(Reuters) – A French court on Monday brought a lawsuit against a French-Vietnamese woman against more than a dozen multinational companies that produced and sold a toxic herbicide called Agent Orange used by US troops during the Vietnam War.
Filed in 2014, the case pits Tran To Nga, a 79-year-old who claims to have been a victim of Agent Orange, against 14 chemical companies, including Dow Chemical and Monsanto, now owned by Germany's Bayer.
Tran To Nga told Reuters that the case had been dropped but that she would appeal.
Ms. Tran, who worked as a journalist and activist in Vietnam in her 20s, has said that she suffered from effects including type 2 diabetes and a rare insulin allergy.
USA. warplanes dropped about 1
Multinational corporations had claimed that they could not be held responsible for the use by the US military of their product.
The court ruled that it did not have jurisdiction to adjudicate on a US Government wartime case, the Agence France Presse reported. Reuters could not immediately see the verdict.
One of Trans's lawyers, William Bourdon, said in a statement on Twitter that the court applies an outdated definition of the principle of immunity for jurisdiction that violates modern principles of international and national law.
He said it was "astonishing" that the court had supported the companies' claim that they acted on orders when responding to the US government's tender offer.
There was no immediate reaction from the companies.
So far, only military veterans from the United States and other countries involved in the war have won compensation over Agent Orange. In 2008, a US federal appeals court upheld the dismissal of a civil lawsuit against large US chemical companies brought by Vietnamese plaintiffs. many Vietnamese.