Camp Lejeune water contamination has been in the news lately. You might qualify for compensation if you spent time on the base from 1953 through 1987 and have a leukemia diagnosis. The United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offers compensation for eligible veterans.
Additional compensation is available to civilians and family members of veterans who lived in base housing. Compensation might also be available to civilians at Camp Lejeune or at Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) New River. Under current legislation, affected persons may file a civil action for compensation. This is great news for service members and their families who were harmed by the contaminated water and now suffer myriad health problems. Van Law can help you today.
Understanding How Mass Torts Work
When an act or omission harms many people, such as the water contamination at Camp Lejeune, mass tort litigation may be more beneficial than a class action. In mass tort litigation, individual lawsuits are filed against the defendant in groups with similar claims.
Mass tort allows each litigant to claim individual losses. Favorable results for the plaintiff can result in varying settlement amounts because the claims are based on individual losses. Mass torts can involve multidistrict litigation, which permits several cases from different districts to be included and tried in a single district.
The victims of Camp Lejeune water contamination have different health issues. Filing under mass tort permits each family to be assessed for compensation for the damages experienced by that family.
Exploring the Difference Between Mass Tort and Class Action
Class action lawsuits differ from mass tort lawsuits in how the case is presented and how the funds are disbursed. In a class action, everything is combined into one legal claim. The compensation is divided equally among the plaintiffs. This permits cases where people have suffered the same wrong to be presented in one trial.
In the mass tort format, each case is weighed on the actual damages to the plaintiff, so the compensation amounts may vary widely. Due to the complexities and the number of different diseases caused by the Camp Lejeune water contamination, the differing compensation levels are commensurate with the actual pain and suffering of each litigant or family.
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How Much Compensation Is Available?
Money and benefits available through VA are in a separate, already available pot. If you qualify for VA compensation, you could receive medical care free of cost and additional financial payments. Financial compensation depends on your disability rating percentage. Family members may qualify for reimbursement of out-of-pocket expenses.
Compensation via civil mass tort lawsuits may vary because it is based on the parameters of the individual case. Some cases may receive $25,000, while others may receive substantially more. It can be beneficial to consult with a legal professional about a Camp Lejeune leukemia lawsuit.
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The Claims Filing Process
The VA filing process is cumbersome but relatively straightforward. A VA disabilities lawyer can help you during the filing process. They know what documentation is required and how to obtain records you may no longer possess. They can assist in proving your exposure by documenting your medical diagnosis and getting your record of service during the affected period.
It can be beneficial to contact a Camp Lejeune water contamination lawyer to review all your options. Our Camp Lejeune team can advise you on your next step. President Biden’s signing of the Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act opened a path for affected service members and their families to receive compensation. The PACT Act was signed on August 10, 2022, allowing you to seek economic and non-economic compensation.
What Happened at Camp Lejeune?
Veterans and civilians working at Camp Lejeune from August 1, 1953 to December 31, 1987 were exposed to chemicals in a contaminated water source. The contamination was the fault of leaking storage tanks on the base and unlawful chemical disposal from a local dry-cleaning company.
The chemicals were discovered, and the affected wells shut down in 1985. Chemical exposure has resulted in a variety of cascading health issues, including several types of cancer and neurological disorders. According to VA, the chemical contamination included:
- Perchloroethylene (PCE)
- Trichloroethylene (TCE)
- Vinyl chloride
The contamination affected any activity involving water usage during the noted timeframe. Eligible persons must have spent 30 days at Camp Lejeune or MCAS New River, non-consecutively. Continuing research is still ongoing, and the full effect of the 30-year contamination is unknown. As new developments are discovered, they are added to the list of applicable covered health issues.
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What Diseases Were Caused by the Water Contamination?
According to Consumer Notice, the contaminated water has been definitively linked to many cancers and neurological disorders, including:
- Bladder cancer
- Breast cancer
- Esophageal cancer
- Lung cancer
- Kidney cancer
- Multiple myeloma
- Myelodysplastic syndromes
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
- Renal toxicity
- Hepatic steatosis
- Female infertility
- Parkinson’s disease
- Prostate cancer
Our list is not all-inclusive. Suppose you feel that your illness or health issues might be related to Camp Lejeune or MCAS New River water contamination. In that case, it might benefit you to consult with a Camp Lejeune water contamination lawyer.
The Benefits of Having a Law Firm Familiar with This Issue
Whether you plan on requesting benefits through VA compensation or filing a Camp Lejeune leukemia lawsuit, our water contamination team can help. Our attorney will listen to your story, evaluate your options, and discuss possible action. When you work with a law firm, some benefits include:
- We are familiar with the filing process for VA benefits and lawsuits
- We will help you collect and organize your documentation
- There are no upfront fees or expenses
We take care of the fine details so you don’t have to. With the limited timeframe for filing claims, having a Camp Lejeune water contamination attorney can help process your claim within the prescribed time.
Understanding the Time Limit for Filing
Before the PACT Act was signed in August 2022, the laws in North Carolina prohibited filing a lawsuit because so many have passed since the contamination. Under the PACT Act, affected persons can now file for compensation for two years from the date of signing.
Camp Lejeune lawsuits will go through the United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina. To collect the necessary documentation and present it, our Camp Lejeune water contamination team would be an asset.
Get Started with a Camp Lejeune Leukemia Lawsuit Today
If you have leukemia caused by Camp Lejeune water contamination, Van Law is prepared to fight for compensation. Our water contamination team can help you compile the necessary supporting documentation and file a claim for your compensation. To get started with your free case evaluation, contact Van Law.
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