Camp Lejeune Court Hearing: Discovery Disputes

Conversations regarding the Camp Lejeune court hearings continue to center around challenges with information gathering and discovery disputes. The Camp Lejeune status conference held on December 5, 2023 was different compared to the previous conferences with multiple Judges and a long roll call of Plaintiffs’ representatives. Magistrate Judge Jones presided over this conference.

A bulk of the conference time was focused on document requests and deadlines. Resolutions to some of the Camp Lejeune lawsuit discovery disputes were attempted in meet-and-confer processes before this hearing.The Plaintiffs’ lead counsel, Edward Bell, and the Defense reviewed outstanding discovery issues. The Judge permitted the requesting parties to file Motions to Compel, which are formal requests for compliance.

The Camp Lejeune lawsuit tracks were the next items on the court hearing agenda. The Plaintiffs confirmed that Track 1 cases would be filed that day, a sign of forward progress in the lawsuit. Both parties had proposed diseases for Track 2 but there are discovery issues that may require additional Motions to move this forward. The conversation surrounding Track 2 referenced the ATSDR Cancer Incident Study, which was not published as of this hearing and was being withheld from the Plaintiffs. The results of this study are critical.

The meeting was bookended with some housekeeping matters on future Camp Lejeune court hearings and a discussion about the need for a centralized database. Creating this repository has been a topic since the initial status conference. The Government offers many excuses as to why various solutions won’t work, but offers little else. As expected, many Motions were filed in the days after this Camp Lejeune court hearing to try to remedy these lingering discovery disputes.

View the entire December 2023 hearing transcript to learn more.