Five active-duty military personnel, including an Army colonel, filed a lawsuit Thursday against the federal government over their exposure to jet fuel in the drinking water of their on-base homes in Hawaii in 2021.
The group is suing for damages over illnesses they say they endured after drinking and bathing in the water, which was contaminated during a spill from the Navy's Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility in Honolulu that sent thousands of gallons of fuel into the water supply at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam and nearby military facilities.
The lawsuit marks the second against the government over the incident and the first filed exclusively by active-duty service members, who generally are barred from suing the government for injuries or illnesses caused by their military service.
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In the new suit, filed late Thursday in the U.S. District Court of Hawaii, the plaintiffs argue that the prohibition against them suing the federal government, known as the Feres doctrine, shouldn't apply because those responsible for the fuel spills at Red Hill in May and November 2021 were not uniformed personnel, and the plaintiffs were not on duty when they were exposed.
The service members were in their homes on Thanksgiving leave at the time of the incident, according to their attorney, Kristina Baehr, with the…