Camp Lejeune Settlement

Camp Lejeune settlements may be available to those who worked or lived on the base for at least 30 days from 1953 to 1987. More than $21 billion is expected in payouts, and some families could receive settlements ranging from $25,000 to over $1 million depending on the severity of harm from the toxic water, length of exposure, and other factors. The filing deadline is August 2024 — don’t miss your chance. File your Camp Lejeune claim today.

What Is a Camp Lejeune Settlement?

A lawyer and their client shake hands.

A Camp Lejeune settlement provides compensation for health issues caused by the contaminated water at U.S. Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune.

In settlement agreements, the defendant (the party who caused harm) agrees to pay the claimant (the injured party) a specific amount of money to make up for the harm caused.

Settlements often occur before a case reaches court. However, they can also happen during a trial before a verdict is reached. In general, settlements are preferred over trial verdicts because they are faster, less costly, and more predictable.

There are two main Camp Lejeune legal options for settlements:

  1. Accepting a voluntary Elective Option (EO) payout from the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Department of the Navy (DON).
  2. Negotiating directly with the government, particularly if you don’t qualify for an EO or are unsatisfied with the offer.

Camp Lejeune settlements are available through the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 (CLJA), part of the PACT Act.

However, you only have until August 2024 to file a Camp Lejeune claim. It’s also important to realize that these claims are processed in the order they are received, so don’t wait.

Our team may be able to help you file a claim and pursue Camp Lejeune compensation. Get started right now.

Estimated Camp Lejeune Settlement Amounts

Camp Lejeune settlement amounts could range from $25,000 to $1 million or more per person. Generally, the exact amount will depend on the severity of the condition caused by the contaminated water.

Legal experts project Camp Lejeune compensation amounts by analyzing progress so far, drawing on experience with similar environmental lawsuits, and using the Justice Department’s EO amounts as minimums.

Here is a range of the estimated Camp Lejeune lawsuit payout per person:

  • Birth defects (severe): $1 million or more
  • Bladder cancer: $200,000–$700,000
  • Brain cancer: $800,000–over $1 million
  • Breast cancer: $250,000–$700,000
  • Cervical cancer: $250,000–$500,000
  • Colon cancer: $150,000–$500,000
  • Esophageal cancer: $300,000–$600,000
  • Female infertility: $200,000–$400,000
  • Kidney cancer: $250,000–$450,000
  • Lung cancer: $350,000–$650,000
  • Lymphoma: $250,000–$500,000
  • Myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS): $150,000–$450,000
  • Ovarian cancer: $300,000–$500,000
  • Parkinson’s disease: $750,000 or more
  • Scleroderma: $150,000–$450,000
  • Wrongful death: $650,000–over $1 million

It’s still too early in the legal process to determine exact Camp Lejeune compensation amounts for each health condition. What’s more, every situation is different, and compensation amounts will vary based on the unique details of each case.

VA Benefits vs. Camp Lejeune Settlements

Benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for Camp Lejeune water contamination and Camp Lejeune settlements are completely different.

Historically, victims couldn’t file lawsuits for injuries from Camp Lejeune’s water. Instead, they were forced to rely on the VA for compensation and health care.

However, Camp Lejeune VA benefits have been largely unhelpful to countless veterans and their family members. The denial rate has been incredibly high, making it difficult for those who deserve assistance to receive the support they need.

Did You Know?

Only 1% of all VA Camp Lejeune claims were approved by 2015, according to a Yale Law School study.

It wasn’t until the CLJA passed in August 2022 that veterans and their families were granted this new path to finally get financial relief.

Importantly, Camp Lejeune settlements are funded separately from VA benefits. In fact, the Congressional Budget Office has estimated over $21 billion will be spent compensating victims under the CLJA.

This money is available, and accessing it does not affect existing or future VA benefits. Accordingly, veterans and their loved ones shouldn’t hesitate to pursue Camp Lejeune lawsuit settlements.

5 Steps to Getting a Camp Lejeune Settlement

For many families, the fastest path to getting a Camp Lejeune settlement is by working with an experienced Camp Lejeune lawyer. To that end, the Camp Lejeune Claims Center partners with some of the best Camp Lejeune lawyers in the country.

So far, our legal partners have helped over 30,000 families with their Camp Lejeune settlement claims.

Here are 5 steps to pursuing a Camp Lejeune settlement:

  1. Get a free claim review: First, our trained claims advocates will listen to your story and answer your questions. If you are eligible, they will connect you with our legal partners.
  2. Gather evidence: Next, your legal team will retrieve medical records, expert opinions, and evidence of your time at Camp Lejeune to strengthen your case.
  3. Submit an administrative claim: Meanwhile, your claim will be submitted and the Department of the Navy has up to 180 days to review it. During this time, the Navy may make an expedited Camp Lejeune settlement offer through the voluntary Elective Option.
  4. Negotiate a Camp Lejeune settlement: At this point, if you haven’t accepted an EO offer, your lawyer will file a lawsuit.  They will work to negotiate a Camp Lejeune water contamination settlement on your behalf, aiming to maximize the payout on your case.
  5. Take your case to trial: Finally, if a fair Camp Lejeune settlement is not reached, your attorney will argue your case in North Carolina district court.

Working with a skilled attorney can make the Camp Lejeune settlement process as stress-free as possible.

Who Is Eligible to Receive a Camp Lejeune Settlement?

Anyone who lived or worked on the base for at least 30 days from 1953 to 1987 and suffered a related injury or illness may be eligible to receive Camp Lejeune water settlements.

Individuals who may be eligible for Camp Lejeune compensation include:

  • Active duty service members and military veterans
  • Children of families who lived on the base
  • Spouses of service members or veterans
  • Other base workers and their families

Due to the contamination dates, this would make the oldest victims of Camp Lejeune in their late 80s or older. Sadly, many have already passed away. However, their surviving family members may qualify to file a wrongful death lawsuit on their behalf.

Since children lived on the base and babies were born there, victims as young as 35 years old could also be eligible for a settlement. These younger victims may be battling chronic illnesses that they don’t even know stem from Camp Lejeune water contamination.

No matter how long ago exposure occurred, all victims may be able to access the critical funds they are owed. Finally, the federal government admits that people were injured from the toxic water and is looking to make it right through financial compensation — separate from VA claims.

This means that even if you receive VA benefits or were denied disability benefits in the past, you may be entitled to a Camp Lejeune water contamination settlement.

Has Anyone Received Camp Lejeune Compensation?

Yes, Camp Lejeune victims have begun receiving compensation for illnesses linked to the contaminated drinking water on the military base.

As of July 2024, $14.7 million in Camp Lejeune settlement payouts have been made through the Elective Option.

This voluntary settlement option categorizes illnesses into 2 tiers:

Over 5 years of exposure1-5 years of exposure30-364 days of exposure
TIER 1Bladder cancer$450,000$300,000$150,000
Kidney cancer
Leukemia
Liver cancer
Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
TIER 2Kidney disease (end-stage renal disease)$400,000$250,000$100,000
Multiple myeloma
Parkinson’s disease
Systemic sclerosis/systemic scleroderma

Claims involving wrongful death receive an additional $100,000.

While the EO allows payouts up to $550,000, legal experts predict lawsuit settlements might provide higher amounts.

How Will Camp Lejeune Lawsuit Settlement Amounts Be Determined?

So far, there have not been any Camp Lejeune lawsuit settlements yet. Despite this, looking at similar environmental or toxic tort cases can provide useful insights and help project possible outcomes.

Camp Lejeune water settlements are likely to be calculated based on:

  • Age of the victim
  • Cost of medical treatment, including medical bills and travel expenses
  • Details of the specific situation, such as duration of exposure and time spent on base
  • Evidence available to prove illnesses are likely linked to the toxic water
  • Extent of injury or illness, with severe conditions likely to be awarded more
  • Funeral bills in wrongful death cases
  • How persuasively lawyers argue each case
  • Lost wages
  • Pain and suffering

Some settlement amounts could reach hundreds of thousands of dollars. However, all Camp Lejeune cases are unique, and each factor above will be closely evaluated during the legal process.

Watch our founder’s message about his experience with Camp Lejeune cancer and why securing the best settlements for victims is a deeply personal mission for us.

Camp Lejeune Claims Center: John’s Story Video Thumbnail

Hear from our founder, Chris Carberg, on how losing his dad to Camp Lejeune bladder cancer became the driving force behind our relentless pursuit of justice for every Camp Lejeune victim.

Duration: 02 min 43 sec

I used to ask my dad, “What was it like when you were a Marine, or when you were formerly a Marine?” And he would correct me every time, he’d say, “You’re never formerly a Marine. It’s never something in the past. Once you’re a Marine, you’re a Marine for life.”

My name is Chris Carberg and my father was United States Marine John Carberg, who passed away from bladder cancer.

My dad was 17 years old when he joined the Marines. And his dad was a Marine, his brother was a Marine. It was something in our whole family that we were proud of. He lived on a military base.

My father was at Camp Lejeune for, I believe less than 60 days. He had no idea that there was anything wrong with the water.

And to think that people were spending their last moments, before they were deployed to dangerous situations, being poisoned is absolutely infuriating. We had families at Camp Lejeune. We had families on the base. We had mothers who were pregnant drinking that water.

What changed with the PACT Act and with the Camp Lejeune Act of 2022, is that for the first time, the government lowered and dropped its own immunity to being prosecuted. Veterans, their family members, they are able for the first time to file lawsuits against the government.

My dad never cared about his legacy, but what he cared about was his family. He cared about my mom, he cared about me and my sister. He cared about us. and I think that what he would want is what he always wanted. For his family to be taken care of, for my mom to be taken care of. My dad would never do something like this for himself, but he would do it for my mom in a heartbeat.

When my son and daughter ask me eventually, “What happened to Pop-pop?” I have to tell them the truth, which was that, “Well, Pop-pop was serving his country proudly. He did everything the right way, doing that that he could.” And now it’s our turn, it’s our turn to care for him and while he was sick and alive, we fought for him. We did our very best.

It’s our job as families to honor the memory of our loved ones by fighting on their behalf when they can’t fight for themselves anymore.

When Will Camp Lejeune Settlements Be Paid?

Once you submit your administrative claim, the Navy has 180 days to respond. If you do not hear back or you are not satisfied with their decision, you can then seek compensation through a Camp Lejeune lawsuit. Trials are set to begin as soon as possible.

However, if you receive an Elective Option payout offer, you’ll have 60 days to make a decision. After acceptance, you should expect to start receiving payments within 60 days.

Remember, Camp Lejeune claims are processed in the order they are received, so it is in your best interest to file your claim without delay.

Is There a Time Limit to Get a Camp Lejeune Water Settlement?

Yes. There are strict deadlines that limit how long you have to take legal action. Camp Lejeune claims under the CLJA must be filed by August 10, 2024.

Therefore, it’s important not to wait until the last minute to file your claim. Although there may seem to be plenty of time before the August 2024 deadline, navigating this new legal process can be challenging, and your case may have unforeseen delays.

Even if your exposure to the toxic water at Camp Lejeune happened decades ago, you still have time to pursue Camp Lejeune compensation for your injuries.

Working with a top-notch Camp Lejeune lawyer is the best way to ensure that your claim is filed on time and that you receive the highest settlement possible.

2024 Camp Lejeune Settlement Updates

As of July 2024, $14.7 million in Camp Lejeune settlements have been made.

June 2024

In June, nearly 30,000 new Camp Lejeune claims were filed, and the Navy identified 136 claims that may qualify for settlement, with 105 settlement offers already extended. The government has produced over 18 million pages of evidence detailing the health impacts of contaminated water. Settlement discussions are ongoing, and significant efforts are being made to resolve cases efficiently.

May 2024

Congress introduced the Camp Lejeune Justice Corrections Act to speed up claims for families affected by toxic water at Camp Lejeune from 1953 to 1987. This bill aims to reduce backlogs by allowing more courts to handle cases, clarify that victims have the right to a jury trial, and place caps on attorney fees to protect claimants’ payouts.

Additionally, a Joint Status Report revealed frustrations from both sides, highlighting issues like slow access to records, ignored documentation, a confusing claims portal, restricted access to personal records, and an inefficient settlement process.

April 2024

Camp Lejeune litigation progressed, with total payouts reaching $9.6 million. They ranged from $100,000 to $450,000, covering conditions such as bladder cancer and Parkinson’s disease.

The April 2nd status meeting addressed key issues, including handling medical records and classifying diseases. Discovery for the first group of plaintiffs is nearly complete, with plans for further interviews.

March 2024

During the March 5th status meeting, discussions centered on global settlement efforts and overcoming challenges in managing the legal process. Document sharing and the scope of witness testimonies remain key concerns for both sides.

February 2024

Firstly, judges ruled that Camp Lejeune victims now must prove health issues are directly tied to toxic water. This is a shift from the prior understanding of proving harm after at least 30 days on base while the water was contaminated.

Additionally, federal judges struck down the right to jury trials under the CLJA, meaning victims must go before a judge to hear their case. As a result, many families are seeking help from skilled Camp Lejeune lawyers.

Meanwhile, $2.5 million in Camp Lejeune compensation was paid. This may sound like a large sum. However, with over 166,000 administrative claims filed since August 2022, the amount seems relatively small, leaving many victims and advocates frustrated with the slow-moving process.

January 2024

So far, $2,050,000 has been paid out in eight voluntary Elective Option settlements, according to a joint status report by the federal government and plaintiff lawyers. Generally, this activity can be viewed as a signal that settlement efforts are progressing.

Meanwhile, talks about a larger, comprehensive settlement are underway, potentially involving a Settlement Master. Further, initial trials are expected to begin in the coming months.

2023 Camp Lejeune Settlement Updates

December 2023

As of now, the federal government has made six Elective Option payouts totaling $1,450,000. Additionally, over 1,470 lawsuits have been filed in the Eastern District of North Carolina. Overall, almost 150,000 CLJA claims have been submitted, with the number expected to continue growing.

November 2023

Surprisingly, the total number of Camp Lejeune claims surpassed 117,000, with 1,300 lawsuits filed in federal court. Additionally, the Justice Department has made additional Elective Option offers and completed its first settlement payments. So far, three victims have accepted offers totaling $850,000.

October 2023

First, a payout under the Elective Option was made, demonstrating its effectiveness in providing quick compensation. Additionally, the Navy announced standard settlement amounts under the EO.

September 2023

The Justice Department and the Navy introduced the Elective Option for settlements, offering a quicker payout method with fixed amounts for specific conditions.

August 2023

Overall, more than 93,000 administrative claims and more than 1,100 lawsuits have been filed, and total payouts for Camp Lejeune claims are projected to exceed $21 billion.

July 2023

South Carolina attorney Ed Bell was appointed to the leadership counsel for Camp Lejeune litigation, a move aimed at speeding up the settlement process.

June 2023

The Justice Department encouraged the consolidation of claims to expedite the settlement process. Previously, this was agreed upon in April by the four judges overseeing the Camp Lejeune lawsuits.

Health Issues That May Qualify for Camp Lejeune Compensation

Cancer is one of the most common illnesses connected to the toxic water, and unfortunately, many types are on the Camp Lejeune cancer list.

Many of the victims exposed to the toxic water were young families. As a result, infants and children were among those put in harm’s way. Similarly, pregnant women were also exposed, unknowingly putting their unborn babies at risk.

Did You Know?

Veterans stationed at Camp Lejeune face a 70% higher risk of developing Parkinson’s disease than those stationed at Camp Pendleton, according to a study published in the JAMA Neurology journal.

Other health issues linked to Camp Lejeune toxic water include:

  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
  • Aplastic anemia
  • Birth defects
  • Bladder cancer
  • Brain cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Cardiac defects
  • Cervical cancer
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Fatty liver disease (hepatic steatosis)
  • Female infertility and miscarriage
  • Kidney cancer
  • Leukemia
  • Liver cancer
  • Lung cancer
  • Lymphomas
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Myelodysplastic cancer
  • Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Prostate cancer
  • Rectal cancer
  • Sarcoma
  • Scleroderma

Unfortunately, Camp Lejeune water contamination has caused health problems for many people who were not aware of the danger. It’s important to realize that harmful VOCs affect individuals differently depending on their age, gender, and how long they were exposed.

Alarmingly, some Camp Lejeune water health issues — especially many types of cancer — can remain hidden for long periods. Additionally, other forms of cancer may not even develop in the body until long after exposure to toxic chemicals.

Therefore, many victims may not realize their chronic health conditions are linked to Camp Lejeune’s contaminated water.

Do I Need a Lawyer to Get a Camp Lejeune Settlement?

Hiring a top Camp Lejeune lawyer to pursue a Camp Lejeune settlement is highly recommended and may increase your chances of receiving compensation. Lawyers specialize in handling these complex cases, which require expert knowledge to navigate.

A Camp Lejeune lawyer can help maximize your potential settlement by:

  • Building a strong case
  • Gathering evidence
  • Negotiating with the government
  • Protecting your rights to ensure fair compensation

Attempting to navigate the detailed legal procedures, tight deadlines, and expert testimony needed to prove the water at Camp Lejeune caused your illness can be overwhelming.

By working with a qualified lawyer, you may increase your chances of a fair settlement for the harm caused by the contaminated water.

Get Legal Help to Pursue a Camp Lejeune Settlement

The Camp Lejeune Claims Center partners with lawyers and law firms who have been involved in the fight to get justice for Camp Lejeune water contamination victims since the beginning.

Working with our trusted Camp Lejeune legal partners means:

  • Free consultations
  • Help for victims in all 50 states
  • No out-of-pocket legal fees
  • VA-accredited attorneys on staff

To get the best Camp Lejeune water contamination settlement amounts, your lawyer will need to investigate decades-old information to establish your exposure history. However, not all lawyers work at law firms with the resources to do this.

Do not put your trust in just any law firm. Our legal partners have already helped over 30,000 families and our trained Camp Lejeune claims advocates are standing by 24 hours a day to speak with you.

Camp Lejeune Settlement FAQs

When will the Camp Lejeune lawsuit be settled?

The Camp Lejeune lawsuit settlement timeline is hard to predict due to the complexity, large number of claims, varied injuries and illnesses, and unprecedented legal procedures involved.

Our team is dedicated to delivering the latest breaking news on Camp Lejeune claims as it unfolds. Visit our Camp Lejeune latest update page to stay informed.

What is the average settlement for Camp Lejeune?

The Congressional Budget Office has set aside at least $21 billion to pay Camp Lejeune victims. With this figure in mind, legal experts project Camp Lejeune settlements could be anywhere from $25,000 to over $1 million.

That said, Camp Lejeune settlement amounts will vary widely based on individual circumstances such as exposure duration and health impact. Camp Lejeune compensation amounts depend on the unique details of each case.

How much is the Camp Lejeune settlement per person?

Camp Lejeune settlements will vary depending on the severity of the illness caused by the toxic water and the duration of exposure. This means that there is no true average Camp Lejeune settlement.

However, the Congressional Budget Office has estimated that it will pay over $21 billion to Camp Lejeune victims. Additionally, settlements through the Navy’s voluntary Elective Option range from $100,000 to $550,000.

Using this data, legal experts project Camp Lejeune settlements per person could be anywhere from $25,000 for more minor injuries to well over $1 million for severe Camp Lejeune diseases.

Has anyone gotten money for the Camp Lejeune lawsuit?

Yes. As of July 2024, the Navy and Justice Department have provided Camp Lejeune compensation to Camp Lejeune families for a total of $14.7 million.

However, there have been no Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit settlements. Trials are set to begin as soon as possible, which could mean lawsuit settlements are on the horizon.

Are Camp Lejeune settlements taxable?

In most cases, Camp Lejeune settlements for personal injuries or illnesses are not taxed by the IRS under IRC Section 104.

However, payments for emotional distress, defamation, or punitive damages may be taxable.

To be certain of tax liability, follow IRS guidelines or consult with a tax professional for specific guidance

Brian CookeReviewed by:Brian Cooke

U.S. Marine Corps Veteran & Partner at Simmons Hanly Conroy

  • Fact-Checked
  • Editor

Brian Cooke is a U.S. Marine Corps veteran and partner at Simmons Hanly Conroy, one of the nation’s largest mass tort firms. He has dedicated over 20 years to fighting for justice on behalf of his clients and their families, including many veterans harmed through no fault of their own.

The Camp Lejeune Claims Center exists to help military veterans harmed by the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune to get the financial compensation they deserve. We're ready to help you — at no out-of-pocket cost to you or your family.

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