Time running short to file Camp Lejeune claims

Posted On: Wednesday, 10 July 2024

With the filing period for Camp Lejeune claims winding down, The American Legion and American Legion Auxiliary would like to ensure clear messaging to its members and their friends. Here are answers to some frequently asked questions:
Who may file and what is the deadline to file a claim under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act (CLJA)?
Individuals who were exposed to toxic water at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 days between 1953 and 1987. A claimant must file an administrative claim before Aug. 10, 2024. 
Will an award made under the CLJA reduce my monthly VA benefits payments?
No. VA is on the record that ongoing VA disability benefit payments will not be reduced by awards received under the CLJA. We are watching this issue carefully as we know how important this is to Legion members. 
May I file a VA disability claim at the same time I file a CLJA claim? 
Yes. To file a VA disability claim, you should contact your American Legion representative. To file a CLJA claim (which can result in a one-time lump sum benefit), you should reach out to Bergmann & Moore.
I have a family member who died at Camp Lejeune. Can I file on their behalf? 
Yes, survivors and loved ones may bring an action so long as they are an appointed representative of that person.
Attorney fees and costs related to a CLJA claim — what is reasonable? 
Veterans should not be charged unreasonable legal fees, especially ones with added “costs” that can easily amount to over 50% of a veteran’s award. It is important to remember that a legal fee includes attorney fees and costs. Bergmann & Moore’s fees/costs are limited to 33.33%. This is a hard cap. That means no additional “costs” will be added on top of the attorney fee. This arrangement is different from many other firms, who charge a set attorney fee plus “costs” that are not determined until after the litigation. 
Who can I call for help? 
The American Legion and the Auxiliary have selected Bergmann & Moore to help assist their members in filing CLJA claims. Claimants who believe they were exposed to toxic water at Camp Lejeune may speak to someone personally by calling toll-free 877-838-2889, or by navigating to Bergmann & Moore’s website at www.vetlawyers.com. Their dedicated staff will evaluate the claim and provide an honest no-cost assessment of the merits of each case.
If you have questions before filing a claim, please call Annita Best, Bergmann & Moore’s CLJA spokesperson, at (301) 290-3148. Best is a retired U.S. Marine who served 31 years, most recently as a public affairs officer at II MEF, MARFORPAC, MARFOREUR, and MCIEAST, as well as Headquarters Marine Corps. 
The American Legion encourages veterans/claimants to reach out to a CLJA attorney for any condition they think may be related to toxic water exposure while at Camp Lejeune.

ALA Mission

In the spirit of Service, Not Self, the mission of the American Legion Auxiliary is to support The American Legion and to honor the sacrifice of those who serve by enhancing the lives of our veterans, military, and their families, both at home and abroad. For God and Country, we advocate for veterans, educate our citizens, mentor youth, and promote patriotism, good citizenship, peace and security.