As more and more veterans impacted by the water contamination of Camp Lejeune sign on to claim benefits, the question of verdict rewards is raised. One of the main questions associated with these potential payouts is whether a verdict reward will impact a veteran receiving benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs.
According to the lawsuits filed against the U.S. government, from 1953 until 1987, the water supply at Camp Lejeune naval base located in Jacksonville, North Carolina, was contaminated. The toxicity allegedly resulted in detrimental health effects for military personnel and/or their family members.
Examples of health complications arising from water contamination at Camp Lejeune include:
- Adult leukemia
- Aplastic anemia
- Bladder cancer
- Kidney cancer
- Liver cancer
- Multiple myeloma
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
- Parkinson’s disease
These chronic conditions can result in the veterans needing healthcare support from the VA, potentially for the rest of their lives.
As it became more apparent that Camp Lejeune’s water contamination was the source of the many problems that veterans formerly posted to the base were suffering from, action began to come in both the legal and political worlds. Veterans harmed by the government’s alleged negligence began to file lawsuits with the help of attorneys. After some time, legislation followed with the Camp Lejeune Justice Act.
Enacted in 2022, the Act allowed qualifying veterans to file lawsuits without the chance of the case being dismissed. As of September, the U.S. Navy and Justice Department have undergone a joint effort to introduce a new expedited option for veterans suffering particularly fatal conditions: the Camp Lejeune Elective Option.
While the elective option offers an expedited process, it could potentially result in a smaller award than if the veteran chose to fight their case to the end in a lawsuit. Another condition that may result in differing verdicts is whether a veteran is currently receiving treatment. In a lawsuit, a veteran may receive a smaller award if they have been receiving treatment from the VA. Conversely, the elective option for resolution may not take into account whether the veteran has received VA care.
The final consideration for the amount of compensation awarded from either the elective option or the lawsuit is how directly the ailment can be tied to the water contamination. If there is a strong connection to the contamination, the condition is classified as “tier 1” and awards a higher payout, while less connected conditions are considered “tier 2.” Whether veterans favor the elective option or the lawsuit option, an attorney should be consulted to decide the best course of action.
If you or a loved one have been injured by a defective drug, medical device, or consumer product, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Contact MedTruth today for a free case review and begin your journey to justice.