Judge moves to streamline (Oregon National Guard) soldiers’ case against KBR
Published: Thursday, February 09, 2012, 2:20 PM Updated: Thursday, February 09, 2012, 2:33 PM
An unspecified number of the 34 Oregon National Guard soldiers suing contractor KBR Inc. over their exposure to sodium dichromate in Iraq will have their cases set aside when the case goes to trial. The trial in U.S. District Court has been rescheduled for Oct. 9, four months later than the previously scheduled date.
U.S. District Magistrate Judge Paul Papak told lawyers Wednesday in a conference call that 34 plaintiffs would make the case “too unwieldy” for trial, said Jeffrey Eden, a Portland lawyer helping to represent KBR.
As a result, the parties agreed generally on a formula that would let the soldiers’ attorneys choose four plaintiffs, and the defense lawyers and the court another four each. Then those 12 plaintiffs would proceed to a trial, with the remaining plaintiffs’ cases shelved until the first case is resolved.
However, some of those 12 may be dismissed, as their cases for damages are likely to be challenged by KBR before the case reaches trial.
Still to be settled are whether the outcome of the first trial will be binding for the other soldiers currently listed as plaintiffs.
At the same time, Judge Papak continues to consider KBR’s request to dismiss the entire case. He has asked the lawyers for additional information about the expert opinions used in the litigation, so his decision may not come for months, said David Sugerman, a Portland lawyer helping to represent the soldiers.(see original article HERE)