Request Legal Help Now - Free


Sick From Iraq Burn Pits, Husband and Father Dies

. By
Huntsville, ALThe addition of a pulmonary condition to the list of compassionate allowances for modern-day war veterans returning home may help those who have suffered breathing and lung problems from burn pit exposure overseas, and also serves as a vindication for anyone fighting a burn pit lawsuit.

However, such a narrow response does not help any service personnel, or anyone for that matter diagnosed with any other condition, such as Parkinson's, that can also trace back to military burn pits.

Such was the case with Russell Keith. As told in a column published by the Huntsville Times (8/16/12), Keith came back from Iraq and Afghanistan only to have his return home to friends and family ravaged by posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and Parkinson's disease.

Keith was in Iraq twice, serving as a paramedic. However, while there he and a number of others were exposed to a 10-acre burn pit, which is described as having 'constantly simmered' with smoke and dust. Many a burn pit lawsuit has been filed against Kellogg, Brown & Root (KBR), and a subsidiary at the time of the goliathan Halliburton Inc. No fewer than 200 plaintiffs scattered across 42 states allege health problems tied to the Balad burn pit.

Keith was one of those plaintiffs. He died, during the second week of August this past summer, at the age of 53.

Keith was not reported to have suffered from constrictive bronchitis—also known as obliterative bronchiolitis or bronchiolitis obliterates—pulmonary conditions which have now been recognized by the Social Security Administration as a compassionate allowance.

The administration, in a statement, said "Compassionate Allowances (CAL) are a way of quickly identifying diseases and other medical conditions that invariably qualify under the Listing of Impairments based on minimal objective medical information. Compassionate Allowances allow Social Security to target the most obviously disabled individuals for allowances based on objective medical information that we can obtain quickly. Compassionate Allowances is not a separate program from the Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income programs."

The allowance was added following medical research that identified the pulmonary condition as being causally related to dust and fumes stemming from open pit burning in Iraq and Afghanistan.

But that didn't help Keith, who was also a civilian employee of KBR. He had put Iraq and Afghanistan behind him. He had also put his burn pit litigation behind him. Sadly, his life is also behind him now. Mark McCarter, a columnist for the Huntsville Times, regards Keith as a casualty of war.

Keith's neurologist, according to McCarter, noted his patient's Parkinson's disease was due to exposure to Iraq burn pits.


Burn Pit Legal Help

If you or a loved one have suffered losses in this case, please click the link below and your complaint will be sent to a personal injury lawyer who may evaluate your Burn Pit claim at no cost or obligation.


Please read our comment guidelines before posting.

Note: Your name will be published with your comment.

Your email will only be used if a response is needed.

Are you the defendant or a subject matter expert on this topic with an opposing viewpoint? We'd love to hear your comments here as well, or if you'd like to contact us for an interview please submit your details here.

Click to learn more about

Request Legal Help Now! - Free