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February 6, 2021 – Sgt. Ryan G. Mason died at 36 years of age after being diagnosed with esophageal cancer believed to be related to toxins and chemicals emitted from burn pits.  After enlisting in the Army at 17 years of age, he served in Iraq and Afghanistan and was exposed to burn pits while overseas.

According to this article, “A study in 2018 by researchers at Augusta University in Georgia found that veterans were more likely to develop serious types of cancer the more they were exposed to burn pits. More than one million soldiers were deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan from 2001 to 2009 when the usage of burn pits became restricted by the United States.

Roughly 80% of the soldiers deployed to the two countries were exposed to burn pits, and roughly 60% reported having symptoms such as shortness of breath, coughing, mucus buildup, joint and abdomen pain, fatigue, and malaise, according to a study on burn pit-related illnesses published in 2019 in the Open Journal of Emergency Medicine.”

Reference: Muir, Ben,“Army vet dies at 36 from Cancer believed to have originated from burn pit exposure”, Watertown Daily Times, N.Y, February 6, 2021, https://www.militarytimes.com/veterans/2021/11/10/veteran-exposed-to-toxic-burn-pit-smoke-dies-of-cancer-after-misdiagnosis-lawsuit-settlement/

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Gayle Gerling Pettinga

Born and raised in Evansville, Gayle is a respected, experienced lawyer and a valued community leader. She graduated near the top of her class at Indiana University’s prestigious Maurer School of Law. She’s practiced law with one of the largest firms in Indianapolis as well as one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world. And that means she knows how big law firms and big companies think and how they operate – and she will put that knowledge to work for you.

Gayle has received numerous awards and honors including Martindale-Hubbell — Peer Review Rated: AV®, American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys 10 Best Attorneys in Indiana for Exceptional and Outstanding Client Service, and YWCA Evansville 100 Years, 100 Women Honoree, 2011.

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