“This is not our first rodeo…” KBR’s view on Qarmat Ali etc…
And in typical KBR fashion, the next step after the verdict was rendered was not one of accepting responsibility, finally, but instead continue blame avoidance and misdirection. KBR struck out against the trial judge for the temerity of even permitting a public trial of KBR’s actions, the jurors for not baldly accepting KBR’s version of the facts, and our firm and clients. Not once did the company ever own up to their mistakes. Without the slightest legitimate basis for impugning the trial court or the jurors, KBR instead demanded an exception from the court’s rules for juror protection, insisting on an unsupervised “interview” by its lawyers or trial consultant of each juror to find out why such a verdict was placed in the soldiers favor. The judge rejected this demand, finding that it was unsupported and unjustified. ~By Doyle Raizner
A Q&A with KBR’s vice president for litigation, Mark Lowes
Mike Francis – (The Oregonian) – January 5, 2013 – When a federal jury in November awarded $85 million to 12 Oregon National Guard soldiers and veterans who sued defense contractor KBR Inc. in court in Portland, it marked a first step in what is sure to prove a very long course toward legal resolution.
Waiting for their day in court in Oregon are two dozen more plaintiffs and, in Texas, more than a hundred other soldiers from Indiana and elsewhere. All claim they were exposed to a hexavalent chromium, a carcinogenic component in an anticorrosion compound, while protecting KBR contractors at the Qarmat Ali water treatment plant in southern Iraq in 2003. They say they suffered injuries or stress or both as a result. For much of the trial, lawyers for each side were under a court-imposed gag order, which blocked them from discussing the case publicly. After the gag order was lifted last month, Mark Lowes, KBRs vice president of litigation, agreed to discuss the case and other matters with The Oregonian’s Mike Francis. This offers the first window into the way KBR views the case brought by Iraq war veterans against the contractor, which earned $480 million in 2011 on revenue of $9.26 billion. This interview has been edited for brevity and clarity. (Click HERE to read the entire interview)