Camp Lejeune Justice Act Delays Are Compounding Marine Veteran's Problems
To be fair, the Navy warned Marines and others not to expect a quick Camp Lejeune water contamination settlement
Thursday, July 27, 2023 - One interesting but sad aspect of Camp Lejeune Justice Act claims is that the tens of thousands of claims that have been made are only looking to get funds to compensate them for medical expenses they have incurred and will incur going forward and also to reimburse them for the wages they were not able to earn because the Camp Lejeune water contamination cancer has left them unable to work. The Act does not provide lottery like money for punitive damages and lawsuits are prohibited from seeking money for pain and suffering. Children of the victims of Camp Lejeune water contamination may have had to cancel their plans to go to college and instead have been forced to go to work at low-paying jobs to help keep a roof over the family's head and to pay for food to eat. Many veterans who are unable to work have been forced to rely on social income programs like food stamps. Some have had to uproot their families from their homes and friends to move to more affordable quarters. Other veterans have resorted to committing suicide to unburden their families from the financial hardships of treating their disease. In no case has the delays and rejections that the Department of the Navy has cast upon them been to their benefit.
All Camp Lejeune Justice Act claims have expired unpaid since being filed at the six-month deadline starting August 4, 2022, and spokespersons for the Navy say that they were never able to handle the avalanche of claims, to begin with. According to News.BloomberLaw.com, " Asked why no claims have been settled, Patricia Babb, a spokeswoman for the Navy's Judge Advocate General's office, said in an April 27 email that the cases were complex and involved a multistep process that requires information going back more than four decades. She said the Navy could not provide details about how many requests it had sent out for supporting documentation among the filed cases. In an email to lawyers last fall, the Navy also raised the prospect of deeper delays. It said the National Archives and Records Administration, which preserves federal employment records, had received thousands of requests for records to help substantiate Camp Lejeune claims. "As a practical matter, it is not feasible for the NARA to complete the volume of records requests received in the time needed for the initial filing of CLJA claims," the email said."
On August 18, 2022, just a couple of weeks after the passage of the Camp Lejeune Justice Act, the Military Times wrote a piece titled: " Don't expect quick payouts from Camp Lejeune toxic water lawsuits," in which they warn Marines not to expect the government to simply write them a check. The Military Times wrote, "Advocates are warning that tens of thousands of individuals who lived at the North Carolina base will never see a penny from a new law allowing civil suits against the military for water contamination injuries there. And those who do get payouts probably won't see any money for months or years."