The Camp Lejeune water contamination tragedy is a painful chapter in the history of military bases in the United States. For decades, those stationed at the Marine Corps base were unknowingly exposed to toxic chemicals in their drinking water. This resulted in a range of devastating health issues.
In response to this environmental disaster, the Camp Lejeune Justice Act was enacted to provide compensation to affected individuals. However, like many complex legal processes, there are common myths and misconceptions surrounding the Camp Lejeune settlement. In this article, we aim to debunk these myths and provide clarity on the key aspects of the settlement.
Camp Lejeune Settlement Myths
Below, we have debunked six popular myths pertaining to Camp Lejeune settlements to provide a clearer understanding of the situation:
Myth 1: Everyone exposed to Camp Lejeune’s contaminated water is automatically eligible for compensation.
Reality: Eligibility criteria exist, and not all individuals exposed will qualify for compensation.
While the CLJA aims to provide compensation to those affected by the water contamination, it does come with specific eligibility criteria.
To be eligible, you must have spent at least 30 days at Camp Lejeune between 1953 and 1987. Furthermore, you must have developed one of the qualifying health conditions linked to the contaminated water. This list includes certain cancers, neurological disorders, and birth defects.
It’s essential to understand that not everyone exposed to contaminated water will meet these criteria. You must meet these specific requirements to qualify for compensation under the Camp Lejeune settlement.
Myth 2: Filing a lawsuit will affect VA benefits
Reality: Filing a lawsuit does not impact veterans’ VA benefits.
Many veterans who were stationed at Camp Lejeune are rightfully concerned that pursuing a lawsuit may jeopardize their VA benefits. As noted by ConsumerNotice.org, filing a lawsuit related to Camp Lejeune water contamination does not affect VA benefits. The VA operates independently from the legal process surrounding the settlement.
You can file claims for VA benefits based on your service-connected disabilities resulting from exposure to contaminated water. The VA provides benefits and healthcare to eligible veterans regardless of their involvement in other legal actions.
Myth 3: The settlement amounts are fixed and uniform for all claimants.
Reality: Settlement amounts vary based on individual circumstances.
There is no fixed Camp Lejeune lawsuit payout per person. Instead, the settlement takes into account various factors. This includes the severity of your health condition, the extent of your exposure, and the specific circumstances.
You should not expect a one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to settlement amounts. According to TorHoerman Law, compensation will be determined on a case-by-case basis instead. This ensures that those with more severe health issues or higher levels of exposure receive appropriate compensation.
Myth 4: The government is intentionally delaying claims processing.
Reality: The government is working to process claims more efficiently.
It is understandable if you feel frustrated by delays in the claims processing. But, it is essential to note that the government is actively working to address these issues and speed up the process. The sheer volume of claims, coupled with the complexity of each case, has presented challenges in ensuring timely resolutions.
Government agencies such as the U.S. Navy and DOJ are actively developing frameworks to streamline claims processing. As noted by JD Supra, the DOJ recently introduced Elective Opinion, a framework for speeding up the claims by paying tiered settlements. This is a positive first major step in an attempt to offer settlements to the victims of Camp Lejeune.
These efforts aim to offer you a more efficient path to resolving their claims and receiving compensation. While delays have been a concern, it is not right to assume that the government is intentionally stalling the process.
Myth 5: Claimants must accept the settlement offer immediately.
Reality: Claimants have the option to consider the offer carefully.
If you receive a settlement offer, you should understand that you are not obligated to accept the offer immediately. You have the right to review the offer carefully, seek legal counsel, and consider your options before making a decision.
Given the complexity of this case, it is advisable for you to take your time in making an informed choice. While the offer may provide a quicker resolution, it is essential to weigh the pros and cons and consult with legal experts.
Myth 6: All health conditions are covered under the settlement.
Reality: Specific health conditions are eligible for compensation.
The Camp Lejeune settlement does not cover all possible health conditions. To be eligible for compensation, you must have developed specific health conditions that have been linked to exposure. These conditions include certain cancers, neurological disorders, and birth defects.
VA has released a list of eligible health conditions outlined in the settlement. You should carefully review this list to determine whether your health condition qualifies for compensation. Not all health issues will be covered, so it is essential to understand the scope of the settlement.
Understanding the facts and dispelling common myths surrounding the Camp Lejeune settlement is crucial for those affected by this tragic event. It is a complex legal process with specific eligibility criteria and variable compensation amounts.
Claimants have rights and options, including seeking legal counsel, to make informed decisions about their claims. Ultimately, the pursuit of justice and compensation is a sincere effort to address the suffering and hardships faced by the victims of this tragedy.
Originally posted on October 6, 2019 @ 6:41 pm