Camp Lejeune Status Conference: Barriers to Claims Progress

A status conference on the Camp Lejeune lawsuit claims progress was held on October 30, 2023, addressing roadblocks and resolutions to keep the case moving. Congress had previously assigned four Judges. This is a rarity and speaks to the unprecedented nature of the litigation. This meeting was attended by all four Camp Lejeune lawsuit Judges:

  • Judge Richard Myers, II
  • Judge Terrence Boyle
  • Judge James Dever, III
  • Judge Robert Jones, Jr.

Several representatives for the Plaintiffs and the Defendant were also present.

The status report provided prior to this conference summarized the Camp Lejeune claims progress. This meeting allowed the Judges to ask questions and hear which processes seemed to be holding up progress. Edward Bell of the Plaintiffs presented several pressing issues regarding health studies and the Defense’s non-response to questions on causation for Track 1 diseases. Restricted access to information, namely the ATSDR study on the effects of the chemicals in Camp Lejeune’s water, was named a main roadblock for the Plaintiffs.

The Defense began its update by addressing the status of the Camp Lejeune administrative claims progress. As of this hearing, there had been 117,000 submissions, an increase of nearly 100,000 since the initial conference, yet less than two dozen had been addressed. The database to streamline this process was under development at the time of the meeting but was expected to “significantly expedite efforts and … should be online fairly soon.”

The Plaintiff’s request for ATSDR access was also briefly addressed by the Defense, which offered an argument regarding confidentiality. The Court recognized that the Stipulative Protective Order ought to help resolve this issue.

Judge Dever reiterated the need for the Government to work with the Plaintiffs in all facets, especially when creating the database for administrative claims to avoid wasting time on a database that includes unnecessary data and excludes material information. The meeting ended with a reminder of the uniqueness of this litigation and a desire to keep things moving. Judge Jones was appointed to oversee future status hearing meetings, and the other District Judges for the Camp Lejeune lawsuit may attend as necessary.

Read the entire transcript to learn more.