What You Need to Know About the Key Provisions under the CLJA

The Camp Lejeune Justice Act is a North Carolina statute that tackles a water pollution accident at the Camp Lejeune military facility. This incident, which occurred between 1953 and 1987, had far-reaching consequences for the individuals who were stationed at the base during the period.

Signed into action last year, CLJA introduces provisions aimed at addressing the specific challenges faced by victims of the contamination. According to the VA, it establishes eligibility criteria, granting those exposed to contaminated water the opportunity to seek compensation. The act ensures that pursuing legal action under CLJA does not jeopardize access to essential VA benefits.

In this post, we will look at the essential components of the Camp Lejeune Justice Act. We will discuss eligibility requirements, compensation mechanisms, and their role in achieving justice for affected individuals.

Eligibility Criteria

The CLJA protects a specific set of people who may have been impacted by water pollution at Camp Lejeune. To be eligible under the CLJA, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Presence at Camp Lejeune: You must have been stationed, lived, or worked at Camp Lejeune between 1953 and 1987. This timeline is critical since it reflects the moment when the water was contaminated.
  • Health Issues: The primary condition for eligibility is the development of health problems linked to the contamination at Camp Lejeune. The VA has released a list of conditions that are directly associated with the contamination. 

Right to File Lawsuits

One of the significant provisions of the CLJA is the empowerment it provides to affected individuals to seek legal recourse. This means that you have the right to file a lawsuit for compensation if you meet the eligibility criteria.

Importantly, this provision includes not only veterans who served at Camp Lejeune but also their family members. According to ConsumerNotice.org, the coverage eligibility extends to those exposed in utero. This provides coverage for the children of pregnant women who were exposed at the base.

VA Benefits

It’s important to note that filing a lawsuit under the CLJA does not impact your eligibility for VA benefits. Veterans and their families can still claim VA benefits while pursuing a lawsuit. This ensures that affected individuals can access the healthcare and support they need through the VA system while seeking compensation through lawsuits.

The CLJA has established a list of presumptive illnesses that are eligible for VA disability benefits and health coverage. These are presumptive diseases that have a strong link to exposure to polluted water at Camp Lejeune. 

Cancers, neurological problems, and other health difficulties are among them. With this, veterans and their families can obtain much-needed financial aid and healthcare coverage for certain specific diseases.

Filing Process

To pursue a claim under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act, victims must follow a specific filing process. Initially, individuals must file a Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) claim with the Department of the Navy. As noted by the EPA, FTCA is a law that was passed in 1946. It creates a legal structure for compensating people who have experienced personal injury as a result of a government employee’s negligence.

If this claim is denied or receives no response within six months, claimants are then eligible to file a lawsuit. According to TorHoerman Law, legal professionals experienced in handling CLJA cases can guide individuals through this process. They can also help gather the necessary evidence to support their claims, ensuring a smoother path to justice.

Compensation Estimates

The specific settlement amounts for Camp Lejeune cases have not been publicly disclosed. However, experts have estimated that potential settlements could be substantial. Given the scale of the water contamination, the compensation amounts are expected to reflect the significant harm caused. 

However, individual settlements will vary depending on the nature and extent of the injuries claimed. It’s essential for affected individuals to consult with experienced lawyers to understand the potential compensation they may be entitled to. This will also help them explore their legal options thoroughly.

Key Takeaways

The CLJA represents a critical step towards addressing the long-standing issue of water contamination at Camp Lejeune military base. This legislation establishes eligibility criteria and empowers affected individuals and their families to seek legal recourse. It also preserves their access to vital VA benefits. 

The list of presumptive illnesses highlights the seriousness of the health consequences faced by those exposed to contaminated water. The CLJA seeks to provide financial compensation while delivering justice and support to those whose lives have been profoundly impacted. Seeking legal guidance is crucial in navigating this complex process.


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