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What is the Camp Lejeune Elective Option? [2024 Guide] | Lawyer Explains Camp Lejeune EO

Learn more about the Camp Lejeune Elective Option (EO), the implications of the Camp Lejeune EO, and more.

Contact TorHoerman Law for more information and insight on the Camp Lejeune Elective Option.

What is the Camp Lejeune Elective Option? Let's Discuss.

Question: What is the Camp Lejeune Elective Option?

Answer: The Camp Lejeune Elective Option is a settlement option created for victims who have been exposed to Camp Lejeune toxic water contamination, to receive payouts of up to $550,000.

However, it also includes significant drawbacks such as not being able to file a lawsuit later, only being eligible for payment for one qualifying illness, and potentially receiving a lower settlement amount compared to lawsuits.

On this page, we’ll discuss this question in further depth, an overview of the Camp Lejeune Elective Option, the benefits and drawbacks of the Camp Lejeune Elective Option, and much more.

Camp Lejeune Elective Option (EO): Overview & Explanation

The Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 brought about massive changes for former residents of the Marine Corps base in terms of the ability to seek compensation and benefits for their exposure to contaminated water.

Under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act, family members of people stationed or living at Camp Lejeune between 1953 and 1987 may also be eligible to pursue claims.

What is the Camp Lejeune Elective Option

Exposure to contaminated drinking water at Camp Lejeune has been linked to a number of serious health conditions, including several types of cancer, birth defects, neurological issues, and more.

There have been over 90,000 Camp Lejeune claims filed with the Navy JAG, and subsequent to those claims, several Camp Lejeune lawsuits were filed in the US District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina.

Recently, the Justice Department and the Department of the Navy (DON) announced a new process called the “Elective Option” to resolve qualifying claims under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act.

TorHoerman Law is available to help Camp Lejeune victims assess their options and determine whether the Elective Option program suits their needs.

Our Camp Lejeune lawyers are also prepared to represent victims throughout the legal process.

We believe that for many former residents and family members of Camp Lejeune victims, the Elective Option program might not provide appropriate relief for victims considering what they endured at Camp Lejeune, subsequent health problems, the loss of a loved one, and other circumstances.

Our law firm is here to help you and your family members through the Camp Lejeune Justice Act process, fully explain the benefits or drawbacks of enrolling in the elective option, and more.

Reach out to us with any questions or concerns you may have about the Camp Lejeune Elective Option (EO).

Table of Contents

What is the Camp Lejeune Elective Option (EO)?

The “Elective Option” is a voluntary process designed to provide an expedited resolution of qualifying claims under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act (CLJA) of 2022.

This initiative comes from a joint effort by the Justice Department and the Department of the Navy (DON).

The Elective Option was launched to allow certain CLJA claims to be resolved “quickly, equitably, and transparently”, offering tiered settlement structures for certain health conditions linked to Camp Lejeune water contamination.

What Is The Camp Lejeune Elective Option (EO)

While the Elective Option supplements the existing claim resolution methods, those ineligible to participate in the Elective Option can still await the finalization of their administrative claim or pursue litigation.

What is the Process for the Camp Lejeune Elective Option?

Camp Lejeune claimants are being considered internally by the relevant authorities for inclusion or offers under the Elective Option.

What Is The Process For The Camp Lejeune Elective Option

According to the Department of the Navy (DON) release titled “Public Guidance on Elective Option for Camp Lejeune Justice Act Claims“, the process for the Elective Option is as follows:

  1. The claimant files a Camp Lejeune Justice Act administrative claim.
  2. The Department of the Navy assesses all claims, identifying which claimants qualify for the EO.
  3. If more documentation is required, the Department of the Navy will request it for substantiation.
  4. Settlement offers are made to qualifying claimants.
  5. Claimants have sixty (60) days to accept or deny EO settlement offers.

Who Qualifies for the Elective Option?

Former residents and family members of former residents of Camp Lejeune diagnosed with certain health conditions automatically qualify for the Elective Option.

Who Qualifies for the Elective Option

Health conditions covered by the Elective Option include the following:

  • Kidney cancer (tier one)
  • Liver cancer (tier one)
  • Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (tier one)
  • Adult Leukemia (tier one)
  • Bladder cancer (tier one)
  • Multiple myeloma (tier two)
  • Parkinson’s disease (tier two)
  • Kidney disease or end-stage renal disease (tier two)
  • Scleroderma (tier two)

Proof of residence at a certain area of Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune is not required, with the Justice Department and Department of the Navy allowing qualifying claimants impacted anywhere on base to be included in the EO.

What are Camp Lejeune Elective Option Settlement Offers?

Settlement offers under the Camp Lejeune Elective Option are outlined to be consistent for claimants with similar exposures, injuries, and evidence.

What Are Camp Lejeune Elective Option Settlement Offers

The settlement structure for the Elective Option is as follows:

  • Tier One Diagnoses:  Settlements range from $150,000 to $450,000 based on the duration of exposure for diseases such as kidney cancer, liver cancer, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, leukemia, and bladder cancer.
  • Tier Two Diagnoses:  Settlements range from $100,000 to $400,000 based on exposure duration for diseases like multiple myeloma, Parkinson’s disease, and kidney disease.
  • In cases involving death, an additional $100,000 is granted.

How Does the Elective Option Impact Veterans Affairs (VA) Health Care Benefits?

How Does the Elective Option Impact Veterans Affairs (VA) Health Care Benefits

Payments received under the Elective Option don’t diminish the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) disability benefits or health care.

Additionally, they won’t affect the continuous treatment and support from the VA.

Should You Accept Settlement Offers Under the Camp Lejeune Elective Option?

The Elective Option for claims under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act aims to provide a quick and early resolution for certain individuals.

It is completely up to an individual’s discretion and opinion of whether to accept the Elective Option for their Camp Lejeune claim, and experienced law firms can help claimants weigh their options.

Should You Accept Settlement Offers Under The Camp Lejeune Elective Option

The Elective Option comes with benefits for certain claimants, and drawbacks to consider for others.

The advice of an experienced lawyer can be key in deciding whether to go through with the Elective Option rather than waiting for a claim to be adjudicated or pursuing a Camp Lejeune Lawsuit.

Potential Benefits of the Camp Lejeune Elective Option

For some claimants, the Elective Option provides some advantages for a quick and early resolution.

Potential Benefits Of The Camp Lejeune Elective Option

Benefits of the Elective Option include:

  • If you qualify for the EO, you are assured a payment.
  • The EO aims to provide settlements in a timelier manner compared to lawsuits.
  • EO compensation does not interfere with VA disability payments or other benefits.

Potential Drawbacks of the Camp Lejeune Elective Option

While the Elective Option appears as an efficient resolution to Camp Lejeune claims, there are a few drawbacks to consider that may impact compensation amounts.

Potential Drawbacks Of The Camp Lejeune Elective Option

Elective Option drawbacks include:

  • Elective Option settlement offers only compensate for the most severe health condition. If you have suffered from multiple health problems, only the most severe condition will be considered under this program.
  • The qualifying injury must have been diagnosed or treated prior to the signing of the Camp Lejeune Justice Act (August 10th, 2022).
  • Diagnosis or treatment of the qualifying injury must be two years, but no greater than 35 years after the first exposure to contaminated water.
  • Camp Lejeune claims that have reached the litigation stage are not permitted to join the Elective Option.
  • EO centers on establishing causation rather than diving deep into the ramifications or future progression of an ailment.
  • The fixed compensation under EO may not cover potential future medical treatments or care needs.
  • Progressive diseases might have implications that the EO doesn’t adequately address.

Our Law Firm's Outlook on Elective Option Settlement Offers

Every CLJA claim deserves a fair resolution, be it through accepting the Elective Offer, standard CLJA claim procedures, or litigation.

While the Elective Option seeks to provide relief to those affected by the contaminated water, its approach is undeniably generalized.

The payment tiers within the EO, both tier 1 and tier 2, tend to be broad and might be seen as conservative estimates for compensation related to these specific injuries.

The reasoning behind this could be that the military seeks to offer compensation that primarily caters to the most evident damages, such as the average cost of medical treatments.

However, numerous other damages come into play when assessing the true impact on affected individuals.

Our Law Firm's Outlook On Elective Option Settlement Offers

Camp Lejeune Lawsuits often aim to secure compensation for a range of issues, including but not limited to:

  • Loss of past and future income
  • Anticipated medical expenses
  • Secondary injuries
  • Pain and suffering
  • Reduced quality of life
  • Relationship strains, termed as “loss of consortium”
  • Penalties for misleading military personnel and jeopardizing servicemen and their families over generations.

In understanding the military’s decision to introduce the EO, it’s crucial to read between the lines.

Affected individuals must prioritize what’s best for them.

If the EO’s compensation feels adequate, or if time constraints play a significant role, they should consider the EO and our firm stands ready to guide them.

However, it’s also essential to reflect on the broader picture: the Camp Lejeune elective option compensation amounts are very broad applied to a range of injuries, and may not accurately reflect the losses of all individual claims.

Against such a backdrop, Camp Lejeune attorneys are here to assist claimants in securing the full and rightful compensation for what they’ve experienced and what they may experience in the future related to toxic water exposure and subsequent health problems.

Taking the route of litigation might be the difference between a generalized settlement and one that truly reflects the depth of one’s suffering and loss.

Overview of the Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawsuit

For over 30 years, toxic substances leaked from hazardous waste sites and underground storage tanks into multiple sources of drinking water at Camp Lejeune, potentially also impacting the water at Marine Corps Air Station New River.

The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) conducted studies on the water at Camp Lejeune, finding fatal levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and traces of up to 70 other contaminants.

Two of eight water treatment plants were impacted by chlorinated solvents: Hadnot Point Water Treatment Plant and Tarrawa Terrace Water Treatment Plant.

Overview Of The Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawsuit

Exposure to the contaminated drinking water at Camp Lejeune has been linked to numerous adverse health effects, including cancer.

Adverse Health Effects of Contaminated Water at Camp Lejeune

Exposure to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune has been linked to a number of serious and often fatal health problems.

Adverse Health Effects Of Contaminated Water At Camp Lejeune

Health risks linked to Camp Lejeune water contamination include, but are not limited to:

  • Liver cancer
  • Bladder cancer
  • Kidney cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Kidney disease (and end stage renal disease)
  • Birth defects
  • Neurological conditions
  • Several other cancers, diseases, and disorders

If you or a family member were exposed to contaminated drinking water at Camp Lejeune between 1953 and 1987, and subsequently developed one of the above health conditions, you may be eligible to file a Camp Lejeune claim.

Contact TorHoerman Law for a free consultation, or use the chatbot on this page to find out if you qualify for a Camp Lejeune claim instantly.

What is the Camp Lejeune Justice Act?

The Camp Lejeune Justice Act was signed into law as part of the Honoring Our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act in August 2022.

The Camp Lejeune Justice Act allows qualifying claimants impacted by water contamination at Camp Lejeune to file compensation claims against the federal government.

Camp Lejuene Justice Act

If claims are not adjudicated within 6 (six) months, or are denied, claimants may be eligible to pursue litigation.

Camp Lejeune lawsuits are filed in the US District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina.

Do I Qualify to File a CLJA Claim?

Toxic chemicals contaminated wells and water treatment plants at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune for over 30 years, and former residents and affected families now have the right to seek compensation for exposure.

Do I Qualify To File A CLJA Claim

If you or a family member were exposed to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune between 1953 and 1987, you may be eligible to file a Camp Lejeune claim.

Contact our law firm today for a free consultation.

You can also use the chatbot on this page to find out if you have a valid Camp Lejeune claim instantly.

Camp Lejeune lawyers can help claimants assess their options, gather evidence, calculate damages, and file documents, supporting former residents and family members of victims throughout the process and advocating for fair compensation.

Gathering Evidence for Your Camp Lejeune Claim

Gathering evidence is an important step of the process that your lawyer can help you with, but this step you can begin on your own.

Evidence relating to water contamination can include a number of documents relating to your or a loved one’s time spent at the marine corps base.

Gathering Evidence For Camp Lejeune Claims

Evidence in a Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit may include:

  • Documents proving residence at Camp Lejeune
  • Military service records indicating dates and locations served
  • Medical records and diagnoses
  • Medical bills
  • Travel records
  • Health care information
  • Records on disability benefits or VA compensation benefits

Assessing Damages in Camp Lejeune Claims

Damages refer to the total amount of losses, economic and non-economic, incurred as a result of exposure to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune.

An experienced lawyer can help you determine and calculate the extent of your damages.

Assessing Damages For Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawsuit Claims

Damages in a Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit may include:

  • Medical bills
  • Pain and suffering
  • Lost wages
  • Disability benefits
  • Loss of companionship, consortium, enjoyment of life, and earning capacity
  • Permanent disability

TorHoerman Law: Your Camp Lejeune Attorneys

Camp Lejeune officials and the government knew for decades that the Marine Corps base was serving contaminated water to military service members, their family members, civilian workers, and others.

The water supply at Camp Lejeune contained chemicals known to cause cancer, and victims went years without a proper resolution.

If you or a loved one were exposed to Camp Lejeune water contamination between 1953 and 1987, you may be eligible to file a Camp Lejeune claim.

Contact TorHoerman Law for a free consultation.

You can also use the chatbot on this page to find out if you qualify for the Camp Lejeune Lawsuit instantly.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the Camp Lejeune Elective Option?

    The Camp Lejeune Elective Option is a settlement route offered to individuals affected by water contamination at the Camp Lejeune military base.

    This Elective Option provides a quicker relief process and potentially limited payout amounts that vary depending on the illness and duration of exposure.

    Key aspects of the Camp Lejeune Elective Option include:

    • It is available for those diagnosed with specific diseases caused by exposure to toxic water at Camp Lejeune.
    • Choosing this option means forfeiting the right to file a private lawsuit.
    • It offers a lower burden of proof compared to filing a private lawsuit.
    • Payment is guaranteed within 60 days.
    • Applicants must have been diagnosed with specific diseases caused by exposure to toxic water at Camp Lejeune to be eligible.

    TorHoerman Law is available to help Camp Lejeune victims assess their options and determine whether the Elective Option program suits their needs.

    Our Camp Lejeune lawyers are also prepared to represent victims throughout the legal process.

  • What is the Average Camp Lejeune Settlement Amount?

    Camp Lejeune water contamination settlement amounts could be between $10,000 and over $1,000,000 depending on the strength of your case.

    These estimates for Camp Lejeune settlement amounts are only estimations based on the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) budget for Camp Lejeune claims.

    These estimates are not a guarantee by any means of certain compensation for Camp Lejeune settlements.

    Visit this page for more updates on settlement amounts for Camp Lejeune lawsuits as the information becomes more widely available.

  • Can You Still Pursue a Camp Lejeune Lawsuit If You Accept the Elective Option?

    No, accepting the Elective Option for the Camp Lejeune lawsuit means that you forfeit the ability to file a lawsuit.

    If you deny the Elective Option, you are still able to pursue litigation in the Eastern District of North Carolina and take legal action.

    It is important to note that the Elective Option may not be the best for everyone, especially for those with multiple qualifying illnesses, Parkinson’s disease, or terminal or chronic illnesses.

    TorHoerman Law is available to help Camp Lejeune victims assess their options and determine whether the Elective Option program suits their needs.

  • What Toxic Chemicals were Found in Camp Lejeune's Water Supply?

    Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and up to seventy other contaminants were found in Camp Lejeune’s water supply.

    The four most prominent contaminants in the water at Camp Lejeune were:

    • Trichloroethylene (TCE)
    • Tetrachloroethylene (PCE)
    • Vinyl chloride
    • Benzene

Written By:
Tor Hoerman

Tor Hoerman

Owner & Attorney - TorHoerman Law

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