Veteranclaims’s Blog

July 13, 2010

Toxin Exposed Oregon National Guard Claim, Iraq Contractor Granted Immunity

Full Article at: Hexavalent chromium case: Iraq contractor cut deal for lawsuit immunity
Published: Monday, July 12, 2010, 8:16 PM Updated: Tuesday, July 13, 2010, 6:34 AM
Julie Sullivan, The Oregonian Julie Sullivan, The Oregonian

American taxpayers — and not KBR– will likely pay if the war contractor is found to have harmed Oregon Army National Guard veterans who say they were exposed to cancer-causing chemicals in Iraq. The startling details emerged in documents related to a U.S. District Court hearing Monday that illuminate the secretive world of defense contracting.

Documents show that within days of the 2003 Iraq invasion, Kellogg, Brown and Root delivered an ultimatum to the Pentagon:

Either the Army cover the potential cost of any soldier or civilian killed or harmed on a KBR project – or the defense contractor would not carry out its no-bid contract restoring Iraqi oil.

The Army agreed to it, according to a deposition given by a KRB attorney who delivered the ultimatum. The attorney added that KBR has also recently notified the Army that it will have to reimburse KBR for court and potential liability costs.

On Monday, attorneys representing the 26 current and former Oregon soldiers and those representing KBR argued nearly 80 minutes over whether the case should go forward in U.S. District Court in Oregon. KBR asked Magistrate Judge Paul Papak for a second time to dismiss the case, saying a private company doing the job of the military on the battlefield should receive the same envelope of protection the military does. “

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