Camp Lejeune Claims and Lawsuits Update, June 2024

The Camp Lejeune Justice Act (CLJA) of 2022, allows people exposed to contaminated water at the Marines Camp Lejeune base to file administrative claims and file lawsuits for injuries once deemed eligible. The August 24, 2024 deadline to file claims is fast approaching.

Military water bottle

ByCarolyn Casey, J.D.


Published on June 27, 2024

Military water bottle

A June 5, 2024 joint report from the government and plaintiffs provides an update on the administrative claims and lawsuits. Other Camp Lejeune updates since our prior article are also provided below.

The Claims Numbers

232,892 administrative claims have been filed with the Department of the Navy. Only a fraction – 93 – have been deemed eligible for settlements at this time, with settlements reaching $14.4 million so far. The Navy continues to churn through the enormous number of claims.

Camp Lejeune Lawsuits

Plaintiffs have filed 1,813 lawsuits in the Eastern District of North Carolina.

J. Edward Bell III of the Bell Legal Group PLLC, Zina Bash of Keller Postman LLC, Elizabeth J. Cabraser of Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein LLP, W. Michael Dowling of the Dowling Firm PLLC, Robin L. Greenwald of Weitz & Luxenberg PC, James A. Roberts III of Lewis & Roberts PLLC, and Mona Lisa Wallace of Wallace & Graham PA represent the military personnel and their families in the cases.

U.S. Department of Justice Civil Division lawyers Adam Bain and Haroon Anwar represent the government.

Track 1 Bellwether Trials on the Horizon

The lawsuits have been organized into tracks based on the alleged diseases plaintiffs suffered to expedite proceedings. Track 1 cases (kidney cancer, bladder cancer, leukemia, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, or Parkinson’s Disease) are inching toward the first bellwether trials.

Track 1 trial plaintiffs will only be compensated for a Track 1 illness and illnesses resulting from a Track 1 illness or treatment thereof.

On June 10, 2024, the judges ordered the plaintiffs to select three plaintiffs for each of the Track 1 illnesses to go to trial. They have until June 16th.

In February, the Court determined that prostate cancer, kidney disease, lung cancer, liver cancer, or breast cancer are Track 2 illnesses. Determinations on additional tracks are coming.

Judges Reject Plaintiffs’ Lower Causation Standard

The federal court in the Eastern District of North Carolina recently ruled that plaintiffs must prove that exposure to the contaminated water at the Marine’s Camp Lejeune caused their harm. In the June 5, 2024 ruling, the court disagreed with the plaintiffs' argument that claimants should not have to prove specific causation.

No Appellate Review of Jury Trial Ban

In mid-May, the judges also rejected a motion for immediate appellate review of the court’s earlier decision that the Camp Lejeune lawsuits would not be jury trials. The court said the general rule of waiting for a final judgment before appeals held sway.

The Court’s unanimous denial of the plaintiffs’ request for certification of the right to a jury trial for appeal by the Court of Appeals, was yet another blow to plaintiffs.

About the author

Carolyn Casey, J.D.

Carolyn Casey, J.D.

Carolyn Casey is a seasoned professional with extensive experience in legal tech, e-discovery, and legal content creation. As Principal of WritMarketing, she combines her decade of Big Law experience with two decades in software leadership to provide strategic consulting in product strategy, content, and messaging for legal tech clients. Previously, Carolyn served as Legal Content Writer for Expert Institute, Sr. Director of Industry Relations at AccessData, and Director of Product Marketing at Zapproved, focusing on industry trends in forensic investigations, compliance, privacy, and e-discovery. Her career also includes roles at Iron Mountain as Head of Legal Product Management and Sr. Product Marketing Manager, where she led product and marketing strategies for legal services, and at Fios Inc as Sr. Marketing Manager, specializing in eDiscovery solutions.

Her early legal expertise was honed at Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison, where she developed legal strategies for mergers, acquisitions, and international finance matters. Carolyn's education includes a J.D. from American University Washington College of Law, where she was a Senior Editor for the International Law Journal and participated in a pioneering China Summer Law Program. She also holds an AB in Political Science with a minor in art history from Stanford University. Her diverse skill set encompasses research, creative writing, copy editing, and a deep understanding of legal product marketing and international legal trends.

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