December 16, 1999 19:50
The first hearing of the W5 trillion lawsuit, filed as a class action on behalf of 17,000 Korean Vietnamese war veterans and their children, against US defoliant manufacturers was held Thursday at Seoul Civil Court. Judges requested Dow Chemicals and Monsanto, the American producers of Agent Orange and other defoliants, and the plaintiffs to submit written materials to support their respective cases.
Paik Young-yop, acting on behalf of the plaintiffs submitted over 4,000 pages in written evidence which included copies of the Geneva Convention which bans the use of toxic biological and chemical agents in warfare.
Hwang Ju-young legal representative for the manufacturers moved for dismissal of the case arguing that there was no legal precedent in which dioxin, a constituent of the defoliant, had been ruled as legally harmful.
Around thirty veterans attended the hearing wearing camouflage fatigues.
(Chong Woo-sang, email@example.com)
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