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Camp Lejeune Litigation

Posted on: December 25, 2023

PN Editor
December 25, 2023

Camp Lejeune Litigation


Current Updates on Camp Lejeune Litigation

Critical Proceedings and Developments

August 28, 2023: The prioritization of Camp Lejeune lawsuits for trial has been a strategic point of contention since the inception of this litigation. Amidst the initial flood of filings, there were contentious debates regarding whether previously filed cases could move to the forefront of the judicial queue. However, the consensus among North Carolina judiciary officials indicates that the initial trials will focus on those cases deemed as emblematic of the broader plaintiff collective.

August 21, 2023: Pusch & Nguyen is committed to the pursuit of transparency within complex legal proceedings. In alignment with this objective, we are pleased to acknowledge the introduction of a new public resource. A dedicated website is slated for launch this week, promising regular updates on the Camp Lejeune litigation. The Plaintiffs’ Leadership Group aims to utilize this platform to disseminate updates to the Court, attorneys, plaintiffs, and the general public.

August 19, 2023: The Eastern District of North Carolina currently presides over 1,130 Camp Lejeune related civil actions. Recent months have witnessed a deceleration in the submission of new filings under the CLJA, with August’s halfway point marking just 34 additional claims. This reflects a continued trend from July’s 51 new filings. This suggests a potential shift in strategy, with lawyers and clients likely anticipating a more robust settlement protocol pre-litigation. However, it is important to note that the legal community is also managing over 93,000 filed administrative claims.


Legal Update: Camp Lejeune Consolidation Objection and Case Progress

August 17, 2023: Objection to Path to Consolidation

A South Carolina law firm has filed a motion seeking reconsideration of the court’s July 19, 2023, Leadership Order that granted wide-ranging authority to various leadership committees related to the Camp Lejeune docket. This objection posits that the order overreaches by granting comprehensive decision-making rights over the entirety of the Camp Lejeune litigation and possibly diminishes the influence of individual lawyers over their clients’ cases, potentially impinging on their rights. The attorneys maintain that mandating the parties to consolidate under the structured leadership without an established MDL stands contrary to established legal principles. The motion advocates for consolidation under Federal Rule 23, deeming it a more suitable and feasible alternative. However, the likelihood of success for this motion is notably slim as the court has underscored the flexibility provided by Rule 16.

August 15, 2023: Case Count and Processing Update

A Department of Navy representative has communicated the latest figures pertaining to the Camp Lejeune claims, indicating the receipt of over 93,000 CLJA claims. The Navy, having begun processing 17,000 of these claims, is endeavoring to hasten the process. Collaboratively, the Navy and the Department of Justice (DOJ) are formulating an “early resolution framework” to address the claims efficiently. They expressed this commitment in a press release, though they stopped short of providing a precise timeline for resolution.

August 12, 2023: Extended Deadlines for Legal Proceedings

All legal deadlines within the Camp Lejeune Justice Act litigation have been deferred to September 1, 2023. This extension is granted to allow the concerned parties ample time to prepare a detailed case management order to present to the court.

August 10, 2023: Legislation Anniversary

Marking the first anniversary of the legislation implemented to enable victims to pursue lawsuits for a Camp Lejeune settlement. This milestone reflects on the journey and progression of the litigation since its inception.

August 4, 2023: Camp Lejeune Settlement Progress

There is minimal new information regarding the substantive elements of the Camp Lejeune settlements. However, compared to several months prior, the trajectory toward settlement for the administratively filed cases, which now total 75,000, appears more defined. The emerging consensus amongst legal professionals is that the DOJ is veering towards extending settlement offers, a shift in stance from earlier this year. Yet, the adequacy of these potential offers in compensating for the grave illnesses caused by the contaminated water remains uncertain. It is contemplated that claims substantiated by recognized injuries linked to the contamination are more likely to reach early settlements.


Prospective Camp Lejeune Settlements Overview

There is a strong likelihood that the initial phase of Camp Lejeune settlements will encompass a range of specific injuries. Among the conditions anticipated to be prioritized are:

  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Kidney Cancer
  • Liver Cancer
  • Bladder Cancer
  • Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
  • Leukemia
  • Multiple Myeloma
  • Scleroderma/Systemic Sclerosis
  • Cardiac Birth Defects

While these cases may be among the first to reach a resolution, it is expected that Camp Lejeune settlements will eventually include a broader spectrum of injuries, showcasing the extensive impact this issue has had on affected individuals.


Update on Camp Lejeune Litigation Consolidation

August 1, 2023 – The legal representatives of the plaintiffs, in collaboration with Judge Advocate General’s (JAG) Corps, are requesting an extension on the deadlines for each individual case within the Camp Lejeune litigation. This postponement, aiming to stretch until September 1, 2023, is sought to facilitate their concerted efforts in drafting a comprehensive Global Case Management Order. The collaborative efforts to date have entailed discussions regarding overall case management strategies, establishing a collective database, and the refinement of document procurement protocols.

Granting this extension is crucial, as it would provide the necessary time to devise an effective master pleading framework that would apply to all associated cases. The ambition is to present this proposed Global Case Management Order by August 28, 2023. The overarching goal of the plaintiffs’ attorneys is to work in tandem with governmental agencies to conserve resources, thereby accelerating the contemplation of settlements for these cases.

Trend Analysis: Slowing Momentum in Camp Lejeune Lawsuits

July 28, 2023 – This month has registered only 39 new civil lawsuits pertaining to Camp Lejeune matters, signifying a continuation of the diminishing trend observed in the number of monthly filings since eligibility criteria were initially met in February. High initial filing rates were noted with 693 civil cases recorded in March, which included a single-day peak of nearly 200 filings. These figures tapered down to 100 in April, followed by 96 in May, and 43 in June. Despite the slowdown in lawsuit filings, JAG’s latest reports disclose that over 65,000 administrative claims have been made.

The question arises as to why more Camp Lejeune Justice Act (CLJA) lawsuits have not been filed. It is postulated that many affected parties and their legal counsel are adopting a wait-and-see approach, hoping for JAG to commence settlement offers before advancing their claims. Nevertheless, even with diminished lawsuit activities, the rate of administrative claim submissions has remained steady this month.

Legal Scrutiny over Marketing Practices

July 21, 2023 – Attorneys involved in the Camp Lejeune cases have recently come under legal examination due to their marketing tactics. Specific discussions and investigations are centered on ethical considerations and the adherence to professional standards in their outreach to potential claimants.

Multiple Law Firms Face Legal Challenges Over TCPA Violations

Several law firms are currently embroiled in civil litigation, confronting allegations that they have breached the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) by dispatching unsolicited robocalls in an effort to acquire Camp Lejeune cases. Two West Virginia-based firms were earlier sued this year, and the court has recently rejected their plea to have the lawsuit dismissed. Additionally, a firm located in New York faces a recent putative class action lawsuit over accusations of TCPA violations pertaining to its Camp Lejeune marketing initiatives.

Camp Lejeune Justice Act Litigation Update

July 17, 2023: Camp Lejeune Civil Lawsuit Surge

Since qualifying victims were granted the right to pursue civil lawsuits under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act (CLJA) beginning in February, the Eastern District of North Carolina has seen the filing of 1,067 cases. Remarkably, this figure surpasses the total count of civil lawsuits filed within the district throughout the entire year of 2022.

July 14, 2023: Insights on Camp Lejeune Litigation

As part of an ongoing series, we explore the developments since the Camp Lejeune Justice Act was enacted nearly seven months ago, seeking to understand the progress of the associated litigation and its trajectory for the remainder of 2023.

The progress this summer has been admittedly slow, a source of frustration among Camp Lejeune victims. It’s evident that a coherent strategy for processing claims is imperative. The United States Judge Advocate General’s Corps (JAG) is making advancements toward this goal. Although the initial six-month administrative period provided the Department of Justice (DOJ) with additional time, there is an urgent need for an established plan to assess the claims for potential settlement discussions. Even the typically empathetic judges in North Carolina are expressing impatience with the JAG’s progress in handling this litigation.

It remains uncertain whether the delay in settlement talks is a deliberate tactical move. In usual circumstances, defense attorneys might defer serious settlement negotiations until the statutes of limitations draw nearer. This could suggest a potential strategy to delay trial dates to August 2024, which would then align with the period for Camp Lejeune settlements.

This approach would serve a dual purpose for the government. Firstly, by the following summer, they would be in a position to propose settlement figures with a clear understanding of the total number of claims. Secondly, they could be assured that any substantial settlements offered would not stimulate a surge in additional claims.

The fundamental requirement is the establishment of a procedure for the JAG to formally accept medical and service records – a necessary first step. Yet, the more formidable challenge lies in forming a team that is capable of evaluating these records and crafting appropriate settlement proposals.

Contrary to initial hopes of early settlement offers by the government to Camp Lejeune victims and their families, the reality appears less promising. Although it’s possible that the JAG’s lawyers are not intentionally delaying the process and would prefer to extend settlement offers to reduce the backlog of claims, the lack of sufficient staffing to manage the influx of claims is a significant impediment. While there is still optimism for settlements within 2023, a more realistic expectation is for resolutions to materialize in 2024.


Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Litigation Progress

As of now, over 45,000 water contamination claims linked to Camp Lejeune have been filed. New lawsuits are emerging with a remarkable frequency. Pusch & Nguyen’s legal team has observed conflicting reports regarding the number of victims who have engaged legal services. Estimates suggest that between 75,000 and 110,000 individuals have signed retainers with attorneys, with some plaintiffs enlisting the work of multiple lawyers—a situation that presents a challenging complexity.

The volume of new potential Camp Lejeune lawsuits has decreased substantially since its peak in June, with our internal legal experts at Pusch & Nguyen estimating that we have secured a significant portion of the clients we will represent in this ongoing litigation. Nevertheless, there remains a considerable number of victims with viable claims who have yet to secure legal representation.

Recent Developments in Camp Lejeune Claims

July 5, 2023: The claim count for Camp Lejeune has now surpassed 70,000 administrative claims. Below is an updated catalog detailing the number of claims managed by our law firm, Pusch & Nguyen, segmented by the nature of injury or illness:

Judge Rules on Government’s Affirmative Defenses

June 26, 2023: In a recent development, U.S. District Judge Terrence W. Boyle affirmed the Navy’s position to sustain its affirmative defenses against 122 water contamination lawsuits. The judge acknowledged the reciprocal generality in the defenses and the plaintiffs’ complaints. Consequently, the government has been granted leniency regarding the broad pleading of defenses in its responses to the Camp Lejeune lawsuits. Importantly, it was noted that plaintiffs retain the right to challenge the validity of these defenses later on in the litigation process.

Detailed discussions took place during a hearing concerning the motions to strike the government’s defenses. Represented by a consortium of six Camp Lejeune attorneys, 122 plaintiffs articulated their stance that the government’s defenses were insufficiently detailed and contained flaws against civil procedure rules. In response, the government justified its broad assertions by citing the lack of specificity in the plaintiffs’ complaints—arguments the court deemed equitable.

The government cited multiple defenses involving accusations of the plaintiffs not presenting a legitimate case, alleging contamination by a third party dry cleaner, and asserting plaintiffs’ continued consumption of contaminated water despite awareness. Notably, the last point is viewed as particularly absurd and is unlikely to be proposed in court.



Camp Lejeune Litigation Update

June 22, 2023: The legal teams representing plaintiffs affected by the Camp Lejeune water contamination have put forth a compelling challenge to what they describe as the U.S. government’s “barebones” defense strategies. In a recent court proceeding, advocates for the 120+ plaintiffs contended that the government’s minimalistic responses are inadequate given the serious allegations of poisoning through the water supply at Camp Lejeune Marine base. They have requested that the judge dismiss the government’s defenses on these grounds.

The government, on the other hand, seems to be treating the Camp Lejeune lawsuits as typical negligence cases. However, the plaintiff’s attorneys are not bringing forth simple negligence claims; they are leveraging new legislation specifically enacted to address these unique cases. The government’s rationale for their generalized responses is based on a perceived lack of specificity within most of the lawsuits – a point the government’s legal team continues to argue despite the plaintiffs’ pushback.

June 21, 2023: In response to the surging number of lawsuits pertaining to the Camp Lejeune water contamination affair, the Department of Justice has appealed to federal judges in North Carolina to expedite the legal process. With no broad strategy in place, the government is at risk of being inundated by the need to individually respond to each of the 663 lawsuits – presenting a potential for one of the largest mass litigations in American history. Although the presiding judges have suggested a unified approach to manage the cases, Judge Terrence Boyle has chosen to go ahead with his cases separately, creating some dissonant dynamics. Meanwhile, the government has already filed responses to 198 Camp Lejeune lawsuits as all parties anticipate a resolution regarding the consolidation proposition.

June 19, 2023: The number of administrative claims related to Camp Lejeune has climbed to 65,000, highlighting the scale of this environmental and health crisis.

June 4, 2023: Regarding public discussion about a potential Camp Lejeune class action lawsuit, it is important to clarify that no such class action exists. These claims are being addressed on an individual basis. Should these cases advance to court, they will be tried separately. Yet, the enormity of this litigation for both the government and judicial system cannot be overstated, which is why the cases have been consolidated for the purposes of pretrial discovery. This measure is intended to streamline the process, reduce confusion, and prevent duplicative efforts in what is an already complex legal situation.


Camp Lejeune Legal Update

Solicitation Practices Under Examination

June 1, 2023: Two law firms representing victims of the Camp Lejeune contamination incident are currently facing allegations regarding unethical solicitation methods. In response to a class action lawsuit accusing them of reaching out to individuals on a federal do-not-call list, the firms have requested the case be dismissed, citing reasons related to jurisdiction, among others. The plaintiff claims that these firms, along with others, aggressively sought clients who are on the do-not-call registry to enhance their mass tort litigation against the government. While their defense is credible – that they have not personally contacted the plaintiff – the overarching issue is the intensity of solicitation tactics used by Camp Lejeune attorneys. The primary concern is that third-party marketing firms are the ones responsible for the inappropriate marketing efforts rather than the law firms themselves.

Escalation of Claim Submissions

May 30, 2023: Recent figures from the Navy show an influx of 60,000 claims filed pursuant to the Camp Lejeune Justice Act. Projections suggest that potential claims related to water contamination could reach as high as 500,000. Our analysis at Pusch & Nguyen remains constant, with an estimation of 100,000 to 125,000 viable claims.

Navy Addresses Resource Shortage

May 26, 2023: In communication with attorneys representing the claimants, Navy lawyer Jennifer Tennile Karnes acknowledged the department’s shortage of budget and manpower needed to efficiently address compensation claims. Despite intensive efforts and overtime work by the tort claims unit, and plans to increase staffing by late summer, the Navy is still in the process of developing an online portal to streamline claims. This challenge has been compounded by a lack of additional funds from Congress to support the compensation program. Karnes analogized the current state of the claims process as akin to “building a plane mid-air.”

Legal Proceedings Move Forward

May 22, 2023: On a single Friday, twenty-five new lawsuits related to the Camp Lejeune water contamination were filed in North Carolina, indicating a significant acceleration in legal actions.

Increasing Advocacy for Settlements

May 17, 2023: The call for settlements regarding the Camp Lejeune cases grows stronger as affected individuals and their representatives continue to advocate for resolution and compensation.

Bipartisan Legislative Pressure on Navy Over Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Cases

Bloomberg Law has documented intensifying bipartisan demands for an explanation from the Navy, due to its noticeable lack of progress in resolving the toxic water contamination cases at Camp Lejeune Marine Base. This scrutiny follows the enactment of legislation by President Biden nine months ago, which was intended to establish a system for adjudicating veterans’ health claims.

Despite the urgency conveyed by the legislation, the Navy has yet to settle, or even propose settlements for, any of the approximately 45,000 claims submitted. The pressing question remains as to when the Navy will be in a position to offer settlements to those affected. Adding to the concerns is the delay in the launch of an online management platform intended for these cases, which is not expected to become operational until the coming summer.

Spearheading the call for expedited action are Senators Ted Budd (R-N.C.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), and Representative Matt Cartwright (D-Pa.), who have expressed in a letter to Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro and Attorney General Merrick Garland that delays in processing the claims constitute a significant injustice to those waiting for resolution.

Recent Developments in Health Studies and Legal Actions

May 16, 2023: New Parkinson’s Disease Study Links to Contaminated Water at Camp Lejeune

A recently published study has firmly established a connection between Parkinson’s disease and the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune. The implications of this study suggest strong cases for those affected, potentially leading to substantial settlement amounts for the victims.

May 11, 2023: Camp Lejeune Attorney Advertising Controversy

A proposed class action lawsuit has been filed by a West Virginia woman against law firms from Florida, Maryland, and Minnesota. The lawsuit claims violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, alleging these firms made repeated calls to solicit her involvement in Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuits despite her number’s inclusion in the National Do Not Call Registry.

May 9, 2023: Navy Criticized Over Inaction on CLJA Claims

The reception of claims by the Navy JAG under new federal legislation promised to compensate victims of Camp Lejeune water contamination. Over 45,000 CLJA claims have been filed in the nine months since the process began. Nonetheless, not a single claim has progressed towards settlement review, as the Navy JAG awaits the launch of a new portal for electronic document submissions, expected only by summer. This inaction has led to a growing sense of frustration among veterans, attorneys, and judges alike. Judge James C. Denver of the Eastern District of North Carolina.



Recent Developments in the Camp Lejeune Water Litigation Process

May 5, 2023: Increased Urgency for the DOJ to Resolve Claims

The growing number of lawsuits is placing considerable pressure on the Department of Justice (DOJ) to act swiftly. At a recent hearing, US District Judge Terrence Boyle rejected the DOJ lawyers’ plea for an extension of time, emphasizing the ample eight-month period already provided to prepare responses to over 900 toxic water lawsuits. It’s critical for the DOJ to realize the necessity of devising a strategy to present reasonable settlement offers to the victims of Camp Lejeune’s water contamination, as such a realization will expedite the resolution process.

May 3, 2023: Procedural Orders for Camp Lejeune Litigation

Contrary to popular belief, no Camp Lejeune class action lawsuit exists. However, the recent litigation developments suggest a similarity in handling with MDL class actions. A new court order mandates the Clerk of Court to manage a Master Docket case file titled “In re: Camp Lejeune Water Litigation,” and includes further instructions for all PACT Act cases. The order, signed by Chief Judge Richard E. Myers II, District Judge Terrence W. Boyle, District Judge Louise W. Flanagan, and District Judge James C. Dever III, presents critical guidelines and deadlines that must be meticulously reviewed by attorneys representing the affected parties in the case.

May 1, 2023: Development Progress in Camp Lejeune Litigation

The Camp Lejeune litigation is evolving to more closely resemble MDL proceedings, even though it hasn’t formally adopted the structure of a class action lawsuit. Soon, the introduction of a master complaint and corresponding responses are expected. The court aims to streamline the legal process by standardizing discovery protocols, coordinating expert motions, managing dispositive motions, selecting bellwether trials, and facilitating settlement discussions. Moreover, the creation of a database is anticipated to collect essential information for each plaintiff and the defendant. Despite the demanding workload ahead, this advancement indicates a united effort to promote the litigation and to aid the government in offering compensations to the victims.

April 19, 2023: Expedited Litigation Pace Required by the Court

Judge James C. Dever, III, highlighted the impracticality of individually trying each Camp Lejeune case, noting it would take the four US District Court of Eastern North Carolina judges 1,900 years to conclude all hearings, a duration comparable to the Roman Empire’s existence. This observation underscores the necessity of an efficient legal process to handle the magnitude of these cases.


Camp Lejeune Litigation Update

Judge Dever emphasized the importance of expediting the progression of these cases, recognizing that the claimants cannot be subjected to extended delays due to legal stratagems.

April 18, 2023: 

The litigation involving Camp Lejeune has seen a significant surge, with over 800 civil lawsuits currently awaiting resolution in the Eastern District of North Carolina. The filings have been averaging more than 20 new CLJA (Camp Lejeune Justice Act) cases each day. At this rate, the count could exceed 2,000 by Memorial Day. Concurrently, legal representatives for the government have sought an extension to their deadline for responding to the plethora of CLJA cases, pending a decision on a joint motion advocating for consolidation of these cases.

April 9, 2023: 

Given the accelerating volume of Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuits, both the government’s attorneys and those representing the plaintiffs are advocating for the consolidation of these cases under a single jurist or to have pretrial proceedings managed collectively. Although such a consolidation would not establish a conventional class action suit, it would feature many analogous elements.

Camp Lejeune Claims and Legal Representation

Our firm, Pusch & Nguyen, has been diligently handling Camp Lejeune claims from the inception. For additional information and updates on the Camp Lejeune cases, please review our news covering both 2022 and 2023.

Understanding the Legal Framework for Camp Lejeune Lawsuits

The Camp Lejeune Justice Act (CLJA) empowers individuals who resided or worked at Camp Lejeune for a minimum of 30 days to seek compensation for harms purportedly caused by contaminated water, by filing civil suits in the Eastern District of North Carolina. Notably, Section (h) of the CLJA mandates claimants to engage in a six-month administrative claim process prior to lawsuit initiation:

Administrative Process As a Prerequisite

Section (h) Disposition By Federal Agency Required: An individual is prohibited from initiating a lawsuit under this section unless they have fulfilled the requirements stipulated in section 2675 of title 28, United States Code.

Prospective plaintiffs are required to first present their claim to the “appropriate federal agency.” Following submission, the agency has six months to either acknowledge or decline the claim. It is only after a claim is declined, or after the six-month period lapses without a decision, that a claimant is authorized to proceed with filing a lawsuit in federal court.

Understanding the CLJA Administrative Claim Process

This administrative claim process is typically a procedural step in common lawsuits against the Navy, wherein administrative claims are nearly always rejected, prompting litigants to proceed to lawsuit filing. However, the process under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act (CLJA) may significantly differ.

Under the CLJA, it is anticipated that the administrative claims process may function similarly to a pre-litigation settlement negotiation. Claimants who meet the initial screening criteria are likely to be presented with equitable settlement proposals. We predict numerous claimants will accept these offers during the administrative phase, circumventing the necessity for further civil action.

Our attorneys foresee the CLJA administrative claim process unfolding in this manner for two pivotal reasons. Firstly, Congress enacted the CLJA with the intention of providing just compensation to the victims of the Camp Lejeune water contamination for their legitimate claims. Secondly, the approach to handling these claims will ultimately fall under the purview of the Biden administration, which has been vocal about its commitment to fairly compensate the affected veterans.

Identifying the “Appropriate Federal Agency” for CLJA Claims

Within the framework of the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA), administrative claims are directed to the “appropriate federal agency.” While Camp Lejeune claims under the CLJA are distinct from FTCA or Military Claims Act cases, there are notable similarities.

For CLJA claims concerning the Camp Lejeune water contamination, the Department of the Navy is designated as the responsible federal agency, as it had oversight of the U.S. Marine Corps base at Camp Lejeune.

Although claims are nominally made against the Navy, it is expected that they will yield to the Department of Justice (DOJ) in overseeing these cases. The DOJ, in turn, will look to the Biden Administration for guidance on handling the CLJA claims.

The Emergence of New Legislation for Camp Lejeune Litigation

From 1953 to 1987:

The potable water supply at the Camp Lejeune Marine Corps Base in North Carolina was tainted with harmful contaminants. Consequently, for roughly three decades, in excess of one million Marines, along with their families, were exposed to water containing these toxins, using it for drinking and bathing purposes.

The long-term repercussions have been dire, with multitudes of Marines and their relatives enduring acute illnesses, and many have succumbed to their conditions. Solid scientific data implicates protracted exposure to Camp Lejeune’s waterborne toxins in a heightened incidence of cancer and developmental impacts on children exposed in utero.


Camp Lejeune Compensation Claims Initially Denied

The provision is a direct response to the Supreme Court’s 7-2 decision in 2014, which found that North Carolina’s 10-year “statute of repose” supersedes the federal Superfund law. This ruling effectively prevented individuals exposed to hazardous substances from pursuing legal action after the statutory period had ended, even if they only became aware of the contamination subsequently.

Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022

The recently enacted Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 was developed to address the injustices faced by victims of water contamination at Camp Lejeune. This significant legislation allows affected individuals, including those who lived, worked, or were exposed in utero at Camp Lejeune between 1953 and 1987, to seek compensation through legal action in the US District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina. It is important to note that a likely two-year limitation period applies from the enactment date for filing toxic water lawsuits.

Legal Representation for Camp Lejeune Water Contamination

The legal team at Pusch & Nguyen is actively representing new clients in Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuits. Under the auspices of the pending legislation, victims may now have the opportunity to file a claim and potentially receive a settlement payout or jury award for the damages incurred. This applies to individuals who resided or worked in proximity to Camp Lejeune between 1953 and the late 1980s and subsequently developed cancer or neurological disorders.

This emerging Camp Lejeune lawsuit is expected to take the form of a class action and will be filed in North Carolina. The new law stipulates a centralized location for all related cases in North Carolina, regardless of the current residency of the victims, including those residing in states such as California, Texas, New York, and beyond.

For those seeking compensation for injuries related to Camp Lejeune, we invite you to contact our attorneys at 833-787-4946 and share the details of your claim.

About Camp Lejeune

Spanning nearly 250 square miles, Camp Lejeune is not only a substantial Marine Corps base but also a vital military training facility located in Onslow County, North Carolina. Having opened its doors in 1942, Camp Lejeune serves as a hub for the Marine Corps and provides a training ground for various branches of the US armed forces. Over the years, thousands of military personnel and their families have called Camp Lejeune their temporary or permanent home.


Toxic Chemicals in Camp Lejeune’s Water Supply

Camp Lejeune served as a home and place of work for thousands of Marines, civilian employees, and contractors. It was equipped with an independent public water system tasked with providing these individuals with potable water. However, during the 1980s, it was discovered through environmental testing that the water supply provided to the residents and employees of Camp Lejeune contained dangerous levels of contamination.

The Extent and Impact of the Contamination

Investigations revealed that from approximately 1953 through 1987, the water supply to Camp Lejeune had been severely contaminated with volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and carcinogenic chemicals, most notably trichloroethylene (TCE) and tetrachloroethylene (PCE). These hazardous substances, typically used in dry cleaning and the maintenance of machinery and weapons, had leached into the water from both on-base and off-base sources, including an off-base dry cleaner operating before the establishment of the Marine base.

Governmental Response and Litigation Concerns

Despite the historical occurrences of TCE and PCE contaminations in water wells dating back to the 1940s, where the Navy had the precedent of shutting down or restricting affected wells, there was a distinct lack of urgency in the government’s response to the issue at Camp Lejeune. The Navy’s awareness of the risks posed by these toxins to water supply will undoubtedly become a pivotal factor in any ensuing Camp Lejeune litigation. The legitimacy of the defense that clear drinking water standards were not yet established may be disputed, given prior knowledge and actions.


Strategic Outlook on Camp Lejeune Settlements

The handling of the Camp Lejeune lawsuits presents an intriguing scenario where the government’s attorneys will be tasked with defending against claims, despite the apparent paradox that the same governmental body has enacted legislation to enable compensation for the victims. This unique dynamic suggests a possibility that the government may extend a reasonable settlement offer to resolve the cases before they proceed to trial, acknowledging the very law it implemented to facilitate such claims for damages.

Central Allegations in Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Litigation

At the core of every lawsuit concerning the water contamination at Camp Lejeune is the charge that between the 1960s and 1980s, the water supply at the military base was tainted, resulting in harm or even fatality to those exposed. The United States government is accused of negligence for its failure to prevent the entry of hazardous substances into the water and for not issuing timely warnings despite awareness of the potentially severe health repercussions.

Chronology of the Camp Lejeune Justice Act and Subsequent Legal Actions

1941: Establishment of Camp Lejeune as a base for the Marine Corps.
1951: Construction of the Tarawa Terrace well field begins.
1953: The One Hour Dry Cleaner, located near the well field, starts its operations and has been linked through investigations to substantial PCE contamination affecting the water supply, particularly the Tarawa Terrace drinking water system.
1979: Between 20,000 to 30,000 gallons of oil are reported to have seeped into the ground from the Hadnot Point Fuel Farm, contributing to the pollution.
1984: An independent contractor detects the presence of TCE, PCE, and benzene in the Hadnot Point Water Well—a clear indication of the serious water contamination issue at Camp Lejeune.

Contact for Further Information


A Timeline of Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Events

1985: All contaminated Hadnot Point wells that had not already been closed are shut down.

1989: The EPA designates Camp Lejeune and ABC One Hour Cleaners as Superfund sites.

1990: The CDC announces that PCP is the leading cause of injury, death, and congenital disabilities related to Camp Lejeune’s contamination.

2008: President Bush enacts legislation mandating the Navy to investigate the health impacts caused by the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune.

December 12, 2016: Over 800 Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuits filed under the Federal Tort Claims Act are consolidated into an MDL and subsequently dismissed due to North Carolina’s 10-year statute of repose.

September 20, 2018: Efforts to appeal the dismissal of the Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuits reach an end, leaving numerous affected individuals without a legal remedy.

March 22, 2021: The Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2021 is presented to the US House of Representatives, but is ultimately referred to committee and stalls without further action.

January 25, 2022: A revamped bill named the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 (CLJA) is put forward in the House by Congressmen Matt Cartwright (D. North Carolina), joined by a bipartisan group of 16 co-sponsors from eight different states.

February 28, 2022: The CLJA is merged into the broader Honoring Our Pact Act of 2021, targeting health care benefits and other support for veterans exposed to hazardous substances during military service.

March 3, 2022: The combined bill, now including the CLJA, is passed in the House with a vote of 256 to 174 and proceeds to the Senate for consideration.


Legislative Updates on the CLJA

May 17, 2022: 

Renowned Republican Senator Marco Rubio from Florida has issued a press release that fervently endorses the Camp Lejeune Justice Act (CLJA). Senator Rubio is calling for immediate action from his Senate colleagues to ensure the swift passage of the CLJA within the framework of the Honoring Our Pact Act.

June 16, 2022: 

The Senate has successfully advanced a revised version of the Camp Lejeune Justice Act (CLJA), integrating it into the PACT Act. This amendment has garnered overwhelming support with an 84-14 majority vote, now awaiting concurrence from the House of Representatives.

The Toxic Legacy of Camp Lejeune’s Water

Chemical Contaminants Identified

For over three decades, from 1953 until 1987, the water supply at Camp Lejeune was tainted with hazardous chemicals emanating from two primary water treatment facilities on the base. The substances implicated in this contamination included Perchloroethylene (PCE) and Trichloroethylene (TCE).

PCE: Primary Culprit of Contamination

Perchloroethylene or PCE stands out as the primary contaminant responsible for the extensive harm caused at Camp Lejeune. As a volatile chemical predominantly employed in the dry cleaning industry for fabric care, PCE has the potential to inflict serious health effects when absorbed orally, inhaled, or through skin contact. Once in the body, it travels via the bloodstream, jeopardizing vital organs like the central nervous system, liver, and kidneys and tends to accumulate within fat cells. Notably, PCE can also traverse the placental barrier, leading to distressing congenital disabilities as evidenced by the tragic incidents of birth defects among the Camp Lejeune community.

PCE-Induced Health Concerns

Substantiated findings have linked PCE exposure to a spectrum of debilitating conditions, including injuries to the liver and kidneys, as well as an increased risk for kidney cancer, bladder cancer, multiple myeloma, and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Further information detailing the diseases associated with Camp Lejeune can be found here.

Extreme PCE Levels at the Tarawa Terrace Facility

Investigations have unveiled that the concentration of PCE detected at the Tarawa Terrace water treatment plant were alarmingly high, magnitudes beyond safety thresholds, raising serious health and safety concerns for the inhabitants of Camp Lejeune during that period.


Contamination at Camp Lejeune: The Dire Extent

For 346 months, the water treatment and supply system at Camp Lejeune known as Tarawa Terrance was plagued by contamination with alarmingly high levels of perchloroethylene (PCE). This contamination was traced back to a nearby dry cleaning operation. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established a maximum permissible level for PCE in drinking water at 5 micrograms per liter (ug/L). Yet, at the height of the contamination in 1985, the level of TCE, another hazardous substance, found in the water supply of Camp Lejeune reached 215 ug/L. This shocking figure is more than 43 times the EPA’s safety limit. It is astounding that the casualties and health impacts from the Camp Lejeune water contamination weren’t greater than reported.

Understanding Trichloroethylene (TCE) Risks

Trichloroethylene (TCE), detected at Hadnot Point Water Treatment Facility, is recognized for its use in producing refrigerants and other hydrofluorocarbons. TCE, a volatile chemical, has been identified as a substance unsuitable for human consumption due to its harmful effects. Exposure routes include inhalation, as well as oral and dermal absorption. Once in the human body, TCE travels through the bloodstream to vital organs and accumulates in fat tissue. Primarily processed by the liver, kidneys, and lungs, metabolites of TCE may contribute to the adverse health effects documented in studies. Additionally, TCE has historically been employed as a solvent and degreaser for military equipment, which contributed to the significant contamination levels at the Camp Lejeune facility. The EPA’s safety threshold for TCE in potable water is a mere five parts per billion (ppb), yet TCE concentrations in Camp Lejeune’s water supply were measured at an astonishing 1,400 ppb.

Neonatal Heart Defects Linked to TCE Exposure

Research indicates an alarming correlation between prenatal exposure to TCE and the development of congenital heart defects in infants. Mothers who consumed and bathed in this contaminated water at Camp Lejeune have a higher incidence of bearing children with these life-threatening conditions.

Additional Environmental Concerns at Camp Lejeune

Further environmental assessments of the well water at Camp Lejeune have revealed the presence of other toxic substances, including mercury, which pose additional health risks to the community. Residents and personnel of Camp Lejeune, who may have been affected by these hazardous chemicals, are encouraged to seek legal advice and explore their options for recourse.


Background on Hadnot Point Water Contamination

In 2012, the Hadnot Point water facility was found to be contaminated with mercury, a toxic element that could have originated from water pressure meters at the facility that were removed in the 1980s.

Vinyl Chloride and Benzene Contamination

In addition to mercury, the hazardous substances vinyl chloride and benzene were detected on the base. These toxic chemicals are capable of causing severe health issues independently, indicating the magnitude of the contamination mishap at Camp Lejeune. Their impact on service members and their families has been profound, drawing the attention of congressional interventions such as the Camp Lejeune Justice Act.

Acknowledgment of Water Contamination

It is commonly accepted that the water at Camp Lejeune was significantly contaminated. In 1989, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) officially listed Camp Lejeune as a site requiring clean-up under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA), also known as a “Superfund” site, acknowledging the area’s environmental hazards. The US Navy has committed to collaborating with the EPA in ongoing remediation efforts.

Health Implications of Contaminated Water at Camp Lejeune

The presence of industrial chemicals in the water supply at Camp Lejeune, such as trichloroethylene (TCE) and perchloroethylene (PCE), has been associated with serious health issues, including cancer, congenital disabilities, and neurological disorders. The scientific community has recognized evidence of a correlation between these chemicals and an increased prevalence of certain types of cancer, among other health conditions such as aplastic anemia, myelodysplastic syndromes, and neurological disorders like Parkinson’s disease.


Linking Non-Cancerous Injuries to Camp Lejeune Water Contamination

The accumulation of scientific and medical evidence presents an increasingly convincing connection not only to cancer but to a spectrum of other ailments resulting from the exposure to contaminated water. Among the devastating consequences is a considerable incidence of birth defects.

Contaminated Water at Camp Lejeune and Its Impact on Birth Defects

The occurrence of birth defects constitutes a significant tragedy of Camp Lejeune. Studies have shown that during critical periods of development, thousands of pregnant women were exposed to the base’s toxic water supply. In 2013, a report by the CDC established a correlation indicating that offspring of women who resided at Camp Lejeune or consumed the water were four times more likely to be born with conditions such as spina bifida.

Further CDC findings suggest an elevated rate of childhood cancer diagnoses, such as leukemia, among those who were exposed to the Camp Lejeune water while in utero. The implication of an increased likelihood of developing adult cancers amongst this group has also been presented.

Causative Factors Behind the Water Contamination at Camp Lejeune

The primary contaminant causing significant harm at the Marine Corps base was identified as PCE, utilized by a neighboring dry-cleaning facility dating back to as early as 1953. This external source of pollution was exacerbated by on-site activities that resulted in additional contamination of the water supply.

Potential Compensation for Victims of Camp Lejeune’s Contaminated Water

The legacy of water contamination at Camp Lejeune has left profound effects on the health and lives of the thousands who lived or worked at the base over an extended period. The repercussions include numerous instances of cancer, untimely deaths, and an array of other health conditions.

Regrettably, under historical legislative constraints, the majority of individuals affected by the water contamination at Camp Lejeune have been unable to pursue justice or obtain compensation. This challenge is due, in part, to North Carolina’s statute of repose, which imposes a finite window for filing civil actions, even in scenarios where the causal link between the water issues and the resultant injuries could not have been identified within that prescribed timeframe.

Subsequent legal implications have, until now, prevented the filing of lawsuits by Camp Lejeune victims under the preexisting statutes.


Camp Lejeune Justice and Legislation Update

The State of North Carolina has implemented a statute of repose that precludes the initiation of any civil tort litigation exceeding a period of ten years. This particular statute has, until recently, impeded victims of Camp Lejeune from seeking legal redress and compensation. In 2016, the efforts to achieve justice for nearly 850 prior residents of Camp Lejeune (Straw v. the United States) reached an impasse when the lawsuit was dismissed in adherence to the North Carolina repose statute.

In 2012, a legislative milestone was achieved with the passage of the Janey Ensminger Act. This Act mandates the U.S. government to cover medical expenses for family members adversely affected by the toxic water contamination at Camp Lejeune. Nevertheless, the Ensminger Act provided limited relief, centering primarily on disability benefits, while glaringly omitting benefits for the families of Marines.

The Path to the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022

It is a widely held view within Congress that Marines and their families deserve more than mere access to VA benefits. Fuelled by this conviction, lawmakers introduced the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022, which brought with it the potential for more comprehensive relief.

New Legislation Paves the Way for Legal Recourse

While many affected victims of Camp Lejeune are recipients of disability compensation, it is acknowledged that such benefits fail to equate to the full settlements that may be warranted. The bipartisan consensus is that providing mere health care benefits falls short of honoring the commitment of the United States Marine Corps. Consequently, Congress enacted the Camp Lejeune Justice Act (CLJA) of 2022, which effectively overrides the North Carolina statute of repose, authorizing victims who have suffered due to the contaminated water to initiate legal proceedings in a federal courtroom.

Eligibility for Filing a Lawsuit Under CLJA

The CLJA stipulates that any individual subjected to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune for a duration of at least 30 days, within the timeframe of 1953 to 1987, is eligible to file a lawsuit. These legal actions will be adjudicated in the Eastern District of North Carolina and are not to be misconstrued as a class-action lawsuit; each complaint will be evaluated on its individual merits.

Identifying the Defendant in the Camp Lejeune Litigation

In these lawsuits, the plaintiff is mounting a legal battle against the U.S. federal government. Victims and their families are seeking justice for the harm inflicted by the contaminated water supply—a battle for which they are now armed with a stronger legal framework thanks to the recent legislation.

Contact Pusch & Nguyen for Assistance

If you or a loved one have been affected by the water contamination at Camp Lejeune and require legal guidance, you are encouraged to reach out for support. The law firm of Pusch & Nguyen stands ready to offer their expertise and assist you in your pursuit of justice. Do not hesitate to contact us at 833-787-4946 to discuss your case.


Camp Lejeune Settlement Amounts

Projecting settlement amounts for Camp Lejeune is currently premature. Compensation related to injuries sustained from Camp Lejeune will reflect the severity of the injuries and the capability of your drinking water contamination attorney to establish a connection between the toxic water exposure and the injuries or fatalities incurred. This water has been the source of numerous types of injuries, and it is anticipated that settlement payouts per individual at Camp Lejeune will be customized based on the specific harm suffered.

Cancer and Parkinson’s Disease Settlement Amounts

Highest compensation figures within the Camp Lejeune settlements are expected to be awarded to those afflicted by cancer, their dependents, and individuals with Parkinson’s disease claims. It is projected that average settlement figures for Parkinson’s disease could potentially range from $1 million to $1.5 million.

The settlement process won’t adopt a one-size-fits-all approach; rather, it is anticipated that a sophisticated point system will allocate settlements on a per-person basis, taking into account numerous factors to ensure the most affected victims receive higher amounts of compensation.

Our Lawyers Will Refine Settlement Compensation Estimates

Admittedly, the aforementioned figures represent a wide spectrum of potential settlements, with some payouts expected to exceed or fall below these estimates. However, it is still a nascent stage in the ongoing litigation. The attorneys at Pusch & Nguyen will gain better insights as the case develops and, accordingly, will provide more precise estimations of potential Camp Lejeune settlement amounts moving forward.

$22 Billion Allotted to Camp Lejeune Settlements

Contrary to ordinary class action suits, decisions regarding settlement amounts for Camp Lejeune will be influenced by political and policy considerations instead of solely anticipated jury compensations. A crucial indicator of the eventual settlements is the $22 billion reserve the government has dedicated to cover the compensation and jury awards related to Camp Lejeune. While this figure may be subject to adjustment, it serves as a significant reference point for the Justice Department as it initiates settlement offers to affected individuals.

Although preliminary calculations can provide a rough estimate of average settlement payouts, a pivotal question remains: How many class action claims associated with Camp Lejeune will ultimately be recognized? For instance, if 110,000 claims are validated, it could yield an average individual Camp Lejeune settlement sum of approximately $200,000.


Total Settlement Compensation and Jury Payout Projections for Camp Lejeune Lawsuits

The aggregate settlement and jury compensation for the Camp Lejeune lawsuits have the potential to
far exceed the initial $6.7 billion estimate. Notwithstanding, the finalization of any payment from
a Camp Lejeune lawsuit will significantly depend on the total quantity of claims filed.

Political Pressure to Raise Camp Lejeune Lawsuit Payouts

The preliminary approximation of the average Camp Lejeune lawsuit compensation, as provided by our legal team,
stands at $150,000. This figure raises the question: Does it align with congressional intent? The processes of
political governance that aim to compensate veterans for the wrongs they suffered seem incongruous with an
average settlement amount of $150,000. Consequently, it stands to reason that the probable average claim per
individual under the Lejeune lawsuit will likely be significantly higher.

Settlement Amount Projections By Type of Camp Lejeune Claim

Our legal experts at Pusch & Nguyen have made projections on the possible compensation payouts for distinct
categories of claims associated with the Camp Lejeune water contamination issue.

Eligibility Criteria for Filing a Camp Lejeune Lawsuit

Upon the eventual passage of the Camp Lejeune Justice Act (CLJA) by Congress, an extensive group of individuals,
including former residents, employees, and military personnel of Camp Lejeune, will be granted the legal privilege
to initiate a civil lawsuit against the federal government for the injuries sustained due to the contaminated water
at Camp Lejeune. But, who precisely will be authorized to lodge a claim under the CLJA?

The broad language of the CLJA elucidates the eligibility requirements as detailed in § 804(b):

“An individual, including a veteran, . . . or the legal representative of such an individual,
who resided, worked, or was otherwise exposed (including in utero exposure) for not less than
30 days during the period beginning on August 1, 1953, and
ending on December 31, 1987, to water at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.”


Understanding the Camp Lejeune Justice Act Eligibility Requirements

The Camp Lejeune Justice Act (CLJA) articulates specific criteria which must be met for individuals to be eligible for filing a claim. Paramount among these criteria is the mandate that claimants provide evidence of their exposure to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune for a minimum tenure of one month within the delineated time frame, which spans 1953 to 1987.

Eligible Parties as Defined by the CLJA

Under § 804(b) of the CLJA, a broad range of individuals are recognized as eligible to initiate a claim. This encompasses not only veterans but also civilians and designated legal representatives. Listed below are the parties deemed eligible:

  • Members of the Marine Corps or other military personnel previously stationed at Camp Lejeune
  • Family members who resided in on-base housing
  • Service members assigned to duty at Camp Lejeune
  • Civilian employees who were employed at or in proximity to the base
  • Any other individuals who came into contact with the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune

Moreover, in instances where the individual who lived or worked at Camp Lejeune is deceased, their surviving relatives or a designated “legal representative” retains the right to pursue a wrongful death claim.



Eligibility Criteria for Camp Lejeune Lawsuit

Subsection (B): Resided, Worked, or Otherwise Exposed (Including In Utero)

The provision § 804(b) of the CLJA elucidates that eligibility for a claim encompasses individuals who have substantiated they resided or were employed at Camp Lejeune. Residency predominantly pertains to Marines and their kin living in base accommodations, while employment captures civilian staff, government contractors, and military members who were stationed there without taking up residence.

The explicit inclusion of “including in utero” aims to extend qualification to those who were prenatally affected by the water contaminants at Camp Lejeune during gestation. Public health research indicates that an estimated 20,000 to 30,000 expectant mothers at Camp Lejeune experienced at least one month of exposure during the contamination window. Furthermore, these examinations suggest that such prenatal exposure correlates with an uptick in congenital anomalies. Consequently, individuals who were born with health issues owing to in utero contact with the toxic water are legitimized to advance claims under the CLJA.

The addition of “or was otherwise exposed” serves as an inclusive term to cover individuals who may not fit the typical resident or employee categories but can demonstrate their exposure to the polluted water.

Subsection (C): For Not Less Than 30 Days

To meet the CLJA’s eligibility criteria, the claimant’s affiliation with Camp Lejeune—whether as a resident, worker, or by other means—must span at least 30 days. This required duration should coincide with the acknowledged “contamination period”: August 1, 1953, to December 31, 1987.

Establishing Eligibility for a Camp Lejeune Claim

Claimants aspiring for a settlement through the CLJA must muster documentary evidence corroborating their 30-day presence at Camp Lejeune within the specified era. Active duty personnel can furnish military service records, while dependents utilize these records to substantiate residency. Civilians can validate their employment via social security employment history records or alternative proof of employment.

While prospective plaintiffs who lack precise documents may still attempt to lodge a claim, verifying their Camp Lejeune connections absent such evidence poses a challenge. Nonetheless, a competent attorney from Pusch & Nguyen will be dedicated to assisting clients in obtaining the requisite verification for their claims.


Overview of Camp Lejeune Settlement Proceedings

Mid-November, 2023:  Thus far, three individuals have accepted settlements for their afflictions stemming from the contaminated water at Lejeune, with the combined settlements amounting to $850,000. However, we anticipate a considerable number of settlements in the future.

Eligibility for Wrongful Death Claims Related to Camp Lejeune

Relatives and estate representatives are indeed permitted to bring forth a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of individuals who passed away many years ago due to the toxic exposure at Camp Lejeune. This is a common point of confusion, yet the principles of wrongful death litigation apply, empowering plaintiffs, thanks to the expanded eligibility criteria set forth by the Camp Lejeune legislation.

Filing a Camp Lejeune Toxic Water Lawsuit

Litigation commences with Camp Lejeune attorneys submitting an administrative claim to the Department of the Navy, adhering to the mandates of federal law, specifically 28 USC sec. 2675.

Upon submission, the government is afforded a six-month window to respond to the claim, with typical outcomes being acceptance, rejection, or no response. In all likelihood, the claim will be denied, at which point legal counsel may escalate the matter to federal court within North Carolina.

The Camp Lejeune Justice Act and Legal Recourse for Victims

A legislative milestone was achieved with the passing of the Camp Lejeune Justice Act (CLJA), as part of the larger Honoring Our Pact Act. This new federal law confers upon victims the right to engage in civil litigation to seek reparations for harm suffered.


Eligibility Criteria for Camp Lejeune Civil Lawsuits

The initial section of the Camp Lejeune Justice Act (CLJA) delineates a specific category of individuals now entitled to pursue compensation through a civil lawsuit for their time spent at Camp Lejeune. The delineated categories are:

  • (a) Anyone, including military veterans and their dependents, who resided at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 days between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987.
  • (b) Civilian contractors amongst others who were employed at the base for the same minimal duration within the stipulated time frame.
  • (c) Individuals ‘otherwise exposed’ to the contaminated water at the base for at least 30 days within the specified dates.

Those who fulfill these initial criteria will be covered by the provisions of the CLJA and are consequently granted the right to initiate a civil lawsuit. It is imperative that claimants provide evidence—preferably documentary—of their residency or employment to substantiate their eligibility. Veterans and their family members may present military service records, while civilian employees and others might provide proof such as social security employment records.

Possible Compensations for Camp Lejeune Victims

Individuals who substantiate their presence at Camp Lejeune within the August 1, 1953, to December 31, 1987 window and meet the CLJA’s minimum 30-day requirement can pursue a tort claim against the United States government. This claim asserts that they have endured physical harm or ailments as a consequent of exposure to the toxic water at Camp Lejeune. Be mindful that legal actions unrelated to the water contamination exposure or those not involving physical injuries are not within the scope of permitted claims.

Proving Eligibility for Compensation Under the CLJA

To qualify for a settlement payout or a verdict in a civil lawsuit, individuals must not only meet the previously explained residential or employment eligibility criteria under the CLJA, but they must also demonstrate that their physical injuries are linked to the exposure to the water contaminants at Camp Lejeune. Merely meeting the 30-day residency or exposure criteria does not guarantee an automatic entitlement to compensation.


Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 (CLJA) – Key Information for Plaintiffs

Individuals impacted by the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune are entitled to seek legal redress for their alleged injuries. Pursuant to the CLJA, claimants must demonstrate that the exposure to the toxic water at the base is the cause of their health issues. The CLJA has introduced a reduced evidentiary standard, thereby facilitating the process of establishing a claim for plaintiffs filing Camp Lejeune water lawsuits.

Lower Burden of Proof: Section (b)(2) of the CLJA provides critical guidance on how plaintiffs can meet their burden of proof. The act permits the use of scientific research, either from human or animal studies, or epidemiological studies that have reliably eliminated bias and chance. If these studies provide ample evidence of a possible causal relationship between the exposure to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune and the harm suffered, they are deemed adequate to meet the burden of proof.

Procedure for Filing a Camp Lejeune Lawsuit

Prospective claimants who satisfy the criteria outlined in the CLJA should seek legal counsel to initiate their lawsuit. The law office of Pusch & Nguyen specializes in providing guidance and representation to those affected by the Camp Lejeune water contamination. We offer complimentary consultations to address your queries and assist you in understanding your legal rights and options.

It is mandatory for all CLJA claims to be lodged in the US District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina, as this court has been designated the sole jurisdiction for hearing Lejeune water lawsuits.

Prerequisite for Filing a Civil Lawsuit

As per Section (g) of the CLJA, eligible plaintiffs are required to adhere to the procedural requirements of 28 USC § 2675. This provision necessitates initially filing a claim with the “appropriate federal agency,” in this case, the Department of Defense, and awaiting either approval or denial of the claim. Such claims must be resolved by the federal agencies within a six-month timeframe before the plaintiff can proceed to file a civil suit.


Camp Lejeune Lawsuit Settlement Projections

The Department of Defense (DOD) may propose settlement amounts with the purpose of resolving what are deemed to be legitimate claims arising from the Camp Lejeune incidents. Congress enacted the relevant legislation with the intent to ensure victims who deserve compensation are able to receive their settlement payouts expeditiously. This approach is expected to facilitate a swifter financial recompense for the affected individuals.

Statute of Limitations for Filing a Claim Under the CLJA

August 10, 2022:  Section (j) of the Camp Lejeune Justice Act (CLJA) defines a specific statute of limitations for victims. As per § (j)(1), the initial statute of limitations stipulated a two-year period from the date when “the harm occurred or was discovered” to file a claim. However, the enacted version that President Biden signed imposes a strict two-year deadline from August 10, 2022, for lodging claims. Consequently, victims suffering from cancer, birth defects, or other potentially related conditions must file their claims within this stipulated timeframe.

Camp Lejeune Wrongful Death Claims

The CLJA allows for tort claims to be initiated on behalf of deceased former Camp Lejeune residents or employees who succumbed to injuries linked to the water contamination on the base. Given that the exposure occurred in North Carolina, these claims are subject to the wrongful death and survival statutes of the state. In this passage, attorneys from Pusch & Nguyen offer insights into North Carolina’s legal framework concerning death-related claims.

Understanding North Carolina Wrongful Death Claims

In accordance with North Carolina statutes, two distinct legal actions can be invoked in the event of a person’s death: (1) wrongful death claims, and (2) survival actions. These legal remedies are statutory constructs.

North Carolina General Statutes § 28A-18-2 empowers an estate executor or administrator to file a wrongful death claim against any party whose negligence or intentional actions caused the death of the decedent.


Exclusive Rights for Personal Representatives in Camp Lejeune Wrongful Death Lawsuits

In contrast to other jurisdictions where any close family member may initiate a wrongful death claim, the state of North Carolina dictates that only the personal representative of the decedent’s estate is empowered to bring such a lawsuit. When a wrongful death claim is adjudicated in favor of the complainant, the financial compensation or damages awarded are then allocated to the beneficiaries of the decedent, rather than exclusively to the personal representative.

Entitlements in Camp Lejeune Wrongful Death Cases

Under North Carolina law, the following damages may be granted within a wrongful death claim:

  • Payment of the decedent’s accrued medical expenses
  • Compensation for the decedent’s pain and suffering endured prior to death
  • Recompense for the loss of the decedent’s income, contribution of personal services, and companionship
  • Coverage for funeral and burial expenditures

Eligibility for Punitive Damages in Camp Lejeune Cases

Punitive damages may be pursued if it is determined that the death resulted from malicious intent or conduct that was willful or grossly negligent.

Survivorship Claims Separate from Wrongful Death Actions

In conjunction with a wrongful death claim, the personal representative may also bring a survivorship claim pursuant to North Carolina Gen. Stat. § 28A-18-1. This type of claim seeks redress for the decedent’s injuries that were sustained and suffered prior to their death, independent of the wrongful death action. Consistent with the statutes governing wrongful death claims, only the personal representative of the decedent’s estate is authorized to file a survival action in North Carolina.


Guidelines for Camp Lejeune Wrongful Death Claims

Under the recently enacted Camp Lejeune Justice Act (CLJA), the estates of deceased former residents or employees of Camp Lejeune who succumbed to injuries connected with exposure to the base’s contaminated water are permitted to file wrongful death claims. Personal representatives can also file survival claims under the CLJA, provided they demonstrate that such claims are for pre-death damages resulting from distinct legal causes of action.

Legal Representation for Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Victims

It is our firm’s position that the implementation of this new law signifies the intent of Congress to ensure that victims impacted by the water contamination at Camp Lejeune, including those who served or had family members serving our country, receive just compensation for the injuries sustained. Pusch & Nguyen is committed to offering skilled legal aid to those adversely affected by exposure to the water at Camp Lejeune, guided by the following criteria:

  • You must have resided, served, or been employed at the Camp Lejeune Marine Corps base in North Carolina for no less than 30 consecutive days during the period from 1953 to 1987.
  • You have received a diagnosis for health conditions such as leukemia, bladder, kidney, or liver cancer, multiple myeloma, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, or other related illnesses as specified by our attorneys.

Contact Our Dedicated Attorneys

To explore your legal options or if you have any inquiries, please reach out to the experienced attorneys at Pusch & Nguyen for a complimentary consultation. You can call us at 833-787-4946 or seek an immediate free online consultation with no obligations. Rest assured that our payment is contingent on your success; we only get paid if you secure a settlement or award.


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