Camp LeJeune Lawsuits Update (June 2023)

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June 5, 2023: Camp Lejeune Plaintiffs Being Approved for Pre-Settlement Funding

More plaintiffs of the Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit are now receiving much-needed pre-settlement funding. Lawsuit funding companies have loosened underwriting criteria enabling more plaintiffs to receive advances on their potential settlement.

June 5, 2023: JAG’s ‘Perfection Determination’ Bodes Well for Camp Lejeune Claimants

The Judge Advocate General’s Corps (JAG) has responded with “Perfection Determination” for many of the Camp Lejeune litigation claims from last August and September, confirming that many claimants have filed the Standard Form 95 correctly. This means that, although there are delays due to a lack of government resources and other reasons, a large number of Camp Lejeune claimants are likely to be successful in recovering compensation for the illnesses they suffered due to contaminated water exposure at the base.

June 1, 2023: Controversial Marketing Practices Spark Backlash Against Two Camp Lejeune Law Firms

Most of the public has seen some form of marketing for the Camp Lejeune litigation, and there are many law firms that would like to participate in helping obtain justice for those who were harmed by the contaminated water at the base. But as always happens with high-profile litigation like this, some marketing companies have apparently gone too far and called individuals who were on the national do not call registry. This has resulted in a class-action lawsuit against two Camp Lejeune law firms that hired the marketing companies. The firms have asked for the lawsuit to be dismissed claiming that they themselves did not directly call the plaintiffs. This case serves as a lesson for those in the legal industry to ensure that the practices of their marketing companies stay within the law.

May 23, 2023: Lawmakers Pressure DOJ to Settle Camp Lejeune Cases

On May 17, 2023, a bipartisan group of lawmakers sent a letter to Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro and Attorney General Merrick Garland asking why none of the Camp Lejeune claims has been settled. This letter comes approximately nine months after the Camp Lejeune Justice Act was passed and signed into law by President Biden. Lawmakers are becoming increasingly impatient with the government and their seeming inability to get their act together and dedicate the resources necessary to settle these claims. Another letter was sent to the Secretary of the Navy on May 23 by Florida Sen. Marco Rubio demanding action and asking the secretary to provide a realistic timeline for reviewing the 60,000+ Camp Lejeune claims that have been filed.

As of the end of May 2023, the Navy Jag has made zero settlement offers during the initial six-month administrative claims process. Hundreds of these claimants have now filed civil lawsuits in the Eastern District of North Carolina, with that number growing by the week. The Navy blames a lack of sufficient staffing, budget, and a delay in implementing its electronic portal for the problems in settling Camp Lejeune claims.

May 16, 2023: Hazardous Water Supply at Camp Lejeune Linked to High Parkinson’s Disease Risk Among Marines

According to a recent study published in JAMA Neurology, the risk of developing Parkinson’s Disease is 70% higher for Marines stationed at Camp Lejeune compared to veterans who lived or worked at other military bases. Researchers have attributed this increased risk to the presence of trichloroethylene (TCE) in the water supply at Camp Lejeune. The rising rates of Parkinson’s Disease across the United States suggest that TCE contamination may be widespread and a significant factor in the disease’s development.

TCE is a colorless, odorless chemical that can remain in the environment for years. It is commonly used as a metal degreaser, in adhesives, paint removers, spot removers, cleaning supplies, and in dry cleaning of fabrics. Due to its widespread use, TCE contamination is a significant concern, and exposure to TCE has been linked to a variety of serious health problems.

May 5, 2023: Camp Lejeune Claims Surge: Navy Department Struggles with Overwhelming Lawsuits

On May 4, 2023, an update regarding the Camp Lejeune lawsuits was disseminated by Jennifer Langley, legal counsel from the Department of the Navy’s JAG office. Here are some of the key points mentioned in her communication:

  • Personnel Augmentation: The Navy Department is actively engaged in a recruitment drive to double its workforce. While this will require some time, they project that they will be staffed by the end of the summer and ask for patience in the meantime.
  • Claims Management: The Department is currently under pressure due to an unexpected surge in claims over the past few months. As of May 1, 2023, the department has recorded around 60,000 administrative claims relating to Camp Lejeune lawsuits. It is struggling to process claims dating back to last fall. In addition, the digital portal for submitting claims, hindered by administrative complications, remains unready, suggesting further postponements.
  • Pending Lawsuits: The department reports that nearly 1,000 lawsuits tied to Camp Lejeune have been lodged to date, anticipating a significant uptick in the coming months.
  • Course of Action and Future Strategy: The Navy Department confirms that after the expiration of the initial 6-month waiting period for claimants, they are given the choice of either continuing with the administrative process or pursuing litigation.