Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Agent Orange lawsuit

A lawsuit has been filed in a Brooklyn, New York court, seeking possibly billions of dollars in compensation from U.S. chemical companies for the Vietnamese victims of Agent Orange. The U.S. Justice Department has joined the chemical companies in challenging the lawsuit, arguing that opening the US court system to former wartime enemies could threaten presidential power to wage war. (Associated Press March 2, The Telegraph, March 2).

Update: The case was dismissed Thursday, March 10, by Judge Jack Weinstein, who said, "There is no basis for any of the claims of plaintiffs under the domestic law of any nation or state or under any form of international law." In his 233- page ruling, he also stated that the evidence was presented in"brief anecdotal form;" and that "the fact that diseases were experienced by some people after spraying does not suffice to prove ... that the harm resulted to individuals because of the spraying... No study or technique presented to the court has demonstrated how it is now possible to connect the herbicides supplied by any defendant to exposure by any plaintiff to dioxin from that defendant's herbicide." The plaintiffs' lawyers plan an appeal. (Reuters March 10, Thanhniennews.com, March 10).


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