The water at Camp Lejeune—the massive military base in Jacksonville, North Carolina—was contaminated with carcinogens for decades. If you were stationed at Camp Lejeune—or you were a civilian who worked at the facility—for at least 30 days between 1953 and 1987, you may be entitled to financial compensation for certain medical conditions.
On September 6, 2023, the Military Times confirmed reporting that the United States Department of the Navy has unveiled a new process for Camp Lejeune Act claims that is designed to speed up the process—allowing qualified people to get their benefits more quickly. In this article, our Camp Lejeune lawsuit attorneys provide an overview of key things to know.
Table of Contents
- What is the New Fast Track Settlement?
- Which Health Conditions Qualify for the New Settlement?
- What is the PACT Act?
- What is the Camp Lejeune Lawsuit?
- Who Can Qualify for Camp Lejeune Lawsuit?
- What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of the New Settlement?
- What are the Dueling Plans for the Camp Lejeune Lawsuit?
- Does the New Settlement Affect the Veterans Affairs Benefits?
- Does the New Settlement Offer a Good Amount of Money for the Camp Lejeune Lawsuit?
- Why Trust BK Law for a Camp Lejeune Lawsuit
- Contact Our Camp Lejeune Act Attorneys Today
What is the New Fast Track Settlement?
Camp Lejeune water contamination claims are filed under a federal law called the Camp Lejeune Act. It is still a relatively new legal process and some concerns have been raised about delays in settlement. The Department of the Navy has announced a new “fast track settlement” process that can allow qualifying people to get their Camp Lejeune payout more quickly in certain circumstances.
Note: The new fast-track settlement process is not a replacement for the existing Camp Lejeune Act system. It is simply an alternative option for certain qualifying individuals.
Which Health Conditions Qualify for the New Settlement?
The new fast-track settlement process for Camp Lejeune claims only applies to certain medical conditions. Applicants with many health conditions will still be required to use the full process. That being said, you could potentially qualify for a fast-track settlement if you have:
Parkinson’s disease; or
What is the PACT Act?
The Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act is federal legislation that was signed into law in August of 2022. It has a number of different provisions. Notably, the Camp Lejeune Act is part of the PACT Act. Your rights and responsibilities in Camp Lejeune water contamination claims are largely governed by the law.
What is the Camp Lejeune Lawsuit?
As explained by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), water was contaminated at the Camp Lejeune military base between 1953 and 1987. A Camp Lejeune lawsuit is a claim against the government filed by victims and families affected by the contaminated water. Notably, the bad water has been linked to serious health conditions, including cancer.
Who Can Qualify for Camp Lejeune Lawsuit?
To bring a claim for a water contamination-related medical condition, a person (or surviving family) must prove that all required legal elements are satisfied. Here are four key qualifications criteria:
You must have been on the base (Camp Lejeune) between 1953 and 1987;
You must have spent at least 30 days on the base—overnight stays are not required;
You must have a medical condition linked to the contaminated water; and
You must not have been dishonorably discharged from the U.S. military.
What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of the New Settlement?
Should you use the new fast-track settlement process if it is available to you? The answer depends on the specific circumstances of your case. There are both advantages and disadvantages:
Advantage: The new fast-track settlement process allows qualifying people to get their Camp Lejeune settlement benefits more quickly.
Disadvantage: The new fast-track settlement process only allows people to get between $100,000 and $550,000—some larger claims may be better served with an alternative option.
To learn more, schedule a free consultation with us today.
What are the Dueling Plans for the Camp Lejeune Lawsuit?
There are a number of different Camp Lejeune Act cases that are currently in federal court. As explained by Bloomberg Law, the attorneys for the plaintiffs and the attorneys for the government have proposed “dueling plans” for how litigation should proceed.
Does the New Settlement Affect the Veterans Affairs Benefits?
No. You have the right to pursue the Camp Lejeune Act—whether through the new fast-track settlement process or through a civil lawsuit—without any adverse impact on your other VA disability benefits. You will still receive your full VA benefits even if you get a Camp Lejeune settlement.
Does the New Settlement Offer a Good Amount of Money for the Camp Lejeune Lawsuit?
It depends on your situation. The new fast-track settlement process initiated by the Navy allows for settlements between $100,000 and $550,000—varying based on the specific circumstances of the claim. An attorney can help you determine if it is the right option to maximize your benefits.
Why Trust BK Law for a Camp Lejeune Lawsuit
The Camp Lejeune Act provides a much-needed path to compensation for many people who were adversely affected by the contaminated water at the base. Unfortunately, navigating the process can prove to be challenging. At BK Law, we have the knowledge and expertise that you can rely on for these claims. Among other things, our Camp Lejeune water contamination attorneys will:
Listen to your story and answer questions about the Camp Lejeune Act;
Help you gather all of the documents, records, and evidence you need;
Handle the Camp Lejeune Act claims paperwork; and
Guide you through the process—with a focus on maximizing your benefits.
Contact Our Camp Lejeune Act Attorneys Today
At Bernheim Kelley Battista, LLC, our Camp Lejeune Act lawyers are compassionate, experienced advocates for people and families. If you or your loved one developed any type of medical complications related to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune, we are here to help. Contact us today to set up your free, no-obligation initial legal consultation.
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