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SCOTUS to hear local veteran's case

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Posted at 1:20 PM, Dec 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-15 19:00:49-05

The U.S. Supreme Court announced on Wednesday it will take up the case of former Department of Public Safety trooper and Army veteran Le Roy Torres.

The Robstown resident and founder of Burn Pits 360 filed a lawsuit against the state of Texas in 2017 after Torres says he was pressured to resign.

The legal case made its way through the court system, and the Supreme Court granted a hearing for Torres’ case. There’s no word yet on the official date of that hearing.

Torres said he suffered from a lung injury after being exposed to open military burn pits while deployed for combat in Iraq.

When he returned to state police duty in 2008, Torres says his symptoms from burn-pit exposure became prevalent. And that’s when he says he was pressured to leave the force.

At the time, Torres was only four years away from retirement. He filed a lawsuit seeking retirement pay and lost wages.

“We are over the moon (with the Supreme Court's decision to hear the case). It has been a long journey,” said Rosie Torres, Le Roy's wife and the co-founder of Burn Pits 360. “It’s a major win for us.”

Burn Pits 360 is a non-profit organization started in 2010 which helps other veterans suffering from injuries sustained due to open military burn pits. Many of them also have similar legal cases pending in courts throughout the country.

“The most important thing for us is Le Roy’s case now becomes case law,” said Rosie Torres. “The fate of their (other veterans) cases largely depends on the outcome of Le Roy’s case. This is huge. We are all riding on hope.”

KRIS 6 News reached out to the lead attorney for the Texas Department of Public Safety, Judd Stone, and are waiting for official comment from the state.

This is a developing story. Check back with KRIS 6 News for updates.