Camp Lejeune Lawsuit News and Updates

Our lawyers represent victims seeking a Camp Lejeune lawsuit in all 50 states.

This page provides more comprehensive and updated information on Camp Lejeune claims:

  1. The latest news and updates on the Camp Lejeune lawsuit
  2. Who is eligible for compensation
  3. Projected per-person Camp Lejeune settlement amounts based on the type of claim
  4. How we can help you bring a suit to receive the compensation you deserve

We understand this process is confusing for many who have suffered so much. So our lawyers provide a new update almost daily to give you the latest news on the litigation. We also recently reopened the comments below to answer any questions you may have or just give you a chance to say what is on your mind.

Our last Camp Lejeune lawsuit update was on July 18, 2024, at 3:20 p.m.

If you have a potential Camp Lejeune lawsuit for the injury or death of a loved one, call our lawyers today at 800-553-8082 or get a free online consultation. There is no fee or cost unless you get financial compensation for the harm that was done to you.

Latest News on Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawsuit

Before we discuss the Camp Lejeune lawsuits and our lawyers’ estimates of expected settlement amounts, let’s examine the latest news in the toxic water lawsuits.

July 18, 2024 – Win for Plaintiffs – Opt-Out Ruling Affirmed

Seven months ago, the government filed a motion to amend Case Management Order No. 2.  It wanted four things: (1) mandate that every plaintiff file a short form complaint, (2) removal of the opt-out provision for Track 2 and future track plaintiffs, (3) extending Track 1 fact discovery by 90 days, and (4) requiring prompt notification if any plaintiff undergoes or will undergo an expert examination.

In February, the court issued Case Management Order No. 10, giving the government some of what it wanted. The court sensibly required all plaintiffs to file a short form complaint. But it retained the opt-out provision for Track 2 and future plaintiffs, declined to extend Track 1 discovery, and deferred the ruling on the expert examination notification requirement.

In April, and we wrote about it in the April 17th update, the DOJ sought reconsideration of the decision to keep the opt-out provision. The government argued that a significant number of Track 2 plaintiffs opting out had skewed the representative sample needed for fair litigation.

It took the court a while, obviously, but in a new ruling yesterday the judges denied this motion for reconsideration. The judges emphasized that the existing Track 2 pool still contained enough cases to maintain a representative sample and found no compelling new evidence to warrant a change in the order. The court maintained that accommodations could be made for plaintiffs unable to participate fully in discovery or trial without necessitating the removal of the opt-out provision.

July 17, 2024 – Do You Have a Camp Lejeune Claim?

Our law firm is currently receiving more Camp Lejeune calls than ever since the CLJA was passed. We won’t be able to review new claims for much longer.

If you have a case and have been hesitant to come forward, now is truly your last chance. Unfortunately, we will still receive strong cases after the deadline, but we won’t be able to help. It doesn’t hurt to inquire, and you can easily do so by filling out an online contact form.

This late in the game, we are only taking these cases:

Track 1 Illnesses Track 2 Illnesses
Bladder cancer Breast cancer
Kidney cancer Kidney disease
Leukemia Liver cancer
Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma Lung cancer
Parkinson’s disease Prostate cancer

I can’t emphasize enough that this is your last chance.

July 13, 2024 – Plaintiffs’ Proposed Track One Schedule

The parties have jointly proposed this schedule to the court:

Event Date/Timeframe
Close of discovery related to Track 1 Trial Plaintiffs August 11, 2024
PLG discloses experts on Water Contamination Phase 75 days after close of fact discovery
Defendant discloses experts on Water Contamination Phase 45 days after plainitffs disclose their experts
PLG discloses rebuttal experts on Water Contamination Phase 21 days after Defendant discloses their experts
PLG discloses experts on General Causation Phase 120 days after close of fact discovery
Defendant discloses experts on General Causation Phase 45 days after plaintifffs disclose their experts
PLG discloses rebuttal experts on General Causation Phase 21 days after Defendant discloses their experts
Complete expert discovery for each phase 45 days after expert disclosures
Serve Daubert motions and motions for summary judgment for each phase 30 days after completing expert discovery
File oppositions to motions 21 days after motions are served
File replies to oppositions 14 days after oppositions are filed

This schedule will likely push the first trial well into 2025.

July 12, 2024:  Settlements Masters Finally Appointed

The North Carolina judges have appointed Thomas J. Perrelli of Jenner & Block LLP and Christopher G. Oprison of DLA Piper as settlement masters to facilitate settlement discussions.  Magistrate Judge James E. Gates has also been appointed as settlement liaison to assist.

The court is tasking these settlement masters with establishing a settlement structure for the Camp Lejeune Justice Act cases and facilitating discussions between the parties. They will not act as advocates or have coercive authority so no one is going to be cramming a settlement down anyone’s throats. Their authority is limited to facilitating settlement discussions and does not extend to adjudicating any issues in the litigation. But they will work to develop a unified approach to the Herculean task of getting the majority of these lawsuits settled.

The deadline to bring a Camp Lejuene lawsuit is approaching, and the DOJ is feeling the pressure of trials.  It is time to throw away the Elective Option and make a real run and get Camp Lejeune settlements en masse.

July 10, 2024: Update on Settlement Payouts

According to the latest joint status report, there are 93 Camp Lejeune cases currently in litigation that qualify for the government’s elective early settlement program. So far, 37 of these cases have accepted early settlement offers, with payouts ranging from $100,000 to $450,000. In nine cases, the elective settlement offers have been rejected, while 26 offers are still pending.

Outside of the elective early settlement program, the government has made settlement offers to 111 individual plaintiffs after verifying their claims. 58 of these settlement offers have been accepted, and 3 have been rejected. Payments totaling just over $20 million have already been sent out to 81 of these plaintiffs – an average of about $246,000 per plaintiff. Bladder cancer claims have had the highest average per claim payout value.

July 9, 2024: Racing to the Finish Line

When we last reported on June 22, 1,825 civil lawsuits were filed.  That number has gone up just a bit to 1,851 lawsuits.

Administrative claims is another matter. They continue to surge. Two weeks ago, 261,293 claims were filed with the Navy under the CLJA. This number has surged to approximately 285,484 claims. That is 24,292 more claims in just two weeks.

Everyone keeps asking is how many of these over 285,000 claims are viable and how many of them are for injuries that could never be related to Camp Lejeune?  Right now, no one knows that answer.

June 29, 2024 – General Causation Before Trial Motion

The North Carolina judges have decided independently that they want to resolve two critical issues before the first trials: toxic chemical exposure from the water at Camp Lejeune and general causation for the Track I Illnesses.

The plaintiffs’ first task is to establish the presence and levels of alleged chemicals in the water at Camp Lejeune from 1953 to 1987, such as benzene, TCE, PCE, and vinyl chloride. This involves proving the contamination levels at various water distribution systems. Ridiculously, the government has not agreed to stipulate to this.

Secondly, plaintiffs must meet their general causation burden by proving a causal relationship between the chemicals in the water and the Track I Illnesses (bladder cancer, kidney cancer, leukemia, Parkinson’s disease, and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma). The court will expedite expert discovery limited to these issues, followed by potential Daubert and dispositive motion briefings.

The parties have been ordered to meet and confer to resolve these Track I issues. They are required to jointly submit a proposed pretrial schedule by July 12, 2024, which will include timelines for limited expert discovery and necessary briefings.

The good news is this will streamline trials to allow for shorter trials that we can hopefully try back-to-back-to-back.

June 28, 2024 – Status Conference

The next status conference will be on July 16th. At the moment, his litigation focus has shifted toward preparing the individual bellwether case for trial.

June 27, 2024 – Time Is Running Out

Our law firm is now getting more calls from prospective Camp Lejeune water contamination victims than we have since this litigation started. We are still signing up new cases. But the deadline is near.  One thing is for sure: we will get calls on great claims before August 10th, but there will not be enough time to prepare to file before the deadline.

If you have a potential claim you want to bring or are hesitant because you are unsure if you have a case, call today at 800-553-8082 or get a free online consultation.

June 22, 2024 – Case Count

According to the most recently filed joint status report, 1,825 Camp Lejeune civil lawsuits have been filed under the CLJA. 21 of those lawsuits were voluntarily dismissed by the plaintiffs, and 4 more were cases filed without an attorney that were dismissed for procedural failures. 261,293 administrative claims have been filed with the Navy under the CLJA.

June 18, 2024 – Plaintiffs’ Bellwether Picks

Plaintiffs have their picks for the bellwether trial:

Bladder Cancer

  • Criswell v. USA, Case No. 7:23-cv-01482-BO-BM
  • Dyer v. USA, Case No. 7:23-cv-00357-D-RJ
  • Cagiano v. USA, Case No. 7:23-cv-00569-BO-RN

Kidney Cancer

  • Mousser v. USA, Case No. 7:23-cv-00667-D-RN
  • Howard v. USA, Case No. 7:23-cv-00490-FL
  • Fancher v. USA, Case No. 7:23-cv-00275-M-BM

Leukemia

  • Gleesing v. USA, Case No. 7:23-cv-01486-FL
  • Connard v. USA, Case No. 7:23-cv-01557-M-RN
  • Hill v. USA, Case No. 7:23-cv-00028-M-KS

Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

  • Carter v. USA, Case No. 7:23-cv-01565-M-KS
  • Kidd v. USA, Case No. 7:23-cv-01489-FL
  • Davis v. USA, Case No. 7:23-cv-00043-BO-BM

Parkinson’s Disease

  • Peterson v. USA, Case No. 7:23-cv-01576-M-RJ
  • McElhiney v. USA, Case No. 7:23-cv-01368-BO-RJ
  • Rothchild v. USA, Case No. 7:23-cv-00858-D-KS

See our June 11, 2024 update for more background.

June 15, 2024 – Status Conference

This week, there was a status conference at which some agreements were forged, at least for now, on four of the outstanding discovery motions.

The next status conference is on June 27th.

June 12, 2024 – A Discovery Win

The magistrate judge overseeing the discovery in this litigation ruled for the plaintiffs yesterday, finding that Dr. Christopher Portier’s testimony will go forward. The judge found Dr. Portier’s testimony relevant – it is hard to imagine finding otherwise – and that the government’s claim of undue burden and expenses of attending Dr. Portier’s deposition in Italy were ill-founded. The court highlighted that travel costs alone are insufficient grounds to prevent the deposition, especially given the significant potential impact of Dr. Portier’s testimony on all claimants.

The court also addressed concerns regarding compliance with international law, with plaintiffs accepting the responsibility to ensure all Italian legal requirements are met. Consequently, the motion to prevent Dr. Portier’s deposition was denied.

You can find more background information on this motion for a protective order to quash the deposition in the May 31st summary below.

June 11, 2024 – Court Approves Track 1 Plan

The court approved the joint motion we discussed last week in the June 4th update yesterday. So we will soon know which five Lejeune lawsuits will be heading for trial first. Plaintiffs’ lawyers must pick the three cases from the list they want to go to trial in the next five days.

June 8, 2024 – NAS Discovery

The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) is a private, nonprofit institution established to provide expert advice on scientific issues.

The NAS conducted a study sponsored by the Navy in 2009 to investigate the links between adverse health effects and contaminated water at Camp Lejeune. The plaintiffs served a subpoena to the NAS, asking for the report and related documents in an effort to get to the truth. Curiously, the NAS has refused to produce the documents. There is a motion to compel pending, and the court is expected to hear the motion on Wednesday.

June 7, 2024 – Lawsuit and Claim Count

A total of 1,813 Camp Lejeune Justice Act (CLJA) lawsuits have been filed. There are approximately 232,892 administrative claims filed with the Department of Navy.

June 6, 2024 – Plaintiffs’ Lose Causation Motion

As we discussed in our update on January 16, 2024, lawyers for Camp Lejeune victims moved for partial summary judgment on the issue of causation. Plaintiffs also moved for leave to file the Motion without an accompanying Statement of Material Facts.

Yesterday, the court denied the plaintiffs’ motion. The court determined that individuals bringing Camp Lejeune lawsuits bear the burden of demonstrating that their harm was caused by exposure to the water at Camp Lejeune, requiring them to establish general and specific causation.

Plaintiffs had argued that the CLJA’s causation standard departs from common-law tort requirements, asserting that claimants need not prove specific causation if they meet the statutory 30-day exposure requirement. They claimed that the CLJA establishes a distinct causation framework, similar to the VA’s presumption-based system for benefits.

The court sees it differently than the plaintiffs, which is becoming a trend of late.

May 31, 2024 – Dr. Portier

Last week, we reported on the government’s attempt to quash the deposition of Dr. Christopher Portier, the ATSDR Director during these studies, who oversaw and was involved in the water modeling and health studies for Camp Lejeune. The government’s motion for a protective order aims to prevent the deposition, claiming Dr. Portier’s involvement was minimal and bemoaning the costs of a deposition in Italy.

Yesterday, plaintiffs’ lawyers filed a response. Their motion argues that the government seeks to disavow the ATSDR’s findings, instead embracing a critical report by the National Research Council (NRC), a private entity. Dr. Portier had defended the ATSDR’s studies, highlighting errors in the NRC’s report. The motion argues that the government’s motion lacks specific factual support and that Dr. Portier’s deposition is essential to effectively challenge the NRC report’s criticisms.

Attorneys for victims also assert that Dr. Portier has willingly volunteered to testify, and they will cover the costs of ensuring the deposition is conducted in compliance with international laws. The government’s main concern appears to be the expenses involved, which the motion argues, as I did last week, are negligible compared to the context of this litigation.

May 28, 2024 – New Bill

A new bill in Congress proposes removing the restriction that cases must be filed exclusively in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina. This change would permit it to be heard in any district court within the Fourth Circuit for trial.

First impression: this would cause chaos that would not help anybody. These four judges who make the law governing the claims create a real organization for the litigation. I don’t always like the rulings (the jury trial ruling in particular), but this structure helps advance the litigation.

May 26, 2024 – Time Remaining to Bring a Camp Lejeune Lawsuit

It takes longer to complete the puzzle of filing a Camp Lejeune suit or administrative claim, particularly in wrongful death cases. So if you are still considering making a claim, the August 10, 2024 deadline is pretty much on top of us. There will come a point soon – our lawyers have not figured out exactly what that date will be for us – when Camp Lejeune attorneys stop taking new cases.

If you have a potential case and are unsure if you want to bring it, call a lawyer today. Of course, we would like you to call us, but it is more important that you call any lawyer who knows this litigation to find out what your options are and whether this is something you want to do.

May 24, 2024 – Protective Order for Dr. Christopher Portier

Plaintiffs’ lawyers have noted the deposition of Dr. Christopher Portier, former Director of the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). The deposition is scheduled for May 28, 2024, in Domodossola, Italy.

In a motion yesterday, the DOJ contends that the cost of conducting the deposition in Italy outweighs any potential benefits. They argue that Dr. Portier had limited direct involvement in the ATSDR’s Camp Lejeune studies and that relevant information is already being gathered through the scheduled depositions of two key ATSDR scientists, Dr. Frank Bove and Morris Maslia, who had more direct involvement.

I try to be mostly neutral in these updates. But give me a break. The government is going to pay tens of billions of dollars in settlements. Given the stakes of this litigation, is a trip to Italy really so inconvenient and costly?   (Do you really think DOJ lawyers are not already making jokes about who gets to go on that trip? They could also do a video deposition, of course, especially if the witness is as unimportant as they say.)

Dr. Portier’s testimony could be extremely important. His critical review of the National Research Council’s report on Camp Lejeune highlighted deficiencies and provided a more nuanced understanding of the potential health impacts. He has also previously evaluated studies and reports concerning Camp Lejeune’s water contamination.

Moreover, while Dr. Portier may not have had direct involvement in every study, his role as Director means he was privy to strategic decisions and scientific interpretations that shaped ATSDR’s response to the Camp Lejeune situation. His testimony can illuminate ATSDR’s stance on the health risks posed by the contaminants and any internal deliberations that informed their public statements and reports.

May 16, 2024 – Discovery Battles

The lawyers had a conference with the magistrate judge today to discuss the various discovery battles between the parties.

May 15, 2024 –  People Trying to Represent Themselves

At this point, most of the new clients we are getting are victims who tried to do it themselves and are realizing it will be much harder than they thought. If this describes you, give us a call.

May 14, 2024 – Court Orders ATSDR to Produce Files

Yesterday, the court partially granted the plaintiffs’ motion to require the ATSDR to produce certain specialized files in their original format. However, the request for a complete “mirror image” of all the water modeling project files was denied.

The ruling involves two types of files: the “Exotic Modeling Files,” which include complex data like Geographic Information System files, and a broader set of standard electronic files such as PDFs and Word documents, referred to as “Non-Exotic Files.” While the court ordered that all Exotic Modeling Files be produced in their native format according to the production specifications, it rejected the idea of producing a mirror image of all modeling files, limiting the scope of document production.

The plaintiffs have expressed difficulties in verifying the accuracy of their reconstructed model without the complete files as maintained by the ATSDR. They argue that without the mirror image, they cannot confirm if their reconstructed project file accurately represents the original. The court seems to understand there may be a problem. It has scheduled an in-camera presentation by the plaintiffs to demonstrate further the specific problems they are facing with the file functionality. So everyone can sit down and figure out what is needed.

May 13, 2024 – New Awful Decision on Jury Trial Appeal

In a surprising decision this morning, the North Carolina Camp Lejeune judges denied a motion seeking immediate appellate review of a previous ruling that struck down the plaintiffs’ demand for a jury trial.

This decision came after the United States successfully argued for the removal of the jury trial option, a move that just two plaintiffs contested. The thinking was that the cases could move forward, but these plaintiffs would appeal the decision, which would, if reversed, ultimately apply to the remaining plaintiffs. It seemed like the best past to keep these cases moving and give victims a chance to adequately challenge and rectify what we think is a misapplication of the law concerning their right to a jury trial under the CLJA.

The court relied on historical precedents emphasizing that interlocutory appeals are exceptions to the general rule of awaiting final judgment before review. But we all know – and those judges certainly know – what this ruling means in practical terms. Before an appellate court ever reviews this jury question issue, there will likely be a settlement of large blocks of Camp Lejeune lawsuits – maybe the lion’s share of these claims. Settlement amounts for these victims will be calculated, assuming there is no right to a jury trial. It hardly seems fair.

May 12, 2024 – Total Camp Lejeune Settlements

The government says that the “latest statistics bear out the effectiveness of the [Elective Option] program.”

This is a pretty crazy assertion. The Elective Option for settlement was announced seven months ago. We only have $9 million in settlements. Only 36 cases have been settled. The settlement program is inadequate in terms of the amount offered and has made little progress in extending offers to the many thousands of claimants eligible for settlement.

The delays have been attributed to the government’s inability to efficiently access and verify records held by other federal agencies, particularly the VA. Initial plans to develop a technical solution for bulk eligibility verification were abandoned, and the government resorted to a slow, manual search process for each claimant. How is that going to work for 227,309 claims? This is the pace at which this litigation will be resolved in thousands of years.

May 11, 2024 – Government Alleges Lawyers Not Conveying Offers

The government alleges that in some cases, plaintiffs’ lawyers have not promptly communicated Camp Lejeune settlement offers, or the victims were not informed about the deadlines for these offers. It says it is now proactively reminding plaintiffs’ counsel about pending Elective Option offers and their upcoming expiration dates.

The government also says it has considered reasonable requests to revisit settlement offers and, in specific situations, has increased the amounts of these offers based on new evidence provided.

May 10, 2024 – Update Case Count

The latest case count is 1,764 lawsuits. The number of administrative claims has jumped to 227,309. So there are not many new lawsuits, but the number of claims filed with the Navy has soared.

May 9, 2024 – Muster Rolls Dispute

The government says the muster rolls dispute we discussed in the May 5th update below is a misunderstanding. It maintains that all relevant data and databases have been provided, specifically from a Network Attached Storage (NAS) device at Quantico, which holds the records in question.

The DOJ explains that this database has been variously named over the years, but the U.S. clarifies that the different names refer to the same database. What about the PowerPort slide victims’ lawyer found suggesting the existence of a separate “MUDD database?”  The government says this is just another name for the already produced data.

May 6, 2024 – 2nd Motion to Compel

Yesterday, we wrote about a motion to compel the digitized muster rolls that have been the subject of great debate. A second motion to compel was filed Friday on the ATSDR Water Modeling Project Files, another issue that has long been a source of contention.

The plaintiffs’ attorneys initially sought these files to ensure the integrity of geographic information system (GIS) files and water modeling files, collectively termed “Exotic Modeling Files,” which they claimed could be compromised by the standard electronic stored information (ESI) processing protocols. The government had countered that while some data within these files could be altered by ESI processing, they would produce the exotic files natively as per protocol requirements.

Following the court’s order, the defendant produced databases that included native versions of the exotic files. However, the plaintiffs’ lawyers argue that despite these productions, uncertainty remains about the completeness and accuracy of the data reconstruction. They assert that without a mirror image of the original project file, there is no reliable way to confirm whether all data points and links within the model are intact and correctly placed.

The ATSDR’s water modeling files are a big deal in this litigation. So plaintiffs’ attorneys are urging the court to reconsider its previous ruling. They request the court to compel the government to produce a clone or mirror copy of the ATSDR’s water modeling project file in its native format, alongside any other appropriate relief so that plaintiffs can get the necessary information. Unless the government concedes that every square inch of this base had these awful chemicals, plaintiffs need to know every detail about the water movement on the base.

May 5, 2024 – Motion to Compel by Plaintiffs

On Friday, plaintiffs’ lawyers asked the court to reconsider an earlier order that denied their Motion to Compel the production of certain digitized muster rolls related to the Marine Corps and the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Camp Lejeune project.

We discuss this in our February 7, 2024 update below. Initially, the defendant opposed the plaintiffs’ Motion to Compel because it no longer mattered—they had already committed to producing the digitized muster rolls by the end of March 2024. They also mentioned that the muster rolls were not searchable by name as the plaintiffs had expected, nor was there an expectation for a future database to allow name-based searches without multiple selections or searches.

However, the plaintiffs’ attorneys offer new evidence suggesting the existence of a Marine Corps Unit Diary Database (MUDD) covering the years 1940-2005, which appears to fulfill the specific requests made in their initial motion. This database was revealed in an undated VA presentation victims’ lawyers found, highlighting its capabilities to be searched by year, description, or through a full-text search—a tool that was specifically developed to facilitate queries from 1950-1990, the exact period relevant to this litigation.

The paradox is that victims are struggling to get their service records from the party that is the defendant in this litigation. So plaintiffs are asking for the court’s help in forcing the government to turn over what it has so plaintiffs can prove they were at Lejeune.

April 26, 2024 – Plaintiffs’ Track 3 Proposal

The attorneys representing the plaintiffs in the Camp Lejeune case have submitted a formal proposal to consider serious illnesses in Track 5.

The proposed diseases are

  1. multiple myeloma
  2. pancreatic cancer
  3. esophageal cancer
  4. aplastic anemia/myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS)
  5. scleroderma.

The history of this is late last year, the plaintiffs’ Camp Lejeune lawyers proposed liver cancer, sclerosis/scleroderma, multiple myeloma, kidney disease, and aplastic anemia for Track 3. They also suggested that the illnesses submitted by the government for Track 2 be considered for Track 3.

In a separate filing on the same day, the government recommended that the court select any of the five diseases not chosen from the U.S. proposed diseases for Track 2, including prostate cancer, breast cancer, lung cancer, pancreatic cancer, and esophageal cancer. The court designated the illnesses for Track 2.

With the diseases selected for Track 2 removed from both submissions, the remaining conditions for consideration are pancreatic cancer, esophageal cancer, sclerosis/scleroderma, multiple myeloma, and aplastic anemia, which the plaintiffs’ Camp Lejeune attorneys have nominated for Track 5.

There is understandable frustration from victims with illnesses that will not be included in the first three tracks. How are the diseases being selected? The reasons stated by both sides are the disease’s severity and the probable number of affected cases. The unstated reason is that both sides want to push forward cases they can win, which will have higher verdicts (or, from the government’s perspective, lower verdicts). That is why the government is pushing cases like “dental effects” and hypersensitivity skin disorders. They do not even represent the plaintiffs’ primary health concerns and, in many cases, such as dental effects, may be secondary to cancer treatments.

April 22, 2024 – Settlement Master

Camp Lejeune attorneys on both sides are interviewing candidates to suggest as potential Settlement Masters to help them find a path to a more reasonable global settlement plan. Names will be provided to the court by Friday.

April 21, 2024 – Number of Outstanding Claims

There have been 1,740 lawsuits filed under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act (CLJA). Among these, 25 cases have been dismissed, with 21 being voluntary dismissals and the remaining four being pro se cases. Over 16,000 new administrative claims have been filed with the Department of Navy, bringing the number to 190,561. There have been 40 Camp Lejeune settlements. So 0.021% of these claims have settled.

April 19, 2024 – Deadline to Respond to Records Motion

Today is the deadline for plaintiffs’ lawyers to respond to the motion discussed on April 12th below.

The Lejeune litigation docket has been slow this week. Again, Camp Lejeune attorneys are really focused on getting individual lawsuits ready for trial. That requires fewer global issue motions and more in-the-weeds discovery.

April 18, 2024 – Evidence Protocol

Plaintiffs’ Camp Lejeune attorneys asked the court yesterday to establish a protocol for storing individual plaintiffs’ evidence related to Camp Lejeune lawsuits.

This depository is needed because this litigation involves events spanning over seventy years, and relevant evidence includes tangible items, records, and documents existing or stored across various physical and virtual media, both old and new. In 2024, most of this is just stored electronically. But converting other documents and evidence currently in tangible form may be infeasible or unduly costly and time-consuming.

This is a good idea that the government does not oppose.

April 17, 2024 – Opt-Out Dispute

The government has filed a motion requesting reconsidering an order that declined to strike the opt-out provision from future discovery tracks in the Camp Lejeune water litigation.

The government’s motion argues that attorneys for Camp Lejeune water contamination victims are exploiting the opt-out provision to significantly limit the number of plaintiffs available for discovery and trial, thus compromising the representativeness of the bellwether cases. The motion highlights that lawyers have opted out a substantial portion of eligible cases from Track 2, contrary to their initial assurance that they did not foresee the need for such opt-outs in future tracks.

This concern is not uncommon. It is a leitmotif in many MDLs. But it is too late to complain now, and it is important to balance the need for a perfectly representative pool—an impossible goal, anyway—with fairness to real people.

April 12, 2024 – Discovery Dispute

Plaintiffs have served document requests on the government. The DOJ has asked the court for a blanket extension to respond. The plaintiffs’ lawyers have said no because we do not want further delay. The DOJ has filed a motion; victims’ lawyers have until next Friday to respond. If history is an indication, it will not take that long.

April 8, 2024 – Single Disease Plaintiffs

Today, the government filed a motion asking the court to allow bellwether trials that only focus on diseases already recognized as associated with the Camp Lejeune water (“single disease plaintiffs”).

The government argues that cases where plaintiffs claim multiple diseases or conditions not yet recognized as being associated with the water are inherently complex and require extensive medical and scientific evidence. Therefore, the government suggests these complex cases should be tried later.

So the government is asking for a new deadline for identifying which plaintiffs fall into each category, and the time for discovering expert evidence will be extended for the multiple-disease Plaintiffs.

I understand the government’s point here. There are two problems. First, it is late in the game to ask for this. Second, some of the most tragic cases involve multiple-disease plaintiffs. How is it fair to take them out of the pool?

The government also wants to live in a fantasy world where only the illnesses it thinks are related to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune will be compensable. The sooner it is divorced from this notion, the better.

April 4, 2024 – Call Your Camp Lejeune Attorney

Some Camp Lejeune victims have hired multiple lawyers for the same claim. I have no idea why people do this, but it happens in every significant piece of litigation our attorneys see.

If you have done this, come clean and tell your lawyers now. Why? It may slow up the processing of any settlement offer you may receive.

April 2, 2024 – Status

Today’s status conference focused mostly on discovery issues. The next conference is on April 26, 2024.

March 27, 2024 – Claims Number and Settlement Statistics

As of yesterday, 1,662 suits had been filed under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act, and approximately 176,662 administrative claims had been filed with the Navy.

As for Camp Lejeune settlements, there are not many when you look at these numbers. The Torts Branch has identified 51 cases in litigation that qualify for the Elective Option. The breakdown of cases by injury includes 14 cases of bladder cancer, 12 of kidney cancer, 10 non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, five of kidney disease, four of Parkinson’s disease, four of leukemia, and two of multiple myeloma.

Twenty-one offers have been accepted by plaintiffs, including five cases of bladder cancer with settlements of $150,000, $150,000, $300,000, $300,000, and $450,000; four cases of kidney disease (end-stage renal disease) with settlements of $250,000, $250,000, $100,000, and $100,000; five cases of kidney cancer with settlements of $300,000, $300,000, $300,000, $300,000, and $150,000; three cases of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma with settlements of $150,000, $150,000, and $300,000; one case of multiple myeloma with a settlement of $250,000; two cases of Parkinson’s disease with settlements of $400,000 and $100,000; and one case of leukemia with a settlement of $300,000. Nine offers were rejected by plaintiffs, including cases of bladder cancer, kidney cancer, multiple myeloma, kidney disease, and Parkinson’s disease. Fifteen offers have expired, including cases of kidney cancer, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, bladder cancer, and leukemia. Six offers are pending.

Furthermore, the DOJ is also settling cases separate from the Torts Branch. Based on information provided by the Navy, it has approved offers for 59 claimants. Twenty-four settlement offers have been accepted, two have been rejected, 25 have expired, and eight are pending.

Payments have been sent for eight accepted settlement offers made by the Navy and eighteen accepted settlement offers from the DOJ, totaling $5,950,000. Six cases of bladder cancer resulted in two payments of $300,000, three payments of $150,000, and one payment of $450,000. Four cases of leukemia resulted in three payments of $300,000 and one payment of $150,000. Three cases of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma resulted in one payment of $300,000 and two payments of $150,000. Three cases of Parkinson’s disease resulted in one payment of $400,000, one payment of $250,000, and one payment of $100,000. Five cases of kidney cancer resulted in four payments of $300,000 and one payment of $150,000. Three cases of kidney disease resulted in two payments of $100,000 and one payment of $250,000. One case of multiple myeloma resulted in a payment of $250,000.

All told, payments totaling $5,950,000 have been made for eight settlements offered by the Navy and eighteen by the DOJ, covering various conditions like bladder cancer, leukemia, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, Parkinson’s disease, kidney cancer, kidney disease, and multiple myeloma, with amounts varying from $100,000 to $450,000.

Victims are understandably frustrated by the pace of the process. This is not what Congress intended.

March 25, 2024 – Updates

There was a status conference last week that went over the discovery disputes we have been talking about. The next conference is on April 2, 2024, which is a telephonic status hearing.

Many of you are coming here for regular updates and are not getting much information of late. We are not asleep at the wheel. The energy in the litigation right now is in getting cases ready for trial with pretrial discovery, which does not lend itself to as many updates. We give these boring “there is a status conference” updates sometimes, not so much that we think you care about the next status conference, but to remind you, we are putting all the relevant news our lawyers have.

We will keep you posted. In the meantime, you can share any questions or thoughts you have in the comments section below.

March 14, 2024 – Camp Lejeune Settlement Payouts So Far

There are two entities within the government making settlement offers: the Torts Branch and the DOJ.

The Torts Branch confirmed that 50 cases in litigation qualify for the Elective Option (EO) based on document verification. These cases are categorized by injury as follows:

  • 14 for Bladder Cancer
  • 12 for Kidney Cancer
  • 10 for non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
  • 5 for Kidney Disease
  • 4 for Parkinson’s Disease
  • 3 for Leukemia
  • 2 for Multiple Myeloma

Settlement offers have been extended, with 18 accepted across various conditions, including $150,000 to $450,000 for Bladder Cancer, $100,000 to $250,000 for Kidney Disease (End Stage Renal Disease), $150,000 to $300,000 for Kidney Cancer, $150,000 for non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, $250,000 for Multiple Myeloma, and $100,000 to $400,000 for Parkinson’s Disease. Nine offers were declined, and ten have expired across different diagnoses. Currently, 13 settlement offers are still pending.

Additionally, the DOJ has made settlement offers to 59 claimants based on Navy-provided information, with 24 being accepted, two rejected, 25 expired, and eight pending. Payments totaling $3.6 million have been disbursed for eight settlements from the Navy and seven from the DOJ, covering various conditions such as Bladder Cancer, Leukemia, non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, Parkinson’s Disease, Kidney Cancer, and Kidney Disease, with amounts ranging from $100,000 to $400,000.

Is it too soon to call the Elective Option an utter failure? No. They have only settled a fraction of a fraction of these lawsuits. There needs to be a better plan. The parties are actively developing a questionnaire and a roadmap to facilitate a resolution. They also jointly proposed bringing on a lawyer to act as the Special Settlement Master. There is a growing recognition that settlement efforts have to move forward more quickly.

March 13, 2024:  Case Count

We are now up to 1,633 Camp Lejeune lawsuits and 174,891 administrative claims.

March 11, 2024 – Status Conference

The court announced today the next status conference will be on March 19, 2024, at 11:00 a.m. in Wilmington.

March 8, 2024 – Moving Forward on Track 2 Discovery

Plaintiffs’ lawyers want to push the ball forward on Track 2 cases. Again, Track 2 cases are:

  1. Prostate Cancer
  2. Liver Cancer
  3. Lung Cancer
  4. Breast Cancer
  5. Kidney Disease

Plaintiffs want the court to remove the stay on cases within the Track 2 Discovery Pool and, upon selection of the Track 2 discovery plaintiffs, allow fact discovery for each plaintiff’s lawsuit to begin.

Of course, the government wants to delay. It proposes waiting to lift the stay on fact discovery for Track 2 illnesses after selecting Track 1 bellwether trial cases.

March 5, 2024 – Pretrial Discovery Rules Established

Both sides have agreed to specific rules to make the pretrial discovery more efficient in the Camp Lejeune water contamination litigation. This agreement, approved by the court in new Case Management Order #11, includes several key points:

  • To manage the large number of cases efficiently, the agreement allows the government the chance to conduct independent medical exams on plaintiffs who have been examined by a medical expert to give testimony, hired by the plaintiffs’ lawyers. This right to what our lawyers call a “defense medical exam” is a right that defendants have in personal injury cases. But for the sake of speeding up the process, the government will skip its own medical exams of a plaintiff if that plaintiff agrees not to use their own exams for expert testimony in court.
  • The plaintiffs’ attorneys have agreed to give early notice to the United States about any medical exams they plan for their clients by experts who will testify in court. This is to prevent the United States from having to request many defense expert exams that might not be needed, which always slows things down.
  • The plaintiffs must inform the Navy as soon as they are sure that an expert who has examined a plaintiff will testify on behalf of that plaintiff. If they already know the expert will testify, this notice must be given before the medical exam. If an expert initially considered a consulting (non-testifying) expert is later decided to be a testifying expert, the plaintiffs’ attorneys must promptly notify the United States.
  • This agreement does not cover ongoing treatments by plaintiffs’ regular healthcare providers or consultations with non-testifying expert witnesses.
  • The agreement applies to any physical or mental examination under the legal rules, whether ordered by the court or not, except for expert meetings with a plaintiff that do not involve such examinations.

This stipulation is designed to streamline the handling of numerous lawsuits by reducing the number of medical exams and expert testimonies. This makes the legal process more efficient for both parties and helps us get more cases to trial faster.

February 28, 2024 – Camp Lejeune Settlement News

This is the latest government report on Camp Lejeune settlements:

As of February 27, 2024, the Torts Branch has identified that forty-eight (48) cases in litigation satisfy the Elective Option (“EO”) criteria, as confirmed through documentary evidence.

The distribution of these cases by type of injury is as follows: 13 instances of Bladder Cancer, 12 of Kidney Cancer, 10 of non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, 5 of Kidney Disease, 3 of Parkinson’s Disease, 3 of Leukemia, and 2 of Multiple Myeloma.

In terms of settlement offers, seventeen (17) have been accepted by plaintiffs, including 5 cases of Bladder Cancer with settlements totaling $150,000, $150,000, $300,000, $300,000, and $450,000; 3 cases of Kidney Disease (End Stage Renal Disease) with settlements of $250,000, $100,000, and $100,000; 5 cases of Kidney Cancer with settlements totaling $300,000, $300,000, $300,000, $300,000, and $150,000; 2 cases of non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma with settlements of $150,000 each; 1 case of Multiple Myeloma with a settlement of $250,000; and 1 case of Parkinson’s Disease with a settlement of $400,000

Additionally, seven (7) offers were rejected by plaintiffs, encompassing four cases of Bladder Cancer, one case of Kidney Cancer, one case of Multiple Myeloma, and one case of Kidney Disease. Eight (8) offers have expired, involving three cases of Kidney Cancer, two cases of non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, two cases of Bladder Cancer, and one case of Leukemia. Sixteen (16) other settlement offers are currently pending.

Furthermore, the DOJ has endorsed offers for fifty-eight (58) claimants based on information provided by the Navy, with twenty-four (24) of these offers being accepted, two (2) rejected, twenty-five (25) expired, and seven (7) still pending. Payments have been issued for eight accepted settlement offers from the Navy and seven accepted offers from the DOJ, amounting to a total of $3,600,000.

This total includes payments for five cases of Bladder Cancer (two payments of $300,000 and three of $150,000), four cases of Leukemia (three payments of $300,000 and one of $150,000), two cases of non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (one payment of $300,000 and one of $150,000), two cases of Parkinson’s Disease (one payment of $400,000 and one of $250,000), one case of Kidney Cancer (a payment of $300,000), and one case of Kidney Disease (a payment of $100,000).

It is time we pronounce the Elective Option plan dead on arrival. We have 170,000 claims.

I think the government now understands this and is looking at different paths to settlement. Certainly, the judges will do everything they can to help push this ball forward. The last thing the court wants is 170,000 lawsuits filed in their district in the next six months.

February 27, 2024 – Updated Statistics

Currently, 1,530 Camp Lejeune lawsuits have been filed under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act. Among these, fifteen cases have been dismissed, with twelve being voluntary dismissals and the remaining three being pro se cases. The lawsuits are pretty evenly distributed by the four judges in the Eastern District of North Carolina.

There are approximately 170,502 administrative claims currently on file with the Navy.

February 26, 2024 – Track 2 Diseases Are Set

There has been a lot of speculation over which cancers/diseases would be included in Track 2. We now have the answer:

  1. Prostate Cancer
  2. Liver Cancer
  3. Lung Cancer
  4. Breast Cancer
  5. Kidney Disease

We estimate these five conditions make up about 25% of the Camp Lejeune claims that have been made.

The court is quick to point out that the choice of specific cases for early trial is not based on a determination of how strong these claims are one way or the other. Instead, the judges say this selection aims at identifying diseases that, if addressed early in trial settings, could facilitate the settlement of frequently occurring illnesses. The hope is for early settlements or verdicts for certain groups of illnesses, providing quicker resolutions for victims, a goal the judges do seem to have firmly in mind.

The parties are directed to present a discovery plan proposal for the illnesses categorized under Track 2, either together or separately, within ten days following this order.

February 14, 2024 – Jury Trials

I think it is fair to say the court’s ruling that there will not be jury trials in this litigation is an unfortunate development.

But there is an upside. Bench trials can go very quickly. We may have multiple trials a week in four different courts. Verdicts put pressure on defendants. If these four judges are fair and award reasonable compensation when warranted, getting many verdicts will pressure the government. Hopefully, this will speed up the path to a better, more inclusive, and more lucrative global settlement offer for Lejeune victims.

February 6, 2024 – No Camp Lejeune Jury Trials

We got our second lousy ruling in the Camp Lejeune litigation today. This one is a big deal.

The court ruled that the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 (CLJA) does not provide plaintiffs the right to a jury trial for actions seeking relief under the Act. Despite the CLJA allowing individuals exposed to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune to bring actions in the Eastern District of North Carolina, the court determined that Congress did not depart from its usual practice of not permitting jury trials against the United States.

The judges believe that CLJA’s text and the principles of sovereign immunity guided the decision, as the Act did not explicitly, affirmatively, and unambiguously grant a right to a jury trial.

The problem with this argument is that the second sentence of subsection 804(d) of the CLJA states that nothing shall impair the right to a jury trial. Please explain to me why they would mention protecting the right to a jury trial if there cannot be a jury trial.

But the court ruled that this unambiguous provision does not to establish a new right to a jury trial but to ensure that the Act does not affect any existing right outside of its provisions.

How about an appeal? That will just slow the process for victims who do not want to wait.

The upside? Faster trials will equal a faster path to a global settlement. And I do think they judges are poised to award millions of dollars if the case warrants such a verdict.

February 3, 2024 – Track One Order

The court has issued an order setting out the steps and deadlines for the Track 1 Discovery Pool – bladder cancer, kidney cancer, leukemia, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and Parkinson’s disease. The April trial date the court floated last month is out the window with this order, unfortunately,

Here’s a breakdown of what’s going to happen:

  1. Discovery Phase:
    • The plaintiffs have 45 days from the order to submit detailed information about their cases.
    • Both sides have 135 days to exchange all the facts and evidence related to these cases. After this fact-finding period, the plaintiffs and then the government will have set times to tell each other about their expert witnesses
  2. Motions Before Trial: Once all the information about expert witnesses is exchanged, there’s a 30-day period to file any motions that could decide the case without a trial.
  3. Planning for Settlement or Trial: The court plans to talk about settlement options through Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) and, most importantly for plaintiffs, plans for some of these cases to go to trial as example cases in 2024.
  4. Trial Details: Each judge involved will handle the specifics for the Lejeune suits they’re overseeing, and any unique decisions for a case will take priority over this general order. In order words, the judges is how we will do it… unless we change our minds.

This order organizes how the cases will proceed, focusing on gathering and sharing evidence, deciding on expert witnesses, and preparing for possible trials or settlements.

February 2, 2024 – ATSDR Study

The ATSDR study we have been talking about was finally released. The study found that between 1975 and 1985, military personnel at Camp Lejeune were more likely to develop certain cancers compared to those stationed elsewhere. No surprise.

Let’s break down some of the study’s statistics, focusing on the increased incidence rates of certain cancers at Camp Lejeune compared to Camp Pendleton.

The study discusses “hazard ratios” (HRs) and “confidence intervals” (CIs). These indicate how much more likely people at Camp Lejeune were to develop certain cancers compared to those at Camp Pendleton and how confident the researchers are in these findings.

For example, if a hazard ratio (HR) is 1.38 for acute myeloid leukemia, it means that people at Camp Lejeune were 38% more likely to develop this type of cancer than people at Camp Pendleton. The 95% confidence interval” gives a range (like 1.03 to 1.85) that the true hazard ratio is likely to fall within. If this range doesn’t include 1, it suggests the finding is statistically significant – in other words, it’s unlikely to be due to chance.

Here’s what the increased rates looked like for specific cancers at Camp Lejeune:

  • Acute myeloid leukemia: 38% more likely
  • All myeloid cancers (including polycythemia vera): 24% more likely
  • Myelodysplastic and myeloproliferative syndromes: 68% more likely
  • Cancers of the esophagus: 27% more likely
  • Cancers of the larynx: 21% more likely
  • Soft tissue cancers: 21% more likely
  • Thyroid cancer: 22% more likely

For civilian workers at Camp Lejeune, the increased rates were:

  • All myeloid cancers: 40% more likely
  • Squamous cell lung cancer: 63% more likely
  • Female ductal breast cancer: 32% more likely

This means that both military personnel and civilian workers at Camp Lejeune had a higher chance of getting these cancers compared to those at Camp Pendleton, where the water was not contaminated. The percentages give an idea of how much higher the risk was.

We told you that more cancers will be in focus after the study. Certainly, this new information will lead to more thyroid cancer lawsuits from Lejeune, which was not really on the radar for most Camp Lejeune lawyers.

What kind of cancers are now in play that might not have been before, at least with some Camp Lejeune lawyers? There are five that come to mind:

  1. Colon cancer
  2. Laryngeal Cancer
  3. Lung Cancer
  4. Pharyngeal cancer
  5. Thyroid cancer

February 1, 2024 – Summary Judgment Motion

Judge Myers is giving the government until February 19, 2024, to respond to the plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment discussed in our January 26 and 30 updates below.

January 31, 2024 – Case Count Update

There are 1,492 Camp Lejeune lawsuits pending. The administrative count is up to 164,136.

People were predicting over 500,000 claims. Our lawyers projected 150,000 from the beginning. Our revised prediction is there are less than 200,000 claims. What we do not know is how many of these claims are viable. Certainly most claims but not all will be compensable.

January 30, 2024 – The Push to Trial

The government wants more time to respond to plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment. Attorneys for Camp Lejeune victims are challenging the government’s request.

Previously, the attorneys have agreed to extensions requested by the government on other deadlines. But plaintiffs’ lawyers say we just cannot delay any longer. Trials are coming soon – as early as April – and we have to get these cases ready for trial. So professional courtesies have to take a backseat.

January 23, 2024 – Speed Up Litigation Plan

Camp Lejeune attorneys asked the court yesterday to consolidate sixteen toxic water lawsuits based on disease type for trial. This efficient docket management approach would allow the Court to resolve all Track 1 cases with just five trials, reducing the burden on the Court’s calendar and expediting proceedings.

Plaintiffs also gave a length of trial estimate for each type of Track 1 claim:

Disease Number of Plaintiffs Estimated Trial Days
NHL 5 7
Bladder Cancer 6 6
Kidney Cancer 8 8
Parkinson’s Disease 5 7
Leukemia 5 5

Expect the government to push back hard on this request. Consolidated cases will lead to more significant verdicts and more media attention, and the DOJ would rather lay as low as possible in this litigation. [Update: With the jury trial ruling discussed in later updates, the estimated days of trial are now much shorter.]

January 21, 2024 – Push Forward

In many mass torts, the defendants delay, delay, delay, and the plaintiffs’ lawyers are silent co-conspirators, not holding defense attorneys’ feet to the fire to push the litigation forward to get victims the compensation they deserve.

That is not happening in the Camp Lejeune litigation. Attorneys for Lejeune victims are holding the government’s feet to the fire at every turn. In the latest skirmish, plaintiffs’ lawyers are pushing back on the DOJ’s proposal to extend the Track 1 deadline for factual discovery by an additional 90 days.

The plaintiffs’ response points out that in establishing Case Management Order 2, the judges aimed for a swift and efficient discovery process, mainly to handle the expected influx of CLJA cases. Plaintiffs also point out that the necessity for such an extension has become irrelevant. For example, the government’s primary justification for seeking more time was the alleged extensive nature of the plaintiffs’ electronic data requests. However, the plaintiffs have since retracted these requests.

The faster this process moves forward, the longer it will take for the government to offer more global and reasonable Camp Lejeune settlement compensation.

January 18, 2024 – ATSDR Report… Finally

The government plans to release the 2023 ATSDR Cancer Incidence Study publicly this month. Attorneys for Camp Lejeune are retracting their appeal of the order denying the motion to compel this report.

We discuss this report more in the December 22 update below. It could be a good source of evidence for plaintiffs with Tier 2 and Tier 3 claims.

January 17, 2024 – Camp Lejeune Settlement Update

As of yesterday, the DOJ has identified thirty-seven cases in litigation that qualify for the Elective Option (EO) based on document verification. The DOJ is also relying on the Navy and has made 52 more offers. All told, we have thirteen Camp Lejeune settlements out of 89 total offers.

Here is how that looks:

Injury Number Accepted Total Payments Average Settlement
Bladder Cancer 4 $750,000 $197,500
Kidney Cancer 1 $300,000 $300,000
Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma 1 $300,000 $300,000
Kidney Disease 1 $100,000 $100,000
Parkinson’s Disease 2 $650,000 $325,000
Multiple Myeloma 0 $0 $0
Leukemia 4 $1,050,000 $262,500
Total 13 $3,150,000 $242,308

The sample size is small. But we will keep an eye on these numbers as we move forward.

For context, the Navy has now settled 13 claims out of the 158,252 claims that have been brought. So we are .008215% of the way to resolution. Again, there has to be a path to speed up this process.

  • Get more Camp Lejeune updates that go all the way back to the very beginning

How Camp Lejeune Lawsuits Work

The CLJA gives individuals (or their survivors) who lived or worked at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 days the right to file civil lawsuits in the Eastern District of North Carolina to seek damages for injuries allegedly caused by the contaminated water. Before filing their lawsuit, however, § (h) of the CLJA requires all claimants to go through a 6-month administrative claim process:

(h) Disposition By Federal Agency Required.- An individual may not bring an action under this section before complying with section 2675 of title 28, United States Code.

Before filing a Camp Lejeune toxic water lawsuit, a prospective plaintiff must submit their claim to the “appropriate federal agency.” Once a claim is submitted, the federal agency has a strict 6-month deadline to either accept or deny the claim. Claimants must wait until their claim is rejected or the 6-month deadline expires before filing their lawsuit in federal court.

This administrative claim process is a formality in most regular lawsuits against the Navy. Administrative claims are almost always denied, and the claimants move on to file suit. However, for Camp Lejeune claims under the CLJA, the process could be much different.

Under the CLJA, we believe that at the administrative claims process may be more like a pre-filing settlement mediation in which claimants who pass an initial screening process receive very reasonable settlement offers. We expect many claimants will accept settlement offers during the administrative claim process and never end up filing civil lawsuits.

Our lawyers expect the CLJA administrative claim process to play out this way for two reasons. First, Congress passed the CLJA to ensure that victims of the Lejeune water contamination could get financial compensation for valid injuries. Second, the Biden administration will ultimately be responsible for how this plays out. President Biden has made it clear that he strongly supports compensating deserving veterans.

Who Will the “Appropriate Federal Agency” Be for CLJA Claims?

Under the FTCA, administrative claims must be submitted to the “appropriate federal agency.” Camp Lejeune is not a Federal Tort Claims Act or Military Claims Act lawsuit, but there are similarities.

For Camp Lejeune water contamination claims under the CLJA, the appropriate federal agency will be the Department of the Navy (Navy). The Navy was the agency responsible for the USMC base at Camp Lejeune.

Although the Navy will be the federal agency named in the claim, they will most likely defer to the Department of Justice (DOJ) on handling these suits. The DOJ will take its direction on approaching the CLJA claims from the Biden Administration.

New Law to Allow Camp Lejeune Lawsuit

From 1953 to 1987, the public water supply at Camp Lejeune Marine Corps Base in North Carolina was contaminated with toxic chemicals. So for 30 years, more than a million Marines and their families drank and bathed in contaminated water.

Thousands of Marines and their families have suffered severe illnesses and have died. There is strong scientific evidence that chronic exposure to toxic chemicals in Camp Lejeune’s water has caused increased rates of cancer and has caused injuries to children in utero.

Water Contamination at Camp Lejeune

Camp Lejeune is a massive Marine Corps base and military training facility that covers nearly 250 square miles in Onslow County, North Carolina. Camp Lejeune was first opened in 1942. It is used as a base of operations for the Marine Corps and a military operations and training facility used by various branches of the armed forces.

Since its founding in 1942, Camp Lejeune has been a temporary or permanent home for thousands of military service members and their families.

It has also been a home or place of work for thousands more civilian employees and contractors. Camp Lejeune had its own public water system to supply these Marines and civilians with potable water.

In the 1980s, environmental testing at Camp Lejeune discovered that the water supply for its residents and employees was dangerously contaminated.

Toxic Chemicals in Water

Specifically, the Marine Corps determined that from approximately 1953 through 1987, the water supply to Camp Lejeune had been heavily contaminated with volatile organic compounds and carcinogenic chemicals. The most troubling chemicals found were trichloroethylene (TCE) and tetrachloroethylene (PCE).

These chemicals are in a class of chemicals called “volatile organic compounds” (VOCs). These chemicals are used for dry cleaning, and much of the water contamination was attributed to an off-base dry cleaner that existed before the Marine base was opened. So the water wells were likely contaminated before Camp Lejeune opened.

However, this toxic water came from multiple sources. The same chemicals are also used to clean machinery and weapons, so the contamination came from on and off the Marine base.

Core Issue in Every Camp Lejeune Lawsuit

Every Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit will allege that the water supply at Camp Lejeune was contaminated between the 1960s and 1980s. The lawsuit will also claim that the United States negligently caused injury or death by allowing contaminants into the Camp Lejeune water supply and not warning people when they should know these water issues could cause awful side effects that included death.

What Toxic Chemicals Were in the Camp Lejeune Water Supply?

Two specific chemical compounds contaminated the water supply at Camp Lejeune from 1953 to 1987, and they came from two specific water treatment facilities servicing the base: Perchloroethylene (PCE) and Trichloroethylene (TCE).

PCE Caused the Greatest Harm

PCE was the most significant cause of the water contamination and the injuries and deaths that followed at Camp Lejeune. PCE is a clear liquid chemical used in dry cleaning to clean fabrics.

PCE is absorbed following oral, inhalation, and dermal exposures. It travels through the bloodstream to the lungs. PCE targets the central nervous system, liver, and kidneys and accumulates in fat cells. Tetrachloroethylene also crosses the placenta and distributes it to the fetus, which is why there were so many birth defects at Camp Lejeune.

PCE Related Injuries

The evidence is strong that PCE can cause various disorders, including liver and kidney injuries, kidney cancer, bladder cancer, multiple myeloma, and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Learn more about Camp Lejeune diseases.

PCE Levels at Tarawa Terrance Water Treatment Were Off the Charts

For 346 months, the Tarawa Terrance water treatment and supply facility at Camp Lejeune was contaminated with dangerously high levels of PCE. The source of the contamination was identified as a nearby dry cleaning company. The EPA’s maximum safe level for PCE in drinking water is five ug/L. The peak level of TCE contamination in 1985 in the Camp Lejeune water supply was 215 ug/L.

Digest that number. That is 43 times – 43 times! – the safe level for TCE. It is a wonder there were not more Camp Lejeune water contamination deaths and injuries than have been reported.

Trichloroethylene (TCE) at Hadnot Point Water Treatment Facility

TCE is an industrial chemical that is used in the manufacturing of refrigerants and other hydrofluorocarbons. It is a harmful chemical that has long been known to be unfit for human consumption. TCE has been used as a solvent and fumigant to kill insects.

The body absorbs trichloroethylene most from inhalation and through oral and dermal exposure. The bloodstream pushes this chemical to major organs that receive blood and deposit it in fat cells. The body metabolizes TCE mainly in the liver, kidneys, and lungs.   Humans extensively metabolize inhaled doses of trichloroethylene. Metabolites may play a role in the adverse health effects described in studies.

TCE was also commonly used as a solvent and degreaser on metal military equipment. The Hadnot Point water treatment facility servicing Camp Lejeune was found to be highly contaminated with TCE. The contamination is believed to have come from numerous sources. EPA’s maximum safe level for TCE in potable water is five ppb. The Camp Lejeune water supply was contaminated with TCE as high as 1,400 ppb.

Heart Defects at Birth from TCE

With newborn children, congenital heart defects are common in mothers who drank and bathed in the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune. Studies strongly suggest a link between a mother’s exposure to TCE during pregnancy and congenital heart defects.

Other Toxic Chemicals in the Camp’s Well Water

Mercury

In 2012, the Hadnot Point water facility was also contaminated with mercury. Mercury may have come from water pressure meters at the facility that was removed in the 1980s.

Vinyl Chloride and Benzene

These were not the only toxic chemicals found on the base. Vinyl chloride and ne, poisonous chemicals that can cause many of these same injuries alone, were also found on the base. The fact that these toxic chemicals in the water supply are treated as a footnote underscores the remarkable stew of tragic mistakes that caused harm to so many Marines and their families. This is why Congress is stepping in with the Camp Lejeune Justice Act (our attorneys discuss this further below).

Everyone Agrees the Water at Camp Lejeune Was Contaminated

The government will unlikely dispute these facts in a Camp Lejeune lawsuit. In 1989, the EPA placed Camp Lejeune on the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (“CERCLA”) National Priorities List for environmental cleanup activities. You may have also heard it is called a “Superfund” site.   A Superfund is a euphemism for toxic mess. The U.S. Navy agreed to work with the EPA in environmental remediation efforts that continue to this day.

Chemicals in Camp Lejeune Water-Linked to Cancer

The industrial chemicals that were contaminating the Camp Lejeune water supply are known to be very toxic to the human body and have been linked to cancer, birth defects, and neurologic disorders. Scientific and medical evidence has shown that chronic exposure to the chemicals TCE and PCE can cause increased rates of certain types of cancer.

The types of cancer that have been scientifically linked to the consumption of harmful chemicals contaminating the water at Camp Lejeune include:

Exposure to these chemicals has also been linked to other health conditions, including aplastic anemia (and other myelodysplastic syndromes) and neurologic disorders such as Parkinson’s disease.

Non-Cancer Camp Lejeune Injuries

The science and medical evidence continue to build links to other injuries besides cancer. They include:

Contaminated Water at Camp Lejeune Caused Birth Defects

Birth defects are one of the big tragedies of Camp Lejeune. Over the years, thousands of pregnant women were exposed to toxic water at Camp Lejeune. In 2013, the CDC released a study that confirmed that children born to mothers who lived on Camp Lejeune or drank the water supply had four times the rate of birth defects such as spina bifida.

The CDC also indicated that children exposed to the contaminated Camp Lejeune water during fetal gestation had an increased risk of developing childhood cancers like leukemia. These same children may also have a higher risk of adult cancer.

Camp Lejeune Victims Can Now Get Compensation

The water contamination at Camp Lejeune has negatively impacted the lives of hundreds of thousands of people who lived or worked at the base over the years. Many people have developed cancer, died, and suffered other diseases.

So far, most of the Camp Lejeune water contamination victims have never been able to get justice or compensation. North Carolina (where the base is located) has a law known as a “statute of repose,” which puts a maximum year limit on how long someone can wait before filing a civil lawsuit, even if they could never have known that the water issues caused injuries until after the deadline to sue had already passed.

Victims Could Not Bring a Camp Lejeune Lawsuit Under the Old Law

Under North Carolina’s statute of repose, no civil tort lawsuit can be filed after more than ten years. This law has effectively blocked Camp Lejeune victims from bringing lawsuits seeking financial compensation. In 2016, multi-district litigation involving 850 former Camp Lejeune residents (Straw v. the United States) was dismissed based on the North Carolina repose statute.

In 2012, the Janey Ensminger Act was passed, authorizing the U.S. government to pay medical care costs to family members harmed by the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune.

The Ensminger Act had limitations. It was basically disability benefits. Worse, Marines’ families were excluded.

Many in Congress think Marines and their families should not be limited to VA benefits. That thinking led to the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022.

 

Camp Lejeune Settlement Amounts

Settlement compensation for Camp Lejeune injuries will be based on the extent of the victims’ injuries and your drinking water contamination lawyer’s ability to tie the injuries or death to the toxic water. There are so many types of injuries from this toxic drinking water. You can expect Camp Lejeune per person settlement payouts to be tailored to victims’ injuries.

Settlement Amount Projections By Type of Camp Lejeune Claim

That is a big gap in the settlement ranges above, right? There is no question that the settlement amount will vary based on the type of claim. Our lawyers have made Camp Lejeune compensation payout projections for specific types of Camp Lejeune claims:

Bladder Cancer Parkinson’s Disease
Kidney Cancer Liver Cancer
Lung Cancer Esophageal Cancer
Birth Defects Aplastic Anemia
Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Prostate Cancer
Leukemia Breast Cancer
Multiple Myeloma Colorectal Cancer
Miscarriage Brain Cancer
Aplastic Anemia ALS
Myelodysplastic Syndrome Thyroid Cancer
Soft Tissue Cancer Cervical Cancer

Cancer and Parkinson’s Disease Settlement Amounts

You can expect the largest Camp Lejeune settlement amounts to go to cancer victims, their families, and Parkinson’s disease lawsuits. The average individual settlement for Parkinson’s disease cases we originally thought could reach between $1 million and $1.5 million. Of course, the Elective Option settlements have not reflected numbers that high, and losing the right to a jury trial – as we did at least temporarily in 2024 – will decrease the projected average settlement payout for Lejeune. So an average of over a million was probably too aggressive. Still, our lawyers think will see compensation offers in some of these cases that approach seven figures.

You need to remember that the average is just an average. We do not have a situation where everyone gets the same settlement compensation payout. Instead, there is likely to be a complex points award system per person that compensates victims based on a laundry list of facts, which should provide more excellent settlement amounts to victims who have suffered the most.

Our Lawyers Will Narrow Settlement Compensation Projections

Granted, this is a broad range of settlement amounts, and there will likely be Camp Lejeune settlement payouts that are higher and lower than this range. But it is still early in the litigation. Our Camp Lejeune attorneys will know more as the litigation progresses. Our lawyers will update and narrow our Camp Lejeune settlement amount as we go.

$22 Billion Allotted to Camp Lejeune Settlements

Unlike most class action lawsuits, the decision as to the settlement amounts to compensate victims will involve politics and policy instead of projected jury compensation payouts. One looking glass to the ultimate settlement: the government has allocated $22 billion to pay Camp Lejeune settlement amounts and jury payouts. This final settlement number could go up or down. So it is a bit of an artificial number. But it is a strong anchor for the Justice Department when it starts offering settlement amounts to Camp Lejeune victims.

So you can do some back-of-the-napkin math to calculate average settlement compensation payouts. But the critical question is how many Lejeune class action claims will be filed. For example, if there are 110,000 claims accepted, that would be an average per-person Camp Lejeune settlement amount of $200,000. In June 2024, the last count was over 232,000 claims. But how many of those are viable claims? We are probably back close to that 110,000 estimate.

Political Pressure to Raise Camp Lejeune Lawsuit Payouts

The low range of the average Camp Lejeune lawsuit payout our attorneys projected above was $150,000. The question is: Is this what Congress intends? The politics of compensating veterans for the harm done to them probably do not jive with an average Camp Lejeune lawsuit settlement amount of $150,000. This is why the likely average per-person Lejeune claim will probably be more than double that amount of money.

Type of Camp Lejeune Lawsuits Are Lawyers Are Seeing

What are the most common Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuits?

This is a list of our law firm’s Camp Lejeune lawsuits, ranked by the number of cases we have for each injury or sickness.

  1. Parkinson’s Disease
  2. Lung Cancer
  3. Kidney Cancer
  4. Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
  5. Bladder Cancer
  6. Prostate Cancer
  7. Leukemia
  8. Breast Cancer
  9. Liver Cancer
  10. Hepatic Steatosis
  11. Multiple Myeloma
  12. Colorectal Cancer
  13. Other Cancer
  14. Neurobehavioral
  15. Miscarriage
  16. Infertility
  17. Brain Cancer
  18. End State Renal Disease
  19. Renal Toxicity
  20. Birth Defects
  21. Aplastic Anemia
  22. ALS
  23. Myelodysplastic Syndrome
  24. Soft Tissue Cancer
  25. Thyroid Cancer
  26. Cervical Cancer

Who Will be Eligible to Bring a Camp Lejeune Lawsuit?

When Congress eventually passes the Camp Lejeune Justice Act (CLJA), it will give thousands of former Lejeune residents, employees, and soldiers a legal right to bring a civil lawsuit against the federal government for injuries caused by the Camp Lejeune water contamination. So exactly who will be eligible to file a Camp Lejeune lawsuit under the CLJA?

Broad Language in Camp Lejeune Justice Act

The eligibility requirements are set forth in § 804(b) of the CLJA:

An individual, including a veteran, . . . or the legal representative of such an individual, who resided, worked, or was otherwise exposed (including in utero 22 exposure) for not less than 30 days during the period beginning on August 1, 1953, and ending on December 31, 1987, to water at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.

This language says that anyone who can prove that they were exposed to the water at Camp Lejeune for at least one month during the contamination period (i.e., 1953 to 1987) will be eligible to file a claim under the CLJA. Below is a breakdown of each part of the eligibility requirements under the CLJA.

Subsection (A):  Individual, Veteran, or Legal Representative

CLJA § 804(b) states those eligible to bring a case under the CLJA will include “[a]n individual, including a veteran, … or the legal representative of such an individual[.]” This language is intended to include anyone and everyone who lived, worked, or was stationed at Camp Lejeune during the relevant period

This group of eligible plaintiffs under the CLJA includes:

⦁ Marines (or other military personnel) who were stationed at Lejeune
⦁ Family members of Marines who lived in on-base housing at Camp Lejeune
⦁ Marines who worked or were assigned to Camp Lejeune
⦁ Civilian employees who worked at or near Camp Lejeune
⦁ Anyone else who was exposed to the Lejeune water

If the person who lived or worked at Camp Lejeune has passed away, their surviving family members or “legal representative” will be eligible to bring a wrongful death claim.

Subsection (B):  Resided, Worked, or Otherwise Exposed (Including In Utero)

The language § 804(b) of the CLJA says that eligibility extends to anyone who can prove that they lived or worked at Camp Lejeune. Individuals who lived at Camp Lejeune would mostly be limited to Marines stationed at the base and their families who lived in the on-base housing. Employees at Camp Lejeune could include employees, government contractors, and military personnel who worked at the base but did not live there.

The language “including in utero” is intended to extend eligibility to individuals who suffered prenatal exposure to the water at Camp Lejeune while still developing fetuses inside their mother’s womb. Public health studies have estimated that 20,000 to 30,000 pregnant women lived at Camp Lejeune for at least one month during the contamination period. These studies have also shown that prenatal exposure to Lejeune’s toxic water caused higher birth defect rates. Individuals with congenital disabilities after in utero exposure to the Lejeune water will be eligible to file claims under the CLJA.

The phrase “or was otherwise exposed” in subsection (b) is intended to be a catch-all term to include anyone who may not have lived or worked at Lejeune but can show that they were exposed to the contaminated water.

Subsection (C): For Not Less Than 30 Days

The final eligibility requirement under CLJA is that the individual’s connection to Camp Lejeune (either as a resident, employee, or otherwise) lasted for 30 days. In addition, that 30-day period of living or working at Camp Lejeune had to have occurred during the recognized “contamination period”: August 1, 1953, to December 31, 1987.

Proving Eligibility for a Camp Lejeune Lawsuit

Prospective plaintiffs must produce documentary evidence proving that they lived or worked at Camp Lejeune for 30 days during the relevant period to get a Camp Lejeune settlement payout under the CLJA.

Marines and other military personnel will need to provide their military service records to prove they were at Camp Lejeune. Family members of Marines stationed at Camp Lejeune can use the same military service records to establish their residence on the base. Civilians seeking compensation can prove that they worked at Camp Lejeune by producing social security employment history records or other types of employment verification.

Prospective plaintiffs who cannot present some documentation to verify their connection to Camp Lejeune can still pursue a claim. Still, they will have difficulty establishing their eligibility without support documents. But your Camp Lejeune lawyer will work to track down these records for you.

How Many Camp Lejeune Settlements Have Their Been So Far?

So far, as of June 2024, three people have accepted settlements for their injuries from the toxic water at Lejeune, totaling $14 million.  There are many more to come.

Can You Bring a Claim for Someone at Camp Lejeune Who Died Many Years Ago?

Yes, you are eligible to bring a Camp Lejeune wrongful death claim for someone who died many years ago. Many people are confused by this. But it is precisely how a wrongful death lawsuit works. This unique Camp Lejeune law just increases eligibility for claims that the statute of limitations would usually bar.

How Do You File a Camp Lejeune Toxic Water Lawsuit Under the Federal Tort Claims Act?

Camp Lejeune lawyers will first file an administrative claim with the Department of the Navy as federal law requires. See 28 USC sec. 2675.

The government has six months to accept or reject the claim (or ignore it). Procedurally, the government would deny the claim. Your Camp Lejeune lawyer may then file suit in federal court in North Carolina.

Technically, these cases are not under the Federal Tort Claims Act.

Who Can File a Camp Lejeune Lawsuit?

The opening section of the CLJA defines the group of people that will now be entitled to seek a settlement payout or compensation from a jury via a Camp Lejeune civil lawsuit. This group includes:

(a) Anyone (including veterans and their families) who lived at Camp Lejeune for a minimum of 1 month between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987.
(b) Anyone who worked at Camp Lejeune (including civilian contractors) for a minimum of 1 month between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987.
(c) Anyone who was “otherwise exposed” to the drinking water at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 days between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987.

Anyone who meets these basic criteria will be covered by the CLJA provisions which give them the right to file a civil lawsuit. Keep in mind that you will need to be able to prove that you meet these “residency” criteria with some evidence, preferably documentary evidence.

Veterans and their families should be able to produce military service records to prove that they were stationed at Lejeune for the required period. Civilian contractors and non-military personnel use other documents to demonstrate that they meet these criteria, such as social security employment records.

What Can Camp Lejeune Victims Sue For?

Individuals who can prove that they lived or worked at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 days between 1953 and 1987 will meet the initial eligibility criteria under the CLJA. These individuals will then have the right to file a tort lawsuit seeking a verdict or settlement payout against the United States government, alleging that they suffered physical harm or injuries caused or associated with exposure to the water at Camp Lejeune. Lawsuits not related to alleged exposure to the toxic water at Lejeune or not involving physical injuries will not be permitted.

What Will Lejeune Victims Have to Prove to Get a Settlement Payout or Verdict?

Individuals who meet the qualifying criteria under the CLJA (i.e., lived or worked at Lejeune for 30 days during the applicable period) will NOT automatically qualify for settlement compensation.

Rather, these individuals will have the right to file a lawsuit for their alleged injuries. To get financial compensation, plaintiffs who file lawsuits under the CLJA will still need to prove that the contaminated water caused their injuries at Lejeune.

The CLJA establishes a lower burden of proof, making it easier for plaintiffs who bring Camp Lejeune water lawsuits under the CLJA to prove their case. Specifically, section (b)(2) of the CLJA provides that Lejeune plaintiffs can satisfy their burden of proof with a scientific study concluding that their alleged injury (i.e., kidney cancer, etc.) could be linked to exposure to the water at Camp Lejeune:

Use of Studies – A study conducted on humans or animals, or from an epidemiological study that ruled out chance and bias with reasonable confidence and which concluded, with sufficient evidence, that exposure to the water described in subsection (a) is one possible cause of the harm, shall be sufficient to satisfy the burden of proof described under paragraph (1).

This provision suggests that plaintiffs under CLJA will be allowed to prove their claims if they can cite a single study suggesting a link between their type of cancer (or other injuries) and the Lejeune water. This would eliminate the requirement of expert witness testimony, although it is not entirely clear who to interpret this provision.

How to File A Camp Lejeune Lawsuit

Potential plaintiffs who meet the qualifying criteria under the CLJA can file a civil lawsuit by contacting an attorney. Our law office provides legal assistance to victims who file a Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit. Our Camp Lejeune lawyers offer a free consultation and answer questions for free. We want to help.

CLJA claimants will be required to file civil lawsuits in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina. This is the only available venue because the CLJA gives the Eastern District of North Carolina exclusive jurisdiction over the Lejeune water lawsuits.

Camp Lejeune Claim Must First Be Filed Before Lawsuit

Section (g) of the CLJA clarifies that before any eligible plaintiff can file a civil lawsuit, they must comply with 28 USC § 2675. This means that plaintiffs must first file with the “appropriate federal agency” and have that claim denied before they can bring a civil suit. When toxic water claims are submitted, federal agencies must approve or reject them within six months.

The appropriate federal agency for a Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit will be the Department of Defense. In most situations, filing this sort of claim with a federal agency is just a formality that plaintiffs go through before filing their lawsuit.

For Camp Lejeune lawsuits, however, the DOD may offer settlement amounts to resolve what appear to be legitimate claims. That would make sense, considering Congress in passing this law because they want deserving victims to get a settlement payout. Otherwise, what is the point of all of this? This would offer a much faster route for victims to get financial compensation.

Deadlines for Filing a Claim Under CLJA

Section (j) of the CLJA creates a special statute of limitations deadline for Camp Lejeune victims who want to bring claims under the CLJA. Under § (j)(1), the general statute of limitations to file suit for claims by Lejeune victims was initially two years after the date on which “the harm occurred or was discovered.” The final version President Biden signed had a hard two-year deadline from August 10, 2022, to bring a claim.

So victims who have developed cancer, suffered birth defects, or been diagnosed with another condition related to the Lejeune water will need to file their claims within the two-year deadline. The August 10, 2024, deadline is right around the corner at this point.

How Camp Lejeune Wrongful Death Claims Work?

The newly enacted CLJA allows tort claims to be brought on behalf of former Camp Lejeune residents or employees who are now deceased because of injuries related to the water contamination.

Exposure to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune occurred in North Carolina, so these cases would involve wrongful death and survival claims under North Carolina law. In this section, our Camp Lejeune attorneys provide a brief overview of death claims in North Carolina.

North Carolina Wrongful Death Claims

North Carolina law allows two types of tort claims that can be filed on behalf of someone after their death: (1) wrongful death claims; and (2) a survival action. Both causes of action are created by statute.

North Carolina Gen. Stat. § 28A-18-2 allows the estate of a deceased person to bring a wrongful death claim against any person who negligently or intentionally caused the decedent’s death.

Only Personal Representative Can Bring Camp Lejeune Wrongful Death Lawsuit

Unlike other states which allow wrongful death claims to be brought by any close family member of the decedent, North Carolina only permits the personal representative of the decedent’s estate to bring suit If the wrongful death claim is successful, the settlement proceeds or damages are distributed to the decedent’s heirs (not just the personal representative).

Camp Lejeune Wrongful Death Damages

In a North Carolina wrongful death claim, damages can be awarded for:

  1. medical expenses
  2. pain & suffering of the decedent
  3. loss of the decedent’s income, personal services and companionship, and
  4. funeral expenses

Camp Lejeune Survival Actions

The survival claim can recover for pre-death injuries that are separate and distinct from the wrongful death claim. Just like wrongful death cases, North Carolina law only allows the personal representative of the decedent’s estate to bring survival claims.

Rules of Camp Lejeune Wrongful Death Claims

Under the newly passed CLJA, wrongful death claims can be brought by the estate of any former residents or employees of Camp Lejeune who died because of injuries related to their exposure to the contaminated water.

Personal representatives could also bring survival claims under the CLJA, although they would have to show that this claim seeks pre-death damages based on separate and distinct actions.

Contact Our Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawyers

Our lawyers believe that this new law was passed because Congress wants Camp Lejeune water contamination victims to receive fair settlement amounts for the harm done while they or a family member was serving our country.

Our Camp Lejeune lawyers are offering legal assistance to individuals who were harmed by exposure to Camp Lejeune water using the following criteria:

  • You served, lived, or worked at the Camp Lejeune Marine Corps base in North Carolina for at least 30 days between the years 1953 and 1987.
  • You were subsequently diagnosed with leukemia, bladder cancer, kidney cancer, liver cancer, Parkinson’s disease, multiple myeloma, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, or any other conditions our lawyers laid out above.

Contact our Camp Lejeune attorneys today for a free consultation at 800-553-8082 or get a free, no-obligation online consultation. Our attorneys only get paid if you do.

Contact Information