By Rick Ritter

FREDERICK, Md. (WJZ)–A group of people battling cancer in Frederick, who lost loved ones, are suing Fort Detrick for $750 million.

The lawsuit claims the Army recklessly handled chemical toxins in the past which lead to the death of some workers and those who lived nearby.

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WJZ’s Rick Ritter has the latest.

Outrage and disgust for Louise Mason, it’s pain that’s lingered for years.

“Why is our government not protecting us, the people?” she says.

Mason says she’s had many side effects as the time go by and it continues to get worse.

The Frederick native lost her father to a deadly disease and now battles cancer herself.

Mason is just one of many pointing the finger at Fort Detrick.

“What happened was a wrong was made and it was never made right,” said Angie Piper, President, Kristen Renee Foundation.

A $750-million lawsuit accuses the Army of recklessly and negligently handling toxic chemicals–citing Agent Orange experiments during the Vietnam War–that ultimately led to diseases and deaths of dozens of people who worked at Fort Detrick or lived nearby.

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Angie Piper’s mother died of kidney cancer and her sister passed with a brain tumor.

Their family grew up within a mile of the base.

The state’s health department was unable to find cancer clusters near Fort Detrick. They say the cancer rate in this area is very similar to the county’s and the state’s.

In February,  more than 100 families had their claims of health problems denied. The Massachusetts lawyer leading their charge against the Army says he hasn’t got any response from the government.

“They’ve done nothing what so ever, no phone call, letter email or anything that’s come from us government to show they have any concern or empathy for the families and the lives they destroyed,” said Attorney Michael Hugo.

Many are still hoping to get their day in court.

Hugo says he’s unsure how many people may eventually be part of the class action suit. He says some people are seeking money for medical testing to give them peace of mind.

A state public health investigation in 2011 found no significant evidence of cancer clusters within 2 miles of Fort Detrick.

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WJZ has been unable to reach Fort Detrick for comment.

Rick Ritter