If you have filed or are considering filing a claim as a victim of water contamination in Camp Lejeune, you might already realize that the litigation is moving along at a snail’s pace. The Camp Lejeune Justice Act was passed in August 2022, authorizing members of the military to seek damages after developing cancers and other medical disorders due to exposure to contaminated groundwater. To date, no claims have been resolved. However, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) recently announced the availability of the Elective Option, which could get eligible victims paid quickly.
The Elective Option is a positive development as far as expediting compensation, but it may not be the best option for everyone. There are still many unknowns, and you may not receive the monetary damages you deserve. It is wise to consult with a Miami Camp Lejeune claims lawyer for details on the Elective Option and read on for an overview.
How the Elective Option Works
The DOJ implemented this option as a way to review and process certain groundwater contamination claims on an expedited basis. If you qualify, you either file an initial claim or proceed on the basis of a claim already filed. You request compensation under the Elective Option and include proof of your illnesses related to exposure. The Elective Option is only available for certain medical conditions, and these are grouped into tiers as described below. Another key factor is how long the person was exposed to contaminated groundwater.
Understanding Two Tiers
There is a list created by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) that creates two categories of diseases linked to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune. In establishing the list, the government is focusing on medical conditions where causation is either substantiated by evidence or there is evidence of a link.
- Tier 1 includes kidney, liver, and bladder cancers, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and leukemia.
- Tier 2 covers plasma cancer, Parkinson’s disease, kidney disease, and sclerosis/scleroderma.
Victims receive amounts based on their exposure to contaminated groundwater at 30 to 364 days, one to five years, and more than five years.
It is important to realize that the Elective Option is a settlement of your claim if the government approves your request. You will release any further rights, and your Camp Lejeune claim will be resolved. The DOJ has set a limit on amounts disbursed under the Elective Option, so you are capped at $550,000. Your claim could be worth more, and this amount would be insufficient to cover your losses. Proceeding with litigation may be a better option for your situation.
Trust a Miami Camp Lejeune Claims Attorney to Advise You
The availability of the Elective Option is good news for many who prioritize timing, but it is also important to realize when waiting is to your advantage. Our team at Gerson & Schwartz, PA, will help you make informed decisions about your claim, so please contact us. You can call (305) 371-6000 or
go online to schedule a free consultation at our offices in South Florida.