Camp Lejeune Contaminated Water Lawsuits To Be Selected For Track 1 Bellwether Trials

Lawyers will select 25 Camp Lejeune lawsuits involving kidney cancer, bladder cancer, leukemia, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma or Parkinson's disease from a group of 100 eligible cases, which will be prepared for a series early test trials.

As the size and scope of lawsuits over Camp Lejeune contaminated water continue to rapidly grow, the U.S. District Judges presiding over the litigation have directed the parties to narrow the previously selected group of 100 “Track 1” bellwether cases down to 25 claims, which will be eligible to serve as early test cases.

Following the passage of the Camp Lejeune Justice Act (CLJA) in August 2022, the U.S. government already faces more than 230,000 claims involving personal injuries linked to toxic chemicals that contaminated water at the North Carolina Marine training base between the mid-1950s and late 1980s.

However, by the time the Camp Lejeune lawsuit filing deadline expires on August 10, 2024, it is expected that the sprawling litigation will become one of the largest mass torts in U.S. history, involving dozens of different injuries and diseases.

To help gauge the relative strengths and weaknesses of evidence linking chemicals in the Camp Lejeune contaminated water to specific injuries, the four U.S. District Judges presiding over the massive litigation have established a “bellwether” process, where the parties are currently preparing several tracks of cases for early test trials to determine how the judges may respond to certain evidence and testimony that will be repeated throughout thousands of claims.

Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawsuit

Suffer From Health Issues Due To The Water At Camp Lejeune?

Water contamination at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina between 1953 and 1987 caused cancers, birth defects, miscarriages and other side effects for U.S. Marines and their family members.

Learn More About this Lawsuit See If You Qualify For Compensation

Track 1 Camp Lejeune Injury Lawsuits

In October 2023, the Court established the Camp Lejeune Lawsuit Track 1 criteria, and the parties selected a group of 100 cases that are currently going through early discovery involving the following five categories of injuries:

  • Bladder cancer
  • Kidney cancer
  • Leukemia
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma

While subsequent categories of injuries have been identified for Track 2 and Track 3 discovery, the first Camp Lejeune trials are expected to begin by the end of 2024, including lawsuits with one of these five injuries. However, earlier this month, the parties submitted a joint proposal for narrowing this group of 100 claims initially selected as track 1 Camp Lejeune lawsuits down to a more manageable number of 25.

“Time is of the essence on this matter as, with each passing day, the Parties incur significant costs in having their experts review voluminous records and prepare expert reports for all 100 Track 1 Discovery Pool Plaintiffs, most of whose cases will not be tried,” the parties wrote in a memorandum (PDF) supporting the joint proposal. “Fact discovery has shown the challenges with working up 100 Plaintiffs at the same time, so the Parties see value in limiting expert discovery to 25 Trial Plaintiffs based on information obtained from Track 1 fact discovery.”

In an order (PDF) issued on June 10, the Court adopted the proposed process for selecting a smaller group of trial cases, directing plaintiffs to select 15 lawsuits from the initial pool of 100 eligible claims, including three from each injury category. Five days later, the U.S. Government will select two additional cases from each injury category, resulting in a final list of 25 cases that will be prepared for the first bellwether trials.

The plaintiffs submitted their Track 1 Trial Cases (PDF) on June 15, including:

Camp Lejeune Bladder Cancer Lawsuits:

  • Jefferson Criswell v. USA
  • Terry F. Dyer v. USA
  • Mark A. Cagiano v. USA

Camp Lejeune Kidney Cancer Lawsuits:

  • Frank Mousser v. USA
  • Allan W. Howard v. USA
  • David W. Fancher v. USA

Camp Lejeune Leukemia Lawsuits:

  • Joseph M. Gleesing v. USA
  • Vivian Connard, Representative of Stephen Matthew Connard v. USA
  • Bruce W. Hill v. USA

Camp Lejeune Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Lawsuits:

  • Frances Carter as Personal Representative of the Estate of Ronald Carter v. USA
  • Robert A. Kidd v. USA
  • Cometto Davis v. USA

Camp Lejeune Parkinson’s Disease Lawsuits:

  • Edgar Allen Peterson, IV v. USA
  • Edgar Allen Peterson, IV v. USA
  • Diane Rothchild v. USA

The U.S. Government is now expected to submit their list by the end of this week, and plaintiffs will have five days to obtain any necessary waivers allowing the selected claims to move forward. Otherwise, if plaintiffs are unable to obtain waivers from any of the government’s selected cases, the Department of Justice shall have the option to select additional claims until a plaintiff who agrees to any necessary waivers is selected, at which time the government shall propose those plaintiffs to the court that will proceed to trial.

While the outcome of these early bellwether trials will not have a binding impact on other claims in the litigation, they will be closely watched by lawyers involved in the cases, as the average amounts of any Camp Lejeune lawsuit payouts awarded may help the parties in global settlement negotiations, by demonstrating how judges are likely to respond in future cases involving various types of injuries.

1 Comments

  • DonaldJune 20, 2024 at 7:38 pm

    I've been signed up with a law firm for 2 years now . I was told that I was eligible for compensation. No word of any progress of my case. I have gone through a lot . I have lost all my teeth, went through 8 surgery's on my face,have renal syst on both kidneys I've had anemia of the blood ,hearing is getting bad ,right ear completely gone. I am 73 years old and would like some kind of compensation[Show More]I've been signed up with a law firm for 2 years now . I was told that I was eligible for compensation. No word of any progress of my case. I have gone through a lot . I have lost all my teeth, went through 8 surgery's on my face,have renal syst on both kidneys I've had anemia of the blood ,hearing is getting bad ,right ear completely gone. I am 73 years old and would like some kind of compensation before I pass on . I was stationed at camp lejeune for at least 14 months.

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