Thousands of Victims Continue to Suffer Nearly 3 Years After Fuel Leak

( – The federal government is facing a massive lawsuit from 2,500 plaintiffs who are still suffering from the fallout of a jet fuel leak nearly three years ago.

The lawsuit stems from an incident in November 2021 after 27,000 gallons of jet fuel leaked into an aquifer near Hawaii’s Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. Over 93,000 people were in the affected area, many of whom consumed tap water early in the morning before they had a chance to hear about the leak. The plaintiffs in the most recent case are demanding a total of $1.25 million from the government.

Kristina Baehr, the attorney representing the affected servicemembers and their families in the case, said the government is referring to it as a “contamination,” while her clients are calling it a “poisoning.” She said the government was aware of the leak yet still made the water publicly available. She also said her clients continue to suffer from many ailments, with some of the most extreme including seizures and even Parkinson’s disease. Baehr resigned from her Department of Justice position after the incident so that she could personally represent the victims.

In another case, the baby of a Navy service member had rashes covering his face just days after he was born. Jaclyn Hughes, the baby’s mother, said her throat also burned after attempting to drink the tap water at her home. Her husband was deployed when their son was born, but he arrived a few days later. He said the tap water still had signs of contamination. Their 4-year-old daughter also reportedly went into a full psychotic episode after the leak.

Baehr said the plaintiffs also want to ensure that such an incident is prevented in the future. She also expressed gratitude to lawyers representing the government for acknowledging liability in the case. However, they’ve also questioned whether the victims really consumed a dangerous amount of jet fuel.

A trial regarding the case initially began in Honolulu on April 29th.

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