“Hi, I’m Neil Woods with Woods and Woods attorneys. Today, I want to talk to you about the Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit. I want to go through some of the most frequently asked questions our clients have been asking our law firm about these lawsuits.”
Why is there a Camp Lejeune lawsuit?
“Congress passed legislation that is now allowing veterans, their family members, and any individuals that spent time at Camp Lejeune to sue the federal government for health conditions related to toxic water exposure.
“Camp Lejeune had contaminated water that was used for bathing and drinking. Anything they had on base was using contaminated water for roughly 34 years. During that time period, the federal government knew the water was contaminated but it kept using it on base, therefore exposing veterans, their family members, and anybody that worked on base to this toxic water for decades.”
Who can participate in the Camp Lejeune lawsuit?
“This lawsuit is not only for veterans. It is also for spouses, children, unborn children, and workers. It’s for anybody who was at Camp Lejeune for 30 consecutive days or longer.
“You may be wondering, ‘What if I worked at Camp Lejeune as a groundskeeper and I wasn’t an employee of the military?’ That’s fine. You’re going to be included in this lawsuit. It’s going to cover anyone that was there. This is not just limited to veterans. It’s not just limited to their family members. It is anyone who was exposed to toxic water at Camp Lejeune for over 30 days.”
What conditions are eligible to join the Camp Lejeune lawsuit?
“Congress did not actually come up with a distinct list of conditions that are going to be covered in this lawsuit. What they did say is that anyone who was exposed to contaminated water for over 30 days and has health conditions from it is going to be eligible for compensation.
“Let’s talk about what conditions are probably going to be covered and what you can expect to be related to your toxic exposure at Camp Lejeune.
“The first one is obviously going to be cancer. Because there was just about every toxin you can think of in the water at Camp Lejeune, cancer is related to almost every single one of the toxins like TCEs, PVEs, PCEs, benzenes, and all the things that are in the water. So, if you served at Camp Lejeune for 30 days or more and you, at any point in your life, developed cancer, I would probably try to join this lawsuit because there’s probably going to be some compensation available for you.
“The other things we think are going to be covered under these lawsuits are cardiac defects. That’s anything related to the cardiovascular system that we are going to be able to prove is caused by toxic exposure.
“Another thing is miscarriages. A lot of women who were at Camp Lejeune were drinking the toxic water, they were bathing in it, washing clothes, cooking, and showering. They were in this toxic water every day. We now know that a lot of the chemicals they were being exposed to are directly related to miscarriages.
“The other one we’re seeing is Parkinson’s disease. Parkinson’s can be caused by some environmental exposure to chemicals.
“One of the most interesting things we are seeing that is probably related to Camp Lejeune toxic water exposure is neurobehavioral issues. We understand toxic water and the connection to cancer, but what is the connection to neurobehavioral issues?
“Whenever you ingest toxins and they build up in your body, they can affect systems from one end of your body to the other, and that includes your brain. So, we are seeing chemical imbalances and various neurobehavioral issues in a lot of people.
“If you were at Camp Lejeune and you have any health conditions, I would reach out to a lawyer.”
I receive VA benefits. Can I still join the lawsuit?
“One of the most common things veterans have been asking us is, ‘If I receive VA disability benefits, can I join the lawsuit?’ And the answer is yes. Joining the Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit is not going to affect your VA disability benefits, but your VA disability benefits can actually affect the outcome of the Camp Lejeune water contamination claim.
“So, here’s how that happens. Let’s say on your VA disability benefits, you are service connected for cancer from Camp Lejeune toxic water, and let’s say you receive $25 total for all of those payments. Now, let’s say that you join the Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit and your settlement is $100. There’s going to be an offset.
“What that means is you’re going to subtract the $25 that you earned in VA disability benefits from the $100 that you earned in the Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit. Now, as you can see, the veteran in that situation still walks out of the lawsuit with $75 in their pocket. So, it’s not like the entire settlement is going to be wiped clean. It is still worthwhile for veterans to join this lawsuit.”
“From the day we contacted [Woods and Woods], they made us feel so comfortable. They treated us like we mattered and we were not just clients but family.”
L.B., a Navy veteran and wife in FloridaGoogle review
Is this a class action lawsuit?
“No, this is not a class action.
“We’ve all opened up some mail to find a check for $5.43 from some business that we worked with 10 years ago and had no idea. That’s what people think of class action suits, and they’re typically right. There’s not much money in it for the actual people who are harmed. So, this is different.
“This is technically called multi-district litigation. Like class action, there is a class of people. They put everyone into one big group in one courtroom, and this one is going to be in one of the federal districts in North Carolina. So, all the cases will be in one court, and what they’ll do is they will decide the cases together as a class, but then they will actually make the final determinations on the value of each case individually.
“So, you’re probably thinking, ‘OK, what is all that lawyer speak and what do you mean?’ What it means is the court is more likely, in a multi-district litigation, to give you what you deserve versus what other people in the class deserve. One of the reasons why lawyers use multi-district litigation is that we find these settlements are higher for clients.”
How much could I expect in a settlement?
“One of the biggest questions clients are asking us is what their expected settlement in the Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit is.
“I don’t know what to tell you here. It’s too soon. When any litigation is in the beginning stages like this is, anyone who acts like they know what the actual values will be is not being truthful.
“Here’s the good news for veterans and their family members — there is no cost to join this lawsuit. Don’t be afraid to call and join this lawsuit because you think you can’t afford it, or you can’t afford a lawyer. That’s not the way that this works. There will only be a fee if the case is successful, and it’ll be a percentage of the settlement. If there is no settlement, you will not pay your attorney anything — not a penny.”
How to contact Woods and Woods
“If you have any more questions about this, you can reach out to our law firm. If you think you or your friends or family members may have been affected by Camp Lejeune, reach out to us. We can answer your questions. We can help walk you through the process and help you make a decision on whether this will be something that you want to join or not. Reach out to us. There’s no charge to have a consultation. We’ll ask you a few basic questions and we’ll see if this is something your family should join. We’ll be happy to help.”
VA disability lawyer
Woods and Woods
VA Accreditation Number: 44739