French court to hold trial on Agent Orange lawsuit

(VOVWORLD) - A French court will open trial on a lawsuit filed by Vietnamese-French Tran Thi To Nga against 26 US chemical firms, beginning next Monday. 
French court to hold trial on Agent Orange lawsuit  - ảnh 1Ms. Tran To Nga (C) at a press conference on the trial, January 21, 2021. (Photo: Huynh Diep) 

Ms. Nga, 78, filed a lawsuit in the Crown Court of Evry city in the suburb of Paris, accusing the American companies of producing chemical toxins sprayed by the US army in the war in Vietnam, causing serious consequences for the community, her children and herself.

At a press briefing this week, Ms. Nga called the lawsuit the last battle of her life.  Marie Toussaint, an environmental lawyer and member of the European parliament, said:              

“Ms. Tran To Nga should never lose this case. This is the historic trial for justice against multinational groups which destroyed nature and poisoned people. Its outcome will show whether nature and human lives are more precious than multinational groups’ interest.  If she wins, it willraise hopes for victims of chemical warfare.”

Tran To Nga graduated from a Hanoi university in 1966 and became a war correspondent of the Liberation News Agency, now the Vietnam News Agency. She worked in some of the most heavily AO/Dioxin affected areas in southern Vietnam, ultimately experiencing contamination effects herself.

Among her three children, the first child died of heart defects and the second suffers from a blood disease. From 1961-1971, US troops sprayed more than 80 million litres of herbicides—44 million litres of which were AO, containing nearly 370 kilograms of dioxin—over southern Vietnam.

As a result, around 4.8 million Vietnamese were exposed to the toxic chemical. Many of the victims have died, while millions of their descendants are living with deformities and diseases as a direct result of the chemical’s effects.