Camp Lejeune Lawsuit Update: Status Conference Pushes for Progress

“How long will the Camp Lejeune lawsuit take?” is a question echoed by thousands of people affected by the contaminated water on the base. The Status Conference of 2023 marked a start to the recovery process for many military families. And learning that an expeditious timeline is one of the Court’s priorities offered new hope for those suffering hardships following time spent at Camp Lejeune.

The hearing in the Eastern District of North Carolina Court under the oversight of the Honorable James C. Dever, III, centered around moving the litigation forward. The passage of the Camp Lejeune Justice Act eight months earlier removed the legal blockages that protected the Government from lawsuits. This spurred on a high volume of claims, and the Courts were focused on how long the Camp Lejeune lawsuit could take if these cases were not streamlined. The Judge stressed the need for efficient, cooperative case management and demanded the Defense’s and the Plaintiffs’ legal counsel work together to organize data about Camp Lejeune lawsuit diseases.

To assist with information sharing and communication, the legal teams discussed the need for a database to catalog the Camp Lejeune lawsuit diseases and other pertinent details, and how appointing a lead counsel for the Plaintiffs may help facilitate collaboration.

A Call To Do Better for Camp Lejeune Veterans

An unprecedented case like Camp Lejeune water contamination will require unique methods for expediting the discovery process. The Judge cited previous cases involving 9/11 firefighters, which were complex due to a multitude of lawyers and loads of factual evidence. The World Trade Center proceedings dragged on for years until a system was developed to help expedite the resolutions. Judge Dever tasked the legal counsels for the Camp Lejeune lawsuit to do better using cues from the 9/11 discovery process. Counsel on both sides was challenged to explore efficient, transparent management methods to ensure the Camp Lejeune lawsuit doesn’t take longer than necessary.

The Judge also focused on the administrative process for reviewing claims. At the time of these court proceedings, the submitted claims had reached 20,000, and none of those had been resolved. The Defense offered many excuses as to the reason resolutions were taking so long, but advocates of military families do not agree that these reasons justify ignoring innocent veterans’ claims.

As Camp Lejeune lawsuit updates continue beyond 2023, those affected will finally begin to see progress. Edward Bell of Bell Legal Group and the other members of the litigation team are prepared to heed the call to do better. It’s time everyone learns the facts about the Government’s ignoring Camp Lejeune water contamination studies and the health problems that negatively impacted thousands of men, women, and children.

Explore the April 5, 2023 Status Conference transcript in its entirety to learn more.