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KBR is the federal government’s primary logistics support contractor in Iraq, receiving tens of billions of dollars in business from the Department of Defense over the last decade, much of that under the U.S. Army’s monopolistic Logistics Civil Augmentation Program (LOGCAP) III contract.
In early November, an Oregon federal jury returned an $85.2 million verdict against KBR for exposing military personnel to toxic chemicals at an Iraqi water treatment facility in 2003. The jury found that KBR had “acted with reckless and outrageous indifference to a highly unreasonable risk of harm and conscious indifference to the health, safety, and welfare” of the plaintiffs. A case raising similar claims is pending in KBR’s hometown of Houston, Texas, and will soon go to trial.
United States Sues Houston-based KBR and Kuwaiti Subcontractor for False Claims on Contracts to House American Troops in Iraq
(DoJ) – November 19, 2012 – The government’s complaint arises from the Bed Down Mission, a push to replace the tents used to house soldiers during the early days of the war with trailers, also called living containers. KBR performed many of the services required under LOGCAP III, including the Bed Down Mission, through foreign and domestic subcontractors. According to the complaint, KBR awarded a subcontract to First Kuwaiti on Oct. 16, 2003, to supply, transport and install 2,252 living containers at Camp Anaconda in Iraq for about $80 million. The government alleges that First Kuwaiti was required to complete delivery and installation of the trailers at Camp Anaconda by Dec. 15, 2003. The government further alleges that in July 2004, First Kuwaiti presented two claims to KBR contending that government-caused delays in providing military escorts for convoys into Iraq entitled the company to an increase in the contract price to cover its increased costs. According to the complaint, KBR agreed to pay First Kuwaiti an additional $48.8 million and passed that cost on to the United States.
The government’s complaint alleges that First Kuwaiti knowingly inflated its crane and truck costs, among other items, and misrepresented the cause of its delays. The complaint further alleges that KBR charged these costs to the United States knowing they were improper.