Some veterans and family members sickened during the decades of contaminated drinking water at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, will be able to choose to take a standard payout from the government if they want their claims resolved faster, the Navy and Justice Department announced Wednesday.
Under the so-called “elective option” unveiled Wednesday, claimants can get between $100,000 and $550,000, depending on their diagnosis and how long they were exposed to the toxic water.
Officials said they hope the new option will speed up processing for the tens of thousands of claims that have been filed since last year and more quickly give closure to veterans and others.
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“The elective option is a critical step in bringing relief to qualifying claimants impacted by the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune, who will now have an avenue for receiving quick and early resolution of claims under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act,” Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta said in a news release Wednesday.
The Camp Lejeune Justice Act, which was passed last year as part of the sweeping PACT Act, created a pathway for former Marines, sailors and families poisoned by contaminated drinking water at the military base to sue and recover damages. Those harmed by the water can file an administrative claim with the Navy, and if the service…