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The U.S. Navy and the Department of Justice have announced a tentative plan for compensating thousands of Veterans and family members who were exposed to contaminated drinking water at Camp Lejeune. On Wednesday, the two agencies presented a system of tiered payouts in hopes of resolving thousands of pending claims and lawsuits. Although no claim or lawsuit related to toxic exposure on the military base has been resolved yet, the proposal aims to speed up payouts for Veterans (and their affected loved ones).
This new system will reportedly allow certain Veterans to get payouts instead of pursuing a lawsuit or administrative claim against the government. To participate, claimants must file an administrative claim and wait for the Navy to provide a settlement offer. Claimants will then have 60 days to accept and can expect payment after another 60 days; however, this system is not yet fully in effect. Many details are still emerging. The Navy recommends that Veterans pursuing these claims consult their attorneys.
This tiered settlement option is only available for Veterans and loved ones with certain conditions, and the government has yet to release a timeline. Right now, over 1,100 federal lawsuits and more than 93,000 administrative claims have been filed relating to Camp Lejeune. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, as many as one million people may have been affected.
Camp Lejeune lawsuits and claims center around contaminated water. Between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987, military personnel stationed at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune or Marine Corps Air Station New River, North Carolina, were exposed to toxic chemicals in drinking water.
The VA outlines a number of “presumptive conditions” related to the toxic drinking water, including:
Veterans with one of the above conditions, who served during the specified time frame and did not receive a dishonorable discharge, may be eligible for compensation.
We represent hundreds of Veterans and family members who are seeking justice for toxic exposure at Camp Lejeune. If you have questions about your eligibility for compensation, or if you would like to file a claim, please contact our offices as soon as possible.
Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law