"A small South Carolina law firm angling to be the lead litigator in the Camp Lejeune toxic water cases spent $1.9 million lobbying US lawmakers in the last two years, as Congress approved a multibillion-dollar payout to sickened veterans that dropped a provision to limit the fees their lawyers could charge.
The spending by Bell Legal Group to pass the Camp Lejeune Justice Act appears to be the most on lobbying by any self-identified law firm in the past five years.
Bell’s founder and senior partner says he expects the firm to represent as many as 1,000 people in just the first wave of cases, and ultimately many more—a tally that could potentially net the 13-lawyer firm hundreds of millions of dollars.
The effort reflects the money and behind-the-scenes jockeying to shape a case that could rival the largest mass tort cases in history, and generate billions worth of legal fees. Hundreds of thousands of veterans and their relatives exposed to cancer-causing drinking water on the North Carolina Marine base are expected to file claims. Law firms and legal marketing agencies spent more than $145 million on advertising last year in a bid to recruit them."
Kaustuv Basu reports for Bloomberg Environment March 23, 2023.