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Announcing Key Selection for Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Trials

By Mia Wang, Legal Intern

By Mia Wang

Upcoming Early Test Trials: Guiding the Litigation Toward Settlement?

We are thrilled to inform you that a significant step has been taken in the Camp Lejeune water contamination litigation. Marines who served our nation, their families and base workers exposed to the contaminated water will soon get their days in court. Out of a pool of 100 eligible lawsuits, 25 have been marked as bellwether trials.

These specific cases will set the stage for upcoming court evaluations, representing individuals affected by:

  • Kidney cancer
  • Bladder cancer
  • Leukemia
  • Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  • Parkinson’s disease

It’s a pivotal moment that will help carve the path for many affected by the water contamination at Camp Lejeune.

The Bellwether Selection Process

The cluster of cases, known as “Track 1” bellwether lawsuits, was filtered from 100 to 25 by the U.S. District Judges overseeing this significant litigation. This strategy aims to streamline the early test cases, setting a standard for future court proceedings. The progression of these cases will undoubtedly set the stage for other injuries to be evaluated in the numerous claims related to the long-standing water contamination issue at Camp Lejeune.

When Will There Be a Camp Lejeune Settlement? The Significance of the Bellwether Trials

While these initial trials are non-binding for other claims, they will serve as a crucial indicator for attorneys and involved parties for the outcomes and potential lawsuit payouts awarded that can substantially shape the rest of the trial for other injuries. Test trials will be for various diseases, with different levels of severity. Amounts awarded at trials will be strong guides for a future settlement program.

Background of the Camp Lejeune Justice Act

Following the Camp Lejeune Justice Act’s enactment in August 2022, there have been over 230,000 claims against the U.S. government for personal injuries linked to toxic water exposure. The numerous filings concern the period between the 1950s and 1980s at the well-known Marine training base.

If you or a loved one has been affected by the toxic water contamination at Camp Lejeune, it is crucial to be aware of the upcoming deadline to file a claim. The United States Navy JAG has set a deadline of August 10th, 2024, for the submission of claims related to this environmental incident.

Our team is ready to assist you in preparing and filing your claim by the specified deadline. We are committed to ensuring that nothing is overlooked and that your claim meets all the criteria set by the authorities.

The Bellwether Process Explained

The federal judges presiding over this massive caseload have orchestrated a “bellwether” process to evaluate the claims’ merit. The process includes early test trials across several tracks—the first of which encompasses the five injuries mentioned above. These initial cases, carefully chosen after intense discussion and planning, serve as the beginning for the larger body of lawsuits to follow.

Camp Lejeune Lawsuit Track 1 Criteria

October 2023 marked the establishment of criteria for Track 1 lawsuits. Five categories of injuries have been spotlighted for these pioneering cases:

  • Bladder cancer
  • Kidney cancer
  • Leukemia
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma

While future trials may explore further injury categories, these five have been prioritized for legal proceedings scheduled for late 2024.

The Role of the U.S. Government and Plaintiffs in the Selection

The government is on track to submit a list of cases, with plaintiffs granted a five-day window to secure necessary waivers for the chosen lawsuits. Should any waivers be unobtainable, the Department of Justice reserves the right to identify alternate claims, ensuring the selection of cooperative plaintiffs ready for trial.

We Can Help

At Rheingold Giuffra Ruffo & Plotkin Law, we understand the profound impact this process can have and the importance of handling it with the utmost sensitivity and professionalism. We’re dedicated to supporting families through their difficult times by providing expertise in legal procedures, ensuring that all necessary documentation is prepared correctly, and representing the interests of the estate before the court, if necessary.

If you believe your loved one’s death was due to the water contamination at Camp Lejeune and wish to explore filing a claim, please get in touch with us. We are here to listen, advise, and assist you every step of the way toward seeking the compensation and closure you deserve.

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