In the 1950s and 1960s, water contamination occurred at the U.S. Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, causing health problems for thousands of military personnel and their families who lived and worked on the base.
The contamination was due to the presence of toxic chemicals, including trichloroethylene (TCE) and perchloroethylene (PCE), which seeped into the groundwater from nearby industrial operations.
For years, victims of Camp Lejeune water contamination struggled to get the help and compensation they deserved. However, after years of advocacy and legal action, a settlement process was established to provide justice for these victims.
In this article, we will take a closer look at the settlement process and what it means for those affected by the Camp Lejeune water contamination.
The Settlement Process: An Overview
In 2012, the Honoring America’s Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act were signed into law. The act provided health care and screening for illnesses related to the Camp Lejeune water contamination for those who resided on the base between 1953 and 1987.
In addition to the healthcare provisions, the law also provided for the establishment of a settlement process to compensate victims for their injuries and losses related to water contamination. This settlement process was established in 2017 and is overseen by the Department of Justice.
Under the settlement process, eligible individuals can file claims for compensation related to a wide range of health problems, including cancer, neurological disorders, and reproductive disorders. Compensation may also be available for property damage, economic losses, and other related expenses.
The Honoring Our PACT Act provided health care and screening for illnesses related to water contamination, as well as the establishment of a settlement process overseen by the Department of Justice.
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated that the 10-year overall cost of the bill would be $667 billion, with $6.7 billion of that amount being allocated to Camp Lejeune water contamination settlement amounts payouts and legal expenses, according to TorHoerman Law.
As of March 2021, over 104,000 claims for compensation had been submitted under the Camp Lejeune settlement process, with over $1.6 billion paid out in compensation to date, as reported by the Department of Justice.
Eligibility for Compensation
To be eligible for compensation under the Camp Lejeune settlement process, individuals must have lived or worked on the base for at least 30 cumulative days between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987. Family members of eligible individuals may also qualify for compensation if they suffered health problems related to water contamination.
Filing a Claim
To file a claim for compensation under the Camp Lejeune settlement process, individuals must submit a completed claim form and provide documentation of their eligibility and injuries or losses related to the water contamination.
Claims are reviewed by a claims examiner, who will determine the amount of compensation to be awarded based on the severity of the individual’s injuries or losses. The amount of compensation awarded may vary based on the individual’s specific circumstances.
Getting Help with the Process
Filing a claim for compensation under the Camp Lejeune settlement process can be a complex and overwhelming process. Fortunately, help is available for those who need it.
The Camp Lejeune Assistance Program provides free legal assistance to eligible individuals who need help with the claims process. This program is available to veterans and civilians affected by water contamination.
In addition to legal assistance, victims of the Camp Lejeune water contamination can also get help with healthcare and other related issues through various government and non-profit organizations such as the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Marine Corps Community Services, and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.
These organizations can provide medical care, counseling, and other forms of support to help victims cope with the effects of water contamination.
The Camp Lejeune water contamination was a tragic event that had far-reaching consequences for thousands of military personnel and their families. While it took many years for justice to be served, the establishment of the settlement process has provided a way for victims to receive compensation for their injuries and losses.
If you or someone you know was affected by the Camp Lejeune water contamination, it’s important to seek help and explore your options for compensation. The claims process can be complex, but with the assistance of legal and healthcare professionals, you can navigate the process and get the help you need to move forward.
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