First Payments Made And Accepted By Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Victims
Twenty-three settlement offers have been tendered by the Navy so far according to court documents
Tuesday, November 14, 2023 - Three people have accepted the first of what is hopefully thousands of Camp Lejeune water settlement payments made by the Navy regarding Camp Lejeune water contamination. Two of the three have already accepted the checks. According to PublicRadioEast.org (PRE), " More than a year after a federal law that provides for compensation to people affected by contaminated water at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune was put in place, the government has made its first settlement offers and payments. At a hearing late last month, U.S. Department of Justice attorney Adam Bain, who is representing the government, said three people have accepted settlements for their injuries from the toxic water, totaling $850,000. He said two of the three people have been paid. Court documents from the hearing show the government said it has made 23 settlement offers to people who have filed claims over health impacts from the contaminated drinking water." PRE goes on to tell readers that about 117,000 total Camp Lejeune Justice Act claims pending at the Navy Judge Advocate General's Office have been filed, and the total settlement amount could cost the government a staggering $3 trillion. Yes... that is trillion with a T. US marine veterans were alerted via Legion town hall meet-ups about the water contamination problem at Camp Lejeune and that the new law enables those with certain types of cancer and the survivors of those who have died from certain types of cancer, the right to file a claim and if the claim was ignored for more than six months or denied outright, they could file a lawsuit in the Eastern District of North Carolina. About 1100 lawsuits have been filed so far, many more than the four judges that run the court there could handle. Speculation is that the Navy will try to settle those disputes rather than go to trial. Marine veterans with cancer have been encouraged to take legal action by famous legal advocates, Erin Brokovich, Michael Partain, and retired Marine Corps Master Sergeant Jerry Ensminger. Partain suffers from male breast cancer which is extremely rare but more common among Marines at Camp Lejeune than elsewhere. Ensminger's six-year-old daughter died from leukemia which he claims was caused when the girl's mother drank Camp Lejeune water on the base while pregnant.
The issue of water contamination at Camp Lejeune has been a protracted and concerning chapter in the history of the Marine Corps. For an extended period, the water supply at the base contained hazardous compounds such as benzene and trichloroethylene, unbeknownst to the residents who, inadvertently, were exposed to these contaminants through tap water and other sources. This oversight has resulted in a myriad of health complications within the military community, encompassing cancers, birth defects, and other adverse medical conditions. The ensuing response from authorities has included comprehensive studies, compensatory measures, and remediation efforts. Nevertheless, the enduring lesson is underscored -- the provision of an uncontaminated water supply is an imperative owed to those who have dedicated their service to the nation, and the aftermath at Camp Lejeune stands as a stark reminder of the consequences when this fundamental expectation is compromised.