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Vietnam Veterans File Class Action Over Alleged Toxic Testing in the 1960s

Oakland, CA: A Veterans disability class action lawsuit has been filed on behalf of several Veterans Affairs associations including Vietnam Veterans of America as well as individual Vietnam veterans, over allegations that several government agencies including the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), The United States Department of Defense, The United States Department of the Army and several individuals including, Leon Panetta, Director of the CIA, and Dr. Robert M. Gates, Secretary of Defense, used the plaintiffs to test potentially toxic chemicals in the 1960s.

First hand accounts are being reported by veterans who served in the United States Armed Forces in 1968-1969, during the Vietnam war, alleging they were used as test subjects as part of a cold war chemical research program. The testing involved administration of potentiall toxic substances, which, the veterans claim, they were not given any information on during or after their time in the services. As a result of the testing, many of the veterans who served between two and four months at the Edgewood Arsenal in Maryland, suffer from chronic, debilitating illnesses.

"From 1955 to 1975, military researchers at Edgewood were using not only animals but human subjects to test a witches' brew of drugs and chemicals. They ranged from potentially lethal nerve gases like VX and sarin to incapacitating agents like BZ. The military also tested tear gas, barbiturates, tranquilizers, narcotics and hallucinogens like LSD," a recent report by states.

The reports by CNN, which are based on information from now declassified army documents, cite experiences of veterans who have come forward with their own accounts, including that of Army Pvt. Tim Josephs, who is a plaintiff in the class action lawsuit.

Josephs was 18 in 1968 when he was sent to Edgewood, now known as the Edgewood Chemical Biological Center, under the assumption he was there to test military equipment. He was subject to chemical testing almost as soon as he arrived on January 1, 1968. He was there for a two-month assignment.

"Sometimes it was an injection. Other times it was a pill," Josephs told CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta. Josephs said he didn't know what drugs he was getting. "A lot of chemicals were referred to as agent one or agent two."

The number of "tests" Josephs underwent varied from week to week. Just days before his Edgewood duty ended, in February 1968, Josephs was hospitalized for several days suffering from Parkinson's-like tremors, symptoms he said have followed him on and off throughout his adult life.

Vietnam Veterans Edgewood Toxic Testing Class Action Legal Help

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Published on Mar-15-12


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