Hidden Nook

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Friday, February 25, 2005

Vietnam citizens suing U.S. Firms

[Media Source*]


On Monday, a New York court will begin hearing a lawsuit brought by more than 100 Vietnamese seeking compensation and a clean-up of contaminated areas from more than 30 firms, among them Dow Chemical Co and Monsanto Co, the largest makers of Agent Orange. It is the first time Vietnamese have sought legal redress since the Vietnam War ended in April 1975.

"I wish the suit will end with a victory so that the life of the victims like me could be materially better," said Hoan, a 10th-grade student who came to the Peace Village from the central province of Binh Thuan.

She was also born with no left palm. Hoan's younger brother died at birth as he had no peritoneum, Hoan said. Dr Nguyen Thi Phuong Tan, head of the Peace Village, said many of her patients suffered from severe physical defects, while others face chromosome disorder.

"All is fair in love and war" as the saying goes...or is it? Those chemicals were pretty harmful and have caused much damage (as their affects have lasted decades after the war). But to sue the companies that made it seems ridiculous to me.

To hold them accountable for the government's actions to me sounds absurd, but since the U.S. is refusing to discuss compensation, the victims only option is to pursue the businesses that manufactured the chemical. It is unclear whether or not the Vietnamese will win this case but they seem to be following suit of another group of people who were affected by the chemicals.
...[T]here are precedents in a 1984 agreement by Dow and Monsanto to pay $180 million to U.S. veterans.

Since I did not fight in this war my opinion carries little weight in this arena. Perhaps I should ask Viet Pundit about his take on this. Selah!

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Hi, I respond here. Thanks!

By Blogger VietPundit, at 3:56 AM EST  

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By Darnell Clayton • 9:54 PM • Email Post • •


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