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Burn-pit claimants will appeal judge’s dismissal

Patricia Kime – (Air Force Times) – June 4, 2013 – Attorneys representing former troops and family members who say they were sickened by exposure to open-air burn pits in Iraq and Afghanistan are appealing a judge’s dismissal of their cases.

Alexandria, Va., lawyer Susan Burke and attorneys from the South Carolina firm Motley & Rice filed an appeal Wednesday arguing that Maryland U.S. District Court Judge Roger Titus’s decision in February to toss out 57 consolidated lawsuits filed against KBR, Inc., was “non-justifiable.”

Titus ruled Feb. 28 that as a government contractor working in a war zone, KBR was entitled to the same legal protection and immunity as U.S. armed forces operating in combat. He also argued that the court did not have jurisdiction to rule on decisions made by another branch of government.

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Iraq Burn Pit claims will proceed – Another stunning blow to KBR

This is very very good news for those hundreds maybe thousands of victims of KBR burn pits in Iraq and Afghanistan. This is the 3rd crushing blow to KBR legal team in a month. First was the courts denial of KBR’s  Motion to Dismiss in the Electrocution Death of SSG Ryan Maseth. Now it will proceed to trial! The second was the courts denial of KBR’s Motion to Dismiss in the Qarmat Ali chemical exposure case of the Oregon National Guard Troops! Now it will proceed to trial. I hope there will be more and more denials of KBR’s Motions to Dismiss. ~ Ms Sparky

A Federal Court Judge has ordered that  claims against military contractors, KBR (Kellogg Brown and Root) and Halliburton,  may proceed. Sick soldiers deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan filed claims against the corporations  because of “alleged failures of the military contractors to treat water and dispose of waste in a manner required” by their contract with the US Military.

Judge Roger W. Titus, in his 41 page opinion,  dismissed the jurisdictions of the defendants and is allowing limited discovery to go forward. He also invited the participation of the US Government as an “amicus curiae, “friend of the Court,” in formulating the discovery plan.

A lawsuit is currently pending against Kellogg Brown & Root (KBR) and Halliburton on behalf of soldiers who were exposed to burn pits in Iraq and Afghanistan.  The corporations were awarded US logistical contracts to support military in the war theaters.

In its ruling the Court stated, “In tension with the exercise of caution supported by these legal defenses is the legitimate concern that the judiciary may prematurely close courtroom doors to soldiers and civilians injured from wartime logistical activities performed by hired hands allegedly acting contrary to military-defined strictures. Courts must be prepared to adjudicate cases that ultimately expose defense contractors to appropriate liability where it is demonstrated that they acted outside the parameters established by the military and, as a result, failed to exercise proper care in minimizing risk to service members and civilians.”

Soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan have report illnesses, including: cancers, respiratory disease, skin disorders and cancer following there tours of duty. Six deaths have been reported from early onset of leukemia and many more under treatment for malignancies. (click HERE for original article)

Here are some other great articles on this victory!

Strike Two on “Just Following Orders” Defense – David Isenberg

A second setback for KBR: Motion to Dismiss Burn Pit cases rejected – Doyle Raizner