The Deadline To File Camp Lejeune Lawsuits is Less Than a Year Away
According to congressional budget analysis, it was projected that settlements for Camp Lejeune lawsuits could reach or even top about $21 billion. Turns out they were off—by a lot. Because as of today, the claims that have been filed by veterans sickened by the water at Camp Lejeune, have reached about $3.3 trillion (again, that’s the amount of claims, not the actual dollar figure paid out).
Time is Running Out
The time to make claims is closing—the law placed a deadline of August 2024, to make claims for anybody at Camp Lejeune from 1953-1988, who was there for a period of at least 30 days, for claims for injuries or illnesses caused by the toxic water at the camp during that time period. Claimants don’t have to be service members; employees and contractors qualify to make claims as well.
The law was passed to allow veterans to make claims for these illnesses and diseases, who would otherwise have been too late to do so because of the statute of limitations.
Some of the claims that have been filed may yet be settled by the government. But others will go to full blown trials.
Battle Over Attorneys Fees
In the meantime, Congress is in a battle to try to limit attorneys fees that can be charged for Camp Lejeune claims.
By limiting attorneys fees, it will make it harder for sickened and injured veterans to find legal representation in Camp Lejeune claims. But Congress says it is just enforcing a pre-existing attorney fee limit, which is contained in the Federal Tort Claims Act.
Despite that, many veterans say that if it wasn’t for attorneys, they wouldn’t have even known about the ability to make claims. One recent report noted that many families only learned about the law through advertisements by lawyers seeking to help compensate sickened veterans.
Waiting and More Waiting
In the meantime, the wait for many veterans continues, as the government has been slow to do much of anything about those pending claims. As of now only four judges have been assigned to Camp Lejeune lawsuit cases—which will be way too few, should the government continue to be slow to settle cases, transforming claims into actual lawsuits and trials.
To speed things up. The government announced in September that it will start tiered settlement offers, offering payments between $100,000 and $500,000 depending on illness, and the length of exposure to toxins at the Camp.
But there is no word on the timeline as to when any of those settlements may be made, and of course, depending on the amount, those proposed amounts may be wholly insufficient for those veterans with fatal or catastrophically life altering diseases or illnesses.
Call the Knoxville personal injury attorneys at Fox Farley Willis & Burnette, PLLC, for help and a free consultation today if you have been sickened by the water or by your time at Camp Lejeune.