Grieving Father Plans Fort Detrick Cancer Cluster Lawsuit

A man who lost his daughter to cancer says he plans to bring a lawsuit against < "">Fort Detrick in Frederick, Maryland. Randy White, who is represented by the national law firm of < "">Parker Waichman LLP, claims Fort Detrick is covering up information about toxic chemicals tested there, which he says caused a cancer cluster among area residents.

As we’ve reported previously, White lost his 30-year-old daughter, Kristen Renee, to a brain tumor in 2008. Just weeks after Kristen Renee’s funeral, her sister, Angie, was diagnosed with a rare type of stomach cancer. In 2010, his ex-wife was diagnosed with advanced renal cancer and later died. White, who is now a pastor in Tampa, Florida, believes his daughters and ex-wife were victims of toxic contamination from Fort Detrick.

According to a report from The Washington Post, Fort Detrick was the site of Agent Orange research from the 1940s into the 1960s. Fort Detrick’s Area B was used for Agent Orange testing, as well as for buried disposal of a number of contaminants including drums containing organic solvents such as tetrachloroethene (PCE) and trichloroethene (TCE). In April 2009, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) added Fort Detrick Area B Groundwater to the National Priority List (NPL) based on PCE and TCE detections in offsite drinking wells. As we’ve reported previously gent Orange, TCE and PCE have all been linked to various cancers, including leukemia, Hodgkin’s disease, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and respiratory cancers.

After his daughter’s death, White founded the Kristin Renee Foundation. According to the Frederick News-Post, the foundation’s Fighting for Frederick project is attempting to prove a cancer cluster exists around Fort Detrick.

“Fort Detrick needs to have full disclosure,” White said during a news conference at the W Hotel in Washington last week. “They’re lying. They lie. They cover up and they need to be open about what they’re doing.”

White claims the Kristin Renee Foundation has been in touch with 41 inside informants, both current and former employees at Fort Detrick, including a “very high-profile man” who claims his data and research on chemicals was destroyed. However, White said that the informant made copies of his data before it was destroyed, and has since supplied the copies to Fighting for Frederick, the News-Post reported.

“When I read this, again I was in shock and amazement,” White said, according to the News-Post. “If you ask is there a cover-up, certainly if you’re told by your commander to burn the evidence, there’s got to be some type of cover.”

Rob Sperling, chief of public affairs for the U.S. Army Garrison Fort Detrick, told the News-Post he had no knowledge of the incident White described. Sperling also asserted that Detrick has been open with its documents, pointing out, among other things, that it has allowed the public to read all records from the 1940s to 1970s online.

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