Latest Camp Lejeune Lawsuit Filing (July 28th 2023)

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
                     FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF NORTH CAROLINA
                                  SOUTHERN DIVISION
                                   Case No. 7:23-cv-897

IN RE:                                          )
                                                )       JOINT STATUS REPORT AND
CAMP LEJEUNE WATER LITIGATION                   )    JOINT MOTION FOR EXTENSION OF
                                                )     DEADLINES IN INDIVIDUAL CASES
This Document Relates To:                       )        PENDING THE FILING OF A
ALL CASES                                       )   GLOBAL CASE MANAGEMENT ORDER
                                                )

         Plaintiffs’ Lead Counsel J. Edward Bell III, Plaintiffs’ Co-Lead Counsel & Government

Liaison Zina Bash, and counsel for Defendant United States of America (the “Parties”) respectfully

provide this Honorable Court with the following Status Report.

         In addition to informing the Court of progress already made, the Parties also hereby request

that this Court issue an order extending all individual case deadlines in cases filed under the Camp

Lejeune Justice Act (“CLJA”) through September 1, 2023, pending the filing of a proposed Global

Case Management Order. The proposed order will address, among other things, an imminent

deadline for filing a master complaint, a deadline for a master responsive pleading, and other case-

related deadlines pertaining to the prompt completion of discovery and the commencement of

bellwether trials.

         The Parties state the following:

         (1)      Plaintiffs’ Lead and Co-Lead Counsel (the “Leadership Counsel”) have formally

convened twice since the July 19, 2023, issuance of Case Management Order 1 (DE 10).

Leadership Counsel’s meetings have been productive and efficient, and the work of Leadership

Counsel and government counsel in resolving this matter is underway.




               Case 7:23-cv-00897-RJ Document 11 Filed 07/28/23 Page 1 of 4
       (2)      As required by Case Management Order 1, Leadership Counsel will notify this

Court of the members of the Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee and Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee

on or before July 31, 2023.

       (3)      On July 25, 2023, Mr. Bell and Ms. Bash met with government counsel in

Washington D.C. Many topics of substance and procedure were discussed, and a plan to move the

CLJA cases towards resolution is taking shape.

       (4)      In particular, and without limitation, the Parties discussed matters of global case

management (including the development and filing of a master complaint and short-form

complaint), the creation of a global database and matrix, and a document-request-form process

that the government will use to streamline requests from relevant federal agencies to retrieve

necessary plaintiff records.

       (5)      Currently, the government, plaintiffs’ attorneys, and pro se plaintiffs are under

varying individual court-ordered deadlines in individual cases to file responsive pleadings, engage

in individual Rule 26(f) conferences, and prepare individual Rule 26(f) reports.

       (6)      To allow the government to conserve its limited resources and focus on quickly

moving this litigation forward on a global basis, the Parties respectfully request that all responsive

pleading deadlines, discovery deadlines, and all other deadlines in individual CLJA cases in this

district be briefly extended through September 1, 2023, pending submission by the Parties of a

proposed Global Case Management Order that will establish a deadline for filing a master

complaint, short-form complaint, and master responsive pleading, among other things.

       (7)      During the extension, rather than devoting further resources to answering

individual complaints and preparing for dozens of individual discovery conferences on a case-by-

case basis, the Parties will focus on the global issue of proposing a process for master pleadings




             Case 7:23-cv-00897-RJ Document 11 Filed 07/28/23 Page 2 of 4
that would supersede individual CLJA complaints and previously filed answers. During this time,

the Parties will also negotiate a framework for case management beyond the pleading stage and

continue work on a global database, among other things.

       (8)      The Parties have already conferred substantially and can submit the contemplated

proposed Global Case Management Order addressing the deadline for filing a master complaint

and master responsive pleading on or before August 28, 2023.

       (9)      The Parties have attached a proposed Order implementing this extension in current

CLJA cases as well as future CLJA cases, if any, that are filed before a master complaint and

master responsive pleading process is in place.

       WHEREFORE, the Parties respectfully submit this Joint Status Report and further

respectfully request that the Court enter the attached Proposed Order briefly extending all

individual deadlines in CLJA cases through September 1, 2023.

       DATED this 28th day of July, 2023.                   Respectfully submitted,

/s/ J. Edward Bell, III                             BRIAN M. BOYNTON
J. Edward Bell, III (by special appearance)         Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General
Bell Legal Group, LLC                               Civil Division
219 Ridge St.
Georgetown, SC 29440                                J. PATRICK GLYNN
Telephone: (843) 546-2408                           Director, Torts Branch
jeb@belllegalgroup.com                              Environmental Torts Litigation Section

Lead Counsel for Plaintiffs                         BRIDGET BAILEY LIPSCOMB
                                                    Assistant Director, Torts Branch
/s/ Zina Bash                                       Environmental Torts Litigation Section
Zina Bash (by special appearance)
Keller Postman LLC                                  /s/ Adam Bain
111 Congress Avenue                                 ADAM BAIN
Suite 500                                           Senior Trial Counsel, Torts Branch
Austin, TX 78701                                    Environmental Torts Litigation Section
Telephone: 956-345-9462                             U.S. Department of Justice
zina.bash@kellerpostman.com                         P.O. Box 340, Ben Franklin Station
                                                    Washington, D.C. 20044
                                                    E-mail: adam.bain@usdoj.gov




             Case 7:23-cv-00897-RJ Document 11 Filed 07/28/23 Page 3 of 4
Co-Lead Counsel for                       Telephone: (202) 616-4209
Plaintiffs and Government Liaison         Fax: (202) 616-4473

/s/ Hugh R. Overholt                      LACRESHA A. JOHNSON
Hugh R. Overholt (NC Bar No. 016301)      HAROON ANWAR
Ward and Smith P.A.                       DANIEL C. EAGLES
Post Office Box 867                       NATHAN J. BU
New Bern, NC 28563-0867                   Trial Attorneys, Torts Branch
Telephone: (252) 672-5400                 Environmental Torts Litigation Section
hro@wardandsmith.com
                                          Counsel for Defendant United States of
Liaison Counsel                           America

/s/ A. Charles Ellis
A. Charles Ellis (N.C. Bar No.: 010865)
Ward and Smith P.A.
Post Office Box 8088
Greenville, NC 27835-8088
Telephone: (252) 215-4000
ace@wardandsmith.com

Liaison Counsel




          Case 7:23-cv-00897-RJ Document 11 Filed 07/28/23 Page 4 of 4

--------------------------------

                       IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
                   FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF NORTH CAROLINA
                                SOUTHERN DIVISION
                                 Case No. 7:23-cv-897


IN RE:                                        )
                                              )
CAMP LEJEUNE WATER LITIGATION                 )          ORDER EXTENDING DEADLINES
                                              )             IN INDIVIDUAL CASES
This Document Relates To:                     )
ALL CASES                                     )


         For good cause having been shown upon the joint motion of the Parties, the Court orders

that all responsive pleading deadlines, discovery deadlines, and all other deadlines in all Camp

Lejeune Justice Act cases in this District—including individual complaints filed after the date of

this order, if any—are extended until September 1, 2023, to give the Parties time to propose to

the Court and for the Court to enter a global case management order.

         SO ORDERED this _____ day of __________________, 2023.




 RICHARD E. MYERS II                              TERRENCE W. BOYLE
 Chief United States District Judge               United States District Judge




 LOUISE W. FLANAGAN                               JAMES C. DEVER III
 United States District Judge                     United States District Judge




           Case 7:23-cv-00897-RJ Document 11-1 Filed 07/28/23 Page 1 of 1
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    https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/67266149/11/camp-lejeune-water-litigation-v-united-states/

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