Camp Lejeune Settlement Updates: Elective Options

Marines placing dress blues hats on table
Camp Lejeune settlement categories have been updated. Learn what your options are.
By Osborne & Francis
May 12, 2024

Update: Navy Announces Standard Camp Lejeune Settlement Amounts Under Elective Options 

The Justice and Navy Departments have created a settlement “Elective Option” for those injured at Camp Lejeune. The option may provide quicker relief, but potentially limited payout amounts. Contact a lawyer who can help you weigh your choices.

The Navy and Justice Departments announced new standard preset payment options for claimants with specific diagnosed illnesses due to toxic water at Camp Lejeune. 

In efforts to speed the processing of tens of thousands of claim applications, the Departments are instituting a new “voluntary elective option” that would pay Camp Lejeune exposure victims between $100,000 and $450,000. The settlement amounts would vary depending on the illness involved and the amount of time the person spent at Camp Lejeune.

The Navy has already received over 93,000 claims in connection with the 2022 Camp Lejeune Justice Act, which provided those who were exposed at Camp Lejeune an avenue to sue for damages. The Navy has only processed around 18,000 of the claims so far, and none of them have been settled yet.

Recognizing the need to expedite relief for affected victims, the Navy has created the Elective Option as an alternate path for monetary assistance. The Elective Option may provide faster relief, but settlements will be limited to a certain amount, and those choosing the option will forfeit their right to file a private lawsuit

Before confirming your response to any settlement amount or option, it is important to contact a lawyer first. An experienced lawyer can determine which is the most ideal recovery path for you. 

At Osborne & Francis, we have extensive experience in helping injured citizens receive relief in connection with government departments and agencies. Contact us at (561) 293-2600 to schedule a free consultation to discuss your Camp Lejeune claim. Each person’s situation is different, and we want to make sure you choose in a way that provides you with the maximum relief amount.   

IMPORTANT: If you choose the elective option, you will forfeit your right to pursue a private lawsuit for Camp Lejeune damages. This could affect the overall amount of recovery you ultimately end up with. It is strongly recommended that you consult with an attorney prior to making your final decision regarding a settlement award. 
If you are unsure of which option you should choose, contact Osborne & Francis at (561) 293-2600. We can assess your case, review your options, and help you determine which is the best course of action for you to take. 

What Is the Camp Lejeune Settlement Elective Option? 

To be eligible for the Elective Option, applicants must have been diagnosed with specific diseases or medical conditions before August 10, 2022. The diseases will fall into two “tiers” and must be identified as being caused by exposure to toxic water at Camp Lejeune. 

First-tier (Tier 1) diseases listed are kidney cancer, liver cancer, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, leukemia, and bladder cancer. Second-tier (Tier 2) diseases are multiple myeloma, Parkinson’s disease, kidney disease (end-stage renal disease), and systemic sclerosis/systemic scleroderma. 

How Much Is The Camp Lejeune Settlement Per Person Under the Elective Option? 

Payment amounts will be dependent on how long the person worked or lived at Camp Lejeune. 

For instance, Tier 1 conditions would pay $450,000 to qualified individuals who lived at Camp Lejeune for more than five years. Individuals exposed for one to five years would be paid $300,000, and those exposed for 30 to 364 days would receive $150,000. 

For Tier 2 conditions, payments would be paid $400,000, $250,000, or $100,000 if exposed for more than five years, one to five years, or 30 to 364 days, respectively, according to the Department of Justice. 

Also, a qualifying condition that results in death will be offered an additional $100,000.

The Navy will inform victims who have already filed a claim if they are eligible for the new options. Those who have not filed must submit their claim by August 10, 2024 in order to be eligible for the new options. 

The Elective Option will also provide victims with a lower burden of proof to settle their claim. Those choosing the Elective Option will only need to show that they have one of the listed diseases. In contrast, those filing a private lawsuit would likely need to show that their disease was directly caused by the toxic water at Camp Lejeune.    

The most important part to consider is that those who accept the elective option will give up their right to privately sue the government in connection with a Camp Lejeune water issue. 

Camp Lejeune Elective Options — Details and Requirements. Tier 1 Payment Amounts: $450,000 paid if exposed for 5+ years, $300,000 for 1-5 years exposure, $150,000 for 30-364 days exposure. Tier 1 Qualifying Conditions: Kidney cancer, Liver cancer, Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, Leukemia, Bladder cancer. Tier 2 Payment Amounts: $400,000 paid if exposed for 5+ years, $250,000 for 1-5 years exposure, $100,000 for 30-364 days exposure. Tier 2 Qualifying Conditions: Multiple myeloma, Parkinson’s disease, Kidney disease (end-stage renal disease), Systemic sclerosis/systemic scleroderma. For both Tiers: Must be diagnosed before Aug. 10, 2022, Must have already filed a claim with the Department or must file before Aug. 10, 2024, Accepting the Elective Option would forfeit the right to sue privately.

Which Is Right for Me — Private Lawsuit or Elective Option?

You won’t truly know which is the best option for you until you can take the time to examine each option in detail. This is a determination that will likely require the assistance of a lawyer, who can make accurate and comprehensive projections of the amount of damages you should be seeking based on your injuries. 

For those who qualify for elective options, we encourage them to take them. However, they should still work with an attorney to file their claim and seek the best possible recovery for them and their families.

Additional information can be found in the Public Guidance on Elective Option for Camp Lejeune Justice Act Claims. This is an extremely important decision to make; the guidance of a Camp Lejeune lawyer is highly encouraged before reaching a final decision.

Private Lawsuits Compared with the Elective Option. Private Lawsuit Pros: Amounts are not tied to condition or years of exposure, Could potentially receive a higher amount, Can examine injuries in more detail. Private Lawsuit Cons: May take longer to resolve; Higher burden of proof; Requires more paperwork and evidence. Elective Option Pros: Streamlined process may be faster; Lower burden of proof; Simpler requirements. Elective Option Cons: Will give up right to a private lawsuit; Payout amounts are limited to a set, unchanging amount; Will only be paid under one Tier, even for multiple diagnoses.

Camp Lejeune Settlement Timeline: When Will Camp Lejeune Settlements Be Paid?

There is no set date or time frame given for how long the settlement process overall will be. There are tens of thousands of applicants, and the Navy has just begun its initial stages of addressing these. 

The Camp Lejeune settlement timeline will ultimately depend on two main factors: 

  1. Your ability to file quickly with the Department if you haven’t already done so; and
  2. What your decision is regarding the Elective Option

Again, reaching out to a qualified attorney can help you move both of these steps along so you don’t experience any delays in your claim process. 

Contact a Camp Lejeune Lawyer at Osborne & Francis

Determinations regarding your health and treatment are extremely important for you and your family. A settlement in connection with a Camp Lejeune injury could truly be life-changing and could greatly elevate your quality of life. 

We want to make sure you make the correct decision regarding a settlement, and we are here to provide guidance and representation for you.

Why Hire Osborne & Francis for Your Camp Lejeune Claim

At Osborne & Francis, we have direct experience dealing with the red tape and bureaucratic requirements associated with government claims. We have a proven track record of returning significant results for our clients.

For instance, we reached a $1.25 billion settlement with the United States Department of Agriculture on behalf of black farmers, the largest civil rights payout in history. This case involved similar administrative and governmental nuances that will be involved in the Camp Lejeune claims. 

If you need legal representation or advice regarding your Camp Lejeune case, contact us at (561) 293-2600 today. We can review your claim and inform you of your legal rights and options with regard to the ideal settlement option for you. 

Related Resources

If you found this Camp Lejeune update helpful, please view the related topics below:

Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune Lawsuit (Updated for 2023)
The Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022
What Illnesses Did the Water Contamination at Camp Lejeune Cause?

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