Time is Limited - Act Now
The Department Of The Navy Made A Significant Announcement On September 6, 2023
The Department of the Navy made a significant announcement on September 6, 2023. This announcement pertains to a framework established to assess and settle a limited number of claims brought under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act. This framework, known as the "Elective Option" or "EO," was unveiled just after the Camp Lejeune Justice Act's first anniversary, commemorated on August 10, 2023.
The Elective Option framework delineates the compensation amounts available to individual claimants. Notably, these compensation amounts are solely determined based on a claimant's diagnosis and the duration of their exposure to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune. Other factors, such as the severity or duration of the illness, the required treatment, or the impact of the disease on the claimant's life, are not considered. Furthermore, claimants who suffer from multiple qualifying diseases will only receive compensation for one disease.
The compensation amounts are structured as follows, categorized by the length of exposure and the type of qualifying injury:
Length of Exposure:
- 30 to 364 days
- 1 year to 5 years
- More than 5 years
Tier 1 Qualifying Injury:
Tier 2 Qualifying Injury:
In cases where a qualifying injury or disease results in the claimant's death, an additional $100,000 will be offered. However, it's important to note that the Navy's guidance document does not clarify the distribution of payments for deceased victims, raising concerns about how these payments will be allocated, whether it be according to the decedent's will, the intestacy laws of North Carolina, the laws of the state where the decedent resided at the time of their passing, or through some other mechanism.
The eligibility criteria for receiving an Elective Option settlement are stringent, making it challenging for most claimants to qualify. Eligibility hinges on two primary components: Qualifying Injury and Duration of Exposure.
To establish a Qualifying Injury, claimants must prove that they have one of the qualifying injuries listed in the framework. These injuries are categorized into two tiers. Claimants must demonstrate that they were diagnosed or first treated for the qualifying injury before August 10, 2022, at least two years after their initial exposure to the water contaminants and not more than 35 years after their last exposure. Meeting these criteria necessitates the presentation of original, certified copies of medical documentation or, if impossible, a written statement under oath, along with uncertified copies.
The burden of meeting these requirements is substantial, mainly since many claimants were diagnosed or treated for their Camp Lejeune-related injuries several decades ago, making it exceedingly difficult to procure the necessary records. However, there is an exception for claimants receiving benefits or healthcare from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for a qualifying disease, allowing them to rely on those benefits to establish a qualifying injury.
More On What Qualifying Injury and Duration of Exposure Means to Veterans
In addition to proving a Qualifying Injury, claimants must demonstrate their Duration of Exposure. This entails providing evidence that they lived or worked at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 days between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987. Importantly, claimants cannot rely on affidavits or statements for this purpose; they must substantiate their exposure through housing or employment documentation such as military service records, tax returns, driver's licenses, pay stubs, or employment contracts. Like the medical documentation, this places a significant burden on claimants, as it is unlikely that they can obtain such documents decades later.
Fortunately, claimants receiving VA benefits or healthcare related to a qualifying disease associated with Camp Lejeune can use those benefits to establish up to one year of exposure.
For claimants seeking to establish that a qualifying injury or disease resulted in death, additional documentation is required. They must provide a "long form" death certificate containing a medical report detailing the cause of death or a signed letter from the decedent's treating physician.
If an administrative claim is submitted to the Navy, it will be assessed for eligibility under the Elective Option framework. There is no need to resubmit a claim if it has been previously submitted. If the Navy extends an offer to a claimant, they have 60 days to decide whether to accept or decline the offer. Significantly, taking an Elective Option settlement payment will not impact any VA benefits received by the claimant, and the government will not assert any offset for benefits previously paid against Elective Option settlement payments.
However, it's important to note that the Navy must provide a timeline for evaluating claims under the Elective Option framework. Given that over 90,000 administrative claims have already been submitted to the Navy, the evaluation process is expected to be lengthy, and settlement offers are unlikely imminent.
For those claimants who do not meet the stringent eligibility criteria for an EO offer or choose to reject such an offer, their claims will proceed through the administrative phase and potentially lead to litigation as further settlement frameworks are developed and additional guidance from the Court becomes available.
Our network of attorneys are ready to support you.
IS THERE A CASE?
Answer a brief, private online questionnaire that asks for key details of the experience
Have the case evaluated by a legal team free of charge without any obligation to file
GET STARTED NOW
Depending on the circumstances, the case could be filed for potential compensation
Please seek the advice of a medical professional before making health care decisions. This advertisement is not associated with any government agency.
www.shieldjusticewatch.com is the property of Shield Legal LLC. 1530 Faraday Ave, Suite 200 Carlsbad, CA 92008
This website is not part of the Facebook website or Facebook, Inc. Additionally, this site is NOT endorsed by Facebook in any way. FACEBOOK is a trademark of FACEBOOK, INC.
ATTORNEY ADVERTISING. This Website is not intended to provide medical advice. Consult your doctor or physician before starting or stopping any medication.
Discontinuing a prescribed medication without your doctor’s advice can result in injury or death. are not an indication of future results. Every submission is evaluated on its own facts and circumstances. Valuation depends on facts, injuries, jurisdiction, venue, witnesses, parties, and testimony, among other factors. No representation is made that the quality of legal services to be performed is greater than the quality of legal services performed by other lawyers. Shield Justice Watch does not itself provide legal services. Submission will be referred to third party attorneys and law firms. Do not rely on this advertisement in making any medical decision. Please call your physician before making any medical decision, including altering your use of any drug. Court costs and expenses may be the responsibility of the client. Not available in all states. This advertisement is not intended as a testimonial, endorsement or dramatization, and does not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter, either expressed or implied. Anyone considering a lawyer should independently investigate the lawyers' credentials and ability, and not rely upon advertisements or self-proclaimed expertise. Only persons age 18 or older have permission to access our Service. Our Service does not address anyone under the age of 13("Children").
©2021 Shield Justice Watch