Camp Lejeune Payouts

The poisonous waters of Camp Lejeune have been accountable for several ailments among veterans, their families, and relatives who lived there between August 1953 and December 1987. These people want to be adequately compensated for the losses and sufferings that they have undergone.

Hence, last year, the military veterans and people related to them were happy to receive the news that they had anticipated for many years. The CLJA (Camp Lejeune Justice Act) was enacted in August 2022, where they could sue the government for every health issue that they suffered from due to the toxic waters at the military base in North Carolina.

This act can be considered a bipartisan initiative that developed into law under the Honoring Our PACT Act, providing care and benefits for people exposed to harmful substances. As of today, more than 65,000 people have filed their Camp Lejeune claims.

The disappointing news is that the U.S. Navy hasn’t been able to settle any of the cases, resulting in a delay in the settlement payouts. It has made the veterans anguished, as they are uncertain about when they will receive their compensation.

In this article, we will discuss the causes of delays in settling the payouts and an alternative payment method that has been introduced to expedite the payout process.

Delays in Camp Lejeune Claim Settlement: The Probable Reasons

Jennifer Tennile Karnes, a Navy attorney, wrote an email to the lawyers of the claimants in May 2023 outlining the reasons for the payout delays. She listed funding issues and a shortage of staff as primary causes. Furthermore, she mentioned that the Camp Lejeune contamination started in the 1950s and continued until the 1980s.

This implies that most of the victims are elderly and may have limited time left to receive the payout for Camp Lejeune lawsuits. Lawyers further stated that the entire process should have been managed effectively. However, the settlement process is currently stalled.

The CLJA provides a two-year slab for victims to ask for justice. The bill has set August 2024 as its deadline for submitting all claims. Several veterans filed their cases before the deadline and many lawyers have proceeded to represent their clients. Yet, to date, none of the claims have been settled.

Taking these aspects into consideration, the Navy intends to hire more staff to alleviate work pressure. Furthermore, the military has decided to come up with an online portal for speeding up the claims but has yet to approximate it. When questioned, the Navy officials stated their inability to provide a timeline for processing individual claims.

To bring about the desired action, a bipartisan team of U.S. Senators and Representatives has urged the Navy to process the claims as fast as they can. Based on the Congressional Budget Office estimates, the payouts for the Camp Lejeune victims could exceed $21 billion. However, the veterans remain uncertain about the timeline for receiving the promised compensation.

The Process to Expedite Camp Lejeune Lawsuit Payouts

Veterans still have time to file their lawsuits. Experts have evaluated that several thousand claims will be filed before the mentioned deadline.

TorHoerman Law specifies that victims must prove that they resided at the military base for close to 30 days between the timeline of August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987. They should also prove that they got exposed to the polluted water and got diagnosed with any illness or injury.

Family members are eligible to file a lawsuit for wrongful death on behalf of their loved ones who died from any ailment associated with the toxic Camp Lejeune waters.

Payout Delays

As the veterans are getting worried and disappointed with the payout delays, there is a new offer that might bring some respite. The Navy and Justice Department had announced an “Elective Option” that enables eligible people to receive a certain payout quicker. It appears to be a peaceful alternative to fighting unendingly for months and years at the court with no promise of success. Under this option, the payout ranges between $150,000 and $450,000, along with an extra $100,000 provided in case the toxic water exposure causes a person to die.

Additionally, the Navy and Justice Department intend to connect with the 93,000 people who have filed a complaint and are eligible for this new payment option. Under this payment alternative, the claimants have 60 days to decide whether they intend to keep fighting for a larger settlement amount or they will take the money that is offered to them.

The DOJ and the senior Navy officials will not state a timeline for when the payments will start. Nevertheless, once the claims are accepted, one can expect the procedure to begin immediately thereafter. They expect that the number of claims will increase, which ‌will ensure most people get compensated.

To conclude, it is evident that victims have waited for a long time to receive their Camp Lejeune settlement payouts. The ‘Elective Option’ can greatly assist those in urgent need of their compensation, enabling them to address issues stemming from toxic water exposure.

However, individuals who believe they can secure a bigger amount by pursuing a lawsuit may choose to overlook this option. Others can take advantage of this option, which might prove to be a wise move when faced with payout uncertainty.