Military Burn Pit Lawsuit | Ethen Ostroff Law

Veterans who worked near burn pits in the military might be at risk for various serious health problems. These open-air pits are used to dispose of military waste materials, which include dangerous substances including chemicals, batteries, medical waste, and human feces. Ethen Ostroff Law and its partner firms are assisting veterans and their families in obtaining compensation for burn pit injuries and other injuries and illnesses related to military service. Whether you want to file a military burn pit claim with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) or pursue a military burn pit lawsuit against those responsible for your injuries, Ethen Ostroff Law and its affiliates can provide the necessary legal assistance and guidance. Consult with a military burn pit lawyer to understand your options. 

Military Burn Pit Lawsuit

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What Exactly are Burn Pits?

The military disposes of a variety of trash in large open-air pits called burn pits, including chemicals, medical waste, batteries, plastics, and human waste. Burn pits are typically seen on military installations in countries with active militaries, such as Afghanistan, Iraq, and other places. They emit smoke plumes that can be as large as football fields and visible from miles away. These burn pits are frequently mentioned in military burn pit lawsuit. 

Burn Pits on Military Installations

For decades, burn pits have been widely used on military bases as a waste disposal. However, these burn pits have become the subject of military burn pit exposure lawsuits. Regrettably, this practice has given rise to concerns about the emission of toxic smoke and fumes, which put service members at risk of exposure to dangerous chemicals and particles. Recent military burn pit lawsuit update highlights the ongoing issue.

Several studies indicate a link between exposure to burn pits and several health problems in recent years. They highlight the potential health dangers related to burn pit exposure. Consequently, the Department of Defense (DoD) has taken steps to curtail the usage of burn pits while acknowledging the possible health dangers they provide.

The DoD set up a burn pit registry in 2010 to document and monitor the health of deployed service personnel exposed to burn pits. It also limits the use of burn pits in certain situations and recommends their usage in a way that reduces the release of hazardous fumes and smoke.

Despite these efforts, many veterans and service members continue to experience health issues related to burn pit exposure. 

Frequent Items Burned in Burn Pits

Burn pits are utilized to dispose of numerous types of waste, including:

  • Batteries 
  • Chemicals 
  • Electronics 
  • Human waste 
  • Medical waste 
  • Metals 
  • Paints and solvents 
  • Plastics 
  • Tires 
  • Wood and vegetation 

Legislation and Research Concerning Effects of Burn Pits

In the past few years, people have become more worried about the potential health dangers linked to burn pits, and this has resulted in military burn pit lawsuits. To tackle this problem, the VA set up the Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry in 2013. This registry enables the tracking and monitoring of the well-being of veterans who might have been exposed to burn pits during their time in service. Any veteran who served in Iraq, Afghanistan, or other places where burn pits were used can access this registry.

In addition to registry, research studies have been done to investigate the health impacts of burn pit exposure. These studies indicate a higher risk of respiratory problems, neurological disorders, and several types of cancers among individuals exposed to burn pits. The findings of these studies are significant in supporting military burn pit lawsuits and claims.

Exposure to Burn Pits and Health Dangers

Burn pit exposure can cause serious health concerns. These illnesses can take years to develop and sadly may not become apparent until after a person has left the military.

Chemicals and fumes generated by military burn pit exposure include:

  • Ammonia 
  • Benzene 
  • Furans and dioxins 
  • Heavy metals 
  • Hydrochloric acid 
  • Particulate matter (PM) 
  • Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) 
  • Sulfur compounds 
  • Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) 

 

The potential types of cancer from burn pit exposure include:

  • Brain cancer 
  • Gastrointestinal cancer of any type 
  • Glioblastoma 
  • Head cancer of any type 
  • Kidney cancer 
  • Lymphatic cancer of any type 
  • Lymphoma of any type 
  • Melanoma 
  • Neck cancer 
  • Pancreatic cancer 
  • Reproductive cancer of any type 
  • Respiratory (breathing-related) cancer of any type 

 

The potential illnesses caused by burn pit exposure include:

  • Asthma that was diagnosed after service 
  • Chronic bronchitis 
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) 
  • Chronic rhinitis 
  • Chronic sinusitis 
  • Constrictive bronchiolitis or obliterative bronchiolitis 
  • Emphysema 
  • Granulomatous disease 
  • Interstitial lung disease (ILD) 
  • Pleuritis 
  • Pulmonary fibrosis 
  • Sarcoidosis 

 

Symptoms associated with burn pit exposure, highlighted in military burn pit lawsuit updates, may include:

  • Chest discomfort 
  • Constant cough 
  • Dizziness 
  • Fatigue 
  • Headaches 
  • Joint pain 
  • Nausea 
  • Shortness of breath 
  • Skin rashes 
  • Wheezing 

 

These symptoms may start off mild but can worsen over time, particularly with continued exposure to burn pits. 

Locations and Timeframes of Burn Pit Exposure

Since September 11, 2001, burn pit exposure could have occurred in various places like:

  • Afghanistan 
  • Djibouti 
  • Egypt 
  • Jordan 
  • Lebanon 
  • Syria 
  • Uzbekistan 
  • Yemen 
  • Even in the airspace above these locations  

 

Additionally, starting from August 2, 1990, exposure could have taken place in locations such as:

  • Bahrain 
  • Iraq 
  • Kuwait 
  • Oman 
  • Qatar 
  • Saudi Arabia 
  • Somalia 
  • The United Arab Emirates 
  • Even in the airspace above these areas 

Compensation for Military Burn Pit Victims

Compensation for burn pit injuries in the military can vary depending on the severity of the injury and the specifics of the case. Military burn pit compensation options for your injuries include:

  • Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Disability Benefits: Veterans who have been diagnosed with a burn pit-related sickness or injury may be eligible for disability payments from the VA. These disability benefits include medical expenditures and compensation for the impact the illness or injury has on them.
  • Lawsuits against Responsible Parties: Veterans and their families may file a lawsuit against the private contractors or corporations accountable for the burn pits. Their lawsuit may seek compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, and other damages.
  • Settlements: Some veterans have been able to reach military burn pit injury settlements through legal actions against military contractors as financial compensation for the harm and injuries caused by burn pit exposure. The amount of compensation is based on the individual’s case and the extent of injuries.
  • Private Support and Grants: Different private organizations and non-profit groups offer support and grants to assist military burn pit victims by providing financial aid for medical treatments, therapy, and other necessary support services. 

Lawsuits & Settlements Involving Military Burn Pit Injuries

  • KBR, Inc: In 2019, KBR, a former military contractor, agreed to pay $85 million to settle burn pit exposure claims brought by more than 2,000 veterans. The veterans alleged that exposure to burn pits in Iraq and Afghanistan caused them harm.
  • Lejeune Water Contamination: While not specific to burn pits, the case involved water contamination at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, that resulted in a historic settlement of over $2 billion. The contamination included burn pit toxins and affected thousands of Marines and their families.
  • Open burn pits at Joint Base Balad: A group of veterans filed a class-action lawsuit against KBR. The veterans alleged that the company’s negligent operation of open burn pits at Joint Base Balad in Iraq caused them serious health issues. The case resulted in a military burn pit injury settlement agreement in 2017.
  • Briesemeister v. Kellogg Brown & Root: In this lawsuit, a former Army Reserve Officer sued KBR, claiming that his exposure to burn pit toxins in Iraq caused him significant health problems. The case was settled in 2018, though the terms of the settlement were not disclosed. 

Common Claims in Military Burn Pit Exposure Lawsuit

Many veterans exposed to burn pits and subsequently developed health problems have filed lawsuits against military contractors and other entities responsible for operating them. The common claims in military burn pit exposure lawsuits include:

Negligence: Allegations that responsible parties, such as military contractors, failed to exercise reasonable care in the operation and management of burn pits, leading to exposure and resulting health issues.

Failure to Warn: Claims that responsible parties knew or should have known about the health risks associated with burn pit exposure but failed to adequately warn service members or take necessary precautions to mitigate the risks.

Breach of Duty: Accusations that responsible parties breached their duty of care to service members by failing to provide a safe and healthy environment, resulting in burn pit-related illnesses and injuries.

Product Liability: Claims against manufacturers of equipment used in burn pit operations, alleging defects or inadequate design that contributed to the release of harmful toxins and chemicals.

Medical Negligence: Allegations that healthcare providers within the military or Veterans Affairs (VA) system failed to diagnose or properly treat burn pit-related illnesses, leading to further harm or complications.

Loss of Consortium: Claims brought by family members of service members, asserting that the burn pit-related injuries or illnesses have caused a loss of companionship, support, and services. 

Ethen Ostroff Law for Military Burn Pit Exposure Lawsuit

Explore your options for military burn pit injury lawsuit and compensation. Ethen Ostroff Law and its partners are dedicated to helping veterans, and their families seek justice for injuries resulting from burn pit exposure during military service. Learn how our experienced team can guide you through the legal process and fight for the military burn pit compensation you deserve. Contact us today to discuss your military burn pit claim.

Know more about your legal options and how Ethen Ostroff Law and its partner firms can assist you by calling us today at 610-510-8883 . Act now to protect your rights and seek the compensation you deserve. 

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