Camp Lejeune Litigation Updates [2023]

Our website contains a lot of useful information for anyone living in Wisconsin who was exposed to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.  Here we will keep you up-to-date on the latest information concerning the August 10, 2022 Camp Lejeune Justice Act and provide answers to many of the questions we continue to receive.

IMPORTANT UPDATES, FOR ANYONE LIVING IN WISCONSIN, ON YOUR CAMP LEJEUNE WATER CONTAMINATION CLAIM

January 27, 2023: 

Still no settlements on claims filed under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act 

More than five months has passed since the CLJA went into effect.  Still no claims have been settled by the JAG or Department of Navy.  Veterans and others are becoming frustrated with the lack of progress.

Rep. Takano previously stated “I encourage the Navy and Department of Justice to act swiftly and honorably to address these wrongs, because all Veterans and family members living with the effects of toxic exposure should have the opportunity to seek justice.”  That was the intent behind passage of the CLJA but so far we have not seen any swift movement by the government to settle these claims.

If you are thinking about pursuing a claim under the CLJA, but are discouraged by the lack of any CLJA settlements so far, our advice is to contact an attorney you trust and feel comfortable with.  If the lawyer believes you have a case worth pursuing under the CLJA, then you should pursue it. We expect the government to begin acting on these claims soon in an effort to address the backlog of claims that have been filed.  The court is not equipped to handle many thousands of claims because the government did not advantage of the six-month administrative period to resolve claims.

January 23, 2023: 

How much money has been set aside for Camp Lejeune settlements and verdicts? 

You will find different numbers floating around as to how much Congress has set aside for payouts of Camp Lejeune settlements and verdicts.  The best number we have seen is that $26 billion dollars has been set aside for Veterans and their family members who suffered a variety of different illnesses, including many cancers, as a result of exposure to the toxic water at Camp Lejeune.

The bottom line is that billions of dollars in settlements will go directly to Camp Lejeune victims.  If you have not already retained an attorney to file a claim on your behalf under the CLJA, our recommendation is that you do so as soon as possible.  We handle claims under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act on a contingency fee basis.  We only get paid if we obtain a monetary recovery on your behalf.  If for any reason there is no recovery, you pay nothing.  If you qualify to file a claim under the CLJA, there is no reason not to do so.  If you contact us, we will be happy to let you know if you qualify to make a claim.  All information you provide is strictly confidential and there is never a charge to speak with us.

January 16, 2023: 

Second Set of Cases Dismissed

 A small second group of cases filed under the CLJA have now been dismissed.  It is important to understand that this will NOT in anyway affect your CLJA claim.

See our January 6, 2023 update to see what happened with the original dismissal.  The second set of cases were dismissed for the same reason.  All of the cases dismissed were Camp Lejeune cases that were filed years ago and the attorneys handling these cases took the position that because these cases had been previously filed, they did not have to comply with the 6-month administrative provision of the CLJA.  The government argued that compliance with the 6-month administrative provision was a necessary condition to be complied with before suit was filed because the six-month provision gave the Department of the Navy an opportunity to analyze their liability and attempt to settle claims before suit was filed.

The Court found that compliance with the six-month administrative provision, before filing suit, benefits all parties.  The six-month provision benefits Camp Lejeune claimants because it gives them an opportunity to settle their case before having to file a formal lawsuit.  Second, the six-month provision benefits the government because it gives the government an opportunity to assess its litigation risk and make a good faith attempt to settle claims before suit is filed.  Third, the six-month provision benefits the Court because the Court has an interest in seeing that a “flood of lawsuits” are not filed.

The parties that had their claims dismissed can still refile their claim under the CLJA.  They simply have to start from scratch and file an administrative claim with the Department of the Navy like many of us have already done.

January 6, 2023: 

Camp Lejeune Lawsuits Dismissed? 

You may have read that some Camp Lejeune lawsuits were recently dismissed “without prejudice.”  This will NOT effect your claim under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act.

The Judge’s dismissal relates to Camp Lejeune cases that were filed and dismissed years ago.  When the CLJA was enacted, lawyers representing claimants in these older cases that were previously dismissed took the position that they did not have to comply with the six-month administrative provision of the CLJA.  The Judge ruled that this was an incorrect interpretation of the CLJA and that all Camp Lejeune claimants, including those claimants who had their case dismissed years ago, must comply with the six-month administrative provision before filing a lawsuit.

We believe that the Court’s decision was technically correct. However, we also believe that the Department of the Navy (JAG) could have reviewed these claims and made a good faith effort to settle them before a filing a motion to dismiss.

It has been almost five months since the CLJA was enacted and the Department of the Navy has not settled a single claim.  This is exceedingly frustrating and is not what Congress intended when it passed the CLJA.

January 4, 2023: 

Volatile Organic Compounds

 The toxic elements found in the Camp Lejeune water supply are generically referred to as volatile organic compounds.  These compounds can vaporize, especially when exposed to heat, and contaminate the air breathed by those stationed at Camp Lejeune.

The vaporization of volatile organic compounds at Camp Lejeune is still under scientific study.  A vapor intrusion report is expected to be released this summer and could have a major impact on future Camp Lejeune claims.

December 28, 2022: 

Your age at the time you were diagnosed with a Camp Lejeune illness 

In our latest updates we have been discussing factors that will impact how much your claim under the CLJA is worth.

As a general rule, we believe that the younger your age at the time you were diagnosed with your Camp Lejeune illness, and the greater your life expectancy, the more your case will be worth.  There are many exceptions to this general rule keeping in mind that it is too early for anyone to know exactly what your CLJA claim is worth. If you live in Wisconsin and believe you have a claim under the CLJA, we recommend that you contact a Wisconsin Camp Lejeune attorney.  As mentioned before on our website, we believe it is important that you work with an attorney you feel comfortable with and where you will not be treated like another number.  Here we are on a first-name basis with all our clients.

December 19, 2022: 

Length of time exposed to toxic water at Camp Lejeune 

In our last update, we listed factors that can impact the value of your claim under the CLJA.  One such factor is the length of time you were exposed to the toxic water at Camp Lejeune.

The longer you were stationed at Camp Lejeune and/or exposed to the toxic water at Camp Lejeune, the stronger your case will be.  As long as you were stationed at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 days, you qualify to make a claim under the CLJA.  However, if you were only exposed to the toxic water at Camp Lejeune for a couple of months, it will be more difficult to establish a causal relationship between the exposure to toxic water and your eventual illness.

However, even if you were stationed at Camp Lejeune for only a short period of time, you should still seriously consider filing a claim under the CLJA.  The length of time you were exposed to toxic water at Camp Lejeune is only one factor to consider in evaluating your claim.  We will discuss additional factors that impact the value of your claim in our next few updates.

December 16, 2022: 

How are cases under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act valued? 

Because the Department of the Navy has not even started to accept medical records and other supporting documents,  no one can know how cases filed under the CLJA will be valued by the government.  If anyone tells you otherwise, they are either guessing or being untruthful.

Some factors we believe will have an impact on the value of your Camp Lejeune claim include the length of time you were exposed to toxic water at Camp Lejeune, how strong the causal connection is between your illness and the exposure to the toxic water at Camp Lejeune based upon expert studies conducted, how old you were when diagnosed with your Camp Lejeune illness and what your future medical prognosis is.

We will expand on this in more detail in our next few updates.

December 15, 2022: 

The Camp Lejeune Justice Act does not affect your eligibility for VA benefits 

There is still a lot of confusion whether filing a claim under the CLJA will negatively impact any VA benefits you may be receiving.  VA benefits will not be affected by filing a claim or lawsuit under the CLJA.  Your recovery under the CLJA may be reduced by the VA disability benefits paid and we may be able to negotiate the amount of any reduction claimed.

The VA did establish what is referred to as presumptive conditions related to the toxic water at Camp Lejeune.  Presumptive conditions include:

  • Kidney Cancer
  • Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
  • Adult Leukemia
  • Liver Cancer
  • Bladder Cancer
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Kidney Disease
  • Multiple Myeloma
  • Aplastic Anemia and other myelodysplastic syndromes 

There are many other illnesses which we believe will qualify for compensation under the CLJA.  If you have any questions regarding whether a particular illness will qualify for compensation under the CLJA, please contact us by phone or by using our Contact Form.  We are happy to answer any questions you may have. 

December 13, 2022: 

CLJA 30-day requirement 

As most people know, there is a requirement that you be exposed to the toxic water at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 days before you are eligible to file a claim under the CLJA.

We were just asked whether 30 days must be 30 “consecutive” days.  The answer to that is No.  Exposure to the toxic water must be a total of 30 days during the relevant time period, those 30 days do not need to be consecutive days.

December 12, 2022: 

There have been no Camp Lejeune settlements as of today 

People continue to ask whether there have been any settlements under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act.  Some people have actually received text messages representing that there have been settlements under the CLJA or that they have a case that has been settled.  This is incorrect information arising out of a lack of knowledge, unethical marketing or both.

There have been no settlements under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act as of today.  The Department of the Navy is still working on implementing a portal that will accept personnel records, medical records and billing statements and other documentation that may be necessary to support your CLJA claim.

Once the Department of the Navy begins to settle cases under the CLJA, we will let you know!

December 9, 2022: 

How to obtain your DD-214 

As mentioned in yesterday’s update, obtaining a copy of your DD-214 will assist in providing proof that you or your loved one was stationed at Camp Lejeune.  If the Veteran who was exposed to toxic water at Camp Lejeune is deceased, the next of kin can request the DD-214.

To request the DD-214 online, visit this page, click ‘Launch the eVetRecs system to start your request Online’,  and answer the questions. It is important to note that you cannot submit the form online.  When you are done filing out the form online, print the form, sign it and fax the form to 314-801-9195.  If our clients do not have a fax machine, they can forward the signed form to us and we can fax it to the National Archives.

If you need help obtaining the DD-214, you can call 888-777-4443 for help.

December 8, 2022: 

Military Records to support your claim under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act 

A question we often get from our clients is how can they prove that they, or their deceased loved one, was stationed at Camp Lejeune.

Anyone interested in filing a claim under the CLJA should request a copy of the DD-214 through the National Archives.  Requests for the DD-214 must be signed and dated by the Veteran, or if the Veteran is now deceased the Veteran’s next of kin.  If you are the next of kin of a deceased Veteran, you will have to provide proof that the Veteran is now deceased.  The strongest proof you can provide is a copy of the Death Certificate.

Tomorrow we will update you on how to obtain a copy of the DD-214.

December 7, 2022: 

How to prove future medical expenses under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act 

Some Camp Lejeune victims will require future medical care to treat their illness due to their exposure to the poisonous water at Camp Lejeune.  Evidentiary rules do not allow you to come into Court and testify that you think you will need medical care in the future.  Instead, you will need a health care professional (usually a medical doctor) to offer testimony that he or she is of the expert opinion that you will require future medical treatment as a result of your exposure to toxic water at Camp Lejeune.  Your doctor will also be required to render an expert opinion on the type of future medical care that will be required, the extent of the future medical care and the approximate cost of such care.  Occasionally, a representative from the hospital’s billing department will have to testify regarding the cost of specific treatment.

A claim for future medical expenses can be an important part of your case.  It is important that you hire an experienced injury attorney who will obtain the necessary medical proof to support a claim.

December 6, 2022: 

Unethical lawyers soliciting clients by way of text messaging

We are hearing complaints that lawyers are soliciting clients for claims under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act by way of unwanted text messages.  In fact, we heard that one woman received 70 such text messages and did not even know what the Camp Lejeune Justice Act was.

Lawyers should not solicit clients by way of unwanted text messaging.  Our best advice to you is that if you receive unwanted Camp Lejeune text messages, you should ignore those messages.  Instead, look for an attorney you can trust.  We never seek clients by way of text messages and we do not engage in any of the ridiculous non-stop advertising you see on TV.  Instead, we provide educational information on our website about the Camp Lejeune Justice Act and we leave it up to each potential client to decide whether or not they wish to contact us.

December 5, 2022:

 How to Prove Past Medical Expenses Under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act

Proving your past medical expenses under the CLJA is relatively easy.  At least at the administrative stage, where all CLJA claims are now, this can be done by submitting certified billing records from your health care provider(s).  The past medical bills submitted must be for treatment of the illness caused by your exposure to toxic water at Camp Lejeune and not bills incurred for any unrelated reason.

In tomorrow’s update we will discuss how to prove your claim for future medical expenses under the CLJA.

December 2, 2022:

 How loss of future earning capacity is proved under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act 

If your Camp Lejeune related illness prevents you from going back to work in the future, or prevents you from going back to work at the same job you had before your illness, you may have a significant claim for loss of future earning capacity under the CLJA.

In order to prove your claim for loss of future earning capacity under the CLJA, your lawyer will need to work closely with a number of expert witnesses.  First, your lawyer will need to obtain evidence from your treating physician that you are not medically able to return to work or that you are able to return to work but not in the same capacity as before your illness.  A vocational loss expert will also be needed to offer evidence as to your capacity to earn before your illness and the extent to which your earning capacity has been diminished.  Often an economist will also be needed to express the extent of your loss in a specific dollar amount.

An experienced personal injury attorney can properly present your claim for loss of future earning capacity under the CLJA.  Make sure you retain a lawyer who is both experienced and someone you feel comfortable working with.

November 30, 2022: 

How past loss of income is proved under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act 

In addition to pain and suffering we discussed in yesterday’s update, anyone filing a claim under the CLJA is entitled to be compensated for past lost wages.

Proving past lost wages is more straight forward than proving pain and suffering.  Typically, an individual from the employer’s Human Resource Department, or other individual familiar with your past wages, can quantify the wages you lost as a result of illness and/or treatment for your cancer or other condition caused by your exposure to the Camp Lejeune toxic water.  You can also be compensated for any lost raises or other benefits you did not receive because of protracted illness or time away from work.  If you lost your job because of your absences from work due to any illness caused by exposure to toxic water at Lejeune, you can be compensated for all such lost income until you obtain a job of equal or greater pay.

It is important that your lawyer gets to know you so that your lawyer can make a claim for all components of your claim for past lost wages.

November 29, 2022:

How future pain and suffering is proved under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act 

If symptoms from your Camp Lejeune related illness will continue into the future, you may then have a claim for future pain and suffering under the CLJA.

To properly present your claim for future pain and suffering, your lawyer will need to obtain the proper supporting evidence from one or more of your treating physicians.  The physician will offer evidence that you symptoms and/or disability from your Camp Lejeune illness will continue for a specific period of time into the future or will be permanent.  This will allow you to seek compensation for pain and suffering you will experience in the future.

November 28, 2022:

 How past pain and suffering is proved under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act 

Pain and suffering is one of the most important damage components in a claim filed under the CLJA.  But how do you prove pain and suffering so that it translates into a significant settlement award or jury verdict?

The pain and suffering someone has gone through as a result of exposure to toxic water at Camp Lejeune can be demonstrated in different ways.  First, medical treatment records can help establish the pain and suffering an individual has endured while being treated for his or her illness.  Second, testimony from one or more treating doctors can help the government, or the jury if the case is tried, understand the pain and suffering a victim has gone through. Third, testimony from a victim’s family member or close friend can be a powerful way to paint a picture of the pain and suffering a victim has endured as a result of the cancer or other illness contracted by the toxic water at Lejeune.  Last, testimony from the victim himself or herself is important in developing the pain and suffering component of your CLJA claim.

No two cases are the same.  It is important that you and your lawyer establish a good rapport with one another so that your lawyer fully understands how your illness has impacted your life.  Make sure the law firm you select treats you like the individual you are and not like a number or just another client.

November 23, 2022: 

Equipoise 

The party filing a claim under the CLJA has what is referred to as burden of proof.  Burden of proof is an important legal concept as it determines how much evidence is necessary to win your case.

For example, in a criminal case the prosecutor must prove the State’s case beyond a reasonable doubt.  In a normal civil case in Wisconsin, whether it be a car accident claim, premises liability or other civil action, the burden of proof is that the injured party must prove his or her case by the greater weight of the credible evidence.  This is often described as requiring the injured party to tip the scales of evidence ever so slightly in his or her favor.

The burden of proof for anyone filing a claim under the CLJA is that the evidence must be sufficient to conclude that a casual relationship is at least as likely or not. This is referred to as the evidence being in equipoise.  This is an important legal concept and makes it easier for anyone filing a claim under the CLJA to prove his or her claim than it would be when filing a traditional civil action.

If you are thinking about filing a CLJA claim, but are uncertain if you can prove that exposure to toxic water at Camp Lejeune was a cause of your illness, we strongly recommend that you contact a lawyer you trust.  Because the burden of proof in a CLJA claim is lower than in an ordinary civil action, it may be easier than you think to prove that exposure to toxic water at Camp Lejeune is at least as likely or not to have caused your illness.

November 21, 2022: 

Punitive Damages 

Generally in civil litigation the injured party seeks to collect compensatory damages.  Compensatory damages consist of claims for medical expenses, past wage loss, future loss of earnings, past pain and suffering and any other damages designed to compensate the plaintiff so as to make him or her whole.

Where the conduct of the defendant is particularly egregious, the injured party may also have a claim for punitive damages.  Punitive damages are awarded in addition to compensatory damages and the purpose of punitive damages is to punish the defendant for his or her egregious conduct.  An example of when punitive damages may be awarded is where a defendant has a history of multiple OWIs but chooses to once again operate a vehicle under the influence of alcohol and in doing so severely injures a third party.  In such a case, a jury may be able to award the defendant punitive damages in addition to compensatory damages.

The drafters of the Camp  Lejeune Justice Act made it clear in the Act itself that a claim for punitive damages may not be brought under the CLJA.  Anyone who does qualify to bring a claim under the CLJA may still be entitled to significant compensation for compensatory damages.  Call a trusted Camp Lejeune lawyer today to find out whether you may qualify for an award of significant monetary compensation.

November 18, 2022: 

Statute of Limitations 

Statute of limitations refers to the time period by which a claim must be brought or the right to bring that claim is lost.

A claim under the CLJA may not be brought after the later of the date that is two years after the date of enactment of the CLJA (August 10, 2022), or the date that is 180 days after the date on which the claim is denied by the Department of the Navy.

If you are considering filing a claim under the CLJA, you should contact legal counsel you are comfortable with as soon as possible.  There is nothing to be gained by waiting until the Statute of Limitations approaches and doing so can make it difficult for your attorney to properly present you claim.

November 17, 2022:

 More than 8000 claims filed 

A client recently asked how many claims have been filed so far under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act.  We did some checking.  The latest figure from the Department of the Navy is that more than 8000 claims have been filed under the CLJA.  Many more claims will be filed.

We hope all Veterans, family members and civilians who qualify will file a claim under the CLJA for the compensation they deserve.  Some Veterans are not filing claims because they are upset with the incessant lawyer advertising.  Our advice is that if you do not like the advertising, find yourself another law firm to represent you.  Do not miss the compensation you are entitled to because of bad advertising you have no control over.

November 16, 2022:

 GUARD ACT

 Yesterday 13 senators introduced the Senate’s version of the Guard Act.  This would impose criminal penalties and/or fines on anyone directly or indirectly soliciting, charging or receiving unauthorized fees or compensation with regard to any claim for Department of Veterans Affairs Benefits.  The House bill (H.R. 8736) was previously introduced and now has 101 co-sponsors.

Congress is scrutinizing Camp Lejeune advertising especially as it relates to recovery of Veterans benefits.  Veterans benefits are separate and distinct from a claim under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act and is permitted only if the attorney is authorized to do so by the VA.  The Guard Act is not expected to be passed until some time next year when the 118th Congress is sworn in on January 3, 2023.

November 15, 2022: 

The Department of the Navy Has Not Set Aside Specific Settlement Amounts

 Many of our Camp Lejeune callers are under the impression that the government has set aside specific dollar settlements for each of the different illnesses that have been linked to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune.  This idea probably arises from some of the misleading attorney advertising that people are seeing.

While some settlements may serve as a rough guide to the amount subsequent cases are settled for, each case will be decided on its own facts.  In response to Camp Lejeune claims we have already filed, the Department of the Navy has stated that “decisions are made on a case-by-case basis by an independent adjudicator in light of all the facts and circumstances.” It is important that your attorney understand all of the facts involving your particular case and how your illness from the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune impacted your life and the life of your family.  Your attorney, or the law firm you are working with, should never make you feel that you are just another number.

November 10, 2022:

 247th Birthday 

Today the United States Marine Corps celebrates its 247th birthday.  On this day, and every day, we thank all Marines, Veterans and active members of the military for their service.

It is being reported that some Marines who may be eligible to pursue a claim under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act are not doing so because they are disgusted with all of the attorney advertising they see.  The CLJA was passed by Congress for one reason; to provide compensation for Marines and their family members and anyone else exposed to the toxic water at Camp Lejeune.  On this 247th anniversary, we urge all who may be eligible to pursue their claim for long-overdue compensation.  Find a law firm in your state you trust and give them a call.  It is unfortunate that the advertising by some TV lawyers has resulted in some Marines not pursuing the compensation they deserve.

November 9, 2022:

 No Camp Lejeune Cases Have Settled 

Many Marines are reporting that they receive unwanted emails and text messages from lawyers regarding the Camp Lejeune litigation.  One Marine reported receiving at least 50 emails a day from law firms for the Camp Lejeune litigation.  Many of the unwanted lawyer solicitations contain a headline saying their case has already been settled.  That is false and these lawyers should be disciplined.

As of this date no claims filed under the CLJA have yet been settled.  We recommend that you stay away from law firms engaged in mass solicitations containing false information.  Consider hiring an experienced lawyer in the State where you reside and who you can trust to provide you with accurate information.

November 7, 2022: 

How Lawyers Handling Camp Lejeune Claims Are Paid 

Most, if not all, lawyers handling claims under the CLJA are working under a Contingency Fee Agreement.  While Contingency Fee Agreements can differ, generally lawyers are agreeing to handle CLJA claims for a percentage of the total settlement.  Law firms differ on the percentage they charge.

This morning we were contacted by someone from Beloit, Wisconsin.  Before contacting us, he contacted an out-of-state law firm who was charging a 40 percent contingency fee plus an hourly rate for investigative work.  While an hourly fee combined with a contingency fee is unusual, many law firms are handling CLJA claims on a 40 percent contingency fee basis.

Make sure you understand the law firm’s Contingency Fee Agreement before signing it.  You should know the percentage they are charging and whether you are responsible for any costs or fees if the law firm fails to obtain a monetary recovery for you. If you do not feel comfortable with the law firm you contact, that is a good sign that you should begin to look for another firm to handle your claim.

November 4, 2022:

Other Potential Illnesses Related to Toxic Water at Camp Lejeune

In our last two updates we discussed Level 1 and Level 2 illnesses clearly caused by exposure to toxic water at Camp Lejeune.  In addition to the Level 1 and Level 2 illnesses, anyone exposed to the toxic water at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 days may be required to make a claim under the CLJA for the following illnesses:

  • Breast Cancer
  • Prostate Cancer
  • Cervical Cancer
  • Birth Defects
  • Ovarian Cancer

This is not intended to be inclusive of all illnesses for which a claim can be made under the CLJA.  If you were exposed to toxic water at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 days and suffered a significant illness, please give us a call or use our Contact Form and we will be happy to discuss with you whether we believe you have a claim under the CLJA.

November 2, 2022: 

In yesterday’s update, we talked about Tier 1 illnesses.  Tier 1 illnesses are those illnesses such as kidney cancer and liver cancer that have the strongest causal link to toxic water exposure at Camp Lejeune.  These are the easiest illnesses to prove in making a claim under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act.

Level 2 or Tier 2 illnesses also have a strong causal connection to exposure to toxic water at Camp Lejeune.  The causal connection of the Tier 2 illnesses to the water at Camp Lejeune is not quite as strong as the connection for Tier 1 illnesses discussed in yesterday’s update.  However, if you or a loved one were diagnosed with a Level 2 illness, and were exposed to the toxic water at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 days, we believe you may still have a good claim for significant compensation under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act.

The following illnesses are considered Level 2 illnesses when pursuing a claim under the CLJA:

  • Hepatic Steatosis
  • Miscarriage
  • Neurobehavioral Effects
  • Female Infertility
  • Breast Cancer
  • Esophageal Cancer
  • Lung Cancer
  • Aplastic Anemia 

Scientific studies are still ongoing and what is considered a Level 2 illness today may become a Level 1 illness.  If you or a loved one were diagnosed with either a Level 1 or Level 2 illness, and were exposed to toxic water at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 days, we would be honored to talk to you about pursuing a claim under the CLJA.  You can contact us by phone or by using our Contact Form.  You will find us very easy to talk to.

November 1, 2022: 

Illnesses That Are Most Closely Tied to Exposure To Contaminated Water at Camp Lejeune 

This is a question we receive all the time.  Illnesses we are questioned about range from cancers of all kind, neurologic disorders and cognitive disabilities.

Scientific studies tie certain illnesses more closely to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune than other illnesses.  The illnesses with the strongest causal relation to exposure to the toxic water at Camp Lejeune are referred to as “Tier 1” illnesses.  Based on the scientific studies to date, the following illnesses generally fall in the category of Tier 1 illnesses:

  1. Kidney Cancer
  2. Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
  3. Leukemias
  4. Liver Cancer
  5. Bladder Cancer
  6. Major Cardiac Birth Defects
  7. Parkinson Disease
  8. Kidney Disease
  9. Multiple Myeloma
  10. Systemic Sclerosis/Scleroderma 

Tomorrow we will discuss Tier 2 illnesses.  Tier 2 illnesses are still supported by the scientific evidence as being casually related to the toxic water at Camp Lejeune but the causal link is not as strong as it is for Tier 1 illnesses.

October 28, 2022: 

Recent Numbers 

While estimates vary, we do know that well over 6000 claims have already been filed under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act and that number will increase dramatically in the next weeks and months.

It is believed that up to 1 million people may have been exposed to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune.  If you were exposed to toxic water at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 days, and developed cancer or other serious illness, there is no reason not to call an attorney and obtain an expert opinion on whether you may qualify for a substantial money award under the CLJA.

October 26, 2022: 

A Claim Under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act is Separate and Distinct from a Claim for VA Benefits.

 If you are already receiving VA benefits, you are still entitled to pursue a claim under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act.  Many callers have told us they mistakenly thought they had no claim under the CLJA because they have been receiving VA benefits for many years.

Apparently some lawyers are advertising for recovery of VA benefits as part of their Camp Lejeune advertising.  A Bill, called the Guard Act, has been introduced to impose criminal penalties and/or fines on attorneys who are improperly soliciting claims seeking VA benefits.  The Bill introduced in the House of Representatives, H.R. 8736 had 78 co-sponsors and the bipartisan bill is expected to be introduced in the Senate.

We are all tired of the Camp Lejeune TV advertising.  Many of these advertisers are national marketing firms attempting to sign clients from anywhere in the country.  We are a Wisconsin firm and take pride in representing Wisconsin Veterans and their family members who were exposed to toxic water at Camp Lejeune and seek to file a claim under the newly passed Camp Lejeune Justice Act.

October 25, 2022:

Personnel Records, Federal Employment Records, Service Records for Camp Lejeune Justice Act

We have just received notice that the Department of the Navy, the Department of Justice and the National Personnel Records Center are working together to find a solution to gathering personnel and federal employment records for those filing a claim under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act (CLJA).  The National Personnel Records Center is reporting that they have now received thousands of requests for records from CLJA claimants seeking to substantiate their CLJA claim.

We have also been informed that it is not possible for The National Archives and Records Administration to respond to the volume of record requests received in the time needed for initial filing of CLJA claims.  In order to expedite the claims process, the Department of the Navy states it is not requiring claimants to provide military personnel and/or federal employment records at this time.  Records needed for substantiating the claim “may be requested at a later time on a case by case basis based on the Navy’s evaluation of the claim.”  Where substantiation is needed, we will be notified to provide substantiating documents to the Department of the Navy and the claimant and their attorney can work with the National Archives and Records Administration to obtain records as needed to substantiate their claim.

The backlog in responding to records requests is due to the large number of claims already filed under the CLJA.  If you or a loved one even think you may have a claim under the CLJA, we would be honored if you contacted us.  We can answer any questions you have and let you know whether you may have a claim for substantial compensation.

October 20, 2022: 

What We Heard From The Department of the Navy so Far.

Claims under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act are initially filed with The Department of the Navy.  The Navy is presently understaffed to handle the number of claims being filed.  The Navy has also informed us that due to the large number of claims filed, it can not tell us how long it will take to process claims.

On a brighter note, in response to claims we have filed in other cases, The Department of the Navy replied stating that “The Navy is committed to resolving all claims related to this matter in a fair and timely manner.”  That is reason for optimism and we hope the Navy honors this commitment to Veterans and their families.

Currently, the Navy has told us that it does not want us to file medical records or military records and that these documents will be requested at a later date.  We are currently gathering medical records and military records so that we are prepared to move our cases forward when this information is requested by the Navy.

The Navy has also let us know that each claim filed under the CLJA will be reviewed independently and on a case by case basis.  This is not a class action.

October 18, 2022: 

If I file a Claim Under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act, Will I Lose The VA Benefits I am Receiving? 

We have addressed this question before but because it continues to be a concern for many people we will address it again.  Just today we received a call from a prospective client who would like to file a claim because of the death of her husband who was exposed to toxic water but was concerned she might lose the VA benefits she is receiving.

You will not lose your VA benefits by filing a claim under the CLJA.  The amount of the award you receive under the CLJA may be offset by VA payments you have received but we still expect victims of water contamination to come out ahead by filing under the CLJA even if there is an offset.  You can always refuse to accept an award under the CLJA if you feel you are better off continuing to receive VA benefits only.  We do not think that will be the case.

October 17, 2022:

What Damages Am I Entitled to Claim Under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act?

We get this question from callers all the time.  Anyone meeting the criteria to file a claim under the CLJA is entitled to make a claim for medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages and any other form of compensatory damages sustained as a result of exposure to toxic water at Camp Lejeune.  There is no predetermined amount that will be paid for any given injury.  Each case is decided on its own unique facts.

October 14, 2022:

Time Limit for Filing a Claim

The Camp Lejeune Justice Act (CLJA) was signed on August 10, 2022.  You have two years from the date the CLJA was signed to file your claim.  If you miss that deadline, you lose the right to file a claim under the Act.  However, you should think about hiring a lawyer now rather than later.

If you wait, you run the risk of missing the deadline to file.

Many claims are being filed each day.  No one wants to be at the end of the line and have any recovery they are entitled to delayed.

The sooner you contact a knowledgeable attorney, the sooner that attorney can begin to assemble all of the supporting documents you will need to obtain a favorable recovery.

October 11, 2022: 

The latest information as of today is that approximately 6,000 cases have been filed under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act since it was passed on August 10, 2022.  The claims have been filed with the Department of the Navy or more specifically the Judge Advocate General.

JAG is understaffed and has only 10 attorneys handling these claims at this time.  That will have to change given the enormous number of claims expected to be filed.  However, this is the latest information as it exists today.

October 10, 2022:

We were asked today by a potential client whether the Camp Lejeune litigation is a class action.  This is an excellent question.  Many people, including some lawyers, are under the misconception that when you file a claim under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act, you will be part of a class action.

Claims under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act are not class action claims.  Each claim is handled on an individual basis and is presented on its own merits.  An early motion to consolidate was denied.  Eventually an order will be issued by the Court to streamline discovery and to ease the burden on the Judges assigned to hear these claims.  However, each claim will be considered on an individual basis and the value of the case will be driven strongly by the facts unique to each particular case.

October 7, 2022: 

Many Marines and their family members are sick of the non-stop Camp Lejeune TV attorneys or their marketers. 

Veterans and their family members tell us the TV attorneys are “obnoxious” and “hokey.”  Two days ago a retired Marine told us he was so sick of the Camp Lejeune TV attorneys that he actually turned his TV off to get away for the attorney ads.

We believe the non-stop attorney ads are demeaning to the legal profession and disrespectful to our Veterans and their families.  The Justice Act was passed to help Veterans and their families, not to help attorneys and their TV marketers.

You will not find us on TV.  We devote our time and attention to helping those Veterans and family members who contact us, not on making TV commercials.

October 6, 2022: 

How long do I have to file a claim under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act?

The Act requires that claims be filed within two years after the date the Act was passed.  The Act was passed on August 10, 2022.

If you intend to seek the compensation you deserve under the Act, you should not wait to file your claim.  The earlier you file your claim, the sooner the Department of the Navy will act on the claim and the sooner you will receive your compensation if you qualify.

October 5, 2022: 

Why is the Camp Lejeune Justice Act so important to Veterans and their family members who were exposed to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune between 1953 – 1987?

Before the Act was passed on August 10, 2022, the controlling law prohibited Veterans or their family members from filing a claim due to exposure to contaminated water because of the passage of time.  This law worked much like a statute of limitations.

The 2022 Camp Lejeune Justice Act allows Veterans and family members who were turned down, or who were prohibited from filing a claim, to now file a claim where they may receive significant compensation.

Any Veteran, family member or other person who was exposed to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune between 1953 and 1987, and who developed cancer or other serious illness, should strongly consider filing a claim for significant compensation under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act. The Act was created to help compensate for harm caused to Veterans and their family members and we believe everyone who qualifies should take advantage of the Act.  That is why it was overwhelmingly passed by both Democrats and Republicans.

October 3, 2022:

It is important to remember that even if you filed for disability or other benefits before the Camp Lejeune Justice Act was passed, and you were denied benefits, you may still have a valid claim under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act.  The Camp Lejeune Justice Act provides a very broad form of compensation and you may be entitled to compensation under the Act even if you have been denied benefits in the past.

If you have any questions about whether you qualify to file a claim under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act, just give us a call or use our Contact form.  We will be happy to answer your questions and we are always easy to talk to.

September 29, 2022:

 Will you have to go to Court if you file a claim under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act?

Although there are no guarantees in litigation, we believe that most claimants who file a claim under the Act will never have to go to Court.  The Department of the Navy is handling the Camp Lejeune Justice Act claims.  We recently received a reply from the Department of the Navy stating that it is “committed to resolving all claims related to this matter in a fair and timely manner.”  We have no reason to doubt what the Department of the Navy is telling us.

The bottom line is that if we file a claim on your behalf under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act, in all probability you will never have to go to Court.

September 28, 2022:

 We are asked over and over again whether a Veteran and/or the Veteran’s family can file a claim under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act if they have already received VA disability benefits.

The answer is YES.  The Camp Lejeune Justice Act creates a claim that is separate and distinct from any disability benefits you may have been awarded.

September 27, 2022:

 Why are so many Marines upset about the Camp Lejeune attorney advertising?

It is almost impossible to turn on your television without hearing some attorney, or their marketing company, tell you how they can handle your Camp Lejeune water contamination case.  Many current and former Marines are very upset about all of this advertising.  Many Marines believe the attorney advertising is much too aggressive.  Many Marines also believe the Camp Lejeune attorney advertising is in bad taste.

What many Marines do not know is that a lot of the advertising they see, on television or the internet, is produced by marketing companies.  The marketing company will take the Marine’s personal information and sell that as a “lead” to a law firm that hires them.

The Camp Lejeune Justice Act was overwhelmingly passed by both Democrats and Republicans.  The purpose behind the Act is to compensate Marines and their family members who were innocently exposed to contaminated water and then harmed a second time by a government coverup.  The Act was not intended as an advertising mechanism for attorneys.

At Mingo & Yankala, S.C. our goal is to help Marines and their families by educating them about the Camp Lejeune Justice Act.  We do not pay Camp Lejeune marketing companies.  Instead we focus on representing Wisconsin residents and their families who have been exposed to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune and who contact us after reviewing the informative information about Camp Lejeune on our website.  We are on a first-name basis with all of our clients and we take the time to learn the unique story each of our clients have to tell.

September 20, 2022:

It is not necessary that you actually lived on the Camp Lejeune Marine Base in order to file a valid claim under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act.  The requirement is simply that you were exposed to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune regardless of whether you actually lived on the base.  Exposure to the water can be through drinking the water, cooking with the contaminated water, showering or any other activity that placed you in contact with the contaminated water.

September 9, 2022:

We were recently contacted by a woman whose husband contracted cancer as a result of exposure to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune but who passed away 10 years ago.  She wanted to know whether a claim could still be made even though her husband passed away many years ago.

The answer is Yes, a wrongful death claim can be pursued.  We have now been retained by the woman who contacted us with this question and we will immediately begin collecting relevant medical records so that the claim can be submitted at the earliest possible date.

September 5, 2022:

We continue to be asked whether you, or a family member, had to be in the Marines in order to file a claim for compensation under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act.  The answer is No.  Anyone, military or civilian, who was exposed to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune is eligible to file a claim.