H. R. 925
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
February 9, 2023
Mr. Issa (for himself and Mr. Bost) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary
To amend the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 to appropriately limit attorney’s fees.
This Act may be cited as the
Protect Camp Lejeune Victims Ensnared by Trial-lawyer’s Scams Act or the
Protect Camp Lejeune VETS Act.
Attorneys fees in Federal cause of action relating to water at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina
The Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 (28 U.S.C. 2671 note prec.) is amended—
by redesignating subsections (h), (i), and (j) as subsections (j), (k), and (l), respectively; and
by inserting after subsection (g) the following:
Notwithstanding any contract, an attorney filing an action under subsection (b) or an administrative action relating to such an action (as described in section 2675 of title 28, United States Code) (in this section referred to as an
administrative claim) may not receive, for services rendered in connection with the action, more than—
12 percent of the payment made in the action for an administrative claim (including a resubmission of an administrative claim after the denial of an initial administrative claim); or
17 percent of the payment made in the action for a judgment rendered or settlement entered in an action filed under subsection (b).
Amount of payment determined after offset
For purposes of this subsection, the amount of the payment made in an action shall be the amount of the payment after any offsetting reduction under subsection (e)(2) is made.
Prohibition on ancillary fees and costs
Attorneys fees paid in accordance with this subsection may not include any ancillary fees or costs.
Any attorney who violates paragraph (1) shall be fined not more than $5,000.
Certification of fees
An attorney that receives payment for services rendered in connection with an action filed under subsection (b) or an administrative claim shall submit to the court in which the action under subsection (b) is pending or to the Secretary of the Navy, respectively, a statement certifying—
the total amount of the payment in the action;
the amount of the payment to the attorney with respect to the action; and
whether the percentage of the payment made to the attorney is in accordance with paragraph (1).
Any judgment rendered, settlement entered, or other award made with respect to an action filed under subsection (b) or an administrative claim shall require disclosure to the Attorney General or to the court of the attorneys fees charged to an individual, or the legal representative of an individual.
The Attorney General shall collect the disclosures under subparagraph (A) of attorneys fees charged and submit to Congress an annual report detailing—
the total amount paid under such judgments, settlements, and awards;
the total amount of attorney fees paid in connection with such judgments, settlements, and awards; and
for each such judgment, settlement, or award—
the name of the attorney for the individual or legal representative of the individual;
if applicable, the law firm of the attorney; and
the amount of fees paid to the attorney.
This subsection shall apply with respect to any action filed under subsection (b) and any administrative action that is pending on, or that is filed on or after, the date of enactment of the Protect Camp Lejeune VETS Act, including pending matters in which a judgment was rendered, a settlement was entered, or another award was made before such date of enactment.
If any provision of this subsection or the application of such provision to any person or circumstance is held to be invalid or unconstitutional, the remainder of this subsection and the application of such provisions to any person or circumstance shall not be affected thereby.
Not later than 30 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary of the Navy shall issue guidance for claimants under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 (28 U.S.C. 2671 note prec.) regarding the documentation necessary to establish a claim under such Act.
Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary of the Navy shall issue a compensation schedule specifying the amount of payments for claimants under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 (28 U.S.C. 2671 note prec.), based on the injuries suffered by the claimant.