Lawyers for Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Plaintiffs To Be Interviewed By Court for Leadership Counsel

The government says it wants the Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuits to be consolidated for pretrial proceedings as soon as possible.

Four U.S. District Judges will hold interviews next month to help select lawyers to serve in leadership positions for plaintiffs in all Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuits, being filed by veterans and military family members who lived or worked at the North Carolina military base between the mid-1950s and late 1980s.

The claims are all being presented under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act (CJLA) of 2022, which was signed into law last August, opening a two year window for lawsuits to be filed by individuals poisoned by water on the base, which was known to be contaminated with toxic chemicals for decades.

In May, a U.S. Navy lawyer estimated that at least 60,000 Camp Lejeune water poisoning claims has already been submitted to the U.S. government, which requires at least 180 days before a lawsuit can be filed, to exhaust administrative remedies and allow the United States to make an offer of settlement.

As more U.S. military veterans and other individuals exposed to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune continue to retain lawyers and file claims, the litigation is expected to become the largest mass tort in U.S. history, involving dozens of different injuries allegedly caused by chemicals in the water at the base, including various types of cancer, Parkinson’s disease, birth defects and other injuries.

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

The law requires all Camp Lejeune lawsuits to be filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina, where four separate federal judges are attempting to coordinate pretrial proceedings and potential settlement negotiations to resolve claims, including Judges Richard E. Myers II, Terrence W. Boyle, Louise W. Flanagan and James C. Dever III.

Leadership Position Interviews for Camp Lejeune Lawyers

To help streamline the management of the massive litigation, the Judges did agree to establish a master docket for all Camp Lejeune lawsuits earlier this year, and indicated that a small group of lawyers representing plaintiffs will be appointed to take certain actions before the court that benefit all claimants.

In May, U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert B. Jones issued an order calling for attorneys who would like to serve on the Plaintiffs Leadership Council (PLC) or on the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee to submit applications to the court by May 26.

Now that the deadline for applying has passed, the four judges overseeing the cases issued an order (PDF) on June 20, announcing they will begin interviewing prospective attorneys for the PLC positions starting on July 3.

“Unless good cause is shown by July 3, 2023, why the process should not proceed, the court will conduct finalist interviews based on those submissions on a date to be determined. Not all attorneys who submitted materials will be interviewed,” the order states. “After completing its interviews, the court anticipates that it will announce the members comprising Plaintiffs’ Leadership Council by subsequent Notice.”

These Camp Lejeune lawyers will be tasked with coordinating status updates for the court, arguing certain pretrial motions, conducting discovery and depositions into common issues that impact all claims, and potentially negotiating a framework for Camp Lejeune settlements that may help resolve large numbers of claims. However, each individual plaintiff will still maintain their own lawyer to meet various deadlines and establish they meet the criteria for a Camp Lejeune lawsuit payout.

Government Calls for Camp Lejeune Lawsuit Consolidation

Facing increasing pressure to settle or otherwise resolve the claims, which continue to grow rapidly in number with no cases yet settled, the U.S. government, the only defendant named in the claims, has called for rapid consolidation of the Camp Lejeune lawsuits so they can begin moving through pretrial proceedings.

In a motion (PDF) filed by the government on June 20, federal attorneys asked for permission to file in the Master Docket established for all Camp Lejeune lawsuits in an initial case management order issued in April.

“The United States is the only defendant in this litigation,” the motion states. “As such, the United States petitions this Honorable Court for permission to file a motion in the Master Docket to address the diverging case management procedures that are developing, pending the forthcoming consolidated case management process that was signaled by the Master Docket Order signed by all four of the Honorable District Judges of this Court.”

The motion includes a proposed consolidated case management order, calling for the cases to be handled in a globally consistent manner.

While three of the judges have agreed to delay certain filing timelines until a consolidation plan is implemented, Judge Boyle has indicated cases in his court will continue to move forward.

July 2023 Camp Lejeune Water Poisoning Lawsuit Update

Estimates suggest more than a million Marines and their family members were exposed to contaminated Camp Lejeune water between the early 1950s and late 1980s, with some reports suggesting that toxic chemicals from Camp Lejeune may be responsible for more than 50,000 cases of breast cancer, 28,000 cases of bladder cancer, and 24,000 cases of renal cancer, as well as thousands of cases involve Parkinson’s disease and other health complications. It is also believed Camp Lejeune water caused birth defects and wrongful death for thousands of unborn children exposed in utero.

While the U.S. government passed this landmark legislation, the law does not include any automatic right to settlement benefits for veterans and their family members. Rather, each claimant must file a lawsuit and establish that they were exposed to Camp Lejeune water for at least 30 days between August 1953 and December 31, 1987. It is also necessary that they present expert testimony or support to establish that there is a causal relationship between the Camp Lejeune water and injury, or that such a relationship is at least as likely as not.

At this time, Camp Lejeune injury lawyers are reviewing claims for a wide variety of cancers and other complications that may have been caused by the chemicals in the water, including:

Camp Lejeune Cancer Lawsuits:

  • Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML)
  • Brain Cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Bladder cancer
  • Central Nervous System Cancer
  • Cervical cancer
  • Colon Cancer/Colorectal Cancer
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Hodgkins Lymphoma
  • Kidney cancer
  • Liver cancer
  • Lung cancer
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Leukemia
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Non Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
  • Prostate Cancer
  • Rectal Cancer
  • Thyroid Cancer

Other Side Effects Eligible for Camp Lejeune Lawsuit Benefits:

  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Renal Toxicity/Kidney Disease
  • Kidney Damage
  • Hepatic steatosis (fatty liver disease)
  • Aplastic anemia
  • Scleroderma
  • Birth defects
  • Miscarriage
  • Female Infertility
  • Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
  • Epilepsy (seizures)
  • Immune Disorders
  • Nerve Damage
  • Neurobehavioral effects
  • Myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS or Pre-Leukemia)
  • Neurobehavioral effects (tremors, lack of coordination, movement or motor problems or other symptoms consistent with undiagnosed Parkinson’s disease)

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