The Camp Lejeune Justice Act Settlement May Pay Only A Small Fraction Of One's Cancer Treatment Expenses
One former US marine with breast cancer told RollCall that a single round of chemotherapy cost about as much as the settlement is offering
Monday, September 25, 2023 - Camp Lejeune Justice Act lawsuits are moving slowly through the Eastern District of North Carolina. More than 1,000 Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuits have been filed since their claims were not processed by the Navy within the 6-month window given to the government. The newly-announced streamlined payout system which could provide veterans or their survivors with an immediate $550,000 could alleviate much of the legal pressure on the court and reduce the lawsuit burdens. Some attorneys, however, think the amount of compensation being offered is far too little and intend to press their case. It would not be unusual for some Camp Lejeune water lawsuits to ask for compensation of $10 million or more. That is precisely why it is so important to seek the advice of a qualified Camp Lejeune water attorney with a solid track record of winning personal injury and wrongful death claims. Attorneys know how much to ask for and the amount is usually much more than a person would ask for on their own. As of September of 2023, no Camp Lejeune settlements have been granted.
One feature of the streamlined payout system, once it is operational, is that payments could be immediate. Lawsuits, however, could take one to five years to come to a conclusion and there is no guarantee that one will win unless a service member or civilian employee has spent several years at Camp Lejeune and has suffered one of the conditions that the military presumes to have been caused by the water contamination. The settlement is also made up of two tiers. "Tier 1" diseases -- kidney cancer, liver cancer, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, leukemia, or bladder cancer -- are eligible for $150,000 if they spent less than a year at Camp Lejeune between 1953 and 1987; $300,000 if they were at the base between one and five years; and $450,000 if they were there for more than five years. Those with "Tier 2" diseases -- multiple myeloma, Parkinson's disease, kidney disease or end-stage renal disease, and systemic sclerosis or scleroderma -- would be entitled to $100,000, $250,000 or $400,000, again depending on the time spent at Camp Lejeune," according to RollCall.com. Thousands of individuals have unique circumstances not covered under the streamlined settlement offer. Those include illnesses from such diseases as male breast cancer and childhood leukemia. There is no designation to offer compensation for women who suffered miscarriages or whose children died at birth. One former US Marine told RollCall that the amount of compensation offered by the streamlined provision is inadequate, citing the fact that one round of chemotherapy alone costs $120,000. " Mike Partain, a Florida man who was born at Camp Lejeune in 1968 and was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 39, said he would not even be eligible for a settlement because the elective option is available only for those who were diagnosed with a disease connected to the contamination within 35 years of their exposure. Partain also noted that he has been through chemotherapy eight times, with each treatment costing around $120,000, so any compensation less than $1 million would not begin to make up for the damages done."