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If you or a loved one were exposed to toxic water, the Alabama Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawyers at Fob James Law Firm want to help you.

The water at Camp Lejeune from 1953 until 1987 contained toxic chemicals. Folks who lived or worked at Camp Lejeune during this time frame were exposed to harmful chemicals.

The toxic water caused serious diseases such as cancer, parkinson’s, non hodgkin lymphoma, and many others.

Our biggest concern is making sure you get the justice and the compensation that you deserve. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. 

Contact a Camp Lejeune lawyer in Alabama today for a free case evaluation.

Camp Lejuene Water Contamination FAQ

Who Qualifies for a Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Settlement?

Contamination of water at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina and military installations near Camp Lejeune [e.g. Marine Corps Air Station New River (MCAS NR)] occurred over a span of 35 years, exposing an estimated one million people to chemicals linked with diseases like Parkinson’s disease, kidney disease, fertility problems, and several types of cancer.

Between 1953 and 1987, water treated and distributed by the Tarawa Terrace and Hadnot Point systems on Camp Lejeune Marine Base contained unsafe levels of toxic chemicals like trichloroethylene (TCE), tetrachloroethylene (also known as perchloroethylene, or PCE), vinyl chloride, and benzene.

Veterans, family members and others who lived or worked at Camp Lejeune or Marine Corps Air Station New River (MCAS NR) between August 1, 1953 and December 31, 1987 and were diagnosed with qualifying injuries may be entitled to compensation.

What Injuries Are Linked to Camp Lejeune’s Water Contamination?

The cancers and diseases that have been strongly linked to exposure to Benzene, TCE, and PCE include the following:

  • Leukemia
  • Bladder Cancer
  • Kidney Cancer
  • Liver Cancer
  • Multiple Myeloma
  • Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
  • Parksinsons
  • Aplastic Anemia
  • Scleroderma
  • Myelodysplastic Syndromes
  • Kidney disease
  • Lung Cancer
  • Esophageal Cancer

Other injuries linked to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune include the following:

  • ALS (Lou Gerhig’s Disease)
  • Birth Defects and Injuries
  • Brain Damage
  • Cardiac Defect
  • Fatty Liver Disease
  • Hepatic Steatosis
  • Infertility
  • Miscarriage
  • Neurobehavioral Effects
  • Parkinsonian Syndrome
  • Renal Toxicity
  • MDS Syndrome
  • Breast Cancer
  • Rectal Cancer
  • Brain Cancer
  • Uterine Cancer
  • Other Cancers

What Is the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022?

On June 16, 2022, the United States Senate voted in favor of the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022. This legislation opened the door for new claims on behalf of Veterans and military families injured by exposure to contaminated water at the military base. The President signed the CLJA into law on August 10, 2022.

The significance of this law is that it enlarges the time period for victims to file claims. Most toxic tort claims are barred two years after the date of discovery or after a requisite period has passed, regardless of the date of discovery. This is known as the statute of limitations and the statute of repose.

Prior to the CLJA, victims claims were barred by the statute of limitations or the statute of repose in virtually every state, including North Carolina, because the exposure occurred so long ago (1953-1987).

Thanks to the CLJA, victims of water contamination at Camp Lejeune can now file claims against the federal government.

What Can I Recover From a Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawsuit?

Every case is unique, but people who file claims can potentially recover money for some of the following damages:

  • Past and future medical bills (including medication, hospital stays, and in-home care)
  • Pain and suffering including mental anguish
  • Psychological damage
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • The loss of enjoyment of life
  • Broadly speaking, a plaintiff could be entitled to compensation for any past and future costs associated with their injury

How Long Do I Have to File a Camp Lejeune Lawsuit?

The Camp Lejeune Justice Act establishes a two-year time-frame from the date of the law’s enactment during which veterans, their families, and others exposed to contaminated drinking water on the military base can commence legal action. The CLJA went into effect on August 10, 2022.

If the JAG denies a victim’s written demand, the victim has only 180 days from the receipt of the denial to file a lawsuit.

Do not delay. Contact Fob James Law Firm toll-free at 833-684-0503 for a free case analysis. Our Alabama Camp Lejeune Water Contamination attorneys are ready to help you.

How Do I File a Camp Lejeune Water Claim Under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act?

According to the CLJA, victims must first comply with 28 U.S. Code § 2675 before filing a lawsuit. This means that victims must submit a written claim to the Office of the JAG. The JAG will have six months to either pay the claim or deny the claim.

If the JAG does not respond to the written demand within six months, then the claim is constructively denied. After a denial, the claimant has 180 days to file a lawsuit in the federal court of North Carolina.

What Do Camp Lejeune Victims In Alabama Have To Prove?

Victims of the Camp Lejeune Water Contamination have to prove the following:

  1. Proof that you served or lived at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 days between August 1, 1953 and December 31, 1987;
  2. A current diagnosed condition; and,
  3. Evidence sufficient to conclude that a causal relationship exists between the diagnosis and toxic water exposure (or that a causal relationship is as least likely as not).  

Fortunately, many victims will be able to meet the evidentiary burden by citing prior studies and findings by the VA and other government agencies. Also, victims can provide testimony by their treating physicians connecting the toxic water to their injuries.

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Will A Camp Lejeune Lawsuit Affect My Disability From The VA?

No, your claim under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act (CLJA) is a completely separate claim. The CLJA entitles you to different damages like pain and suffering.

It is possible that some health care benefits paid for by the government (e.g. VA, Medicare) in the past in connection with the injury caused by the toxic water may offset part of your CLJA recovery.

However, the VA has made it clear that your disability benefits will not be affected by any CLJA award:

Camp Lejeune Justice Act Does Not Impact VA Disability

What Is The Cost To Hire An Alabama Camp Lejeune Lawyer?

Camp Lejeune attorney fees should be 20% or 25% of the total recovery, depending on the stage your case is resolved.

Specifically, if your Camp Lejeune claim is resolved before litigation, the attorney’s fee is 20% of the settlement. If your claim is resolved after filing a lawsuit, the attorney’s fee is 25% of the total recovery.

Fob James Law Firm operates on the contingency-fee-basis, which means we only get paid a percentage of the recovery if we successfully resolve your case. Our fees come out of a favorable settlement or jury award, not out of your pocket. Importantly, if we do not obtain a recovery then you owe us nothing.

Many clients have told us that other firms are charging 40% to 45% contingency fees for claims under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act. This is outrageous, especially in light of the fact that for many claims, the injury suffered [e.g. bladder cancer] is presumed to have been caused by the toxic water at Camp Lejeune.

Fob James Law Firm charges every Camp Lejeune toxic water client a 20% or 25% contingency fee.

For an in depth analysis explaining why lawyer fees in Camp Lejeune lawsuits should be capped at 20-25%, please read our article, What Are The Attorney Fees For The Camp Lejeune Lawsuit.

What Is The Average Payout For The Camp Lejeune Lawsuit?

This is speculation but we believe the government will group claims into different buckets based on the injury. For example bladder cancer cases would be one bucket and kidney cancer cases would be another bucket.

The government would then likely implement a point system based on a myriad of factors (e.g. age of claimant when diagnosed, years of treatment/surgeries). Claims with higher points would be offered more money.

Again, this is merely a guess but we believe settlement amounts will range from $25,000.00 to greater than $1,000,000.00 depending on the injury. Time will tell.

To discuss the potential value of your case with an attorney, please contact us at 866-837-1010.

When Will The Camp Lejeune Lawsuit Be Settled?

No one knows when the Camp Lejeune lawsuits will settle. The recently filed lawsuits are in the process of being consolidated for the purpose of efficiency. In other words, the litigation is at the very beginning stages.

So far the government has not implemented a process to review claims, much less settle claims. At some point, we believe a claims review process will be implemented through the consolidated litigation.

If the government does not start settling cases, the Court can schedule “bellwether” trials which are like test trials. These trials would put pressure on the government to start reviewing and settling cases, or else run the risk of large jury verdicts.

This is completely speculative but we believe the time frame for settlement could be 2 years. Some cases that are not “presumed conditions” could take longer. Although several years sounds like a long time, this is standard for large consolidated mass tort litigation.

The Risk of Cancer and Parkinson’s Is Real

In 2014, Frank J. Bove with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and several colleagues published a mortality study (the “Bove Study”) of civilian employees at Camp Lejeune exposed to water contaminated with solvents. The study concluded that elevated toxins in the water system at Camp Lejeune increased the risk of cancers of the kidney, liver, esophagus, cervix, multiple myeloma, Hodgkin lymphoma and ALS.

Furthermore, the federal government’s Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) conducted an extensive mortality study of military personnel at Camp Lejeune compared to personnel at Camp Pendleton. Over the same time period, the Camp Lejeune group had higher mortality rates for the following causes of death:

  • Cancers of the cervix, esophagus, kidney, liver, lung, pancreas, prostate, rectum, and soft tissue
  • Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  • Leukemias
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Multiple sclerosis

Moreover, a recent study conducted by JAMA Neurology concluded that marines exposed to the toxic water at Camp Lejeune had a 70% greater risk of developing Parkinson’s disease.

Camp Lejeune Water Lawsuit Updates

September 19, 2023: The Navy and DOJ updated their guidance to reflect that attorney fees for settlements under the Elective Option are capped at 20-25%. Read our article on attorney fees for more information.

September 7, 2023: Yesterday, the Navy and DOJ announced an expedited settlement process called the “Elective Option” for qualifying Camp Lejeune claims. The Elective Option is only available to a narrow subset of claims. For in depth analysis, please read James Foster’s and Fob James’ blog breaking the Elective Option down. In summary, the EO is an attempt by the government to settle strong claims on the cheap.

September 3, 2023: In the DOJ’s recently proposed case management plan, it characterizes Camp Lejeune claims as “immature torts”. Frankly, this type of rhetoric is highly offensive to victims who have valid claims. Of course, Camp Lejeune cases are anything but “immature torts” and they are long overdue. We believe the DOJ’s choice of wording reflects its intention to delay these claims as long as possible.

August 29, 2023: The plaintiffs and the DOJ filed competing proposals for discovery plans. The Court is expected to issue a ruling in the coming weeks. The proposals set forth various “tracks” of discovery being categorized by diseases. This is merely intended to make the discovery process more manageable for the parties. As expressly stated in the filing “This does not have to do with merits.” 

Plaintiffs’ filing also included a proposed short form complaint that can be used to streamline the lawsuit filing process. Notably, the list of injuries/conditions on the short form complaint is much more extensive than the initial JAG claim form. However, this does not mean all of these conditions are necessarily linked to the toxic water. This document is merely intended to make the lawsuit filing process simpler for claimants. 

August 4, 2023: The Judges in the Eastern District of North Carolina jointly entered an Order extending deadlines in this litigation while the Parties work on jointly submitting a proposed global case management order (“GCMO”). This means the litigation is effectively stayed. The Parties have until September 1, 2023 to jointly submit the proposed GCMO. The GCMO will propose important deadlines for various phases of litigation, including expert discovery and settlement conferencing.

July 1, 2023: Fob James Law Firm’s co-counsel, James Foster, recently visited Camp Lejeune. He discovered that the EPA is currently on site and that part of the base has been designated a Super Fund site. Read more about James’ visit to Camp Lejeune in our blog.

June 4, 2023: According to the Navy, approximately 60,000 claims have been filed. Unfortunately, no claims have been evaluated and settled. The Navy blames budget and staffing limitations for the slow response. 

May 19, 2023: Due to the Navy failing to evaluate claims (much less settle them), Senators Ted Budd (R-N.C.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), and Representative Matt Cartwright (D-Pa.) penned a letter to Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro and Attorney General Merrick Garland expressing concerns about these delays. The letter stated that the delay in processing Camp Lejeune claims is a grave injustice. We agree.

May 2, 2023: Four Judges in the Eastern District of North Carolina entered an order establishing a master docket for Camp Lejeune cases. This is essentially a form of consolidation to streamline proceedings that may impact thousands of cases. The Court is also modifying the pro hac vice local rule and allowing attorneys that are not admitted in North Carolina to appear in multiple Camp Lejeune cases provided they are sponsored by a local attorney.

April 20, 2023: Judge Dever granted a request for an extension filed by the DOJ to extend the time for the DOJ to file answers to lawsuits. The extension is until May 31, 2023. Also pending before the Court is a joint motion to consolidate filed by numerous plaintiffs and the DOJ. We think the Judge granted the extension at least in part due to the pending motion to consolidate. If the Judge grants the motion to consolidate then the DOJ may not have to file answers in separately filed lawsuits.

April 5, 2023: Judge Dever held the first hearing this week in the Camp Lejeune litigation. Several victims were able to speak directly to the Court about what was taken from them as a result of the toxic water. Judge Dever noted that if every case went to trial it would take as long as the existence of the Roman Empire. On a positive note Judge Dever asked lawyers and the government to find a way to streamline the process to settle claims with the victims. The government has not settled any claims, so hopefully Judge Dever’s comments with help get them moving.

March 29, 2023: As claims pile up, the Office of the JAG has not adjudicated any claims. The government has not yet implemented a formal claims review process. This has created a log jam where thousands of claims are in limbo. A spokesperson for the JAG recently stated that it “adjudicates claims in accordance with applicable law” and that “[i]f the Navy determines the evidence substantiates the claim, the Navy, in coordination with the Department of Justice, may offer a settlement”. This statement is disheartening considering that the JAG has not even begun to ask for evidence to review much less offer any settlement.

March 2, 2023: Close to two hundred lawsuits have been filed in the Eastern District of North Carolina. This represents a tiny fraction of the total number of claims filed with the JAG. Each week more cases will be filed. However, it appears many claimants are waiting to see if the government will implement a formal claims review process before spending the money to file suit.

February 24, 2023: The VA released a memo encouraging victims to file both a VA claim and a CLJA claim. Due to inaccurate reporting, many veterans believed they must choose one or the other. This is not the case and the VA’s statement is clear: “your VA compensation benefits….will not be impacted if you file a [CLJA] lawsuit.”

February 13, 2023: The CLJA became law on August 10, 2022 and thousands of Camp Lejeune victims immediately filed claims for compensation with the Navy JAG Tort Claims Unit.

Under the CLJA, the Navy had six months to accept, deny or otherwise resolve the claims before the claimants could bring a civil suit. The JAG has not resolved one single claim even though the deadline for the first CLJA claims expired on February 10th. As expected, the Eastern District of North Carolina has been flooded with new Camp Lejeune lawsuits. So far, more than 100 lawsuits have been filed. We expect this number to rapidly increase into the thousands over the forthcoming weeks.

January 1, 2023: According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), the Department of Defense may be underreporting the number of people affected by water contaminated with PFAS chemicals at military installations by the hundreds of thousands. EWG reviewed an April 2022 DOD PFAS assessment and other Pentagon records, and found the government’s work to be incomplete and flawed.

December 25, 2022: Over 20,000 claims have been submitted to the Office of the JAG and so far there are no reports that the JAG has responded to claims. There are rumors that the DOD is looking into building an online claims portal system where supporting documents can be uploaded; however, no formal announcement has been made. If the Office of the JAG does not respond within six months after a claim has been filed, claimants need to be aware that they have six months to file a lawsuit after the JAG’s six month evaluation period expires.

December 15, 2022: In the House of Representatives, Rep. Mike Bost, R-IL., along with Rep. Darrell Issa, R-CA and eight others has introduced legislation to cap Camp Lejeune lawyer fees at 25%. Efforts in the Senate to cap attorney fees has stalled. The 25% fee cap is in line with the fees we charge our Camp Lejeune clients.

December 8, 2022: Many law firms are charging 40% contingency fees to handle Camp Lejeune cases. Law firms are spending millions of dollars in advertising to acquire Camp Lejeune cases and presumably these firms are charging higher fees to recoup marketing costs. The American Legion is supporting the Protect Camp Lejeune Victims Ensnared by Trial-lawyers’ Scams (VETS) Act, which seeks to cap attorney fees at 10%.

November 30, 2022: Fob James Law Firm has submitted claims to the Office of the JAG each month since the CLJA was passed. So far we have not received a response from the Navy with respect to any claim. The government has six months from the time the claim is submitted to evaluate the claim. This means there is about three months remaining for the government to respond to the initial claims that have been filed. We believe the government with either respond at the six month mark or not respond at all due to being swamped with a large number of claim. If the government does not respond within six months, the claimant can proceed filing a lawsuit in federal court in North Carolina.

November 17, 2022: Senator and veteran Dan Sullivan announced that he plans to introduce legislation capping attorney fees for Camp Lejeune claims to protect veterans and their families from “blood suckers” and predatory lawyers. Fob James Law Firm believes attorney fees should be capped at 20-25% pursuant to the FTCA.

October 4, 2022: Over 5,000 claims so far have been submitted to the Office of the JAG of the Navy. This number is expected to increase dramatically each month. Under the CLJA, the government has six months to evaluate the claims. It is unclear at this point if the government is going to wait the full six months before responding to the claims.

September 8, 2022: The Office of the Judge Advocate General (JAG) for the Navy published preliminary claim procedures under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act (CLJA). The long of the short of it is Claimants will submit a claim form to the Office of the JAG with the information listed in the procedures document. The Office of the JAG is asking that no medical records be provided with the claim form unless specifcally requested.

August 10, 2022: President signed the PACT Act on Wednesday. Veterans and their families can now pursue claims against the federal government.

August 3, 2022: The Senate finally passed the PACT Act by a vote of 86-11 late Tuesday afternoon. The bill now goes to the President’s desk for signature.

August 2, 2022: Several Republican Senators, including Senator Pat Toomey, explained that they did not vote for the current PACT Act because they are against a budget provision that shuffles 390 billion in Veteran Affairs spending from the government’s discretionary category to the mandatory category. Republicans have indicated they still support the PACT Act provided a budgetary amendment is added. We believe the bill will pass later this year.

July 28, 2022: The GOP wing of the Senate blocked the PACT Act. Interestingly, the Senate passed virtually the same bill in June with a vote of 84-14. The only difference with this bill was a minor change. The bill passed the house by a 342-88 vote. We expect the bill to pass late fall after the Senate’s recess.

July 25, 2022: The Camp Lejeune Act, which is part of the PACT Act, could pass any day. The Senate planned to vote on the CHIPS Act first, but that bill has been delayed due to the weather. However, Chuck Schumer said today he will file a motion to advance the PACT Act. Hopefully the senators will stop campaigning in their home states and get back to D.C. to vote.

July 21, 2022: The Senate has not voted on the amended PACT Act passed by the House last week. The Senate could vote on the bill shortly, and we expect the Senate to pass the bill with bipartisan support. With midterms just around the corner and the distractions associated with that, it is unclear when the Senate will vote. Hopefully the vote will occur sooner rather than later.

July 14, 2022: On Wednesday, the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved the PACT Act. This legislation expands healthcare to veterans and includes compensation for Camp Lejeune water contamination claims. Now, the bill goes to the U.S. Senate where it is expected to receive bipartisan support. The Senate could pass the bill in a matter of weeks.

July 9, 2022: The cost estimate for PACT Act is $667 billion over ten years. Camp Lejeune settlement payouts are estimated at only $6.7 billion, which is roughly 1% of the cost of the bill. We encourage you to contact your representative and senator. Setting aside only 1% of the cost to compensate veterans who have suffered life altering injuries or death is offensive. Our government should do better.

June 16, 2022: The United States Senate voted in favor of the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022.

We Represent Camp Lejeune Toxic Water Clients Nationwide

Fob James Law Firm is honored to represent veterans and their families who have suffered injuries caused by contaminated water at Camp Lejeune. We are currently representing clients in 48 states:

Irrespective of where clients are located, Camp Lejeune lawsuits must be filed and litigated in federal court in North Carolina. We are ready to aggressively represent you and your family on your claim no matter what state you reside in.

Contact a Camp Lejeune Lawyer Near Me In Alabama

At Fob James Law Firm, our job is to fight for your best interests. If you’ve suffered an injury as a result of exposure to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune, you should contact us immediately.

We can determine if you are eligible to file a claim or not. It won’t cost you anything to speak with us.

Additionally, you’ll never pay us anything until we successfully settle or win your case in court. Our Camp Lejeune attorneys in Alabama are experienced, dedicated, and they truly care about you.

We treat all of our clients exactly how we would want our own family members to be treated. Contact us right now at 205-407-6009 or set up a free case evaluation so we can help you.