Personal injury news

Vietnam War veterans make compensation claim

6,800 South Korean veterans who fought alongside American troops in the Vietnam War have finally won their compensation claim against the makers of the potentially deadly defoliant Agent Orange.

A court in Seoul ordered that two US companies, Dow Chemical and Monsanto, should pay $62million (34.7m) to troops who were affected by excessive dioxin in Agent Orange, which was used to clear forests and undergrowth during the 1965-73 conflict.

Several years after the war, it emerged that components of the defoliant were liable to cause cancer, organ dysfunction and severe deformities. It is on this basis that the South Korean veterans are making their compensation claim.

The use of Agent Orange in the Vietnam War has caused particular controversy in the past and has been at the centre of numerous compensation claims. In 1984 several US chemical companies paid $180million to settle a personal injury claim brought by American veterans, but in 2005 a group of Vietnamese citizens failed in their bid to receive compensation for their affected health.

More than 300,000 South Korean troops were sent to fight against the Communists in Vietnam and they were the largest foreign contingent supporting the US war effort, losing nearly 5,000 casualties in the process.


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