Lawyers for Oregon soldiers rebut KBR’s argument about Qarmat Ali
In a filing in federal court in Portland Thursday, they point out that Qarmat Ali, the water treatment plant in southern Iraq where Oregon soldiers provided security for KBR employees, was under the control of KBR, not the U.S. military.
“KBR had the authority and responsibility to shut down Qarmat Ali when confronted with a safety issue,” the filing says, citing sworn statements from witnesses in the two federal cases filed by soldiers against KBR.
KBR had argued that a ruling by a federal judge in the case of a Pennsylvania soldier who died of electrical shock while showering in a facility refurbished by KBR should guide the judge in Oregon to dismiss the case against the company. In the Pennsylvania case, the judge ruled that ultimate responsibility for the base in Iraq belonged to the Army, not the contractor.
Soldiers from the Oregon and Indiana National Guard accuse KBR of knowingly exposing them to a potent carcinogen, hexavalent chromium, which is used in the anticorrosive compound sodium dichromate, present at the Qarmat Ali plant in 2003, when the soldiers were sent there. (Click HERE for original article)