S.Korea court rules US firms pay for Agent Orange victimsBreaking News
The Seoul High Court overturned two lower court decisions and found Dow Chemical Co. and Monsanto Co. negligent for manufacturing defoliants used by the U.S. military in the Vietnam War with an excess dioxin content, according to court papers.
"The ruling recognizes responsibility lies with the defendants, who were manufacturers of defoliants, for damages suffered by South Korea's veterans to the Vietnam War due to a product defect," the court said in a summary.
The ruling awarded damages ranging from 6 million won to 46 million won to the former veterans who brought the case in two class-action suits.
The defoliant Agent Orange was dumped by U.S. warplanes on Vietnamese forests between 1962 and 1971 to destroy sources of food and cover.
Among the chemical by-products of Agent Orange is dioxin, a compound that can cause cancer, deformities and organ dysfunction.
The chemical companies argued in U.S. cases they produced Agent Orange according to U.S. government specifications and that there has never been a proven connection between the agent and the health problems it is accused of causing.
In 1984, seven chemical companies, including Dow and Monsanto, agreed to settle out of court for $180 million with U.S. veterans who claimed Agent Orange caused cancer and other health problems.
More than 300,000 South Korean troops fought in the Vietnam with U.S.-led forces, historians said.
Due to problems arising from jurisdiction and the amount of time that has elapsed since the war, legal experts said it will be cumbersome or perhaps impossible for the veterans to collect damages, South Korean media reported.
The court upheld a separate lower court ruling denying 15 children of Vietnam War veterans seeking damages for claims that they inherited illnesses from their veteran fathers who were exposed to toxic agents.
comments powered by Disqus
- Frontline does Trump & Clinton
- This New York Times ‘Hitler’ book review sure reads like a thinly veiled Trump comparison
- Chicago Tribune editorial: The government should release secret grand jury testimony about its 1942 scoop: "Jap Plan to Strike at Sea"
- US owes blacks reparations over slavery: UN experts
- Mali Islamist jailed for nine years for Timbuktu shrine attacks
- What Historians Are Saying About the First Trump-Clinton Debate
- Princeton professor documents the movement that ended single-sex education at elite schools
- Annette Gordon-Reed tells historians the controversy over Harvard law school's shield is different from the fight over the Confederate flag
- Historian EP Thompson denounced Communist party chiefs, files show
- Voting opens soon for the leaders of the OAH in 2017