An injury on a military base can result in a complicated process that does not always lead to straightforward compensation. Military base injuries may result in extensive lost wages or medical bills that leave victims and their families at risk of suffering from long-term financial, physical, and emotional impacts. As such, victims of these injuries and their families often have no choice but to pursue a legal claim.
Fox News published an article on April 9, 2016, about thousands of contractors and war veterans who became sick after working at what they call “burn pits.” Burn pits in Iraq and Afghanistan were created to burn various types of trash, including garbage, IEDs, plastics, batteries, dead animals, and human waste. The toxic fumes have led not only to chronic illnesses such as cancer but also to deaths. Soldiers at the bases were too focused on their greater mission to think about the repercussions of ingesting the heavy smoke coming from the pits as close as just 20–30 feet away from them.
According to the Fox News article, one base burned up to 147 tons of materials per day. These burn pits omit carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide, along with 1,000 other chemical components. Soldiers who have suffered from this injury on a military base have died from the fumes even though they are only in their 20s or 30s. The Department of Veteran Affairs has created a Burn Pit Registry list that includes 64,000 names from both active and retired service members. However, just because they are on that registry doesn’t mean the soldiers will receive any sort of acknowledgement or compensation.
The burn pits are just one example of the various types of injuries that have occurred on overseas military bases due to the negligence of military contractors. The cases include motor vehicle and road traffic accidents, malfunctioning equipment, toxic exposures, and various other types of injuries caused by military contractors such as DynCorp, KBR, Aecom, Halliburton, Fluor, and Arkel International.
Victims of such incidents are often covered by the Defense Base Act, a workers’ compensation system, aimed at providing medical and income benefits to workers injured on overseas military bases. In addition, these individuals often have claims of negligence against military contractors that may result in the ability to recover for mental anguish, pain and suffering, physical impairment, lost earning capacity, and past and future medical expenses.
Doyle LLP focuses its practice on representing workers who have been harmed by negligent military contractors. If you have suffered an injury while working on an overseas military base, contact Doyle LLP to determine what your legal rights are.