on the base caused PFAS contamination in the water at more than 2,400 times the maximum safe limit. Hart claims he developed kidney cancer in 2017 because of his exposure to PFAS.
June 8, 2022 Update – Progress on CLJA
Passage of the Camp Lejeune Justice Act (CLJA), the new federal law that will give victims the right to sue and bring a water contamination Camp Lejeune lawsuit has stalled temporarily in the Senate.
Back in early March, the CLJA was passed (as part of a larger law) by a solid majority in the House of Representatives. The law was introduced in the Senate last month and it initially appeared to be on the fast track to passage, with vocal support from both sides of the aisle. The recent school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, has derailed that progress as the Senate has shifted its focus almost entirely on enacting new gun control laws.
The CLJA and other laws on the table have been put aside for the time being. Our Camp Lejeune lawyers believe this delay is temporary and the Senate will pass this bill this summer. Many are asking if the Camp Lejenue lawsuit is real seeing all of this back and forth. It is real.
How Camp Lejeune Lawsuits Will Work
The CLJA gives individuals (or their survivors) who lived or worked at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 days the right to file civil lawsuits in the Eastern District of North Carolina to seek damages for injuries allegedly caused by the contaminated water. Before filing their lawsuit, however, § (h) of the CLJA requires all claimants to go through a 6-month administrative claim process:
(h) Disposition By Federal Agency Required.- An individual may not bring an action under this section before complying with section 2675 of title 28, United States Code.
Before filing a Camp Lejeune toxic water lawsuit, a prospective plaintiff must first submit their claim to the “appropriate federal agency.” Once a claim is submitted, the federal agency has a strict 6-month deadline to either accept or deny the claim. Claimants must wait until their claim is denied, or the 6-month deadline expires before they can file their lawsuit in federal court.
In most regular lawsuits against the Navy, this administrative claim process is just a formality. Administrative claims are almost always denied, and the claimants move on to file suit. For Camp Lejeune claims under the CLJA, however, the process could be much different.
Under the CLJA, we believe that the administrative claims process may be more like a pre-filing settlement mediation in which claimants who pass an initial screening process receive very reasonable settlement offers. We expect that a large percentage of claimants will accept settlement offers during the administrative claim process and never end up filing civil lawsuits.
There are 2 reasons why our lawyers are expecting the CLJA administrative claim process to play out this way. First, the whole purpose of Congress passing the CLJA was to ensure that victims of Lejeune water contamination can get financial compensation for valid injuries. Second, the Biden administration will ultimately be in charge of the CLJA claims process, and President Biden has made it clear that he strongly supports the idea of compensating deserving veterans.
Who Will the “Appropriate Federal Agency” Be for CLJA Claims?
Under the FTCA, administrative claims must be submitted to the “appropriate federal agency.” Camp Lejeune is not a Federal Tort Claims Act or Military Claims Act claim but there are similarities.
For Camp Lejeune water contamination claims under the CLJA, the appropriate federal agency will be the Department of the Navy (Navy). The Navy was the agency with ultimate responsibility for the USMC base at Camp Lejeune.
Although the Navy will be the federal agency named in the claim, they will most likely defer to the Department of Justice (DOJ) on how to handle the CLJA claims. The DOJ will take its direction on how to handle the CLJA claims from the Biden Administration.
New Law to Allow Camp Lejeune Lawsuit
From 1953 to 1987 the public water supply at Camp Lejeune Marine Corps Base in North Carolina was contaminated with toxic chemicals. So for 30 years, more than a million Marines and their families drank and bathed in contaminated water.
Thousands of Marines and their families have suffered severe illnesses and have died. There is strong scientific evidence that chronic exposure to toxic chemicals in Camp Lejeune’s water has caused increased rates of cancer and has caused injuries to children in utero.
Camp Lejeune Compensation Claims Originally Rejected
The provision follows the Supreme Court’s 7-2 decision in 2014 holding that North Carolina’s 10-year “statute of repose” overrides the federal Superfund law, effectively barring exposed individuals from suing once the statute expires, even if they didn’t become aware of pollution until a later date.
A new federal law – the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 – is close to being enacted that will permit victims of Camp Lejeune water contamination to seek legal compensation. The Act would permit people who lived or worked or were harmed as unborn children at Camp Lejeune between 1953 and 1987 to file a toxic water lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Eastern North Carolina. There will likely be a two-year deadline to sue from the date of the enactment.
The Camp Lejeune lawyers at Miller & Zois are now actively seeking new Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuits.
Thanks to a new pending law, victims may now be able to file a claim and get a Camp Lejeune settlement payout or jury award for the harm that has been done to them if they lived or worked near Camp Lejeune between 1953 and the late 1980s and were diagnosed with cancer or neurologic disorders.
This new Camp Lejeune lawsuit will almost certainly be a class action lawsuit filed in North Carolina. The new law would require all cases to be housed in North Carolina even if the victims now live in California, Texas, New York, or any other state in the country.
If you want compensation for the harm done at Camp Lejeune, contact our lawyers and tell us about your claim today.
Water Contamination at Camp Lejeune
Camp Lejeune is a massive Marine Corps base and military training facility that covers nearly 250 square miles in Onslow County, North Carolina. Camp Lejeune was first opened in 1942. It is used as both a base of operations for the Marine Corps and a military operations and training facility used by various branches of the armed forces.
Since its founding in 1942, Camp Lejeune has been a temporary or permanent home for thousands of military service members and their families.
It has also been a home or place of work for thousands more civilian employees and contractors. Camp Lejeune had its own public water system to supply these Marines and civilians with potable water.
In the 1980s, environmental testing at Camp Lejeune discovered that the water supply going to Camp Lejeune residents and employees was dangerously contaminated.
Toxic Chemicals in Water
Specifically, the Marine Corps determined that from approximately 1953 through 1987, the water supply to Camp Lejeune had been heavily contaminated with volatile organic compounds and carcinogenic chemicals. The most troubling chemicals found were trichloroethylene (TCE) and tetrachloroethylene (PCE).
These chemicals are in a class of chemicals called “volatile organic compounds” (VOCs). These chemicals are used for dry cleaning and much of the water contamination was attributed to an off-base dry cleaner that existed before the Marine base was opened. So the water wells were likely contaminated before Camp Lejeune opened.
But there were multiple sources for this toxic water. These same chemicals are also used to clean machinery and weapons. So the contamination came from on and off the Marine base.
The Navy Did Not Act
The government was slow to respond to this development. It is not that the Navy did not understand the risk of water contamination with these chemicals. As early as the 1940s, wells would sometimes be found with TCE, PCE, and other toxic chemicals. When this happened, the water was deemed unpotable and the wells were shut down or restricted to non-drinking and non-culinary use.
So it is hard to pretend the Navy did not understand the risk of water with these toxins. But if the Navy did not know, it should have. This will be a critical point of contention in a Camp Lejeune lawsuit if the government’s lawyers point to the lack of established clear drinking water standards.
In previous Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuits 15 years ago, the government’s lawyers found an expert who contended that environmental scientists and engineers did not address TCE, PCE, and other chlorinated solvents as potential soil and groundwater contaminants until the early 1980s. This same expert also contended – incorrectly our Camp Lejeune lawyers would argue – that there was a “prevailing belief” that chlorinated solvents would evaporate or be assimilated into the soil and not contaminate the water.
How will this play out practically? The government’s attorneys will defend Camp Lejeune lawsuits because that is how our system works. But these same government lawyers know that the very same government that is defending the Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuits is the same government that specifically crafted a law to allow victims to bring compensation claims. My point is that the overwhelming likelihood is that the government offers a reasonable Camp Lejeune settlement amount long before these lawsuits go to trial.
Core Issue in Every Camp Lejeune Lawsuit
Every Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit will allege that the water supply at Camp Lejeune was contaminated between the 1960s and 1980s. The lawsuit will also claim that the United States negligently caused injury or death by allowing contaminants into the Camp Lejeune water supply and not warning people when they should know these water issues could cause awful side effects that included death.
Camp Lejeune Lawsuit Timeline
Let’s walk through the chronology of events that led to the Camp Lejeune Justice Act and the expected Camp Lejeune class action lawsuit.
1941: Camp Lejeune becomes a Marine Corps military base.
1951: Camp Lejeune builds the Tarawa Terrace well field for water.
1953: One Hour Dry Cleaner begins operation across the street from the well field. Investigations later show that this dry cleaner allowed tons of toxic chemicals – notably PCE – to contaminate the water at Camp Lejeune. Much of the contamination from this dry cleaner came from the Tarawa Terrace drinking water system.
1979: A reported 20,000 to 30,000 gallons of oil leaks in the ground from the Hadnot Point Fuel Farm.
1984: An outside contractor finds TCE, PCE, and benzene at the Hadnot Point Water Well.
1985: All contaminated Hadnot Point well that had not already been closed are shut down
1989: The EPA identifies Camp Lejeune and ABC One Hour Cleaners as Superfund sites.
1990: The CDC declares PCP is the greatest cause of injury, death, and birth defects from Camp Lejeune.
2008: President Bush signs a bill that requires the Navy to further investigate injuries and deaths from contaminated drinking water at Camp Lejeune.
12-12-2016: Over 800 Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuits filed under the Federal Tort Claims Act and consolidated into an MDL are dismissed based on North Carolina’s 10-year statute of repose.
9-20-2018: Appeals of the dismissal of the Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuits are exhausted, leaving thousands of victims without legal recourse.
3-22-2021: The Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2021 is introduced as a bill in the U.S. House of Representatives. The bill is eventually sent to the committee and goes nowhere.
1-25-2022: A new bill called the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 (CLJA) is introduced in the House by Congressmen Matt Cartwright (D. North Carolina) along with 16 co-sponsors. The co-sponsors include 10 Democrats and 6 Republicans from 8 different states.
2-28-2022: The CLJA is combined into a larger bill called the Honoring Our Pact Act of 2021 which addresses health care benefits, and other resources for veterans exposed to toxic substances during military service.
3-3-2022: House passes the CLJA (as part of the Honoring Our Pact Act) by a vote of 256 to 174 and the bill is submitted to the Senate.
5-17-2022: Prominent Republican Senator Marco Rubio of Florida issues a press release publicly announcing his strong support for the CLJA and urging his fellow Senators to vote on passing the CLJA as part of the Honoring Our Pact Act.
6-16-2002: Senate passes an amended version of the CLJA as part of the PACT Act by a vote of 84-14. The amendments to the bill require approval by the House.
What Toxic Chemicals Were in the Camp Lejeune Water Supply?
Two specific chemical compounds were contaminating the water supply at Camp Lejeune from 1953 to 1987 and they were coming from two specific water treatment facilities servicing the base: Perchloroethylene (PCE) and Trichloroethylene (TCE).
PCE Caused the Greatest Harm
PCE was the greatest cause of the water contamination and the injuries and deaths that followed at Camp Lejeune. PCE is a clear liquid chemical that is widely used in the drying cleaning industry to clean fabrics.
PCE is absorbed following oral, inhalation, and dermal exposures. It travels through the bloodstream to the lungs. PCE targets the central nervous system, liver, and kidneys and accumulates in fat cells. Tetrachloroethylene also crosses the placenta and distributes to the fetus, which is why there were so many birth defects at Camp Lejeune.
PCE Related Injuries
The evidence is strong that PCE can cause a variety of maladies, including kidney cancer, liver and kidney injuries and bladder cancer, multiple myeloma, and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Learn more about Camp Lejeune diseases.
PCE Levels at Tarawa Terrance Water Treatment Were Off the Charts
For 346 months, the Tarawa Terrance water treatment and supply facility at Camp Lejeune was contaminated with dangerously high levels of PCE. The source of the contamination was identified as a nearby dry cleaning company. The EPA’s maximum safe level for PCE in drinking water is 5 ug/L. The peak level of TCE contamination in 1985 in the Camp Lejeune water supply was 215 ug/L.
Digest that number. That is 43 times – 43 times! – the safe level for TCE. It is a wonder there were not more Camp Lejeune water contamination deaths and injuries than have been reported.
Trichloroethylene (TCE) at Hadnot Point Water Treatment Facility
TCE is an industrial chemical that is used in the manufacturing of refrigerants and other hydrofluorocarbons. It is a bad chemical that has long been known to be unfit for human consumption. TCE has been used as a solvent and also to kill insects as a fumigant.
The body absorbs trichloroethylene most from inhalation but also through oral and dermal exposure. The bloodstream pushes this chemical to major organs that receive blood and deposit in fat cells. The body metabolizes TCE mostly in the liver and, secondarily, the kidneys and lungs. Humans extensively metabolize inhaled doses of trichloroethylene. Metabolites may play a role in the adverse health effects described in studies.
TCE was also commonly used as solvent and degreaser on metal military equipment. The Hadnot Point water treatment facility servicing Camp Lejeune was found to be highly contaminated with TCE. The contamination is believed to have come from numerous sources. EPA’s maximum safe level for TCE in potable water is 5 ppb. The Camp Lejeune water supply was contaminated with TCE as high as 1,400 ppb.
Heart Defects at Birth from TCE
With newborn children, congenital heart defects are common from mothers who drank and bathed in the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune. There are human and animal studies that strongly suggest a link between a mother’s exposure to TCE during pregnancy and congenital heart defects.
Other Toxic Chemicals in the Camp’s Well Water
In 2012, the Hadnot Point water facility was also found to be contaminated with mercury. Mercury may have come from water pressure meters at the facility that was removed in the 1980s.
Vinyl Chloride and Benzene
These were not the only toxic chemicals found on the base. Vinyl chloride and benzene, both toxic chemicals that can cause many of these same injuries alone, were also found on the base. The fact that these toxic chemicals in the water supply are treated as a footnote underscores the remarkable stew of tragic mistakes that caused harm to so many Marines and their families. This is why Congress is stepping in with the Camp Lejeune Justice Act (our attorneys discuss this further below).
Everyone Agrees the Water at Camp Lejune Was Contaminated
These facts are unlikely to be disputed by the government in a Camp Lejeune lawsuit. In 1989, the EPA placed Camp Lejeune on the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (“CERCLA”) National Priorities List for environmental cleanup activities. You may have also heard it called a “Superfund” site. A Superfund is a euphemism for toxic mess. The U.S. Navy agreed to work with the EPA in environmental remediation efforts that continue to this day.
Chemicals in Camp Lejeune Water-Linked to Cancer
The industrial chemicals that were contaminating the Camp Lejeune water supply are known to be very toxic to the human body and have been linked to cancer, birth defects, and neurologic disorders. Scientific and medical evidence has shown that chronic exposure to the chemicals TCE and PCE can cause increased rates of certain types of cancer.
The types of cancer that have been scientifically linked to the consumption of harmful chemicals contaminating the water at Camp Lejeune include:
- Bladder cancer
- Brain cancer
- Breast cancer
- Esophageal cancer
- Kidney cancer
- Liver cancer
- Lung cancer
- Multiple myeloma
- Aplastic anemia
- Myelodysplastic syndrome
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
- Ovarian cancer
- Cervical cancer
Non-Cancer Camp Lejeune Injuries
The science and medical evidence continues to build linking other injuries besides cancer. They include:
- Infertility and Miscarriage
- Birth Defects
- Birth Injuries
- Brain Injuries
- Cardiac Defects
- Fatty Liver Disease
- Neurobehavioral Effects
- Plastic anemia and other bone marrow conditions
- Renal Toxicity
- Hepatic Steatosis
- ALS (Lou Gerhig’s Disease)
- Parkinson’s Disease
Contaminated Water at Camp Lejeune Caused Birth Defects
Birth defects are one of the big tragedies of Camp Lejeune. Over the years, thousands of pregnant women were exposed to toxic water at Camp Lejeune. In 2013, the CDC released the results of a study that confirmed that children who were born to mothers that lived on Camp Lejeune or drank the water supply had four times the rate of birth defects such as spina bifida.
The CDC also indicated that children who were exposed to the contaminated Camp Lejeune water during fetal gestation had an increased risk of developing childhood cancers like leukemia. These same children may also end up having a higher risk of adult cancer.
What Caused the Water Contamination at Camp Lejeune?
Again, PCE is the contaminant that caused the most harm at the Marine Corps base in Camp Lejeune. We later found out that the chemical was used by a nearby dry cleaner as early as 1953. Tragically, this was compounded by on-base sources that further contaminated the water supply.
Camp Lejeune Victims May Soon Be Able to Get Compensation
The water contamination at Camp Lejeune has negatively impacted the lives of hundreds of thousands of people who lived or worked at the base over the years. Many of these people have developed cancer, died, and suffered other very serious consequences.
So far, however, most of the victims of the Camp Lejeune water contamination have never been able to get justice or compensation. North Carolina (where the base is located) has a law known as a “statute of repose” which puts a maximum year limit on how long someone can wait before filing a civil lawsuit even if they never could have known that the water issues caused injuries until after the deadline to sue had already passed.
Victims Could Not Bring a Camp Lejeune Lawsuit Under the Old Law
Under North Carolina’s statute of repose, no civil tort lawsuit can be filed after more than 10 years. This law has effectively blocked Camp Lejeune victims from bringing lawsuits seeking financial compensation. In 2016, multi-district litigation involving 850 former Camp Lejeune residents (Straw v. the United States) was dismissed based on the North Carolina repose statute.
In 2012, the Janey Ensminger Act was passed, which authorized the U.S government to pay for the costs of medical care to family members who were harmed by the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune.
The Ensminger Act had limitations. It was basically disability benefits. Worse, Marines’ families were excluded.
Many in Congress think Marines and their families should not be limited to VA benefits. That thinking led to the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022.
New Legislation Allows Camp Lejeune Lawsuits
Many Lejeune victims are on disability. But everyone knows that disability compensation does not take the place of a reasonable settlement amount. Providing health care benefits to Marines is not enough. Everyone also knows we must stand behind the United States Marine Corps that has stood by all of us.
Congress, passed a new federal law called the Camp Lejeune Justice Act (“CLJA”) of 2022. The CLJA circumvents the North Carolina response statute and give Camp Lejeune victims the right to bring a contaminated water lawsuit in federal court for cancer or other disorders caused by contaminated water.
Under the new law, anyone with exposure to Camp Lejeune water for 30 days between 1953 and 1987 is eligible to file suit and fight for a Camp Lejeune payout in the Eastern District of North Carolina. This is not a class action lawsuit. Each case stands alone.
Who Is Being Sued in Camp Lejeune Lawsuit?
Camp Lejeune Settlement Amounts
It is too soon to project Camp Lejeune settlement amounts. But the settlement compensation for Camp Lejeune injuries will be based on the extent of the victims’ injuries and your drinking water contamination lawyer’s ability to tie the injuries or death to the toxic water. There are so many types of injuries from this toxic drinking water. You can expect Camp Lejeune settlement amounts to be tailored to the type of injury the victims suffered.
What Average Camp Lejeune Cancer Settlement Amounts Do Your Lawyers Expect?
So many of these Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuits involve cancer. The average settlement amounts our lawyers see in other class action lawsuits involving cancer typically range from $150,000 to $750,000.
Cancer and Parkinson’s Disease Settlement Amounts
You can expect the largest Camp Lejeune settlement amounts to go to cancer victims and their families and Parkinson’s disease lawsuits. The individualaverage settlement for Parkinson’s disease cases could reach betweeen $1 million and $1.5 million
So we won’t have a situation where everyone gets the same settlement compensation payout. Instead, there is likely to be complex points award system per person that compensates victims based on a laundry list of facts that should provide greater settlement amounts to victims who have suffered the most.
Our Lawyers Will Narrow Settlement Compensation Projections
Granted, this is a broad range of settlement amounts and there will likely be Camp Lejeune settlement payouts that are both higher and lower than this range. But it is still early in the litigation. Our Camp Lejeune attorneys will know more as the litigation progresses. Our lawyers will update and narrow our Camp Lejeune settlement amount as we go.
$22 Billion Allotted to Camp Lejeune Settlements
Unlike most class action lawsuits, the decision as to the settlement amounts to compensate victims will involve politics and policy instead of projected jury compensation payouts. One looking glass to the ultimate settlement: the government has allocated $22 billion to pay Camp Lejeune settlement amounts and jury payouts. This final settlement number could go up or down. But it is a strong anchor for the Justice Department when it starts offering settlement amounts to Camp Lejeune victims.
So you can do some back-of-the-napkin math to calculate average settlement compensation payouts. But the key question is how many Lejeune class action claims will be filed? For example, if there are 110,000 claims accepted, that would be an average per person Camp Lejeune settlement amount of $200,000.
The real total settlement compensation and jury payout for Camp Lejeune lawsuits could more than double that $6.7 billion. But, either way, the amount of any Camp Lejeune lawsuit payout will hinge in some part on the total number of filed claims.
Political Pressure to Raise Camp Lejeune Lawsuit Payouts
The low range of the average Camp Lejeune lawsuit payout our attorneys projected above was $150,000. The question: is this what Congress intends? The politics of compensating veterans for the harm done to them probably does not jive with an average Camp Lejeune lawsuit settlement amount $150,000. This is why the likely average per person Lejeune claim will probably be more than double that amount of money.
Settlement Amount Projections By Type of Camp Lejeune Claim
Our lawyers have made Camp Lejeune compensation payout projections for specific types Camp Lejeune claims:
How Do Attorneys' Fees Work in a Camp Lejeune Lawsuit?
First, almost every Camp Lejeune lawyer will not receive a fee until after you receive a settlement. So with our law firm and almost any law firm in this litigation, you will not put up any money or risk losing money.
Our firm has a 33% contingency fee for Camp Lejeune claims, unlike many firms who are charging victims 40%.
Who Will be Eligible to Bring a Camp Lejeune Lawsuit?
When Congress eventually passes the Camp Lejeune Justice Act (CLJA) it will give thousands of former Lejeune residents, employees, and soldiers a legal right to bring a civil lawsuit against the federal government for injuries caused by the Camp Lejeune water contamination. So exactly who will be eligible to file a Camp Lejeune lawsuit under the CLJA?
Broad Language in Camp Lejeune Justice Act
The very broad eligibility requirements are set forth in § 804(b) of the CLJA:
An individual, including a veteran, . . . or the legal representative of such an individual, who resided, worked, or was otherwise exposed (including in utero 22 exposure) for not less than 30 days during the period beginning on August 1, 1953, and ending on December 31, 1987, to water at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.
What this language essentially says is that anyone who can prove that they were exposed to the water at Camp Lejeune for at least 1 month during the period of contamination (i.e., 1953 to 1987) will be eligible to file a claim under the CLJA. Set forth below is a breakdown of each part of the eligibility requirements under the CLJA.
Subsection (A): Individual, Veteran, or Legal Representative
CLJA § 804(b) states those eligible to bring a case under the CLJA will include “[a]n individual, including a veteran, … or the legal representative of such an individual[.]” This language is intended to include anyone and everyone who lived, worked, or was stationed at Camp Lejeune during the relevant time period.
This group of eligible plaintiffs under the CLJA includes:
⦁ Marines (or other military personnel) who were stationed at Lejeune
⦁ Family members of Marines who lived in on-base housing at Camp Lejeune
⦁ Marines who worked or were assigned to Camp Lejeune
⦁ Civilian employees who worked at or near Camp Lejeune
⦁ Anyone else who was exposed to the Lejeune water
If the person who lived or worked at Camp Lejeune has passed away, their surviving family members or “legal representative” will be eligible to bring a wrongful death claim.
Subsection (B): Resided, Worked, or Otherwise Exposed (Including In Utero)
The language § 804(b) of the CLJA says that eligibility extends to anyone who can prove that they lived or worked at Camp Lejeune. Individuals who lived at Camp Lejeune would mostly be limited to Marines who were stationed at the base and their families who lived in the on-base housing. Employees at Camp Lejeune could include both civilian employees, government contractors, and military personnel who worked at the base but did not live there.
The language “including in utero” is intended to extend eligibility to individuals who suffered prenatal exposure to the water at Camp Lejeune when they were still a developing fetuses inside their mother’s womb. Public health studies have estimated that 20,000 to 30,000 pregnant women lived at Camp Lejeune for at least 1 month during the contamination period. These studies have also shown that prenatal exposure to Lejeune toxic water caused higher birth defect rates. Individuals who were born with birth defects after in utero exposure to the Lejeune water will be eligible to file claims under the CLJA.
The phrase “or was otherwise exposed” in subsection (b) is intended to be a catch-all term to include anyone who may not have lived or worked at Lejeune but can show that they were exposed to the contaminated water. For example, this might include people who worked just off base but used or received contaminated water from Camp Lejeune.
Subsection (C): For Not Less Than 30 Days
The final eligibility requirement under CLJA is that the individual’s connection to Camp Lejeune (either as a resident, employee, or otherwise) lasted for a cumulative total of a least 30 days. In addition, that 30-day period of living or working at Camp Lejeune had to have occurred during the recognized “contamination period”: August 1, 1953, to December 31, 1987.
Proving Eligibility for a Camp Lejeune Lawsuit
In order to bring a Camp Lejeune settlement payout under the CLJA, prospective plaintiffs will need to be able to produce some type of documentary evidence to prove that they lived or worked at Camp Lejeune for 30-days during the relevant period.
Marines and other military personnel will need to provide their military service records in order to prove that they were at Camp Lejeune. Family members of Marines who were stationed at Camp Lejeune can use the same military service records to establish their residence on the base. Civilians seeking compensation can prove that they worked at Camp Lejeune by producing social security employment history records or other types of employment verification.
Prospective plaintiffs who cannot present some type of documentation to verify their connection to Camp Lejeune can still pursue a claim, but they will have a hard time establishing their eligibility without support documents. But your Camp Lejeune lawyer will work to track down these records for you.
Can You Bring a Claim for Someone at Camp Lejeune Who Died Many Years Ago?
Yes, you can are eligible to bring a Camp Lejeune wrongful death claim for someone who died many years ago. Many people are confused by this. But it is exactly how a wrongful death lawsuit works. This unique Camp Lejeune law just increases eligibility for claims that would usually be barred by the statute of limitations.
How Do You File a Camp Lejeune Toxic Water Lawsuit Under the Federal Tort Claims Act?
Our attorneys will not know the exact rules for filing a Camp Lejeune toxic water lawsuit to seek compensation under the Federal Tort Claim Act until we see the final legislation. Unless the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 makes filing a lawsuit easier, Camp Lejeune lawyers will first file a Federal Tort Claims Act with the Department of the Navy as required by federal law. See 28 U.S.C. sec. 2675.
The government has six months to accept or reject the claim (or ignore it). Procedurally, the government would deny the claim. Your Camp Lejeune lawyer may then file suit in federal court in North Carolina.
Details of the New Federal Law Allowing Camp Lejeune Victims Right to Sue
By the end of this year, there will be a new federal law passed by Congress that will give the victims of the Camp Lejeune water contamination the legal right to bring civil lawsuits and seek financial compensation for their injuries. The new law is the Camp Lejeune Justice Act (CLJA), which was incorporated into a larger bill known as the Honoring Our Pact Act.
Our lawyers have carefully reviewed the language of the CLJA and in this section, we will provide a summary of the CLJA. We will also explain the details and procedures for how the CLJA will work, such as (a) who will be eligible to file suit, (b) what will the deadline be, (c) what can victims sue for, and (d) what are the qualifying criteria for getting a settlement payout.
Who Can File a Camp Lejeune Lawsuit?
The opening section of the CLJA defines the group of people that will now be entitled to seek a settlement payout or compensation from a jury via a Camp Lejuene civil lawsuit. This group includes:
(a) Anyone (including veterans and their families) who lived at Camp Lejeune for a minimum of 1 month anytime between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987.
(b) Anyone who worked at Camp Lejeune (including civilian contractors) for a minimum of 1 month anytime between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987.
(c) Anyone who was “otherwise exposed” to the drinking water at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 days between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987.
Anyone who meets these basic criteria will be covered by the CLJA provisions which give them the right to file a civil lawsuit. Keep in mind that you will need to be able to prove that you meet these “residency” criteria with some type of evidence, preferably documentary evidence.
Veterans and their families should be able to produce military service records to prove that they were stationed at Lejeune for the required period. Civilian contractors and other non-military personnel use other documents to prove that they meet these criteria, such as social security employment records.
What Can Camp Lejeune Victims Sue For?
Individuals who can prove that they lived or worked at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 days between 1953 and 1987 will meet the initial eligibility criteria under the CLJA. These individuals will then have the right to file a tort lawsuit seeking a verdict or settlement payout against the United States government alleging that they suffered physical harm or injuries that were caused or associated with exposure to the water at Camp Lejeune. Lawsuits not related to alleged exposure to the toxic water at Lejeune or not involving physical injuries will not be permitted.
What Will Lejeune Victims Have to Prove to Get a Settlement Payout or Verdict?
Individuals who meet the qualifying criteria under the CLJA (i.e., lived or worked at Lejeune for 30 days during the applicable period) will NOT automatically qualify for settlement compensation.
Rather, these individuals will simply have the right to file a lawsuit for their alleged injuries. To get financial compensation, plaintiffs who file lawsuits under the CLJA will still need to prove that their injuries were caused by the contaminated water at Lejeune.
The CLJA does establish a lower burden of proof which will make it easier for plaintiffs who bring Camp Lejeune water lawsuits under the CLJA to prove their case. Specifically, section (b)(2) of the CLJA provides that Lejeune plaintiffs can satisfy their burden of proof with a scientific study concluding that their alleged injury (i.e., kidney cancer, etc.) could be linked to exposure to the water at Camp Lejeune:
Use of Studies – A study conducted on humans or animals, or from an epidemiological study, which ruled out chance and bias with reasonable confidence and which concluded, with sufficient evidence, that exposure to the water described in subsection (a) is one possible cause of the harm, shall be sufficient to satisfy the burden of proof described under paragraph (1).
This provision appears to suggest that plaintiffs under CLJA will be allowed to prove their claims if they can simply cite a single study suggesting a link between their type of cancer (or other injuries) and the Lejeune water. This would appear to eliminate the requirement of expert witness testimony, although it is not entirely clear who to interpret this provision.
How to File A Camp Lejeune Lawsuit
Potential plaintiffs who meet the qualifying criteria under the CLJA can file their civil lawsuit by contacting an attorney. Our law office provides legal assistance to to victims to file a Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit. Our Camp Lejeune lawyers offer a free consultation and we answer question for free. We want to help.
CLJA claimants will be required to file their civil lawsuits in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina. This is the only available venue because the CLJA gives the Eastern District of North Carolina exclusive jurisdiction over the Lejeune water lawsuits.
Camp Lejeune Claim Must First Be Filed Before Lawsuit
Section (g) of the CLJA clarifies that before any eligible plaintiff can file a civil lawsuit, they first must comply with 28 U.S.C. § 2675. This means that plaintiffs will need to first file a “claim” for the alleged injuries with the “appropriate federal agency” and have that claim denied before they can bring a civil suit. When toxic water claims are submitted, federal agencies must approve or deny them within 6 months.
For a Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit, the appropriate federal agency will be the Department of Defense. In most situations, filing this sort of claim with a federal agency is just a formality that plaintiffs go through before filing their lawsuit.
For Camp Lejeune lawsuits, however, the DOD may offer settlement amounts to resolve what appear to be legitimate claims. That would make sense considering Congress in passing this law because they want deserving victims to get a settlement payout. Otherwise, what is the point of all of this? This would offer a much faster route for victims to get financial compensation.
Deadlines for Filing a Claim Under CLJA
Section (j) of the CLJA creates a special statute of limitations deadline for Camp Lejeune victims who want to bring claims under the CLJA. Under § (j)(1), the general statute of limitations to file suit for claims by Lejeune victims was originally two years after the date on which “the harm occurred or was discovered.” The final version President Biden signed had a hard two-year deadline from August 10, 2022, to bring a claim.
So for victims who have developed cancer, suffered birth defects, or been diagnosed with another condition possibly related to the Lejeune water, they will need to file their claims within 2 year deadline.
How Camp Lejeune Wrongful Death Claims Work?
The newly enacted CLJA allows tort claims to be brought on behalf of former Camp Lejeune residents or employees that are now deceased because of injuries related to the water contamination.
Exposure to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune occurred in North Carolina, so these cases would involve wrongful death and survival claims under North Carolina law. In this section, our Camp Lejeune attorneys provide a brief overview of death claims in North Carolina.
North Carolina Wrongful Death Claims
North Carolina law allows for 2 types of tort claims that can be filed on behalf of someone after their death: (1) wrongful death claims; and (2) a survival action. Both causes of action are created by statute.
North Carolina Gen. Stat. § 28A-18-2 allows the estate of a deceased person to bring a wrongful death claim against any person who negligently or intentionally caused the death of the decedent.
Only Personal Representative Can Bring Camp Lejeune Wrongful Death Lawsuit
Unlike other many other states, which allow wrongful death claims to be brought by any close family member of the decedent, North Carolina only permits the personal representative of the decedent’s estate to bring the claim. If the wrongful death claim is successful, the settlement proceeds or damages are distributed to the decedent’s heirs.
Camp Lejeune Wrongful Death Damages
In a North Carolina wrongful death claim, damages can be awarded for:
- medical expenses
- pain & suffering of the decedent
- loss of the decedent’s income, personal services and companionship, and
- funeral expenses
Camp Lejeune Puntiive Damages
Punitive damages are only allowed if the death was the result of “malice or willful wanton conduct.”
In addition to a wrongful death claim, the personal representative of a decedent’s estate can also bring a separate survivorship claim under North Carolina Gen. Stat. § 28A-18-1.
Camp Lejeune Survival Actions
The survival claim can recover for pre-death injuries that are separate and distinct from the wrongful death claim. Just like wrongful death cases, North Carolina law only allows the personal representative of the decedent’s estate to bring survival claims.
Rules of Camp Lejeune Wrongful Death Claims
Under the newly passed CLJA, wrongful death claims can be brought by the estate of any former residents or employees of Camp Lejeune who died because of injuries related to their exposure to the contaminated water.
Personal representatives could also potentially bring survival claims under the CLJA, although they would have to show that this claim seeks pre-death damages based on separate and distinct actions. This would be difficult to show, so most Camp Lejeune water contamination cases would involve only wrongful death claims and no separate survivorship claim.
Contact Our Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawyers
Our lawyers believe that this new law was passed because Congress wants Camp Lejeune water contamination victims to receive fair settlement amounts for the harm that has been done while they or a family member was serving our country.
Our Camp Lejeune lawyers are offering legal assistance to individuals who were harmed by exposure to Camp Lejeune contaminated water and meet the following criteria:
- You served, lived, or worked at the Camp Lejeune Marine Corps base in North Carolina for at least 30 days between the years 1953 and 1987.
- You were subsequently diagnosed with leukemia, bladder cancer, kidney cancer, liver cancer, multiple myeloma, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, or any other conditions our lawyers laid out above.
Contact our Camp Lejeune attorneys today for a free consultation at 800-553-8082 or get a free no-obligation online consultation. Our attorneys only get paid if you do.