The disaster that the toxic waters at Camp Lejeune caused is known to everyone. To date, veterans and their family members are awaiting their due share of compensation promised to them. Almost 100,000 claims have been filed so far with the Navy, and less than one-fifth of these claims have had a chance to be processed.
Approximately a million people who resided in Camp Lejeune between 1953 and 1987 were exposed to toxic drinking water. There were leaks and spills on the base, besides erratic management of chemicals at a business off-base, which led to the contamination. It was in August 2022 that President Biden signed the Camp Lejeune Act to compensate the victims for their losses and damages.
In this article, we will address the probable reasons that led to the delay in settlements. We will also touch upon why it is necessary to speed up the payout process to ensure that the claimants receive fair compensation.
Camp Lejeune Settlement Delays: Know the Causes
In May 2023, Bloomberg Law reported that the Navy highlighted that the lack of proper resources is one reason that has made the claims review process sluggish. Even though there is a need for a portal to speed up the claims, the chances of it getting ready sometime soon are slim. This delay has caused anger and disappointment in several workers and veterans who stayed in Camp Lejeune and are attempting to get treated for their ailments.
TorHoerman Law states that the diseases that Camp Lejeune residents developed are fatal and life-threatening. The list of ailments includes Parkinson’s disease, prostate cancer, liver cancer, bladder cancer, breast cancer, birth defects, and more. These stem from the fact that the victim consumed the poisonous waters either by drinking, washing hands, bathing, or using it for cooking.
The other reason for the claims process to be slow is that there were cases that were far too complex. These cases required a multi-step process that needed data going back and forth for many years. And somewhere, the Navy couldn’t share details on the number of requests that got sent out to assist with the documentation in the field cases.
A few victims wish for a trial, while others intend to have ample money so that they can pay their chemotherapy costs. The Navy must up its game and expedite the payment process. Data reveals that 16 victims of the Camp Lejeune toxic waters died within 45 days. The Navy and other crucial authorities at work must ensure that such catastrophes don’t take place and that people get their compensation to pay for the treatment they need and heal up fast.
Why It Is Crucial to Speed Up the Claims Process
One of the crucial reasons for expediting the claims process is that people are entitled to their Camp Lejeune compensation payout. They deserve it because of the suffering they have endured. The CLJA (Camp Lejeune Justice Act) was introduced with this objective in mind.
That aside, there are several other ways in which the compensation can help the victims and survivors of tainted water in this region:
Helping Older Adults
Most of the claimants of the Camp Lejeune settlement payouts are elders and are in the last stage of their lives. They have suffered immensely from multiple kinds of cancer and other diseases, and their days are numbered. If they receive their compensation, they can use it for their treatment and other medical costs. No one wants to die or lead a poor quality of life just because the legal system wasn’t efficient enough to process the payments on time.
Urgency of Treatment
Since most victims have developed cancers of various kinds, treatments like chemotherapy need to be administered on time so that the cancerous cells die or stay in control. Missing chemo sessions can aggravate the physical condition and can advance the stage of ailment, thereby leading to untimely death.
Cover for Earning Loss
Camp Lejeune victims who have been the bread earners of the family and have developed bladder or prostate cancer aren’t able to function the way they could before the disease diagnosis.
Some of them have a slow prognosis and a certain time to live. Chances are these people aren’t working and need money to lead their lives. These people might be under financial stress, which fails to create a condition conducive to healing.
Hence, when they receive their compensation, they can use it to substitute the loss of their wage and live better.
In conclusion, most people are aware of the delays that face the Camp Lejeune claims process. Instead of staying in the dark, it is crucial to find out what causes the process to slow down and plan accordingly. The delays shouldn’t stop a victim from filing a lawsuit with the help of a lawyer and waiting out the process. And when things seem rather blurry, it’s always best to try out the Elective Option that was created to speed up the payouts to the ones who deserve it.