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Camp LeJeune in Denial

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More than 2,000 Camp LeJeune contaminated water claims have been denied by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Sauk City, WIMore than 2,000 claims through the Camp Lejeune Family Member Program have been denied by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. According to VA officials, claims were filed by qualifying family members who lived at the North Carolina military base during 1953 to 1987. They were relying on compensation to cover their medical bills to treat serious illnesses associated with the contaminated water at Camp LeJeune.  

The news station Channel3000 reported, as of May 22, that 2,370 claims have been denied by the VA. One of those denied claimants is Dennis Volpe of Sauk City, WI on behalf of his wife Judith Mathews. Volpe told News 3 Now that his wife had numerous medical issues and doctors couldn't figure out what tied it all together. Her health deteriorated over the past 14 years and she is now bedridden with Volpe forced to retire and care for her round-the-clock.

Volpe spent 14 months collecting his wife’s medical records before he applied for compensation via the Camp Lejeune Family Member Program (CLFMP), hoping at least the federal government would cover her medical care. Although the VA found Mathews eligible for the program, her claims were denied for three illnesses that the program covered, with the excuse that the conditions came on too late, or that there are other known causes. And her claim was denied despite the Sauk County Veterans Affairs office helping with her CLFMP paperwork. Sandy Diech, with the VA office, suggested that examiners with the CLFMP who review the paperwork are to blame. "When you look at the (CLFMP) and what it does and doesn't do, is it really helping our veterans' families?" Deich rhetorically asked the news station. "Are these people there for the benefit of the veteran or for the program?"

Camp LeJeune Jury Trials Denied

And jury trials for the plaintiffs have been ruled out. The North Carolina federal court overseeing litigation over water contamination at the Camp Lejeune military base denied the service members' attempt to appeal an order that struck down their bid for jury trials, saying that it's not an issue that warrants appeal. Four U.S. District Court judges in North Carolina said in February (and reported by Law360) that victims of past water contamination at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune are not entitled to jury trials in their lawsuits seeking damages from the federal government. The consolidated litigation comprises about 1,500 lawsuits claiming that water on the North Carolina military base contained excessive levels of chlorinated solvents and other contaminants, causing bladder cancer, kidney cancer, lymphoma and a host of other diseases (see below).

If you or a family member served at U.S. Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina between 1953 and 1987 and filed a disability claim that was denied, you can still appeal your claim. A lawyer familiar with the Camp Lejeune case can help fight for your rightful benefits. According to the VA, if you have been diagnosed with one of the following conditions or another related diagnosis, you should be approved for VA benefits if you were exposed to contaminants at Camp Lejeune.

The VA presumes a connection with:
  • Aplastic anemia
  • Adult leukemia
  • Bladder cancer
  • Kidney cancer
  • Liver cancer
  • Myelodysplastic syndromes
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Breast cancer
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Female infertility
  • Hepatic steatosis
  • Lung cancer
  • Leukemia
  • Miscarriage
  • Neurobehavioral effects
  • Renal toxicity
  • Scleroderma


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