Senate Democrats Block Efforts to Expedite Passage of Bill Protecting Camp Lejeune Vets from Predatory Lawyers

Legislation would cap attorney fees in Camp Lejeune water contamination cases and ensure veterans receive settlement funds before attorneys get paid

WASHINGTON— Today, U.S. Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) joined Senator Dan Sullivan (R-AK) on the Senate floor to call up and pass the Protect Camp Lejeune Victims Ensnared by Trial-lawyers’ Scams (VETS) Act by unanimous consent, but Senate Democrats blocked the effort. The legislation would cap the fees trial lawyers can charge in cases representing Marines and other individuals impacted by water contamination at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina.

“The funds for Camp Lejeune victims should be used to care for the affected Marines and their families, not to enrich predatory lawyers. As a member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, I am committed to protecting those who have protected us. This includes doing what I can to fix poorly written provisions included in the hastily passed PACT Act. This bill closes a legislative loophole to ensure no one is able to profit from the misfortune of our veterans.” said Senator Tuberville.

Senator Tuberville’s remarks from the effort on the Senate floor can be viewed here.


Impacted individuals can seek compensation as a result of the Camp Lejeune Justice Act, which becamelaw in August as part of the Honoring our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act. The U.S. Department of Justice warned of the potential implications from not establishing a cap for attorney fees after the PACT Act became law, but Senate Democrats ignored these warnings. Since passageof the PACT Act, trial lawyers across the country have spent millions of dollars in television ads and social media campaigns, seeking out Marines and other victims for Camp Lejeune-related cases. Attorney contingency fees in some cases are reportedly as high as 60 percent, leaving little compensation for the victims. 

In addition to Senator Tuberville, U.S. Senators Dan Sullivan (R-AK), Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Steve Daines (R-MT), John Barrasso (R-WY), and Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) cosponsored the bill. Senators Tuberville, Sullivan, and Cramer are members of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, and Senator Grassley is the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, the committee to which the bill has been referred.

The Protect Camp Lejeune VETS Act is endorsed by the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and the American Legion.

“In recent years, there has been a spike in predatory companies offering veterans help with their claims and lawsuits. This has been highlighted by the incessant ads about compensation for contaminated water at Camp Lejeune. The VFW believes there should be guardrails put in place to make sure that veterans are represented by individuals or organizations that follow the rule of law and aren’t just looking to make a quick buck. We applaud Senator Sullivan for highlighting this issue with the Protect Camp Lejeune VETS Act and look forward to working with him to put in place reasonable fees for Camp Lejeune contaminated water suits,” said Ryan Gallucci, VFW’s deputy executive director of the Washington office.

“With the passage of the Camp Lejeune Justice Act, veterans and their families were finally able to pursue legal action against the government for their exposure to toxic contaminated water at Camp Lejeune. After decades of waiting, and suffering the realities of life-threatening medical conditions, they were bombarded by advertisements from unscrupulous law firms charging exorbitant fees. We commend Senator Sullivan for correcting this injustice by introducing legislation that caps legal fees at a reasonable amount to ensure our veterans and their families are not taken advantage of,” said Chanin Nuntavong, executive director of government affairs for the American Legion.

Senator Tommy Tuberville represents Alabama in the United States Senate and is a member of the Senate Armed Services, Agriculture, Veterans’ Affairs, and HELP Committees.

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