America has a long history of using toxic chemicals, especially for military purposes. In this case, we will discuss a specific combination called Agent Orange that was used between the 60s and 70s, which caused hundreds of veterans to die after exposure on this conditions list. This mixture of chemicals contained Dioxin, which was meant to be sprayed over the jungle canopy in Vietnam to kill the cover and Vietnamese troops.
In the following article, you will learn more about the terrible consequences of Agent Orange and how it affected our veterans during the Vietnam war.
The consequences of exposure to Agent Orange quickly appeared in our Vietnam veterans and others who were close enough to the chemical. Some of these people were lucky enough to pass away rather quickly, but others developed terrible health consequences, such as cancer, tumors, rashes, nervous system damage, etc. The children born during these times also developed severe congenital disabilities that caused them to need immediate health care attention after birth.
One of the most notable Vietnam veterans who fought to obtain VA disability benefits based on the injuries they sustained was Sergeant Charles Hartz. He was a member of the 1st Battalion of the 327th Infantry Regiment who developed stage four brain cancer while in combat. Still, he managed to tell his story and videotape it, as he knew he wouldn’t be alive when the trial occurred due to his advanced and deadly brain cancer.
Although this was the first recorded case, the investigation for a totally disabled Vietnam veteran who wanted to fight for Veterans Affairs disability benefits kept going until many Vietnam veterans exposed to Agent Orange decided to speak up and fight to create the Agent Orange settlement fund for their military service to get the compensation their families deserved, even if they wouldn’t be around to enjoy it.
This class action lawsuit took five years of litigation. Finally, the chemical companies responsible for Agent Orange paid VA benefits to all veterans of the Vietnam era who developed Agent Orange-related illnesses. The final amount was increased to $240 million, which was meant to be enough to compensate veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom for their veteran service.
After suffering from all the terrible service connection consequences, it was awful for the veterans to see how the VA brushed off their symptoms, no matter how much medical evidence they provided. However, it was a long fight, and some people, such as Ronald Codario, M.D., spoke for the victim’s right to be appropriately treated and compensated for their injuries.
Finally, the fight against the Veterans Administration was a success. President George Bush signed legislation in 1991 that awarded veterans disability compensation benefits to treat the illnesses caused by Agent Orange exposure. Because of this, he received a personal congratulations letter and is now recognized on the Veteran’s Wall of America.
Agent Orange isn’t the only cause of toxic exposure, but it was one terrible chapter of our country. Still, it would be a good idea to know more about the effects caused by toxic exposure so that you know what to do in these cases. Some of the most common are the following.
In most cases, people start feeling nervous and anxious once they detect one of these symptoms, but they shouldn’t have anything to worry about as long as the exposure isn’t prolonged. However, if they were exposed to the toxic chemical for too long, such as veterans were exposed to agent orange, they may get many long-lasting and severe effects, such as the following.
If you’re in an area recently exposed to harmful chemicals, you must leave immediately. In most cases, it may be scary to see the people around you getting sick, but remember that the most important thing is ensuring your survival. Therefore, you must remain calm and move quickly to fresh air. Please don’t return to the contaminated area until experts have properly cleared it up.
On the other hand, if you’re at home and aware of a harmful chemical in your neighborhood, you must stay aware of any emergency alert that may come up with instructions on how to proceed. These instructions will probably tell you to stay home or go somewhere safe, depending on the type of chemical.
Once you get medical attention, your doctors will perform a complete evaluation to make sure your entire body is in the best possible conditions and test the poisoning effects in your blood and nervous system. In most cases, they will administer an antidote, but if the consequences are too severe, you may need to be hospitalized for a few days so that your doctor can properly treat your injuries.
Agent Orange contamination was a terrible chapter in America’s history, but luckily, most veterans got the compensation they deserved. If you’re going through something similar, don’t hesitate to call (833)-LETS-SUE and get a free consultation from one of Ehline Law’s fantastic lawyers, with whom you are sure to create an excellent attorney-client relationship.
Please don’t be scared of receiving the justice you deserve, and give us a call today!
Michael is a managing partner at the nationwide Ehline Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, APLC. He’s an inactive Marine and became a lawyer in the California State Bar Law Office Study Program, later receiving his J.D. from UWLA School of Law. Michael has won some of the world’s largest motorcycle accident settlements.