Camp Lejeune Victims Face Further Delays Despite Over a Year for The Navy To Prepare

The Slow March of Justice: Delays Normal But Frustrating

The path to justice for victims of water contamination at Camp Lejeune, a Marine Corps base, continues to be slow and arduous. On September 1, 2023, attorneys from the Department of Justice filed a motion to extend discovery deadlines in the ongoing litigation. This move comes just as the case seemed to be gaining momentum, adding to the frustration of plaintiffs who have already spent years waiting for legal recourse.

A History of Waiting: Plaintiffs Have Waited Years for Their Day in Court

The first administrative claims related to contaminated drinking water at Camp Lejeune were filed in 2022. Now, over a year later, the plaintiffs are still far from either a trial or a settlement. The recent delay feels like a gut punch to those who have been waiting for justice for so long.

The Latest Hurdle: Deadlines Asked To Be Extended to October 2, 2023

In the most recent development, attorneys representing the Marine Corps requested an extension of discovery deadlines to October 2, 2023. This comes after both parties had already agreed on a proposed case management order on August 28, 2023. While plaintiff attorneys have agreed to the extension to avoid further conflicts, the continued delays keep victims from their long-awaited day in court.

Decades of Suffering: Victims Exposed for Years Before Legal Options Emerged

Adding salt to the wound is the fact that residents of Camp Lejeune were exposed to contaminated water from the 1950s until 1987. This long-term exposure has resulted in severe health consequences, including cancers, leukemia, and birth defects among the victims. Legal options for these victims only became available after the Camp Lejeune Justice Act was passed in 2022.

The Road Ahead: Uncertain and Challenging

Although the recent extension is considered par for the course in complex civil litigation, the path forward remains uncertain. Plaintiff attorneys are confident that justice will ultimately prevail, but the defendants are aggressively fighting liability. Settlements or trials are likely still years away, leaving victims to continue their long wait for justice.

The legal process may be slow, but plaintiffs are committed to running the marathon, no matter how sluggish the pace. They are determined to hold the Marine Corps accountable for their suffering, no matter how long it takes.

What Is Taking The Navy So Long?

Despite billions of dollars being estimated in settlements, the Navy can't seem to find the money to process administrative claims and seems likely to delay til they run out the clock on the 2 year deadline. Perhaps we need congress to extend that statute of limitations to force the Navy to actually process and evaluate claims instead of delaying everybody.

The truth is, these claims shouldn't even be going to court. The navy should have been making generous settlement offers ever since the Pact Act passed in August 2022. The liability here is clear. The harm is clear. This is arguable the most vile and horrible coverup in US Government history - and Congress had to pass multiple laws to enable justice to finally happen.

Yet, the Navy seems committed to dragging their feet and keeping veterans and their survivors suffering indefinitely. I am happy plaintiffs attorneys are making headway in actually getting some justice - but the Court and The People should be demanding that the Navy handle administrative claims in good faith and Finding the funds to manage the process yesterday, not next month or next year.

It's time for actual Justice to prevail. Finally.

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