Settlement Update: Camp Lejeune
Camp Lejeune Settlement Update from Legalcalls.com by Attorney Jeff Keiser.
Some of the more than 93,000 claims filed with the Navy over Camp Lejeune water contamination may see some relief, and fast.
Last week, the government quietly introduced a “Elective Option” or “EO” settlement plan in an attempt to start resolving claims, but it may not be the best option for all claimants.
For some though, especially those that may be less successful at trial, it could be a way out of the litigation.
In other words, cases with only a brief thirty day exposure to contaminated Camp Lejeune water and a number of other risk factors (e.g., smoking, diabetes) may be worth considering the offer.
Two Tier System
The amounts being offered are based on a two-tier system, based on the diagnosis offered and the duration of exposure.
Depending on these metrics, plaintiffs can claim $100,000-550,000. “Tier 1” diagnoses include kidney cancer, liver cancer, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, leukemia, or bladder cancer, and are eligible for $150,000 with under a year at Camp Lejeune; $300,000 with between one and five years; and $450,000 if they were there for more than five years.
“Tier 2” includes multiple myeloma, Parkinson’s disease, kidney disease, end-stage renal disease, and systemic sclerosis or scleroderma comes with lower offers of $100,000, $250,000 or $400,000, also based on the time spent at Camp Lejeune.
Claims based on wrongful death claims increase these values by another $100,000.
The Potential & The Cash
Whether or not these offers are good for claimants remains to be seen, and of course, each case is based on its own facts and circumstances. But for those looking for the quick cash, this is definitely an attractive option.
The settlement itself spells it out, “claimants who accept an [Elective Option] settlement can expect to receive payment within 60 days or less.” The question becomes whether your clients want as little as $100,000 now, or the potential of millions down the line.
Potential is a funny thing sometimes – but so is cold, hard cash. Some lawyers we’ve spoken with are skeptical many will accept this offer simply because the offer is too low, while others have indicated a take the money and run position.
It will take time to fully understand the importance of this settlement.
The Administrative Process
To qualify, the claim must have been properly presented to the Navy through their administrative process.
In addition, the settlement includes a latency limitation. The diagnosis must be at least two years after the claimant’s first exposure and no more than 35 years after the last.
The settlement includes a procedure for accepting these offers and the proof required.
The Congressional Budget Office projects spending over $6.1 Billion in Camp Lejeune settlements between 2022 and 2031.
You can read the settlement agreement at (PDF): https://tinyurl.com/364vw5rj
Craig H. Alinder, Vice President