Federal court ordered VA to pay veterans exposed to Agent Orange

On July 19, 2007, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) must pay retroactive benefits to Vietnam War veterans afflicted by chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Judge Stephen Reinhardt rejected claims by the VA that the expiration of the Agent Orange Act of 1991 precluded their obligation to pay benefits to veterans afflicted with CLL or similar diseases. The United States sprayed approximately 18 millions gallons of defoliants like Agent Orange in Vietnam. In 2008, the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit rejected the appeal of a case brought against US chemical companies by approximately three million Vietnamese plaintiffs making similar claims of injury.

Learn more about the legal consequences of the use of Agent Orange and war crimes from the JURIST news archive.

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