Business

November 30, 2012

War contractor: Feds should pay lawsuit damages

An Iraq war contractor that lost an $85 million verdict to a group of sickened U.S. soldiers has filed a lawsuit seeking to force the federal government to pay the soldiers’ damages.

In early November, 12 Oregon National Guard soldiers won the verdict against Kellogg Brown and Root, an engineering and construction firm that helped lead the reconstruction work in post-war Iraq. The soldiers were exposed to a toxin while guarding an Iraqi water plant.

In the new lawsuit, KBR also demands that the government pay more than $15 million in its attorneys’ fees.

At the heart of the suit is a so-called indemnification clause that KBR alleges it agreed to with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in March 2003. The clause was designed to protect KBR against “unusually hazardous risks” in its work in Iraq.

In a Nov. 16 filing in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, KBR argues the clause makes the government responsible for the results of its actions in Iraq, including the Oregon verdict.

“Based upon an erroneous legal and factual analysis of the terms of the indemnification agreement, (the Army Corps) has refused to indemnify (KBR) for the costs of defending against the various third-party lawsuits,” KBR attorneys wrote, “and has refused to participate or assume direct responsibility in defending (KBR) in the underlying tort litigations.”

KBR said in the suit that it had no insurance to cover its wartime work, and the government’s refusal to involve itself in lawsuits constitutes a breach of the indemnification agreement.

A U.S. Army Corps of Engineers spokesman declined to comment Nov. 27, citing the ongoing litigation. Emails and messages to KBR were not immediately returned, and KBR’s attorneys declined to comment.

At least another 130 lawsuits are pending from soldiers in England, Texas, Indiana and West Virginia, as well as other Oregon soldiers who were present at the Iraqi water plant, called Qarmat Ali.

A jury found the company guilty of negligence for illnesses the soldiers who guarded Qarmat Ali, an oilfield water plant.

The three-week trial ended after just two days of deliberation by the jury. The suit was the first concerning soldiers’ exposure to a toxin the plant.

The soldiers said they suffer from respiratory ailments after their exposure to sodium dichromate, and they fear that a carcinogen the toxin contains, hexavalent chromium, could cause cancer later in life.

 




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
lm-kmax

Lockheed Martin’s unmanned cargo helicopter team returns from deployment

After lifting more than 4.5 million pounds of cargo and conducting thousands of delivery missions for the U.S. Marine Corps, the Lockheed Martin and Kaman Aerospace Corporation K-MAX cargo unmanned aircraft system has returned ...
 
 

SPEEA files age discrimination charge against Boeing

After months of investigation, the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace, IFPTE Local 2001, charged Boeing with age discrimination. Acting on behalf of SPEEA-represented engineers, the union filed the third-party charges July 23 with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Washington State Human Rights Commission. The evidence is overwhelming that Boeing hatched...
 
 

Commercial jets push Boeing profits up 52 percent

Increased production of passenger jets helped push up Boeing’s profit by 52 percent in the second quarter, topping Wall Street’s expectations. The Chicago-based company said net income increased to $1.65 billion, or $2.24 per share, from $1.09 billion, or $1.41 per share, in the same quarter a year ago. Earnings, adjusted for non-recurring costs, came...
 

 

Comprehensive MEADS network tests demonstrate unmatched plug-and-fight missile defense capabilities

The Medium Extended Air Defense System recently completed a comprehensive system demonstration at Pratica di Mare Air Base near Rome, Italy. The two-week test demonstration included significant first-time events that were observed by several national delegations. “The outstanding result is that we have demonstrated the full range of advanced network capabilities that only MEADS can...
 
 

UTC awarded Boeing C-17 Globemaster III MRO landing gear contract

UTC Aerospace Systems has been selected by Boeing to continue to provide landing gear system maintenance services in support of the U.S. Air Force fleet of the Boeing C-17 Globemaster III aircraft. Included as part of the agreement, the company will work with Hill Air Force Base personnel in Ogden, Utah, to jointly manage the...
 
 
Lockheed Martin photograph by Beth Groom

First two Australian F-35s roll out of factory

Lockheed Martin photograph by Beth Groom Royal Australian Air Force Air Marshal Geoff Brown delivers his remarks at the roll out ceremony for Australia’s first F-35. A ceremony was held July 24 at Lockheed Martin in Fort Wort...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>