The big news is that there is a Camp Lejeune settlement offer for some victims. The Department of Justice and the Navy have introduced a streamlined process known as the “Elective Option” to expedite compensation for individuals affected by the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune, which occurred between the 1950s and 1980s and resulted in various health issues. The word expedite is no mistake. They want you to know they will try to get you your settlement amounts faster under this option.
Is this Camp Lejeune settlement offer exciting? No. It is less than Camp Lejeune lawyers expected from the DOJ in their first shot across the bow. But it will appeal to victims in a small minority of cases… and it is a start. (Could they have made this same settlement offer a year ago? Yes. But that is a story for another day.)
On this page, we will go over the basics of the Camp Lejeune settlement program and explain exactly who qualifies for it and how much compensation they would get.
The Camp Lejeune Settlement Offer
This option allows eligible individuals, those who spent at least 30 days at Camp Lejeune during the contamination period and have specific diseases linked to it, to receive compensation based on their illness’s severity and duration of exposure.
For instance, if you have a severe condition like kidney or liver cancer and were exposed for an extended period, you could potentially receive up to $450,000. Conversely, if your illness is less severe, such as Parkinson’s disease, and your exposure is shorter, your compensation might be lower, around $100,000. The range is $100,000 to $550,000 for a Tier One wrongful death lawsuit.
The DOJ is baiting victims with a quick settlement because there is a real fear among victims that it will be a long fight. The Elective Option aims to simplify the compensation process for eligible individuals. To utilize this option, you must submit a claim with the proper documentation to the Department of the Navy. They will assess your claim and extend an offer. If you accept the offer, you can anticipate receiving your payment within 60 days.
This initiative is part of the Camp Lejeune Justice Act, enacted in 2022, to assist veterans and others affected by the water contamination. You can find further details on the Navy’s website if you believe you qualify for compensation.
Who Qualifies for the Camp Lejeune Settlement Program?
The Camp Lejeune elective settlement program allows certain claimants to quickly resolve their claim by accepting pre-set settlement offer amounts. Not all Camp Lejeune claimants can receive settlement offers under the program. The settlement program is only available to CLJA claimants who lived or worked at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 days and were subsequently diagnosed with one of nine specific diseases considered “qualifying injuries.”
Camp Lejeune claimants who do not have one of the nine qualifying diseases will not be eligible to participate in the settlement program.
What Diseases Qualify for the Camp Lejeune Settlement Program?
The Camp Lejeune elective settlement program is only available to CLJA claimants with a “qualifying injury” listed under the program. There are nine specific diseases or health conditions that are considered qualifying injuries for purposes of the settlement program.
The nine diseases are also ranked into Tier 1 or Tier 2 injuries. Claimants with Tier 1 injuries will be eligible to receive slightly higher settlement awards compared to claimants with Tier 2 injuries. The nine qualifying injuries under the Lejeune settlement program are as follows:
|Leukemias (all types)
|Kidney Disease / End Stage Renal Disease
|Systemic Sclerosis / Systemic Scleroderma
The list of qualifying disease and their ranking in Tier 1 or Tier 2 is not based on the relative severity of the disease or its prognosis. Rather, these rankings are based entirely on how strong the legal causation evidence is that links the disease to exposure to the water at Camp Lejeune.
How Much Compensation Can Eligible Claimants Get?
The Camp Lejeune elective settlement program creates a 2-by-3 “Elective Option Grid” for determining how much settlement compensation a claimant qualifies for. The settlement compensation amount is based on 2 factors: (1) whether the claimant’s injury is ranked in Tier 1 or Tier 2, and (2) the length of time that the claimant lived or worked at Camp Lejeune.
|Over 5 Years
Length of Time At Camp Lejeune Is the Most Significant Factor
The most significant factor impacting the settlement compensation amount a claimant qualifies for under the Lejeune settlement program grid is the length of time the claimant lived or worked at Camp Lejeune. Claimants who lived or worked at Camp Lejeune for less than one year are eligible to receive $100,000 to $150,000 settlement payouts. Claimants who were at Camp Lejeune for 1-5 years can get $250,000 to $300,000. Claimants who spent more than five years at Lejeune are eligible to receive $400,000 to $450,000.
One important thing to note is that the length of time at Camp Lejeune is cumulative. It is based on the total number of days a claimant lived or worked at Camp Lejeune between 1953 and 1987. In other words, you add up all the days you spent at Camp Lejeune even if they were spread out over several years. Below are a few examples of how this time calculation works.
Joe served in the Marines from 1980 to 1983. During that time, Joe was temporarily stationed at Camp Lejeune on three separate occasions. In April 1980, Joe spent 90 days at Lejeune for training. In February 1981, Joe was at Lejeune for ten days for another training session. Finally, for the last year of his time in the Marines Joe assigned to Camp Lejeune and worked on base for a total of 320 days. Joe’s total exposure time at Camp Lejeune for purposes of the settlement grid would be 420 days, putting him in the 1-5 year category.
Bob was in Marines from 1986 to 1989. He spent 90 days at Camp Lejeune in 1986. Then he was stationed at Lejeune for 1 year beginning in March 1988. Bob’s total exposure time at Lejeune for purposes of the settlement grid would be 90 days because his second stay at Lejeune came after the 1987 cut off period.
This focus on time at Camp Lejeune is a little bit of a bait and switch, putting the bigger numbers out there when few quality for it. The DOJ knows that (1) you can get cancer and other diseases from limited time of exposure, and (2) most Marines did not stay at Camp Lejeune very long.
Our Thoughts on the Camp Lejeune Elective Settlement Program
We applaud the Navy and the DOJ for making an effort to offer quick and reasonable settlement compensation options to certain Camp Lejeune claimants. For most claimants, the settlement amounts are simply too low to make sense. However, the settlement program might be an attractive option for a certain percentage of Camp Lejeune claimants.
So what Camp Lejeune claimants does the elective settlement program make sense for? The settlement program makes the most sense for claimants who have weaker cases because they can forgo the digging into the merits of their claim if they qualify.
For example, if you were only stationed at Camp Lejeune for 30 days and you got liver cancer but the diagnosis was 30 years later and you have a history of hepatitis and alcoholism.. that is a tougher case. That $150,000 offer – or $250,000 in a wrongful death case – will look a lot more attractive.
But for most victims… the settlement offer is simply not enough money for Camp Lejeune victims.
Contact Our Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawyers
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 and their are no upfront costs.