“Elective Option” Announced for Camp Lejeune Justice Act Claims

The DOJ and the Navy have announced a framework for evaluating and potentially settling claims made by certain Camp Lejeune Justice Act claimants diagnosed with nine specific health conditions.  The compensation is based on a claimant’s diagnosis and length of exposure to contaminated water on Camp Lejeune.

Earlier this month, a framework for evaluating and potentially settling a limited number of Camp Lejeune Justice Act (“CLJA”) claims was announced.  The CLJA provides a cause of action for claimants who were injured by contaminated water while living or working on the Marine Corps base between the 1950s and 1980s. The Department of Justice and the Navy have established a process to evaluate and potentially settle claims brought under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act that are already pending administratively or are newly filed, known as the “Elective Option.” The purpose of this option is to more quickly and efficiently resolve claims and expedite compensation for certain individuals affected by the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune. Below, we explain the details of this option and how much compensation someone with a qualifying injury might be able to expect to receive if accepting the pre-litigation settlement.

This Elective Option may be available to those with submitted CLJA claims who lived on Camp Lejeune for at least 30 days between 1953 and 1987; were exposed to contaminated water; and were diagnosed with one of the nine qualifying injuries (outlined below) within 35 years from their last exposure. The amounts of compensation are based on the type of illness and the duration of exposure.  Under the Elective Option framework, the Navy will evaluate the claim and extend an offer if it believes the claimant meets the eligibility requirements. This option may be attractive to some individuals who do not want to wait—or don’t have time to wait—until the litigation concludes.

What Are the Nine Qualifying Diseases Under the Camp Lejeune Elective Option Settlement Program?

The Elective Option applies only to the nine illnesses listed below. The nine illnesses are also ranked as Tier 1 or Tier 2 injuries. Under the plan, claimants with Tier 1 injuries will be eligible to receive slightly higher settlement amounts than those claiming Tier 2 injuries.

Kidney Cancer Tier 1
Liver Cancer Tier 1
Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma Tier 1
Leukemias (all types) Tier 1
Bladder Cancer Tier 1
Multiple Myeloma Tier 2
Parkinson’s Disease Tier 2
Kidney Disease / End Stage Renal Disease Tier 2
Systemic Sclerosis / Systemic Scleroderma Tier 2

 How Much Can Qualifying Injury Claimants Expect to Receive?

Under the Elective Option framework, the government will make offers to claimants based on how long they were exposed to the contaminated water (on a cumulative basis) and whether their injury falls under Tier 1 or Tier 2. The Elective Option Grid outlines compensation levels as follows:

  30-364 Days 1-5 Years Over 5 Years
Tier 1 $150,000 $300,000 $450,000
Tier 2 $100,000 $250,000 $400,000

In addition, claims that show a qualifying injury resulting in death will be offered an additional $100,000.

What Do I Need to Submit?

In order to make a claim to receive compensation under the Elective Option:

  1. First, an administrative claim must be properly presented to the Department of the Navy in order to qualify for the settlement plan.
  2. To show a Qualifying Injury, claimants much submit medical documentation showing a diagnosis or treatment within 35 years from their last exposure to the contaminated water on Camp Lejeune.
  3. To show Duration of Exposure, there must be housing or employment documentation showing that the claimant (or the claimant’s mother while the claimant was in utero) resided or worked at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 days between August 1, 1953 and December 31, 1987.

According to the public guidance, the DOJ and the Navy may also develop additional frameworks to resolve Camp Lejeune Justice Act claims, particularly as more scientific evidence comes to light and the litigation progresses.

Contact Our Attorneys to Discuss Your Situation

If you lived or worked at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina between 1953 and 1987 and believe your cancer or other serious injury was caused by water contamination, call us today. Grant & Eisenhofer can evaluate your potential claim with you during a completely free consultation. Call us at (888) 984-7988 or fill out our contact form to speak with an attorney about your potential case.

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