Camp Lejeune Litigation Updates 
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
June 2, 2023:
What is Equipoise?
If you have been following the CLJA litigation, you may have come across the term equipoise. You probably also asked yourself what that refers to.
The burden of proof under the CLJA is referred to as the equipoise standard. Under the equipoise standard the burden of proof is to show the relationship between exposure to the water at Camp Lejeune and the harm is sufficient to conclude that a casual relationship is at least as likely as not. This is a very significant change from the burden of proof required in traditional civil litigation where the burden of proof is generally said to be by the greater weight of the credible evidence.
While this may sound inconsequential the equipoise standard is one of the hallmarks unique to the CLJA and will make it less difficult for CLJA claimants to prove their case than it is for claimants in traditional civil litigation.
May 30, 2023:
Electronic portal update
The government continues to push back the date by which its electronic portal will be set up to begin the processing of claims submitted under the CLJA. Apparently a lack of funding is at least partially responsible for the delay. It is difficult to envision Congress passing the broad-sweeping CLJA and then not allocating any funding to support the processing of these claims.
Our update of May 17, 2023 informed you that on May 17, 2023 members of Congress sent a letter to the secretary of the Navy and Attorney General Merrick Garland requesting an answer to six different questions. One of the most important questions directed to the Department of the Navy by Congress reads as follows:
- What are the Department of the Navy and the Department of Justice’s plans to process these claims in a timely manner?
Congress requested a response to its questions by “not later than June 9, 2023.” We look forward to the Navy’s response and we will share that with you.
May 25, 2023:
The best estimate we have is that approximately 60,000 Camp Lejeune administrative claims have been filed. Still no settlements or settlement offers.
Letters of Perfection from the government are running late as well. Filings in late September are now receiving Letters of Perfection.
May 22, 2023:
Who is behind the Camp Lejeune advertising you still see
Much of the Camp Lejeune advertising, both now and previously, is being run by marketing companies looking to sell their leads to lawyers. In fact we just received an unsolicited email from a vendor asking if we wanted to “purchase any Camp Lejeune leads from them.”
Our law firm never purchases any Camp Lejeune leads from marketing companies or anyone else. All of our Camp Lejeune clients have taken the first step and reached out to us asking if we will review their Camp Lejeune claim. If you are considering having your Camp Lejeune claim reviewed, make sure you know whether you are dealing with a marketing firm or a law firm and that you are comfortable with the choice you make after being fully informed.
May 17, 2023:
New pressure by Congress
In our May 15, 2023 post we urged our readers to contact Congress for assistance in getting the government to start reaching settlements with Camp Lejeune victims.
On May 17, 2023 a bipartisan group of Senators and Congressmen wrote to the Secretary of the Navy and Attorney General Merrick Garland emphasizing the importance of settling valid CLJA claims. In this joint letter, the government was asked a series of questions asking what the DOJ’s intentions and guidelines are for resolving these cases. The DOJ was requested to respond to these questions by “no later than June 9, 2023.”
We believe this letter is long-overdue and we hope it is well received by the government. It is time that we get reasonable settlements in the hands of our Veterans who have served our country and who have suffered so gravely as a result of that service because they happened to be stationed at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina at the wrong time.
May 15, 2023:
It was anticipated that the Navy portal would be up and running by now. The government’s portal is the mechanism by which the Navy will accept documentation such as medical records and service records to determine the validity of claims. Reviewing medical records and service documentation is the first step toward moving Camp Lejeune claims toward settlement.
The Navy recently informed attorneys representing Camp Lejeune victims and their families that its portal may not be up and running until this summer. The delay was blamed, at least in part, on a lack of resources. It is not only Veterans and their families who are frustrated by the lack of progress in resolving claims filed under the CLJA. Judge James Dever III, one of the Judges overseeing Camp Lejeune claims, stated at a recent hearing that “The Navy needs to step up its game.” This led to Judge Dever’s often-quoted comment that without settlement the resolution of these claims will take about the length of the Roman Empire. If you are interested in helping Camp Lejeune Veterans, contact your congress person and urge them to approve whatever funding is necessary to ensure that these cases are settled fairly as expeditiously as originally promised. Currently there are reports of many Camp Lejeune Veterans dying while waiting for a fair settlement or their day in Court.
We urge all Camp Lejeuene Veterans and their family members not to give up hope. We do believe that the Department of the Navy wants to settle valid CLJA claims. We also believe that the Court will put increasing pressure on the parties to resolve these claims. Anyone considering filing a claim under the CLJA should not let this initial delay stop them from contacting a lawyer to review their claim.
May 9, 2023:
Government files its Answer
As we previously reported, hundreds of CLJA Federal lawsuits have now been filed. After the initial filing, the ball is in the government’s court to file an Answer to the plaintiff’s Complaint. In filing an Answer, the defendant can either Admit the allegations, Deny the allegations in the Complaint or assert that it lacks knowledge or information sufficient to Admit or Deny the allegations.
In its Answer to one of the earliest CLJA cases filed, the government admits that chemicals from various sources impacted the water at Camp Lejeune but asserts that it lacks knowledge sufficient to admit or deny the number of people who may have been injured as a result of exposure to the toxic water. We think that the government will eventually Admit that the toxic water at Camp Lejeune caused what has been classified as Tier 1 illnesses and attempt to settle those claims. Tier 1 cancers and illnesses are those that have the strongest scientific and medical support causally relating those injuries to the toxic water at Camp Lejeune. The government may try to settle cases where the injury does not quite qualify as a Tier 1 illness on a compromised basis. We expect the government to take cases to trial where there is weak scientific support casually linking the illness to the contaminated water. While the burden of proof in cases filed under the CLJA is lower than the burden of proof required in ordinary civil litigation, the plaintiff still has the burden of establishing that his or her cancer or other illness was caused by exposure to toxic water.
May 8, 2023:
There is still time to file your claim under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act
It is reported that many Veterans or their surviving family members who may qualify to file a claim under the CLJA still have not done so. Common reasons given for not filing under the CLJA are a fear of losing the Veteran’s VA benefits and being turned off by all of the Camp Lejeune attorney advertising. In our opinion neither of these concerns should stop you from filing a claim for compensation under the CLJA if you qualify.
First, you will not lose your VA benefits if you file a claim under the CLJA. A claim for VA benefits and a claim under the CLJA are separate claims and both claims can be made at the same time.
Many Veterans were turned off by the incessant Camp Lejeune attorney advertising and for good reason. In our opinion, much of the Camp Lejeune attorney advertising was unprofessional and provided inaccurate information. However, there are still good law firms that did not engage in this advertising. If you believe you have a valid claim under the CLJA, find a law firm you feel comfortable with. A reputable attorney can discuss your case with you, review your supporting records and let you know whether or not you have a valid claim under the CLJA. The review to determine whether or not you have a case can all be done at no cost to you. There is nothing to lose by having your claim reviewed by a reputable attorney and you may find out that you qualify for significant compensation under the CLJA. The CLJA was passed by Congress to compensate Veterans and their families who were unfairly exposed to toxic water at Camp Lejeune. In our opinion, anyone who qualifies to make a claim should take advantage of this opportunity authorized by Congress.
May 2, 2023:
A positive step forward
The Court recently entered an Order steering CLJA litigation toward MDL (multi-district litigation) – like litigation.
More specifically, the Court stated in its Order that it anticipates creating a “master complaint” for the plaintiffs and a “master answer or other responsive pleading to the master complaint” for the defendant. The Court also indicated in its Order that it anticipates entering a future Order consolidating discovery, creating a process for phase discovery, a process for coordinating expert-related motions, coordinating future dispositive motions, a process for trials and a process for settlement negotiations. The Court also indicated that it anticipates establishing a process for bellwether trial selection, a process which some plaintiff lawyers object to.
All of this is subject to further clarification and order by the Court. Nonetheless it is a first step toward streamlining the litigation process and hopefully bringing the government to the settlement table.
April 27, 2023:
All Marines stationed at Camp Lejeune potentially exposed to toxic water
A common question we receive from Marines is whether they had to live on a certain part of the Base in order to seek a recovery under the CLJA. We believe the answer to this question is No.
Camp Lejeune Marines spent a lot of time training in the fields. So-called Water Buffalos were placed in the field and Marines would fill their canteens with water from the Water Buffalos many times throughout the day. This water was contaminated. Marines also showered and drank contaminated water from many different locations throughout the Base. There were many different ways Marines stationed at Camp Lejeune were exposed to toxic water regardless of where they lived on the Base.
April 26, 2023:
No dollar appropriation set aside for CLJA claims
A lot of attorney advertising claims that certain dollar amounts have been set aside by Congress to settle claims under the CLJA. The truth is that there has been no congressional appropriation set aside for Camp Lejeune settlements. Claims paid under the CLJA, whether by way of settlement or verdict, will come out of the US Treasury.
April 24, 2023:
No presumptive illnesses under the CLJA
There is a lot of false advertising stating that there are certain presumptive illnesses under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act. In other words, this false advertising claims that certain cancers or illnesses are automatically presumed to have been caused by exposure to the toxic water at Camp Lejeune.
This is not accurate. There are no presumptive illnesses or diseases under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act. The Federal Court hearing these cases will not honor a claim for presumptive illnesses. The illness claimed must be proved by expert testimony if the case is tried.
The bottom line is that certain illnesses may be easier to settle with the government because of the medical science linking those illnesses to Camp Lejeune. However, if the case does not settle, and goes to trial, all illnesses claimed must be proved by expert testimony. Presumptive illnesses or diseases are limited to VA health care or claims for disability benefits.
April 20, 2023:
Slow progress being made
Almost 900 lawsuits have now been filed by victims of Camp Lejeune water contamination or their legal representative. Apparently the number of cases filed in the last few weeks caught the government off guard and resulted in the DOJ requesting additional time to answer the hundreds of complaints that have been filed. That request was granted.
However, the Court still has not issued a further Order giving lawyers and their clients guidance on how cases filed under the CLJA will proceed. It is clear that an Order will need to be entered to streamline the CLJA litigation because the number of cases filed will overwhelm the Court and the litigants alike. An Order from Judge Dever in this regard is expected any day now and we will update you when that Order has been entered.
April 18, 2023:
Claim and lawsuit update
The latest update we have from the Department of the Navy is that more than 25,000 claims have been filed under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act. The Navy is clearly overwhelmed by the number of claims filed and we still await the Navy’s litigation portal going live so we can submit medical records, service records and other supporting documentation. Until that information can be submitted, no cases will settle.
With regard to lawsuits, over 200 lawsuits have been filed and the number is increasing daily. That has led to the parties joining to have the cases consolidated similar to what has traditionally been done in a class action setting. The Court has not yet ruled on this request and the previous motion for consolidation was denied. However, given the number of lawsuits that have been filed it is anticipated that the Court will issue an Order to streamline the litigation and consolidation is one way to do that.
April 14, 2023:
Camp Lejeune Court Order
As we told you in an earlier post there was an initial Camp Lejeune status conference before the Hon. James C. Dever III on April 5, 2023.
On April 6, 2023 the Court’s docket entry indicated that a written Order was anticipated to follow. No written Order has yet been entered but it is expected to be issued by the Court shortly. The Order will give us a preliminary indication how the Court intends to handle the large number of Camp Lejeune cases filed. We will update you further when the Order has been entered by the Court.
April 12, 2023:
Can the CLJA Claim Form be amended?
We recently received a call from an ex-Marine who filed the initial CLJA Claim Form on his own. He subsequently realized he made at least two mistakes on the Claim Form and was concerned that the form could not be changed. He now realized he should have retained an attorney.
Fortunately, the Department of the Navy issued a statement advising that the Administrative Claim Form can subsequently be amended if errors are discovered. Equally important is the fact that the Department of the Navy advised that if a Claim Form is amended, it will relate back to the original filing. This means that if an amended Claim Form is filed, the Camp Lejeune victim does not need to start a new six-month administrative waiting period before suit can be filed. The amended form will relate back to the date of the original filing.
April 11, 2023:
CLJA lawsuits already unmanageable
The filing of lawsuits after the six-month administrative period ran got off to a slow start. However, the number of lawsuits filed has increased greatly in the last few weeks and now the number is in the hundreds. The number of lawsuits is expected to significantly increase from here.
The Department of the Navy is already voicing concern that the number of lawsuits it must respond to is unmanageable. The Court expressed similar concern in last week’s initial hearing. The real issue is what can be done to address this problem.
First, the Department of the Navy needs to begin reviewing and settling CLJA claims as congress intended. Second, the Court is entertaining the idea of consolidating CLJA claims before one Judge and then issuing Orders to streamline the cases for all litigants. So far no such Order has been issued.
The bottom line is that neither the Department of the Navy nor the Court can handle the increasing number of claims and lawsuits filed. We hope this results in the government making a good faith effort to promptly resolve these claims. We expect the Court to put pressure on all parties to both streamline and resolve these cases. That would be good news for all Camp Lejeune victims, for the government and for the Court.
April 6, 2023:
April 5, 2023 Court Hearing
Yesterday marked the first Court hearing for Camp Lejeune victims. This was not a trial but an initial status conference.
The Court expressed concern with the lack of movement on claims filed under the CLJA and asked the government and attorneys representing Camp Lejeune victims to meet and come forth with a settlement plan.
The Court recognized that the massive number of CLJA claims filed cannot all go to trial as to do so would last longer than the Roman Empire was in existence. The Judge was clearly dissatisfied that the government has not yet settled any Camp Lejeune claims.
We hope this is a first good step forward for all Camp Lejeune victims. If the Court continues to put pressure on the parties and the individual lawyers and government get together and come up with a workable settlement plan, we can start to bring justice and fair compensation which is long overdue to the many Camp Lejeune victims.
If you were exposed to the toxic water at Camp Lejeune and developed a serious illness, it is not too late to file a claim under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act. Please give us a call at 414-273-7400. We would be happy to talk to you.
April 3, 2023:
Who can bring a wrongful death claim
If the Marine or family member exposed to toxic water at Camp Lejeune has passed away, who is entitled to bring a claim? This is a question we often get from callers.
Under the CLJA, a legal “representative” of the deceased individual is entitled to bring the claim. This will usually be the surviving spouse. If there is no surviving spouse, then one of the deceased’s children can serve as the legal representative in pursuing a claim under the CLJA.
Sadly, it is reported that more and more CLJA claims are turning into wrongful death claims because the Camp Lejeune victim passes away due to serious illness while waiting for the Department of the Navy to settle his or her claim. We sincerely hope this trend ends and the Department of the Navy begins to fairly compensate Camp Lejeune victims.
March 31, 2023:
How will Camp Lejeune cases be settled
The answer is that no one knows at this time. That is because the Department of the Navy has not settled any claims filed under the CLJA as of this time. There is reason to believe that the Navy’s CLJA litigation portal will be up and running in April. For the sake of our Veterans and their families we hope that allows the Navy to begin settling the thousands of claims that have been filed.
One way to resolve these claims is to follow what is done in the mass tort arena. The two sides can get together and establish tables or litigation criteria for the different kinds of cancers and illnesses. Sometimes a point system will be used where points are assigned to each claim based upon the litigation criteria established. Cases are then settled based upon a point system with allowances made for unique facts of any given case. This has worked well in mass tort litigation and we hope a similar process will be implemented by the Department of the Navy so it can begin settling the large backlog of CLJA claims.
March 30, 2023:
What to Expect in April, 2023
As we told you in a recent update, a spokesperson for the Department of the Navy indicated she expects the Navy’s litigation portal to be up and running in April. That will allow the JAG to accept medical records and other supporting documentation from Camp Lejeune victims for the first time since the CLJA was passed.
Camp Lejeune victims and their attorneys should be collecting medical records, medical billing statements and service records now so that documentation is available when requested by the JAG.
March 29, 2023:
The Department of the Navy has not yet started to accept medical records and other documentation supporting victims’ CLJA claims. The Navy has been telling us that its litigation portal is not yet up and running. A litigation portal will allow medical records and other supporting documents to be forwarded to the Navy electronically.
The latest news is that the Camp Lejeune litigation portal should be up and running, at least in some capacity, in April, 2023. We hope this is the first step taken by the Navy to start settling some of the CLJA claims that have been filed before formal litigation is commenced. There have already been over 200 lawsuits filed in Federal Court after the six-month administrative period expired and the number of lawsuits filed is expected to greatly increase in the next few months.
As of today, no claims filed under the CLJA have been settled and to the best of our knowledge no offers have been extended by the Navy. That was clearly not the intent of Congress when the CLJA was passed on a bipartisan basis. Hopefully with the Navy’s litigation portal up and running, both sides can sit down and work together on getting these cases resolved in the best interests of the Marines, their family members and others who were victims of the toxic water at Camp Lejeune.
March 27, 2024:
Letter of Perfection
What is a Letter of Perfection? A Letter of Perfection is acknowledgement by the Department of the Navy that the CLJA administrative claim form has been filled out correctly on behalf of the Camp Lejeune victim. If there are any technical errors in the way the administrative claim form has been filled out, the Department of the Navy will not issue a Letter of Perfection but instead will require that the claim form be corrected and refiled.
The Department of the Navy has started to send out Letters of Perfection on those claims that were filed shortly after the CLJA was enacted in August, 2022. A Letter of Perfection does not mean that the Department of the Navy is acknowledging that your claim is valid. Similarly, a Letter of Perfection does not mean that the Department of the Navy has settled your claim or is attempting to settle your claim. A Letter of Perfection simply means that the Department of the Navy has acknowledge that your administrative claim form has been prepared correctly and does not have to be refiled.
March 24, 2023:
Some Good News
The first Camp Lejeune status conference is set to be conducted on April 5, 2023 at 1:00 p.m. The status conference will be conducted in Judge Dever’s Court.
This will be an opportunity for the Court to give direction on how it wants lawsuits filed under the CLJA handled. There will be many more status conferences and hearings to come.
Last night there was a joint motion filed with the DOJ with the hope of giving some early direction on how cases filed under the CLJA will proceed.
March 22, 2023:
Statute of Limitations
We recently received a call from a woman whose husband was stationed at Camp Lejeune and passed away from cancer 16 years ago. She told us that she did not think a claim could be made because her husband passed away so long ago but was calling to see if there was anything we could do to help.
This is a common misunderstanding by people. The CLJA specifically precluded the government from raising the statute of limitations as a defense in any case like the one our caller described. The CLJA allows claims to date back as far as 1953 for people who were exposed to the water at Camp Lejeune for not less than 30 days beginning on August 1, 1953.
The only statute of limitations referenced in the CLJA provides that a claim under the CLJA may not be commenced after the later of (A) the date that is two years after the date of enactment of this Act or the date that is 180 days after the date on which the claim is denied.
If you think you may have a claim under the CLJA but are concerned about the statute of limitations, call a lawyer you trust who can answer any questions you may have. There is a good chance that your claim may not be barred by the statute of limitations just as was the case with our caller above.
March 15, 2023:
False Camp Lejeune Claims
Law firms and/or their marketing agencies continue to make claims of Camp Lejeune settlements. Those claims are false. There have been no Camp Lejeune settlements so far.
Here is where we are. The six-month administrative period has run for those who filed soon after the CLJA was enacted. Approximately 200 of those CLJA claimants have now filed a lawsuit in Federal Court. The lawsuits were only recently filed and it is too early for there to have been any movement on the Federal lawsuits.
If you receive advertising of any kind either stating or implying that there have been Camp Lejeune settlements, our advice is that you do not respond to this advertising. Instead, contact an attorney in your state who handles Camp Lejeune claims who you trust to review your claim and provide you with accurate advice.
March 1, 2023
Lawsuits Continue To Be Filed
Claimants who filed their administrative claim as soon as the CLJA went into effect are now able to file their civil lawsuits. This is because the Department of the Navy made no effort to resolve these claims within the six-month period after they were filed.
Almost 200 lawsuits have been filed since February 10, 2023 and this number is expected to increase significantly in the next few months. Unfortunately the government still has not implemented a portal to accept and review medical records, service records and other supporting documents. Now that more lawsuits are being filed almost daily, it is expected that the Department of the Navy will become more responsive to claims being submitted under the CLJA.
February 20, 2023:
In our last update we told you that the six-month administrative period has now expired for the earliest Camp Lejeune claims filed. This has resulted in over 100 Camp Lejeune lawsuits already filed, with thousands more on the way as the six-month administrative period expires on more and more Camp Lejeune claims filed.
A spokesperson for the Department of the Navy has stated that approximately 20,000 administrative claims have already been filed. In the next week alone we expect many more lawsuits to be filed. While the Department of the Navy has promised to resolve claims filed under the CLJA “as fairly, thoroughly, and expeditiously as possible,” none of the approximately 20,000 claims filed has yet been settled. We hope that with the filing of lawsuits under the CLJA the Department of the Navy will begin to follow through on its promise to settle CLJA claims fairly and expeditiously.
February 10, 2023:
Important Update – Six Month Administrative Period Over for Many Camp Lejeune Victims
As we have stated many times in our updates, the CLJA requires all Camp Lejeune victims to give the Department of the Navy a six-month administrative period to review and settle all CLJA claims before a lawsuit can be filed. When filing the administrative claim, the acknowledgement received from the Department of the Navy states that it is “committed to resolving all claims related to this matter in a fair and timely manner.” In fact, the government represented to the Court in its motion to dismiss the Legacy claims that the six-month administrative period was necessary so that the government could review its exposure on each claim before a lawsuit was filed.
Unfortunately the government has done absolutely nothing to review and/or settle any CLJA claim during the six-month administrative period. The six-month administrative period is now over for the Camp Lejeune victims who filed their administrative claim as soon as the CLJA was enacted. That means that the District Court responsible for hearing CLJA claims will immediately be inundated with new lawsuits. Some in Congress have already called out the government for not promoting the spirit of the CLJA by trying to resolve as many as cases as possible during the six-month administrative period. We expect that the District Court Judges responsible for handling these cases will be equally disappointed with the government’s lack of initiative in at least attempting to settle CLJA claims during the six-month administrative period.
The bottom line is that the JAG has not settled any CLJA claims and in fact has not even requested service records, medical records and other supporting documentation. However, if you believe you have a valid claim under the CLJA, or would like us to review your claim, do not let the government’s lack of initiative in settling claims during the administrative period discourage you. Eventually the government will have to start settling these claims. If they do not, we can expect to see trials resulting in very large monetary awards for Camp Lejeune victims.
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 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:
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:
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:
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:
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
- 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:
- Kidney Cancer
- Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
- Liver Cancer
- Bladder Cancer
- Major Cardiac Birth Defects
- Parkinson Disease
- Kidney Disease
- Multiple Myeloma
- 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:
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.