United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina at Raleigh

Critical Updates for the Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Mass Torts Litigation

The Camp Lejeune Justice Act (CLJA) has ushered in a wave of litigation in North Carolina, with numerous mass tort cases being filed related to water contamination at the Marine Corps Base, Camp Lejeune. For lawyers in other states seeking experienced local counsel to navigate these burgeoning cases, understanding the landscape of the Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Mass Torts is essential. Here’s a comprehensive overview of the current status and critical details of these cases.

Current Status of Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Cases

As of May 2024, 1,764 CLJA cases have been filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina. Additionally, 227,309 administrative claims have been filed with the Department of Navy. To streamline the submission and management of these claims, the Navy has implemented a CLJA Claims Management Portal, which began operation on April 10, 2024. This portal is intended to enhance data quality and improve communication between claimants and the Navy.

Out of 551 CLJA claims that the Navy has determined included necessary substantiation—such as exposure, accepted illness, and medical causation—the Navy has identified 119 of those 551 claims that may be eligible for settlement. However, despite the implementation of the new portal and the presence of documented substantiation, most claimants have not yet received settlement offers.
Role of the Plaintiffs’ Leadership Group (PLG)

The Plaintiffs’ Leadership Group (PLG) has been actively defending depositions, scheduling treating physician depositions, and conducting discovery for cases currently pending in the Eastern District of North Carolina. The PLG has also requested the Court to compel the government to produce the ATSDR’s Water Modeling Project File. This file is critical for understanding when and where certain areas at Camp Lejeune received VOC-contaminated drinking water. Additionally, the PLG is assessing whether the digitized muster rolls located at Quantico, VA, contain adequate searchable personnel records necessary for substantiating claims related to Camp Lejeune.

Challenges and Deadlines

The government has maintained that August 10, 2024, is the deadline for the filing of all administrative claims. Despite seven months having passed since the announcement of the Elective Option (EO) settlement program, most claimants pursuing this option have not received settlement offers. The government appears to be holding off on settling claims outside of the EO program until the conclusion of Track 1 trials.

Furthermore, the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) houses numerous records that can aid veterans in making their claims. However, the NARA currently prohibits users from requesting records specifically pertaining to the CLJA of 2022, hindering veterans from self-substantiating their claims.

Track Illnesses

The Court has selected various illnesses for which early trials may help promote early resolution for common illnesses. The Court’s selection of these illnesses does not reflect an assessment of the merits of these or other CLJA actions. In December 2023, the Court selected 100 Track 1 Discovery Pool Plaintiffs to proceed through discovery. It is the Court’s plan to have some jury trials for these 100 cases in 2024.

On February 26, 2024, the Court selected Track 2 illnesses for a plan similar to the plan in place for the 100 Track 1 plaintiffs. Just like the Track 1 Discovery Pool, the Court will select 100 Track 2 Discovery Pool Plaintiffs to proceed through discovery.

The various illnesses selected for Track 1 and 2 Discovery Pools are listed below. The PLG and the government are currently working on selecting Track 3 illnesses for a discovery plan and those potential illnesses are also listed below.

Track 1 Illnesses:

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

Track 2 Illnesses:

  • Liver cancer
  • Kidney disease (end-stage renal disease, chronic kidney disease, increased kidney weight, or increased urinary protein tubular toxicity)
  • Prostate cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Lung cancer

Potential Track 3 Illnesses (under discussion):

  • Cervical cancer
  • Miscarriage
  • Non-cardiac birth defects
  • Neurobehavioral effects
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Partnering with Local Counsel in Raleigh, NC

For out-of-state lawyers looking to collaborate with local counsel experienced in Camp Lejeune Water Toxicity cases, it’s crucial to work with attorneys who are well-versed in the nuances of these cases and the civil procedure governing the forums. At DeMent, Askew, Johnson & Marshall, our attorneys have extensive experience in handling mass tort cases and navigating the complexities of the CLJA. With over 50 years of service to the citizens of North Carolina, our firm is equipped to provide the expertise and local knowledge necessary to effectively manage these claims.

If you are seeking local counsel in North Carolina to handle Camp Lejeune Water Contamination cases, contact DeMent, Askew, Johnson & Marshall to find out how we can help your valued clients. Call 919-833-5555 for our Raleigh office or 252-251-5555 for our Morehead City office. Let us assist you in navigating the complexities of these significant mass tort cases.

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We are now DeMent Askew Johnson & Marshall



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