How Women Won the KBR Rape Case
Jones’ rape case was only of secondary importance to KBR. What the company was really afraid of was losing the ability to force arbitration. One rape case could be dismissed as an aberration, but dozens are a public-relations nightmare. In March of last year, KBR withdrew its appeal to the Supreme Court fearing the suit would violate the Franken amendment and endanger a $2.3 billion contract they signed with the government.
The Franken Amendment, KBR president William C. Bodie wrote in a letter in January 2010, “promotes frivolous lawsuits.” It’s the most common argument trotted out in favor of arbitration, and it’s exactly how KBR painted the Jones case. Of course, no rape case should be called frivolous on its face, especially since Jones isn’t alone in reporting assault overseas. In 2008, The Nation Investigative Fund ran a story entitled “Another KBR Rape Case” about Dawn Leamon, a paramedic who says she was drugged and gang raped on a base in Iraq. Jones’ lawyer is currently working on the case of Anna Mayo, who says she was brutally raped while working for a Halliburton subsidiary in Iraq. In 2009, Jones testified that, through a foundation she set up to support women assaulted overseas, she had been contacted by a number of women who found themselves shut out of the courts after an assault.
During a Senate hearing on binding arbitration in 2009, an arbitration lawyer made the mistake of saying Jones, who was present to testify, had already had her day in court. “Four years to fight to get in court is not a day in court,” Jones said. (Click HERE for original article)