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First trials, major fights will shape Camp Lejeune litigation in 2024

In the next year, Camp Lejeune Litigation over water contamination could lead to the first trial that could determine the extent of liability and damages in a variety of types of cancers in the event that one of the largest mass torts develops.

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Jan 2 (The Justice Now) –Nearly 150,000 administrative claims, as well as 1,500 lawsuits, were filed in connection with the water in Jacksonville Marine Base. Jacksonville, North Carolina Marine base, which has been contaminated for a long time with chemicals government scientists have linked with cancer and other illnesses.

Ed Bell of Bell Legal Group, who is the principal attorney for plaintiffs in the lawsuit, declared in a statement that 2024 would be “critical” due to the fact that the first cases will go to trial.

The trials are intended to assess the worth of the claims relating to different diseases. However, to reach that point, the parties need to settle some of the looming issues that are looming during the litigation: which cases are to be tried — and who will decide the trial.

The U.S. Department of Justice spokesperson refused to comment.

The first trial is expected to look into claims about leukemia, Parkinson’s disease, bladder cancer, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and kidney cancer.

Attorneys representing both the plaintiffs and the government have chosen a number of cases for trial. The final selection to be announced will be made in the first quarter of 2024.

The government is arguing the question of whether Camp Lejeune’s claims should go to trial before a juror in accordance with the documents. The government attorneys argue that the law that revoked immunity from the government for shares does not explicitly and without ambiguity give claimants the right to request a trial by jury. Practices could be held before an adjudicator, they argue.

The plaintiffs’ lawyers say the law, also known as the PACT Act, is a law that clearly allows jury trials. The motion is still in the process, according to court records.

Other issues that could be settled in 2024 include who is eligible to file an action on behalf of a person who has died in the water after being exposed to water.

The lawsuits and claims were made possible in August 2022 after President Joe Biden signed the PACT Act, removing government immunity. Then, 2023 marked the beginning of the lawsuit.

The first lawsuits filed were in February in the Eastern District of North Carolina. More than 900 cases were added to the docket as of early May. The court chose a group of attorneys representing plaintiffs to manage the proceedings and chose Bell, Zina Bash of Keller Postman, Elizabeth Cabraser of Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, and others to serve as co-lead counsel.

In September, the Navy, along with the U.S. Department of Justice, announced the availability of an “elective option” that offers pre-determined settlement amounts for those suffering from certain diseases depending on the length of time their exposure to the disease. In a hearing held on October 30, government lawyers stated that they had provided the first settlements in settlements to Camp Lejeune victims. On December 19, it was reported that the federal government paid out $1.450,000 in settlement of six cases, as per court documents.

In the midst of the new year, the leadership of the plaintiffs’ group failed in its effort to make the government release a brand new, unpublished study on the cancer prevalence rate in Camp Lejeune.

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