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Hakim Injury Law: Camp Lejeune Water

Insights into Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Claims: Your FAQs Answered!

May 20, 2024

For roughly forty years, the Marine Corps knew that wells at Camp Lejeune were tainted with dangerous poisons. Yet for roughly forty years, the Marines denied the problem, or at least denied responsibility for this problem. The decades of denial caused decades of pain for thousands of families. Now, these families have a one-time opportunity to obtain the compensation and justice they deserve.

This compensation includes damages, such as money for emotional distress and other noneconomic losses, unavailable through the VA disability system. Before this one-time opportunity ends, we urge potential victims and survivors to contact a California personal injury lawyer and learn more about their legal rights. This post covers some of the questions we hear most frequently about this matter.

Important Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Claim FAQs

Not long. The Camp Lejeune Justice Act deadline is August 9, 2024. Once this deadline expires, victims must resort to VA disability claims or take their chances on their own.

As mentioned, less compensation is available in VA disability claims. Usually, the VA only compensates victims for economic losses, such as lost wages and medical bills. Maximum lost wage compensation is only available in a few cases. 

As for independent civil claims, once the CLJA deadline passes, victims and survivors must deal with North Carolina’s eight-year statute of repose. The SOR cuts off most construction defect-related claims, such as Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Claims. A few loopholes are available, but they may be unavailable in your case.

How Much Money Will I Get?

This question is almost as common. No one knows the amount of the Camp Lejeune water contamination settlement yet, and meaningful settlement negotiations won’t begin until the claims deadline passes. 

However, given the number of victims, the severity of their illnesses, and the Marine Corps’ long-term inaction, many observers believe the settlement could be billions of dollars.

Victims who come forward quickly usually receive more money in class action settlements. Survivors and victims who wait until the last minute generally get whatever money is left over.

What Conditions Are Covered?

Any illness is a covered illness, as long as a Los Angeles personal injury lawyer can prove that poisoned water at Camp Lejeune caused that illness. The connection is easier to make if the victim had (or has) a CLJA presumptive illness. This list includes:

  • Multiple myeloma,
  • Myelodysplastic syndromes,
  • Adult leukemia,
  • Hepatic steatosis,
  • Lung cancer,
  • Miscarriage,
  • Kidney cancer,
  • Parkinson’s disease,
  • Renal toxicity,
  • Scleroderma,
  • Aplastic anemia,
  • Bladder cancer,
  • Leukemia,
  • Liver cancer,
  • Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma,
  • Neurobehavioral effects,
  • Breast cancer,
  • Esophageal cancer, and
  • Female infertility.

Most of these conditions involve cancer or reproductive issues, the two most common illnesses associated with VOCs (volatile organic compounds), the poisons in the water at Camp Lejeune. Most of these poisons came from the misuse and unsafe storage of industrial solvents and ammunition.

What Test Proves a Connection Between Illness and Exposure?

There’s no single test. VOCs only remain in the body for a week or so. But, during that week or so, they cause long-term damage. 

So, to establish a link, a doctor must consider many factors, mostly the type of illness, family history or other propensity of that illness, and the amount of exposure. Only experienced doctors can connect the dots, and only a Los Angeles personal injury lawyer can connect victims with such doctors.

The connection is especially hard to prove if the victim died before 2000. Back then, hospitals and doctors relied on analog, paper medical records. These records are difficult to collect and analyze.

What About the Effects on Future Generations?

We don’t know. It is uncertain whether future generations will be affected by prior exposure. No human studies have been done to answer this question, but the evidence from animal studies suggests that future generations would not be affected. Furthermore, the Marines now say the water at Camp Lejeune is safe to use.

How Does the Camp Lejeune Lawsuit Work?

Most mass tort lawsuits follow a three-step process: pretrial matters, bellwether trials, and settlement negotiations. Over 90 percent of civil claims are settled out of court.

Pretrial matters include procedural motions and discovery. Normally, defendants file motions that, if successful, could derail the claim. But Camp Lejeune water contamination cases are different, because of the provisions in the CLJA. Then, during discovery, a Los Angeles personal injury lawyer usually obtains evidence that strengthens the victim’s claims.

Bellwether trials are a little like non-conference basketball games. If a team does well during its non-conference games, that team will probably have a good year. Likewise, if victims have a good record in bellwether trials, they’ll be in a strong position when settlement negotiations begin in earnest.

During court-supervised settlement negotiations, both sides have a duty to negotiate in good faith. They cannot make unreasonable offers and then say, “I’ll see you in court.” Instead, they must make reasonable offers and compromise when necessary.

Consult Our Experienced Attorneys For Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Claims!

Know your rights about the Camp Lejeune water contamination settlement. Contact the Law Offices of Eslamboly Hakim for a free consultation with an experienced Los Angeles personal injury attorney. The sooner you contact us, the sooner we can start working for you.

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