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PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – A former U.S. Air Force pilot called it the great betrayal.
Scott Nelms claims a 40-year cover up by the Air Force may have cost veterans and their families dearly. Nelms said the USAF sprayed significant amounts of the toxic defoliant Agent Orange at bases in Thailand.
The Pinellas County veteran accuses the Department of Veterans Affairs of stonewalling veterans who served in Thailand and ignoring the facts about what and when they suffered exposure.
Nelms points to a now-declassified 1973 report that said significant use of defoliants occurred on U.S. bases in Thailand. The Project CHECO Southeast Asia report “Base Defense in Thailand” also stated the defoliants were used inside the perimeter of bases.
The Settlement Fund closed in 1997. Below is a brief history.
The Agent Orange Settlement Fund was created by the resolution of the Agent Orange Product Liability Litigation - a class action lawsuit brought by Vietnam Veterans and their families regarding injuries allegedly incurred as a result of the exposure of Vietnam Veterans to chemical herbicides used during the Vietnam war. The suit was brought against the major manufacturers of these herbicides. The class action case was settled out-of-court in 1984 for $180 million dollars, reportedly the largest settlement of its kind at that time.