The Navy and the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) have jointly announced an “Elective Option” available to certain claimants exposed to the toxic water at Camp Lejeune. Attorneys Ken Harrell of Joye Law Firm and Allison Sullivan of Bluestein Attorneys sat down to discuss the program and what it means for our clients currently seeking compensation, as well as it impacts individuals who have not yet hired an attorney to represent them. Watch the full video here:
About the CLJA Expedited Settlement Program
The Navy and DOJ developed this program to quickly resolve a percentage of the growing number of Camp Lejeune toxic water claims. Currently, there are over 90,000 active CLJA claims. By offering an early settlement, they hope to reduce this number with a quick payout. The early settlement program was released without any input from any attorneys representing the victims of the toxic water at Camp Lejeune. At this time, our firm is reviewing and analyzing the specific details of this settlement program and will have further information and guidance for you in the coming days and weeks.
Who Qualifies for the Early Settlement Program?
This expedited settlement process may be a potential option for certain individuals, or their loved ones, who are suffering or have suffered from kidney cancer, liver cancer, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, leukemias, bladder cancer, multiple myeloma, Parkinson’s disease, end stage renal disease/kidney disease and systemic sclerosis/systemic scleroderma with documented exposure at Camp Lejeune for 30 days or more and who meet other requirements of the program to resolve their claims.
The qualifying injuries listed under the settlement program are categorized into two tiers: Tier 1 and Tier 2. Claimants with Tier 1 diseases are eligible for slightly higher settlement awards when compared to claimants with Tier 2 injuries. These tier rankings are determined by the strength of the scientific evidence linking the disease to the Camp Lejeune water.
Here are the qualifying injuries covered by the Lejeune settlement program:
How Much are the Payouts under the Early Settlement Program?
Payouts within the Camp Lejeune early settlement program vary, spanning from $100,000 to $450,000. To establish the compensation amount for each claimant, the program employs a 2-by-3 grid system. This grid considers two key factors or conditions for each claimant:
- The duration of their stay at Camp Lejeune.
- Whether the claimant is affected by a Tier 1 or Tier 2 disease
If you are filing a claim on behalf of a loved one who has passed away as a result of one of those qualifying injuries, the Navy will increase the offer by an additional $100,000.
Should I Participate in the CLJA Early Settlement Program?
One thing for certain, this is not an end to this process for all claims. Indeed, while we see this settlement program as a long overdue step in the right direction by the Navy and DOJ, it will not be available to every claimant and it is not necessarily the best option for you, even if your claim qualifies.
The settlement amounts offered through the program could be less than what a claimant could potentially receive if their cases progressed to trial or if they secured a later settlement.
However, it’s essential to acknowledge that the early settlement program could be a viable option for specific claimants. In particular, those who spent only a brief period of time at Camp Lejeune, such as two or three months, may encounter challenges in proving that their illness resulted solely from their short-term exposure to the water at Camp Lejeune, as opposed to other contributing factors. In such cases, opting for the settlement payouts offered by the program may indeed be a good choice.
This program is complicated, and the best way to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve is through working with a reputable attorney.
How to Get Information About Camp Lejeune Justice Act Claim Updates?
The Navy has indicated that all communications regarding your individual claim will be made through your attorney. If you are represented by Joye Law Firm, we will update you on the details of the process and your eligibility as more information is released. Rest assured that we will carefully analyze your individual claim and make recommendations to you as to how to proceed that are best for YOU.
Please also note that even if your particular claim is not currently covered by the expedited settlement program, you do not need to worry. We will not stop working on your behalf. Our firm has partnered with some of the most influential national firms regarding CLJA and will continue fighting for you until justice is fully (and finally) served.
Justice for Victims of Toxic Water Exposure at Camp Lejeune
If you or a family member were present at Camp Lejeune from August 1953 through the end of 1987 and subsequently faced significant health challenges, you may be eligible for compensation. If you have questions regarding a potential Camp Lejeune water claim, we are here to address your concerns.
The dedicated attorneys at Joye Law Firm are meticulously reviewing cases of Camp Lejeune water contamination-related illnesses on behalf of South Carolina residents. Our commitment is resolute in pursuing the highest possible compensation for our clients.
Joye Law Firm’s personal injury attorneys have been advocating for accident and injury victims throughout South Carolina since 1968. When you need reliable legal counsel, you can count on Joye Law Firm, as numerous individuals in South Carolina have done for many years. Reach out to us at 888-324-3100 or complete our complimentary online case evaluation form to get started today.