For over 30 years, the water at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune was contaminated with toxic chemicals known to cause cancer and other chronic conditions. Hundreds of thousands of servicemembers and civilians drank, bathed in, cooked with, and swam in that water. The government knew about the contamination by the early 1980s but failed to warn the victims that they were at increased risk for serious health problems.

On August 10, 2022, the Camp Lejeune Justice Act became law. Within minutes of the bill’s signing, Keller Postman attorneys began filing actions against the government to obtain compensation for victims.

“The veterans and military families poisoned by the water at Camp Lejeune have waited long enough for their day in court. My team has been preparing for this day for months; we don’t want to waste a single minute,” said Keller Postman Partner Zina Bash, who leads the litigation along with Managing Partner Warren Postman.

The Camp Lejeune Justice Act gives Marines, their families, and other civilians the first real opportunity to sue the government since the water poisoning began at Camp Lejeune almost 70 years ago.

Qualifications for a Camp Lejeune Claim

The Justice Act covers individuals who were “exposed (including in utero exposure) for not less than 30 days” between August 1, 1953 and December 31, 1987 to water at Camp Lejeune supplied by the government. If exposure to the water injured you or a family member , you may qualify for a claim. Please see the FAQs below to learn more.

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Our Team

Meet the attorneys leading the Camp Lejeune litigation.

Warren Postman
Managing Partner
Zina Bash
Senior Partner
Fred Messner
Director of Camp Lejeune Operations
Daniel Backman
Associate
Noah Heinz
Associate
Kathrene Perakis
Assistant Director of Camp Lejeune Operations
Sophia Arrighi
Attorney
Zachary Horn
Attorney
Brian Dault
Attorney
Jeslin Zachariah
Attorney
Mitali Vyas
Attorney
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Working with Keller Postman

Victims of Camp Lejeune have been waiting decades for their day in court. At Keller Postman, we are helping lead the litigation and are ready to pursue your claim quickly and effectively.

Unmatched Attorney Team

Managing Partner Warren Postman and Partner Zina Bash lead the case. They have three Harvard degrees between them and both clerked on the U.S. Supreme Court. Learn about our award-winning team here.

Track Record of Success

We have secured meaningful recoveries for more than 500,000 clients in the last three years alone. We take on the most powerful defendants in the world, including the federal government, and put power on your side.

Deep Knowledge of the CLJA

We were directly involved in the effort to enact the Camp Lejeune Justice Act. Our lawyers helped to educate key decisionmakers on Capitol Hill about the importance of the Act and what exactly it would mean for veterans, their families, and others poisoned by the water.

Significant Government Experience

These claims will be filed against the U.S. government. Our lawyers have experience working with the Department of Justice and other federal agencies, and we know those agencies will take Keller Postman attorneys seriously.

Best Service & Lower Costs

We make things easy for you. We’ll gather the evidence you need with the lowest burden on you. And with a large client base, we will have efficiencies to reduce costs and the leverage to pursue the best outcomes we can for our clients.

Court-Appointed Leads

The Court overseeing the Camp Lejeune litigation appointed Keller Postman Partner Zina Bash to co-lead the litigation and serve as Plaintiffs' Government Liaison. Keller Postman is positioned to help deliver justice to our clients.

FAQs

What is the status of the Camp Lejeune Justice Act?

President Biden signed the Camp Lejeune Justice Act into law on August 10, 2022. For the first time since the water poisoning began at Camp Lejeune, victims may now sue the government for injuries they suffered as a result of their exposure to the base’s contaminated water.

If you were exposed to the water at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 days between 1953 and 1987—whether you lived at Camp Lejeune, worked there, or otherwise spent time there—the bill gives you the right to sue the government for harm caused by the water.

The Camp Lejeune Justice Act does not list specific diseases that are covered.  Anybody can sue if they were exposed to the toxic water for at 30 days between 1953 and 1987.  However, certain diseases are more closely associated with exposure to the toxic water at Camp Lejeune.

Here is a list of some of the medical conditions and diseases that the government itself has linked to Camp Lejeune toxic water exposure.  Please know that this is not an exhaustive list.  If you were exposed and suffer from a different disease, you may still be entitled to compensation:

  • Aplastic anemia
  • Bile duct cancer
  • Bladder cancer
  • Brain cancer
  • Cardiac birth defects
  • Cervical cancer
  • Colon cancer
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Female breast cancer
  • Female infertility
  • Hepatic steatosis
  • Hodgkin’s Disease
  • Hypersensitivity Skin Disorder
  • Intestinal cancer
  • Kidney cancer
  • Kidney disease
  • Leukemias
  • Liver cancer
  • Liver cirrhosis
  • Male breast cancer
  • Miscarriages
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Neurobehavioral effects
  • Non-cardiac birth defects
  • Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Prostate cancer
  • Rectal cancer
  • Renal toxicity
  • Soft tissue cancer
  • Systemic sclerosis
  • Scleroderma
  • Thyroid Cancer

Again, even if a condition or disease is not listed above, it may still have been caused by the toxic water at Camp Lejeune and, if so, we will help investigate.

No. If you are already receiving VA benefits or other compensation for injuries caused by the poisoned water at Camp Lejeune, the bill would still give you the right to sue—and you would not lose your benefits.

We will pursue your claim on a contingency fee basis, meaning that there is no upfront payment, fees, or expenses until we win your case and recover money on your behalf.

Resources

Click here to learn more about the Camp Lejeune Justice Act, including who the Act applies to and what the Act allows.

Click here to learn more about the water-poisoning at Camp Lejeune and the history of contamination.

To directly access orders of the court and view announcements from the Plaintiffs’ Leadership Group, visit camplejeunecourtinfo.com

Updates

Current Status: The Court in North Carolina has announced a process to select 25 plaintiffs for trials that could begin in early 2025. These trials will be for a small group of test cases alleging one or more of: bladder cancer, kidney cancer, Parkinson's disease, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, and leukemia. We will provide updates about these cases as they move through discovery over the coming months. Meanwhile, the Keller Postman team is focused on filing our clients claims with the Navy as soon as possible.

The government has said that all claims must be filed by August 10, 2024. If you are a Keller Postman client and you do not believe your claim has been filed with the Navy yet, please contact us soon to make sure your claim is filed promptly. If your claim has been filed with the Navy, you do not need to contact us.

June 10, 2024: The Court announced a process to select plaintiffs for the first-ever trials over harm caused by contaminated water at Camp Lejeune. In an order entered on Tuesday, the Court directed the Plaintiffs' Leadership Group (PLG) to select three plaintiffs for each of five diseases: bladder cancer, kidney cancer, Parkinson's disease, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, and leukemia—totaling 15 plaintiffs. The Government will then select two plaintiffs from each of these five diseases—making 10 in total and 25 between the Plaintiffs and the Government. These selections should be completed by the end of June. Once the list is set, these plaintiffs will proceed through full discovery proceed to trial, probably by early 2025. We are hopeful that the outcomes of these trials will assist the PLG and the government in reaching a settlement for all cases involving one or more of the five diseases.

April 22, 2024: As part of the ongoing efforts to reach a comprehensive settlement in the Camp Lejeune water contamination cases, attorneys for the plaintiffs and for the government are currently in the process of interviewing candidates for the role of Settlement Master. The parties will then propose selected candidates to the Court, which can appoint one or more of them as the official Settlement Master. Once appointed, a Settlement Master can play a crucial role in facilitating negotiations and helping both parties agree on a reasonable global settlement plan. What is a Settlement Master? A Settlement Master is an impartial individual appointed by a court to oversee complex negotiations in legal disputes. A Settlement Master can be particularly helpful in cases like the Camp Lejeune litigation, where multiple parties and significant legal, scientific, and medical details are involved. The Settlement Master works to ensure that discussions remain productive and focused, aiding in the creation of fair settlement terms that all parties can agree upon. Their involvement can expedite the resolution process, ultimately leading to swifter justice for all involved.

March 26, 2024: The Plaintiffs' Leadership Group (PLG) continues to await the Court's decision on two important motions. First, the PLG has asked the Court to allow an immediate appeal of its ruling that the Camp Lejeune Justice Act (CLJA) does not give plaintiffs the right to trials by jury. The Court ruled on February 6th of this year that trials in CLJA cases are to be held before a judge, not a jury. Plaintiffs will be entitled to appeal this ruling after a trial but must ask the Court for "certification" to appeal immediately. The PLG formally submitted that request on February 15th, but the government opposed it. It is now up to the Court to decide whether to allow the immediate appeal. Second, the PLG has asked the Court to clarify what level of proof plaintiffs must show in a trial to succeed on their claims. The PLG believes that under the CLJA, plaintiffs need to show only that the contaminated water is capable of causing their illness—a concept called "general causation." The government disagrees and has argued that the CLJA maintains a more detailed "causation" standard. All relevant briefs concerning this issue have been submitted, and it is now up to the Court to rule.

Feb 26, 2024: The Court entered an order identifying the conditions from which Track 2 Discovery plaintiffs will be selected. Back in September 2023, the Court announced that discovery and trials in the Camp Lejeune litigation would proceed in “tracks” defined by certain medical conditions. In the same order, the Court announced that the first track would be composed of plaintiffs suffering from bladder cancer, kidney cancer, Parkinson’s disease, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and leukemia. The Court, the plaintiffs, and the government then went through a process to pick 100 plaintiffs—50 with each condition—to move into discovery as “Track 1 plaintiffs.” The Track 1 plaintiffs have been moving through discovery for months now, and we are expecting trials for at least some of them to start later in the year. With today’s order, the Court announced that Track 2 would be composed of plaintiffs suffering from prostate cancer, kidney disease, lung cancer, liver cancer, and breast cancer. Over the next few days, the Plaintiffs’ Leadership Group (PLG) and the government will negotiate a process for selecting a set of plaintiffs with each condition to move into discovery and potentially go to trial. The PLG and the government must submit their joint plan (or separate plans, if they can’t agree) within ten days, after which the Court will get to decide how litigation will run for these “Track 2 plaintiffs.”

Feb 15, 2024: The Plaintiffs’ Leadership Group (PLG) formally asked the Court to allow an early “interlocutory” appeal of its Order deciding that Camp Lejeune plaintiffs aren’t entitled to trials by jury. While decisions like this one can always be appealed after a trial, plaintiffs do not have an automatic right to appeal them immediately. Instead, the Court must agree to “certify” the issue for appeal to the Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. And even if the Court agrees to certify its Order, the Judges of the Fourth Circuit will get to decide whether to hear the appeal. The PLG submitted its motion yesterday. We will post an update as soon as the Court issues a decision.

Feb 6, 2024: The Court ruled today that the Camp Lejeune Justice Act does not grant plaintiffs the right to a jury trial. Instead, the Court stated any trials must take place in front of a federal judge who will decide all issues, including whether a plaintiff was, in fact, exposed to contaminated water, whether the plaintiff's injury was caused by their exposure, and, if so, how much compensation the government must pay. The Court's ruling came in response to the government's motion to "strike" the plaintiffs' demand for a jury trial. The plaintiffs opposed the government's motion, arguing that the Camp Lejeune Justice Act indeed guarantees victims the right to present their case to a jury. The exact impact of the Court's ruling is still unclear. The government clearly believes that jury trials would have benefitted plaintiffs, which is why it asked the court to rule that the Camp Lejeune Justice Act does not guarantee jury trials. And there are certainly aspects of jury trials that could give plaintiffs a better chance at fair compensation. But "bench" trials before a judge can also present unique opportunities and may proceed faster than jury trials. The plaintiffs have not decided whether to appeal the ruling. We will keep you updated as this important issue develops further.

Feb 1, 2024: The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) released findings from a new study on the water at Camp Lejeune and the diseases it may cause. Keller Postman and other plaintiffs' lawyers had asked the Court to compel the government to release the study early, but we withdrew the request two weeks ago after the government promised to release it shortly. The study is significant because it provides even more evidence that exposure to the water at Camp Lejeune causes certain diseases like esophageal cancer, breast cancer, and lung cancer. It also identified additional diseases that may be linked to the water, such as thyroid cancer and cancers of the throat and voice box. You can find more detail about the study here.

January 24, 2024: Judge Terrence Boyle held a hearing in Raleigh, North Carolina to discuss the progress of the Camp Lejeune litigation. At the hearing, Keller Postman attorney and Co-Lead Counsel Zina Bash urged Judge Boyle to schedule trials soon to deliver long-delayed justice to Camp Lejeune claimants whose cases have been filed in court. Judge Boyle also pressed the government on its progress in reviewing claims and rolling out its "Elective Option" settlement program. Despite early hopes, the government has extended only a small number of settlement offers so far. No claimant can receive a settlement or a trial until their claim is filed with the Navy. So, if you're a Keller Postman client and you haven't been notified that your claim was filed, please contact a case manager ASAP so we can file it and get you in line for a potential settlement.

January 18, 2024: The government confirmed that the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) will soon release a new study of cancer rates at Camp Lejeune. The plaintiffs had previously asked the court to compel the government to release the study early, but plaintiffs withdrew that request after the government confirmed that the study was coming out this month.

December 6, 2023: Plaintiffs and the government notified the court of the 100 plaintiffs that will proceed towards “Track 1” trials. The plaintiffs and the government will begin exchanging information and records related to these cases and conducting formal interviews with relevant parties soon. After that process concludes next year, trials should begin in some or all of the cases.

November 27, 2023: Plaintiffs and the government each proposed a list of diseases for “Track 2” trials. In an earlier order, the court set up a process to hold trials in ”tracks” defined by disease. For Track 1, the court directed the plaintiffs and the government to select 100 plaintiffs bringing claims based on bladder cancer, kidney cancer, leukemia, Parkinson’s disease, and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. These are the “Track 1” diseases. For “Track 2,” the plaintiffs proposed liver cancer, multiple myeloma, systemic sclerosis/scleroderma, non-cancer kidney diseases, and aplastic anemia. The government proposed prostate cancer, lung cancer, breast cancer, pancreatic cancer, and esophageal cancer.

September 6, 2023: The federal court in the Eastern District of North Carolina published an order setting up a process for some plaintiffs to move towards trials. Under the court’s order, plaintiffs and the government will each select 10 individuals suffering from 5 diseases—that is, 100 total picks, 50 by the government and 50 by the plaintiffs. The initial diseases for these “Track 1” trials are bladder cancer, kidney cancer, leukemia, Parkinson’s disease, and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Over the coming weeks, plaintiffs’ leadership will work to identify 50 individuals to put forth as “Track 1 plaintiffs.”

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