Is There a Camp Lejeune Class Action Lawsuit?
At this time the Camp Lejeune Justice Act is too new for a class action or multi-district litigation (MDL) to be established. Before the Act was passed in August, 2022, approximately 900 Camp Lejeune cases were combined into an MDL. Those cases were all dismissed in 2016 because of North Carolina’s Statute of Repose which functions much like a statute of limitations but with even harsher consequences.
The 2016 dismissal of approximately 900 cases that had been consolidated into an MDL created an uproar among veterans’ groups and eventually led to passage of the Camp Lejeune Justice Act. It is expected that there will be many filings under the new Act and that an MDL will eventually be established.
Class Action vs. Multi-District Litigation
While there are similarities between class actions and multi-district litigation, there are also important differences. In a class action, there is a large group of plaintiffs combined into a single lawsuit. The lead plaintiffs represent the class and the outcome of the class action is the same for everyone involved in the class action. Typically each individual in the class action does not receive a large sum of money when the case is settled. There are also strict Federal rules controlling when the Court may establish a class action.
In multi-district litigation, cases are consolidated in order to save time and money for the Court and the litigants. Unlike class actions, each plaintiff involved in multi-district litigation remains in control of their own case. All settlements are not the same in multi-district litigation. Typically, the amount of each settlement in an MDL is governed by a point system established for that particular MDL. Factors such as the age of the plaintiff, extent of medical treatment and severity of the injury are afforded different points. The amount of the settlement for each plaintiff in an MDL depends on the number of points awarded to his or her claim. We often see MDLs established in cases involving defective drugs or product liability claims.
We will continue to monitor the Camp Lejeune filings. We will provide an update if cases filed under the Act are consolidated.
Frequently Asked Questions
Below are some FAQ from Wisconsin veterans and their families about their Camp Lejeune contaminated water claim.
What if my cancer, Parkinson’s disease or other illness was diagnosed a long time after I left Camp Lejeune? Do I still have a claim?
Many cancers and other illness caused by toxic water at Camp Lejeune do not develop until later in life. One of the main objectives of the Camp Lejeune Justice Act is to extend the time period people have to bring a claim under the Act.
The bottom line is that you should not be concerned about how much time passed between the time you were at Camp Lejeune and when you were diagnosed with cancer or other serious illness. Just contact us. You will find that we are very easy to talk to and we can let you know if you may be entitled to significant compensation.
If I file a claim under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act, will I have to go to Court?
The odds are very high that you will never have to go to Court. In fact, you will probably never have to take any further action after contacting us in order to obtain your Camp Lejeune settlement. You must of course meet the very basic criteria of having lived at Camp Lejeune between 1953 and 1987 for more than 30 days and suffered one or more of the many illnesses now linked to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune.
Why am I seeing so many attorneys on TV and the internet advertising for Camp Lejeune water contamination cases?
Many, and probably most, of the Camp Lejeune TV advertisers you see are not attorneys at all. Many of the large TV and internet advertisers are out-of-state marketing companies trying to give the impression that they are a law firm. Instead, they are a marketing firm. They will take your information and if you “qualify” they will sell your name as a “lead” to a law firm that is paying for “leads”. Chances are that the law firm is out-of-state and you will never personally meet, and may be never even talk to, the lawyer handling your case.
At Mingo & Yankala, we are an award-winning Wisconsin personal injury firm. You will never be just a number with us. We are easy to talk to and we know each of our clients on a first-name basis. We focus on representing Wisconsin veterans and their families who have been injured by exposure to toxic water at Camp Lejeune.
How much money has the government set aside for Camp Lejeune settlements?
The government has already projected it will spend more than $6 billion dollars on Camp Lejeune settlements. We expect that the government has underestimated the number of Camp Lejeune claims to be filed and that it will end up spending well in excess of $6 billion to settle these claims. This is money you are entitled to if you suffered cancer or serious illness after being exposed to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune. There is no reason not to file a claim if you qualify.
What are the most common forms of cancer caused by contaminated water at Camp Lejeune?
The medical community is still studying this issue. At this time we know that there is a strong link between being exposed to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune and developing the following cancers:
- Kidney cancer
- Bladder cancer
- Liver cancer
- Multiple Myeloma
- Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma
- Breast cancer
- Lung cancer
- Pancreatic cancer
- Prostate cancer
- Other cancers
If you were stationed at Camp Lejeune and developed any type of cancer, please give us a call. We will let you know whether there is a link between exposure to toxic water and the type of cancer you developed.
Can exposure to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune cause Parkinson’s Disease?
Yes, it is medically recognized that exposure to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune can cause Parkinson’s Disease. Parkinson’s Disease is a brain disorder that can cause uncontrollable movements as well as problems with balance and coordination. Parkinson’s Disease tends to get worse with time. Please contact us if you lived/worked at Camp Lejeune between 1953 – 1987 and developed Parkinson’s Disease at any time after living or working there.
What if I was pregnant while living at Camp Lejeune and my child was born with one more birth defects?
Multiple studies have shown that children of mothers who were pregnant while living at Camp Lejeune had a significant increased risk of developing birth defects. This is especially true for those babies exposed to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune during the first trimester of pregnancy.
Birth defects that have been linked to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune include spina bifida, heart defects, anencephaly (neural tube defect where baby is born without parts of the brain and skull) and miscarriage. An increased risk of developing cleft lip and childhood cancer are also associated with babies who were exposed to contaminated water during pregnancy.
Many pregnant women were exposed to contaminated water while living or working at Camp Lejeune. If this was you, and your child was born with a birth defect, or you if you were a Camp Lejeune baby, contact us today. You may be entitled to significant compensation and your time to file a claim is strictly limited.
Can a claim be filed if a loved one died from cancer or other condition caused by contaminated water at Camp Lejeune?
Yes, a wrongful death claim and/or a survival action can be filed by a representative on behalf of the deceased individual.
What does it cost to hire an attorney for my Camp Lejeune water contamination case?
Our personal injury attorneys work strictly on a contingency fee basis. That means that you are guaranteed to pay absolutely nothing until we make a recovery for you. Our fees then come from part of the recovery. If for any reason your claim is denied, or we do not obtain a recovery for you, you pay us nothing even for the costs we incurred in presenting your claim.
If I file a Camp Lejeune contaminated water claim, will my doctor be sued?
No, your doctor will not be involved. The claim is strictly against the government. The government itself has acknowledged the existence of contaminated water at Camp Lejeune and the fact that the contaminated water causes many different types of serious illness.
Can I bring a claim under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act if I am already receiving disability benefits from the VA?
Yes. Any compensation you receive under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act will not limit your entitlement to future VA benefits. The compensation you receive under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act may be partially reduced by past disability payments but you should still come out ahead by bringing a claim now.
What if I was stationed at the Marine Corps Air Station New River, North Carolina?
The Camp Lejeune Justice Act is silent regarding those who lived or worked at the Marine Corps Air Station New River. However, both Camp Lejeune and New River shared some of the same toxic water. That means if you were stationed at New River, you cooked in, bathed in and drank some of the same contaminated water as those who were stationed at Camp Lejeune. Therefore a strong argument can be made that the Camp Lejeune Justice Act will also apply to those who were exposed to contaminated water at New River.
If you lived or worked at the New River air station between 1953 and 1987 and developed serious illness, please contact us by phone or by using our Contact Form. We will be happy to talk to you about whether we believe you have a claim for significant compensation under the Act.
I believe that I may have a Camp Lejeune water contamination case but still have questions.
If you believe you have a claim under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act but still have questions, call us today or fill out our contact form. We are easy to speak with, all information will remain confidential, and we will answer all questions free of charge.