Nine new lawsuits filed against KBR
WASHINGTON, April 28 /PRNewswire/ — Nine new lawsuits allege that KBR, Inc. jeopardized the health and safety of American soldiers and contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan by burning vast quantities of unsorted waste in enormous open-air burn pits with no safety controls.
The lawsuits are being filed today and Wednesday in state courts in Alabama, California, Georgia, Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, and Wyoming by the Burke O’Neil LLC law firm and co-counsel on behalf of 21 named current and former military personnel, private contractors, and the families of men who allegedly died as a result of exposure to toxic emissions from KBR burn pits.
KBR is accused of allowing thick, noxious smoke – coming off of flames sometimes colored blue or green by burning chemicals – to hang over U.S. bases and camps across Iraq and Afghanistan since 2004. Round-the-clock hazardous emissions from the burn pits allegedly caused serious respiratory illnesses, tumors and cancers in the plaintiffs.
According to the complaints, “U.S. soldiers and other residents of the military bases and camps have become seriously ill, been diagnosed with serious and potentially fatal diseases and in some cases have died from the physical injuries and diseases caused by the exposure to hazardous smoke and fumes.”
The burn pits are so large that tractors are used to push waste onto them and the flames shoot hundreds of feet into the sky, according to the lawsuits. KBR allegedly burned waste such as biohazard materials including human corpses, medical supplies, paints, solvents, asbestos, items containing pesticides, animal carcasses, tires, lithium batteries, styrofoam, wood, rubber, medical waste, large amounts of plastics, and even entire trucks.
Attorney Elizabeth Burke, of Burke O’Neil LLC, stated, “KBR knew or should have known that operating vast open-air burn pits jeopardized the health and safety of thousands of Americans. The hazards of operating large open air burn pits were well known. KBR showed an utter disregard for the safety of the troops when they chose to use open air burn pits and failed to use incinerators and other safer methods of waste disposal.”
The collective claims against the defendants include wrongful death, negligence, battery, breach of duty to warn, medical monitoring, future medical expenses, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and breach of contract.
The legal team for the plaintiffs intends to seek class certification of the lawsuits to cover costs of medical monitoring, future medical expenses, and other damages for other individuals exposed to KBR burn pit emissions.
Ms. Burke stated, “KBR promised to minimize the environmental effects of the burn sites they operated in Iraq and Afghanistan and to minimize smoke exposure to people in and near the bases and camps. Instead, by forsaking safety for money, KBR willfully endangered these men and women who honorably served their country in military service or in support of the military.” (Click HERE to read the entire article and see a partial list of plaintiffs.)
I have to say that last statement by Ms. Burke is powerful and hits the nail on the head. That’s why I bolded it!! The “dump” in the Green Zone burned 24/7 covering KBR’s Camp Hope in smoke and ash. Our complaints were ignored. It wasn’t until a Marine check point was set up near “the dump” and the Marines had it shut down and moved for the safety of their troops. Thank God we no longer had to breathe the fumes of thousands of burning plastic water bottles and who know what else. Hoo Ra!
I have nearly 60 Burn Pit photos on Flickr. Click HERE to see those and my other stuff if you want.