Delays in Camp Lejeune Lawsuits: Things to Keep in Mind While Filing a Claim


Delays in Camp Lejeune Lawsuits

Individuals affected by the poisonous water at Camp Lejeune between 1953 and 1987 can file a lawsuit. While that gives hope to several veterans, the subsequent delays in settling the lawsuits have added to their woes.

In January 2023, The Hill reported that several Americans are still unaware of when they will get the justice they deserve. A few of them were shocked to find that their legal cases were dismissed because of technicalities. Even though they had to restart the process, they didn't intend to give up their fight for justice.

Mike Partain, who was born in Camp Lejeune and is a breast cancer survivor, recalls the passing of the Honoring Our PACT Act. It’s an expansive bill, signed as a law in August to enhance the benefits for individuals affected by the toxins.

Partain shares that people were present at the Senate gallery for three hours when the Senate voted for the PACT Act. All the veterans were elated. However, now as the delays in legal cases are becoming a greater reality, the happiness has turned to disappointment.

In this article, we will shed light on the probable factors delaying Camp Lejeune's legal cases and the essential aspects to consider while filing a lawsuit.

The Probable Causes of Camp Lejeune Lawsuit Delays

In June 2023, Drugwatch reported on Navy attorney Jennifer Tennile Karnes addressing the problem of delayed cases through an email. She shared that lack of funding and staff are the root causes of these delays. She also mentioned her tort claim department was working overtime to process every claim. By the end of summer, she hoped to double her staff, which could improve the situation at hand.

To date, close to 500 law firms have registered themselves to represent Camp Lejeune victims. Another 100 requests are still pending. The lawyers shared that a few of their clients who filed a Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit were dying as they awaited compensation. Approximately thousands of lawsuits might get filed, making this the biggest mass tort so far.

Karnes also highlighted that an online portal for expediting the claims process needs to be developed by the U.S Navy. The backlog stems from the Congress not having adequate funds.

Navigating the Legal Path: Things to Keep in Mind

According to recent findings and evidence, the military was aware of the toxic water at Camp Lejeune before the closure of water treatment plants. However, veterans couldn't sue the government for their injuries. Instead, they only had a scope to file for VA benefits.

But with the Camp Lejeune Act of 2022, a 2-year window was created for the victims to file their claims and recover their damages. Before filing your claim, it is necessary to keep a few things in mind, such as:

      Determining Eligibility

The first step to filing a claim is to decide whether an individual is eligible for the claim. For an authentic claim, they must prove that they stayed at Camp Lejeune between 1953 and 1987 for 30 days. It’s essential to prove that they got exposed to the contaminated water and developed an ailment due to that exposure.

      Collecting Essential Evidence

Victims should gather and show military records of themselves, their kids, and their spouse. The standard military document includes NAVMC118 or DD214. Any other proof of presence can comprise old letters and photographs from the Camp Lejeune area. The medical records should carry the proof of ailments.

      Filing the Administrative Claim

The form for this is called “Form 95,” where the claimant states every detail. They should share their identity details, how they were exposed to the polluted water, the diseases they developed, and the damages. The moment the formal administrative claim gets filed, there are 180 days for the government to deny or accept it. The claim gets managed by attorneys for the Navy.

      Determining the Settlement Amount

Finally, it's crucial to know about the lawsuit settlement amount as well. TorHoerman Law states that the amount is case specific. It will differ depending on the conditions diagnosed, injuries suffered, and the time victims spent at Camp Lejeune. The settlement amount will include the damages incurred, which comprise lost income, medical bills, emotional damages, pain, and suffering.


While the Camp Lejeune Justice Act paved the path for compensation, the delays brought frustration among the veterans. A lack of adequate staff and funding seems to be the probable cause of the delay, and work needs to be done to bring about justice for veterans. Since several of them are old and dying, the government must speed up the claims process.

However, the delays shouldn't demotivate you or anyone you know from filing a Camp Lejeune lawsuit after suffering from the toxic water exposure. Once you have sought medical assistance, you should file a legal complaint to recover the damages.

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