Saturday, August 4, 2007

Agent Orange lawsuit to proceed in N.L

I wonder why the suit is in N.L. since the camp where the agent was used was not there. The article does not mention that agent orange was infamously used in Vietnam. Both US and Vietnamese have filed lawsuits in the US. See this site.

Agent Orange lawsuit wins approval to proceed in N.L.
Activist worries it will take years to reach a conclusion
Last Updated: Friday, August 3, 2007 | 10:11 AM AT
CBC News
A class-action lawsuit by about 2,000 veterans and civilians who worked at CFB Gagetown has won approval to proceed but the man who launched the suit said he doesn't expect to see a final ruling.

The suit, certified by the Newfoundland Supreme Court on Wednesday, claims the group was harmed by exposure to Agent Orange as well as other defoliants used on the base between the mid-1950s and mid-1980s.

Ken Dobbie, who launched the suit in 2005, said he's pleased with the decision but worries it will be years before anything is settled.

"I don't expect to be alive to see the end of it," he told CBC News on Thursday. "My health has been ruined by these pesticides."

Dobbie's job for the summer of 1966 was clearing brush at CFB Gagetown. He said he remembers one day watching planes spraying herbicide in an area near by.

By then, he said, the army had stopped using Agent Orange and started using other pesticides, also linked to cancer and other illnesses.

Dobbie, president of the Agent Orange Association of Canada, said about 2,000 people have signed on to the lawsuit.

Well-known Saskatchewan lawyer Tony Merchant, who represented about 10,000 former students in the federal government's settlement of residential school lawsuits, is representing the Agent Orange group. He said this week's court decision paves the way for access to information that so far has been unavailable.

"The government isn't going to be able to hide, as they have been, hide the records and hide information from the association with which we work," he said.

Merchant said he hopes the case can proceed to the discovery stage within a few months

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