The Damages You Can Recover in the Camp Lejeune Lawsuit

The long wait for justice finally ended with the PACT Act in 2022. This landmark legislation allows those affected to seek compensation for their suffering through a Camp Lejeune lawsuit settlement.

If you or a loved one lived or worked at Camp Lejeune between 1953 and 1987 and have since developed a related health condition, you may be entitled to significant compensation.

Types of Damages Recoverable in a Camp Lejeune Lawsuit

The Camp Lejeune water contamination scandal exposed countless residents and service members to harmful toxins for decades. This exposure is linked to a multitude of serious health problems, leaving many individuals struggling with physical, emotional, and financial burdens. 

The PACT Act of 2022 finally opened the door for those affected to seek compensation through lawsuits against the government. These lawsuits can recover two main categories of damages: economic and non-economic.

Economic Damages

Economic damages aim to compensate for the tangible financial losses you’ve incurred due to the contaminated water. According to a 2023 study by the VA, over 75,000 individuals have filed claims related to Camp Lejeune exposure, highlighting the widespread economic impact. 

Here are some recoverable economic damages:

  • Past and future medical expenses: This covers all costs associated with treating illnesses linked to water contamination, such as doctor visits, hospital stays, medications, and surgeries. The potential for future medical needs due to long-term health problems is also considered.
  • Lost wages: If your illness or disability forced you to miss work or take on reduced hours, you can recover compensation for lost income. This can be a significant factor, as a 2022 report by the National Center for PTSD found veterans with PTSD experience an average annual earnings loss of over $18,000.
  • Loss of earning capacity: In some cases, the long-term effects of exposure may limit your ability to work in the same capacity as before. You may be entitled to compensation for the lost earning potential over your remaining working years.
  • Funeral expenses: If a loved one dies due to an illness caused by contaminated water, you may be able to recover the costs associated with their funeral and burial.

It’s crucial to meticulously document all medical bills, pay stubs, and other receipts to support your claims for economic damages. This documentation strengthens your case and ensures you receive fair compensation for the financial burdens you’ve faced.

Non-Economic Damages

These damages are intended to compensate for the intangible losses you’ve suffered due to the contamination. These can be more subjective to quantify but are no less real. Examples include:

  • Pain and suffering: This covers both the physical discomfort and emotional distress caused by your illness. The severity and duration of your health problems will be considered when determining compensation.
  • Loss of enjoyment of life: If your health problems prevent you from participating in activities you once enjoyed, such as traveling or spending time with loved ones, you may be able to recover damages for this loss.
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD): The psychological trauma associated with exposure to contaminated water can be significant and warrant compensation. Studies suggest a high prevalence of PTSD among veterans exposed at Camp Lejeune, further highlighting the need for comprehensive compensation.
  • Loss of consortium: This refers to the impact the illness has had on your relationships with loved ones, such as your spouse or children. The strain on relationships due to illness can be significant and deserves compensation.

Assigning a monetary value to non-economic damages can be challenging. However, experienced attorneys can effectively present evidence of the impact these losses have had on your life.

Factors Affecting Damage Awards

The amount of compensation awarded in a Camp Lejeune lawsuit will vary depending on several factors, including:

  • The severity and duration of your health conditions: More serious and long-lasting illnesses will typically result in higher damages.
  • The extent of documented medical bills and lost wages: Having comprehensive documentation will strengthen your claim.
  • Your age at the time of exposure: Younger individuals may have a higher loss of earning capacity due to long-term health problems.
  • The impact on your daily life: The court will consider how the contamination has affected your ability to work, maintain relationships, and engage in daily activities.

The PACT Act and Camp Lejeune Claims

The PACT Act created a critical window for justice. Prior to 2022, legal barriers prevented lawsuits against the government for Camp Lejeune water contamination. Now, affected individuals can finally hold them accountable. It’s important to note that filing a lawsuit doesn’t preclude seeking VA disability benefits. In fact, over 100,000 veterans have already linked their illnesses to the contamination, highlighting the widespread impact.


The Camp Lejeune water contamination caused significant harm to many individuals and families. The PACT Act provides a path to recover compensation for the damages you’ve suffered. If you or a loved one was exposed to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune and developed health problems, consulting with an attorney experienced in these cases is crucial to understand your eligibility and explore your legal options.