In this podcast, “'Living Downstream' Exposes Agent Orange Plight in Florida,” you heard about the health effects of Agent Orange on civilian workers and nearby residents exposed to the chemical and the class action lawsuit pursuing justice for these victims. This podcast is a continuation of a story we brought to you last year.
[Photo: Penny Davidson. At 82 she has fibromyalgia, peripheral neuropathy, rheumatoid arthritis and a host of other ills she traces back to her time in the lab at Eglin working with Agent Orange. Credit: Jon Kalish]
Although veterans of the Vietnam War receive veterans’ pensions and unlimited medical care and treatment, civilian workers and the residents in surrounding regions of Eglin Air Force Base do not receive these same benefits. As a result, Northwest Florida Daily News reported in April of this year that a local attorney will file a federal lawsuit on behalf of these exposed civilian workers. Then, in August of this year, Northwest Florida Daily News reported the filing of this lawsuit which targets contractors involved in the herbicide testing, including BAE Systems PLC. The Department of Veterans Affairs is paying disability benefits to more than 377,000 veterans suffering conditions presumed to be the result of exposure to Agent Orange. The lawsuit calls on these same disability benefits to be extended to the civilian workers and residents featured in this podcast like Penny Davidson, who was regularly exposed to Agent Orange when washing glassware from the Eglin chemical biological laboratory.
Jon Kalish’s original story about the affected civilian workers of Eglin Air Force Base was featured on NPR’s Here & Now, which drew law firms to the potential class action lawsuit.
The Department of Defense provides a list of of the dates and locations outside of Vietnam where herbicides like Agent Orange have been tested.
A quick guide to the resources linked on this page:
- Northwest Florida Daily News reported on the federal lawsuit on behalf of civilian workers.
- Read about the release of a proposed class-action lawsuit against Agent Orange contractors.
- Listen to NPR’s Here & Now talk to Jon Kalish.
- The Department of Defense provides a list of herbicide tests and storage outside of Vietnam.