The Supreme Court refused to hear the case of those who suffered injuries from the use of Agent Orange during the Vietnam war who were attempting to sue the companies that made the chemical.
Yesterday's decision by the Court means the ruling by a New York appellate court, which decided the victims could not pursue their lawsuit, would stand.
American veterans along with Vietnamese soldiers and civilians had filed three separate cases against Dow Chemicals, Monsanto and other companies that made the chemicals used by American forces during the war.
The plaintiffs argued that the chemicals were responsible for various injuries and disease, including cancer and birth defects.
The New York appellate court had upheld a ruling from a federal court which found that Agent Orange had been used as a defoliant during the 1960s war and was not used as a poison.
According to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), 20 million gallons of the chemical was used between 1962 and 1971to remove cover from enemy forces. The VA says that a number of illnesses, including Hodgkin's disease, prostate cancer and Type 2 diabetes have been linked to the herbicide and other related materials used during the war.
Avvo Legal News
3 March 2009
This appears to end all current Agent Orange lawsuits in the United States.
As usual, Justice John Paul Stevens recused himself from this decision, just as he has done on all other Agent Orange cases. Although Stevens will not say why, it has been learned that Stevens' son was a Vietnam veteran who died of cancer in 1996. Family members confirm this information but won't speculate on the justice's decision.
Fort Lewis Ranger (Print Edition)
5 March - 11 March 2009