Camp Lejeune: Can the Elective Option Speed Up Payout?

Think about a case in the history of the United States where people were severely affected by polluted drinking water, and the name Camp Lejeune will pop up! By now, we are all aware that for decades, this region was contaminated with poisonous chemicals that harmed the lives of almost 1 million women, servicemen, civilian staff, and their family members.

The issue persisted for years, resulting in veterans developing chronic health hazards such as neurological issues, birth defects, and various types of cancer. Today, victims are determined to take legal action to hold those accountable for this tragic predicament and seek justice.

In June 2023, Pittsburg Injury Law News shared the story of a man from Florida who filed a lawsuit representing his deceased wife, who lost her life in April 2021. In his complaint, he blames it on the toxic waters at Camp Lejeune. 

According to the plaintiff, the decedent suffered from Sézary syndrome, which is an adverse type of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, after exposure to the polluted water. Today, he seeks justice under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act (CLJA) to be compensated for the loss of earnings, medical expenses, and pain and suffering.

Delays in Camp Lejeune lawsuit settlements have been a long-standing issue. However, it seems that plaintiffs and veterans might have a chance to secure their pending compensation. In September 2023, NBC News reported that the Navy along with the Justice Department had declared a new settlement offer.

In this article, we will discuss this development and explore how it can benefit the victims.

The Elective Option: What Hope Does It Hold for Camp Lejeune Veterans?

To date, over 93,000 people have filed lawsuits under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act (CLJA), which enables victims to seek Camp Lejeune water contamination settlement amounts to cover their damages resulting from Camp Lejeune water contamination. According to the act, individuals who resided in this region between 1953 and 1987 and were affected by the contaminated water can file a legal complaint.

The Elective Option allows people to obtain a specific payout more quickly than before. This means they don’t need to engage in prolonged legal battles with the government, which can take many months or even years and still not guarantee success. On average, payouts will range between $150,000 and $450,000, with an additional $100,000 provided in cases of toxic water exposure leading to death.

Under this new payout offer, the Justice Department and Navy will reach out to individuals on the 93,000-person list. These are individuals who have not only filed their claims but are also eligible for this new option and will be entitled to the settlement amount.

All claimants will have nearly two months (60 days) to consider whether they wish to accept the settlement amount or continue to pursue a larger settlement option. The DOJ and senior Navy officials have not specified a timeline for when payments will begin, but the process will start immediately after acceptance. According to officials, the number of people submitting claims may continue to increase.

TorHoerman Law states that if you or anybody you know have suffered due to the polluted Camp Lejeune waters, it’s necessary to file a legal complaint. For this, it is necessary to join hands with a lawyer who can guide you through the process. Before consulting a lawyer, it is necessary to gather every piece of evidence so that they can develop a solid case and present it at the court to secure compensation.

The Diseases and Payouts

Furthermore, the Department of Veterans Affairs has calculated that nearly 900,000 service members were exposed to the Camp Lejeune polluted water. Under the Elective Option, claimants will receive compensation based on their specific ailments, with the amount also depending on the duration of their exposure.

The ATSDR (Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry) identifies medical conditions caused by exposure to toxic water in two tiers. Tier 1 diseases include:

  • Bladder cancer
  • Kidney cancer
  • Leukemia
  • Liver cancer
  • Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma

The victims who have suffered from these ailments will receive compensation as follows:

  • $150,000 for an exposure duration of 30 to 364 days.
  • $300,000 for people affected by the toxic water for one to five years.
  • $450,000 for victims whose exposure duration exceeds five years.

On the other hand, the Tier 2 diseases include:

The victims who have suffered from these ailments will receive compensation as follows:

  • $100,000 for an exposure duration of 30 to 364 days.
  • 250,000 for victims who have endured one to five years of exposure to the poisonous water.
  • $400,000 for victims who have endured over five years of exposure.

If your ailment is not listed in either Tier 1 or Tier 2, you won’t qualify for this offer. In this situation, you will need to consult with a lawyer to discuss the potential of your complaint. They can assist you in taking the necessary action.


Hence, this new Elective Option brings hope to the veterans who have been fighting for justice and compensation. Since the majority of them are elderly, feelings of futility often plague their thoughts. There have been times when veterans felt that they might not see justice in their lifetimes. However, this new offer is here to change things.

Even if you don’t qualify for the Elective Option, it is still necessary to file a legal complaint. This action can help raise awareness about the issue and compel the relevant authorities to take the necessary steps to approve the settlement payouts.