The U.S. Government should be disgraced at their attempt to hide from their alleged wrongdoings, knowingly exposing service men and women, their spouses and children and civilians to chemical laden water, by invoking the Feres Doctrine in this case."
New York, New York (PRWEB) April 17, 2012
Parker Waichman LLP, a national law firm dedicated to protecting the legal rights of personal injury victims, vehemently opposes the U.S. government's motion to dismiss three lawsuits the firm has filed on behalf of former Marines who were allegedly sickened by contaminated water while stationed at Camp Lejeune. All three lawsuits are currently pending in a multidistrict litigation underway in U.S. District Court, Northern District of Georgia (In re: Camp Lejeune North Carolina Water Contamination Litigation). On Monday, the U.S. Justice Department filed a motion to dismiss all three lawsuits claiming they were barred by the U.S. Supreme Court's Feres Doctrine. (Case Number 1:11-md-02218-JOF).
Established by a 1950 Supreme Court decision in Feres v. United States, the Feres Doctrine was meant to cover situations that occur during battle or in the course of armed forces activities. According to Parker Waichman LLP, if the government’s motion to dismiss these lawsuits is granted, it will represent an expansion of this Doctrine. Expanding the scope of the Feres Doctrine would rob our military men and women, who have already sacrificed so much to safeguard the freedoms of other Americans, of a vital right enjoyed by every other U.S. Citizen - the right to have their grievances heard in a court of law, according to Parker Waichman LLP.
Parker Waichman LLP calls on the federal government to end its efforts to expand the Feres Doctrine. The firm further urges the U.S. Congress to pass legislation amending the Federal Tort Claims Act to give U.S. military service personnel and their families a right of access to the U.S. courts, the same right that every other American enjoys.
"The Feres Doctrine was never intended to protect the U.S. Government from lawsuits that have nothing to do with military actions. It most certainly was not intended to protect it from basic duties owed by every U.S. municipality to provide all citizens and residents of the nation with life-sustaining services, including clean water," says William J. Dubanevich, environmental attorney with Parker Waichman LLP. "The U.S. Government should be disgraced at their attempt to hide from their alleged wrongdoings, knowingly exposing service men and women, their spouses and children and civilians to chemical laden water, by invoking the Feres Doctrine in this case."
A second motion filed by the government on Monday seeks to dismiss all seven lawsuits, including three filed by Parker Waichman pending in federal court. According to the motion, the Federal Tort Claims Act's "discretionary function" exception, which prohibits lawsuits based upon the government’s performance or failure to perform a discretionary function or duty, bars all of the complaints. The U.S. argues that because the Plaintiffs cannot point to any statute that imposes duties upon the government to provide safe water for Camp Lejeune residents, such duties are discretionary. In response, Mr. Dubanevich stated, “there are base orders that required the government to provide safe potable water to anyone who used water on base. We allege that the government did not have the discretion not to follow these specific orders.”
Parker Waichman LLP is a leading mass tort, environmental and personal injury law firm that represents plaintiffs nationwide. The firm has offices in New York, Long Island, New Jersey, Washington, D.C. and Florida. For more than two decades, Parker Waichman LLP has assisted thousands of clients in receiving fair compensation due to the negligence of others and injuries resulting from defective drugs, medical devices and other products. For more information on Parker Waichman LLP, please visit: http://www.yourlawyer.com or call 1-800-LAW-INFO (1-800-529-4636).
Contact: Parker Waichman LLP
Herbert Waichman, Partner