Compensation to Promote Victim Solidarity
In 1979 a group of Vietnam veterans and their families filed lawsuits in courts throughout the country, claiming that the veterans had been seriously injured as a result of wartime exposure to the herbicide Agent Orange. According to the veterans, the herbicide—used as a defoliant to destroy underbrush where the enemy could hide—contained toxic dioxin, causing various ailments and injuries, some fatal. The veterans blamed the chemical companies that negligently manufactured the herbicide, as well as the Department of Defense, which sprayed the chemical despite knowing the danger. As a result, the veterans alleged a series of Agent Orange–related illnesses—cancer, scleroderma, respiratory ...