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CBS News: 3 active-duty service members file claims against federal government over jet fuel leak: "Poisoned by the Navy in their own homes"



Army Major Amanda Feindt, along with Army Colonel Jessica Whaley and Navy Ensign Koda Freeman, has filed rare legal claims, suing the the federal government due to toxic exposure from contaminated water in their on-base homes in Hawaii.


The contamination occurred when 19,000 gallons of jet fuel leaked from the US Navy's Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility in Honolulu in May 2021. This leak impacted approximately 93,000 military family members and civilians.


Typically, active-duty military service members cannot sue military branches in federal court, but Feindt and her co-plaintiffs argue that their situation should be an exception. They filed pre-litigation administrative claim forms, intending to proceed with a lawsuit in Honolulu soon.


The families toxic torts attorney, Kristina Baehr, of Just Well Law in Austin, Texas, emphasized the importance of the filing, stating that off-duty service members exposed to toxic water in their homes should not be barred from seeking legal recourse under the Feres doctrine, which traditionally limits line-of-duty injury claims.


"Our military service members have enough responsibility in their service to the nation. They cannot be mission-ready if the government's negligence has made them sick with toxic water," their personal injury attorney, Kristina Baehr, said in a press release, adding that Monday's filing is more important than ever.


The Navy declined to comment on the litigation.



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