Vietnam Assoc. for Victims of Agent Orange v. Dow Chemical Co.
- Case Date: 2/13/2006
- Project Name: Civil Justice Reform
On February 22, 2008, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York dismissed a class action lawsuit brought by Vietnamese citizens (including former Viet Cong fighters) against a group of American chemical companies for their role in producing Agent Orange during the Vietnam War. The decision was a victory for WLF, which filed a brief urging that the claims be dismissed. The suit arose out of the U.S. military's use of Agent Orange and other herbicides in Vietnam. It sprayed Agent Orange to clear vegetation that was being used to mask ambushes of U.S. troops. The plaintiffs argued that wartime use of Agent Orange (which they allege caused a variety of diseases) is prohibited by international law. The appeals court agreed with WLF that no such prohibition exists; the 1925 ban on "poisoned weapons" (imposed following use of poison gas during World War I) was intended to prevent the poisoning of soldiers, not to prohibit use of herbicides to kill vegetation.
More Information and Downloads:
2/13/2006: Download the Brief
Litigation Update: Court Rejects Agent Orange Claims Brought Under International Law