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Army veteran’s lawyer argues to reinstate KBR lawsuit

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

A federal appeals court should reinstate an Iraqi war veteran`s lawsuit against a defense contractor because the contractor delayed revealing information that would have allowed doctors to diagnose and treat the veteran’s illness, a lawyer for the Pleasant Hills man argued today.

Fred Jug, one of the lawyers representing Glen Bootay, 32, said KBR Inc. of Houston had an obligation to warn Bootay and other soldiers in April 2003 about the danger of being exposed to sodium dichromate that was spread around the Qarmat Ali water treatment facility they guarded while KBR employees restored it to service.

Instead, the company went so far as to immediately transfer one of its own employees who raised the question of warning the soldiers, he said. “That is outrageous,” Jug said during the hearing at the federal courthouse, Downtown.

Kurt Hamrock, a lawyer for KBR, urged the three-judge panel of the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to uphold U.S. District Judge Terrence McVerry`s Sept. 9 ruling that the company had no duty to warn the soldiers about the danger of being exposed to the chemical.

Bootay sat in a wheelchair at the back of the courtroom during the hearing. Rob Bootay said his brother was too exhausted to talk afterward. The chemical exposure has given the former combat engineer chronic health problems that include constant headaches, chest pain, irregular heartbeat, extreme fatigue and short-term memory loss, according to his lawsuit. (click HERE for original article)

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