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Tags: lejeune | vets | settlements | water

Camp Lejeune Vets Still Waiting for Promised Settlement

By    |   Friday, 11 August 2023 01:17 PM EDT

A year after President Joe Biden signed key legislation aimed at streamlining the compensation process for possible victims of toxic water exposure at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, veterans and families are still waiting for promised settlements, CBS News reported.

The Navy has just started processing fewer than 20% of the nearly 93,000 claims. Meanwhile no settlements have been paid out so far, according to the network.

The government concedes that from 1953 to 1987, nearly 1 million veterans and civilians were potentially exposed to dangerous chemicals in the drinking water at the base. Levels of toxins were said to be 400 times what safety standards allow in some instances.

"The reality is we're a year out from the passage of the bill and not one claim has been settled and not one offer for settlement has been made," Mike Partain, a breast cancer survivor who was born at Camp Lejeune, told CBS News.

"I mean, this is not what the president and Congress both intended when they passed the bill," he said.

Partain says breast cancer has "destroyed" his life and "it’s affected my family deeply."

The Camp Lejeune Justice Act does set several possible defenses to liability.

Justice Department lawyers responded in some cases, including one suit filed by Partain, with a series of potential defenses, including one that left him angry, CBS News said.

It read, "To the extent that the evidence shows that Plaintiff voluntarily assumed the risks of the occasion, any recovery is barred by Plaintiff's assumption of risk."

"That's ridiculous. It's — it's angering to me," Partain said. "I mean, I couldn't even speak. I — I couldn't even read. How could I assume the risk for being born to something that they created?"

In a statement, the Justice Department said: "Alongside our partners at the Department of Navy, we are working to develop a framework that will allow for early resolution of Camp Lejeune Justice Act claims.

"This framework will offer claimants a voluntary option to resolve their claims efficiently if they choose to take advantage of it. The framework will provide an alternative to the normal administrative claims process or litigation so that those impacted can quickly receive relief."

And the Navy said in a statement: "The Department of Justice and the Department of Navy are working to develop an early-resolution framework for the CLJA claims. This framework will supplement other mechanisms for resolving claims currently available through the normal administrative claims process or litigation and will provide a voluntary, expedited option for those interested.

"Our aim is that this framework will be finalized soon so that those impacted can quickly receive relief."

A study released in May, said: "Veterans who were stationed at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina have a 70% greater risk of developing Parkinson's disease than those who were stationed at Camp Pendleton in California.

The study, published in the journal JAMA Neurology said the difference may be due to the Marines at Camp Lejeune being exposed to a pervasive environmental contaminant known as trichloroethylene (TCE).

Jeffrey Rodack

Jeffrey Rodack, who has nearly a half century in news as a senior editor and city editor for national and local publications, has covered politics for Newsmax for nearly seven years.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


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A year after President Joe Biden signed key legislation aimed at streamlining the compensation process for possible victims of toxic water exposure at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, veterans and families are still waiting for promised settlements.
lejeune, vets, settlements, water
506
2023-17-11
Friday, 11 August 2023 01:17 PM
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