North Carolina’s Camp Lejeune Lawsuit News: Contaminated Water 2023

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Researcher: Ariana Arce​

Researcher: Ariana Arce​

Journalist: Aaron Vivanco

Journalist: Aaron Vivanco

Editor: Daniela Polo

Editor: Daniela Polo

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North Carolina’s Camp Lejeune Lawsuit News: Contaminated Water 2023

Located in North Carolina, Camp Lejeune is a U.S. military base that provided its residents with contaminated water from 1953 to 1987. In 1982, the U.S. Marine Corps identified hazardous volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the base’s drinking water.

News & Udpdates

OCTOBER 2023: 

In a recent Case Management Order (CMO) issued on September 26, 2023, a panel of federal court judges overseeing the Camp Lejeune lawsuits set the stage for trials in 2024, expressing their dissatisfaction with the slow progress of the litigation. While the government introduced an early settlement structure, it applies to only a small percentage of claimants. Despite the expected 1 to 2 more years of legal proceedings, the advocacy efforts of plaintiff’s lawyers and media coverage have accelerated the process. Victims of Camp Lejeune’s toxic water have until August 9, 2024, to file an initial administrative claim, making 2024 a pivotal year in this lawsuit.


Significant progress was made in the Camp Lejeune Lawsuit cases on September 26, 2023, with all four judges in the Eastern District of North Carolina signing the first Case Management Order (CMO) and Short Form Complaint (SFC). The CMO outlines pre-trial procedures in line with the Plaintiff’s leadership committee’s proposals, with trials set for 2024, emphasizing the focus on a global settlement. Recent dismissals of challenges to the leadership team’s appointment allow the committee to concentrate on tasks like discovery. On September 6, 2023, the government introduced the “Elective Option” (EO) program to expedite claims related to specific water contamination-related illnesses, offering settlements ranging from $100,000 to $450,000 based on certain criteria.

Please note that having one of the injuries listed below does not guarantee eligibility for an early settlement offer.

Tier 1

– Kidney cancer
– Liver cancer
– Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
– Leukemia
– Bladder cancer

Tier 2

– Multiple myeloma
– Parkinson’s disease
– Kidney disease (end-stage renal disease)
– Systemic sclerosis/systemic scleroderma

Settlement amounts:

The settlement amounts are distributed based on a tier system, considering the length of time spent at Camp Lejeune:

30-364 Days
$150,000 Tier I
$100,000 Tier II

1-5 Years
$300,000 Tier I
$250,000 Tier II

Over 5 Years
$450,000 Tier I
$400,000 Tier II

An extra $100,000 may be awarded in cases of wrongful death.

To qualify for this program, claimants must provide evidence of exposure and a medical diagnosis, with claims subject to Navy investigations. However, these settlements may not fully address individual circumstances. The government aims to streamline the process by addressing severe cases early.

Are these offers fair? It varies by case. Many may find these offers inadequate, like a $100,000 settlement for a 10-month Camp Lejeune stay with Parkinson’s Disease. Conversely, a $150,000 settlement for a 30-day Camp Lejeune visit with bladder cancer might make sense due to causation challenges.

Pretrial Coordination
Master Docket: The Clerk will maintain a “Master Docket” (No. 7:23-CV-897) for the leadership committee and the Government to file motions and notices.
Individual Dockets: Each Plaintiff will have an individual docket assigned by a judge in Eastern District of North Carolina.
Stay: Cases under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act claims will be paused until Plaintiffs are chosen for trial and discovery.
Status Conferences: The Court will hold regular status conferences where Plaintiff’s leadership and the Government update on case numbers, agreements, discovery, and other matters.
Master and Short Form Complaint: The leadership committee submits a Master Complaint outlining the lawsuit’s allegations. Plaintiffs use a Short Form Complaint to specify their injuries and claims.
Records: Official records like medical records are admissible evidence.
Trial Plan: “Track 1” trials will address five injuries. Plaintiffs and the Government will select 10 cases within 60 days of filing. “Track 2” procedures for five additional diseases will follow.
Global Resolution: Parties will discuss a process for global resolutions to simplify settlements.
Short Form Complaint: A complaint outlines injuries and claims. In the Camp Lejeune Drinking
North Carolina’s senators, Republicans Thom Tillis and Richard Burr, described the announcement as a “relief to see movement” in the effort to bring justice to affected troops and family members. “Now we begin the process of providing meaningful feedback to the VA about the details of the proposed program,” Tillis said. “I hope that the comment period will be substantive but swift.” Marine’s toughest fight: getting compensated for exposure to Camp Lejeune’s contaminated water U.S. Senators push for automatic disability status for poisoned vets Tainted water at Camp Lejeune: Veteran fights for disability Why won’t the VA help this dying vet?

List of injuries related to Camp Lejeune

Water Contamination Lawsuit, it reveals the most contaminated areas and qualifying diseases.

Keep in mind that the presence of one of the injuries listed below does not automatically grant you eligibility for an early settlement offer.

  • Adverse birth outcomes (Plaintiff is the PARENT of an individual who died in utero or was stillborn or born prematurely)
  • ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease)
  • Aplastic anemia or myelodysplastic syndrome
  • Bile duct cancer
  • Bladder cancer
  • Brain / central nervous system cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Cardiac birth defects (Plaintiff was BORN WITH the defects)
  • Cervical cancer
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Gallbladder cancer
  • Kidney cancer
  • Leukemia
  • Liver cancer
  • Lung cancer
  • Miscarriage (Plaintiff is the MOTHER of a child who died in utero)
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Systemic sclerosis/systemic scleroderma
  • Hepatic steatosis (Fatty Liver Disease)
  • Hypersensitivity skin disorder
  • Infertility
  • Intestinal cancer
  • Kidney cancer
  • Non-cancer kidney disease
  • Leukemia
  • Liver cancer
  • Lung cancer
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Neurobehavioral effects
  • Non-cardiac birth defects (Plaintiff was BORN WITH the defects)
  • Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Prostate cancer
  • Sinus cancer
  • Soft tissue cancer
  • Systemic sclerosis / scleroderma
  • Thyroid cancer

Final Note: These developments in the Camp Lejeune Lawsuits are proposals. Negotiations will happen, and a judge will make the final decisions.

AUGUST 2023: 

The Camp Lejeune lawsuits’ leadership committee provided a recent update, including the formation of subcommittees for scientific investigation, expert retention, and document organization. They also discussed a proposed case management order and the upcoming launch of a public-facing website for updates. While the pace of new lawsuit filings has slowed, with over 1,100 cases filed to date, the government’s hints at a more efficient claims resolution process may be responsible. Recent media coverage and pressure from Congress and the public are urging the Department of the Navy and the Department of Justice to expedite the resolution process. The Camp Lejeune Justice Act, signed into law in 2022, grants affected individuals two years to file administrative claims, but none have been resolved yet. Despite delays, hope for progress in the next six months remains, but many victims have already suffered without justice, making it a somber pursuit for their next-of-kin to file wrongful death lawsuits on their behalf.

JULY 2023: 

Progress in Camp Lejeune Lawsuits

In a significant update, lawyers representing both plaintiffs and the government jointly submitted a report to the Eastern District of North Carolina Federal Court on July 28, 2023. Key highlights:

  1. Productive Meetings: Plaintiff’s attorneys and leadership held two productive meetings in mid-July. They will inform the Court of new leadership and committee appointments by July 31, 2023.
  2. Path to Resolution: A pivotal meeting in Washington, D.C., between plaintiff’s and government attorneys resulted in progress towards a resolution plan. Discussions covered global case management, filing procedures, a database, and document management.

While this progress is encouraging, it’s essential to remember we’re still over a year from the claim filing deadline. Additionally, a plaintiff’s steering committee was recently approved, signifying improved case organization. However, June showed limited progress despite congressional pressure.

King Law remains committed to pursuing justice, actively participating in the 2023 American Association for Justice annual conference. Stay tuned for updates as we work towards a just resolution.

JUNE – MAY 2023: 

The first half of June has seen limited Camp Lejeune Lawsuit news, but we anticipate changes soon. In May, lawmakers sent a letter to the Department of Justice and Navy, urging quicker claims resolution. This letter set a June 9, 2023 deadline, although it’s unclear if it was met, signaling growing pressure.

Furthermore, we expect updates on the formation of a Plaintiff’s Steering Committee. In April, a federal judge overseeing Camp Lejeune lawsuits invited attorney applications for this group. This development promises increased advocacy for Camp Lejeune water contamination victims. Stay tuned for significant updates on Camp Lejeune Lawsuits.

In June, lawmakers are exerting pressure on the Navy and DOJ regarding Camp Lejeune lawsuits, and a plaintiff’s steering committee is taking shape. They are seeking answers by June 9, 2023, concerning over 45,000 claims. A study on May 15, 2023, highlights a 70% higher risk of Parkinson’s among Camp Lejeune personnel. The Camp Lejeune Justice Act, signed on August 10, 2022, enables compensation lawsuits.

On May 4, 2023, the Department of the Navy announced plans to double staff due to overwhelming claims, with around 60,000 administrative claims and approximately 1,000 lawsuits filed. Delays and technical issues persist, affecting claimants.

APRIL 2023: 

In the latest Camp Lejeune lawsuit update, judges have established a “Master Docket” and a Plaintiff’s Steering Committee to streamline case management. Over 800 lawsuits have been filed, and Judge Dever is expected to rule on case procedures soon. The government received an extension to respond, suggesting a potential settlement. Advocates expressed frustration, and the pace of new lawsuits is increasing. A status conference is set for April 5, 2023, with jury verdicts or settlements likely over a year away.

MARCH 2023: 

Attorneys seek to consolidate Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuits for efficiency. Government delays have dire consequences, including clients passing away, scammers targeting claimants, and no settlements yet. Over 25,000 claims await resolution, but no government plan is in place. Senate approves legislation for additional resources. Concerns persist over delays and government inaction. Around 200 lawsuits filed with no progress, and the Judge Advocate General has not settled any claims to date.


The Camp Lejeune case began a new phase on February 10, 2023. The Camp Lejeune Justice Act (CLJA) was enacted on August 10, 2022. This gave the Navy 6 months to act on behalf of the victims who filed an administrative claim in this case.

Unfortunately, the government did not settle any of these claims. The Eastern District of North Carolina is now facing a new wave of lawsuits. Only 3 days after the deadline expired, 79 new Camp Lejeune Cases arrived, and the volume is expected to further increase.

The Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) made an important statement about the case. They confirmed that filing a Camp Lejeune Claim under the Pact Act or the CLJA will not affect a person’s eligibility for VA benefits. Their main concern is that veterans will not file for disability benefits because they have a CLJA.

JANUARY 2023: 

Over 14,000 Camp Lejeune water contamination claims have already been filed, but experts predict that this number could easily grow because as many as 500,000 veterans and their relatives lived on the base during the 1950s and 1980s. Additionally, Congress has authorized a payout for more than $6 billion. The Navy has six months to address each claim, and then applicants who are unsatisfied with the decision can file a lawsuit. With this in mind and the timing of the law’s passage, a new wave of lawsuits is expected to hit in March1.

The Camp Lejeune Lawsuit is about to set a record owing to the amount of money spent on advertising. Data analyzed by Bloomberg Law reported that more than $145 million were spent on television and social media last year2.


The republican legislators have plans to increase efforts to set an upper limit to attorneys’ fees for the Camp Lejeune claims. The limiting of attorneys’ fees comes after the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 signed by Biden in August, which states that veterans can seek damages if they were exposed to contaminated water at the camp between August 1953 and December 1987, for at least 30 days. This law triggered a rapid wave of advertisements targeting potential claimants because it helps cases move forward easily. All lawsuits must be filed by August 2024, and The Department of Veterans Affairs estimated that approximately 1 million veterans were affected by contaminated water. Senator Dan Sullivan proposes to limit the attorneys’ fees to 10% for cases that had been filed before the Congress passed the measure in August and to 2% for claims filed after. However, Sen. Dick Durbin, a former trial lawyer who heads the Senate Judiciary Committee, stated that no competent lawyer would agree to a case with a 2% cap on fees. There will have to be a compromise 3,4.


The U.S. Navy JAG Office reported that than 5,000 claims were filed in the first few weeks of October 2022. In addition, a U.S. Government Accountability Office (U.S. GAO) report revealed that thousands of veterans’ disability claims linked to the Camp Lejeune water contamination had been prematurely or wrongly denied before the Act was passed into law.


The first Camp Lejeune water lawsuits have been filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina, where all complaints must be filed, after proper notice has been provided to the U.S. Navy JAG Office of intent to pursue a claim. Over the coming weeks and months, the Court is preparing for thousands more lawsuits to be filed.