Camp Lejeune Judges Appoint a Settlement Master and Liaison

The Judges overseeing the Camp Lejeune Litigation case have issued an Order appointing a Settlement Master and liaison, bringing those harmed by the water at Camp Lejeune one step closer to a global resolution. Case Management Order No. 14 was filed on July 9, 2024, appointing Thomas J. Perrelli and Christopher G. Oprison to serve as Settlement Masters, and Judge James E. Gates as Settlement liaison. Both the Plaintiffs Leadership Group (PLG) and the Defense previously recommended Mr. Perrelli for Settlement Master and the Court itself identified as a candidate Christopher G. Oprison.

The role of the Settlement Masters is to facilitate discussions directly related to establishing a structure for resolving Camp Lejeune Justice Act cases. These officials are not appointed to force any party to settle, but to help the PLG and the Defense arrive at mutually agreeable resolutions. Responsibilities of Mr. Perrelli and Mr. Oprison include keeping the Settlement liaison informed and arranging meetings and conferences between the parties.

The Settlement liaison’s duties outlined in this Order include assisting the Settlement Masters and keeping the Courts informed of the proceedings. Judge Gates will also participate in meetings, attend sessions presided over by the Settlement Masters, and hold status conferences with the Settlement Masters. If disagreements arise, Gates may use his authority as Magistrate Judge to resolve disputes between the Settlement Masters and the Parties and keep the settlement matters moving.

The goal of this appointment is to support the parties in a settlement structure. Streamlining the global resolutions for the Camp Lejeune litigation won’t happen overnight, but these appointments mark an important turning point for those awaiting answers.