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Oregon National Guard victims demand that AOI not support KBR

Larry Roberta (seated in wheelchair) and other supporters rally at AOI offices in Salem.

Larry Roberta (seated in wheelchair) and other Qarmat Ali victims and supporters rally at AOI offices in Salem.

Associated Oregon Industries draws fire from injured vets

AOI to file brief on suit against military contractor
The Statesman Journal-by Queenie Wong-Aug 2, 2013

Connected to an oxygen tube, Oregon Army National Guard veteran Larry Roberta quietly moved back and forth in a wheelchair Friday holding a picket sign that read “Shame on you, Associated Oregon Industries.”

Roberta was among a dozen National Guard soldiers who were exposed to toxic chemicals while guarding a water plant during the Iraq war. The exposure to sodium dichromate, Roberta said, left him bed ridden for days with migraines and reduced his lung capacity.

In November, a federal jury in Portland found the military contracting company Kellogg Brown and Root Inc. guilty of negligence for exposing those soldiers to the chemicals.

The contractor was ordered to pay $85 million. Each soldier was awarded $6.25 million in punitive damages and $850,000 in noneconomic damages. Read the remainder of this entry »

3rd Circuit Court of Appeals Reverses Decision in Electrocution Death of SSG Ryan Maseth

Ryan Maseth FHPI just received information this morning the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals has reversed Judge Nora Berry Fischer’s decision to dismiss Cheryl Harris’ wrongful death lawsuit against KBR.

Judge Nora Barry Fischer Opinion to Dismiss Harris vs KBR (pdf)

Many of you have been following this case since I started posting about it in 2008. Cheryl’s son, 22 year old SSG Ryan Maseth, was electrocuted and died in a shower in his living quarters on January 2, 2008 in Baghdad, Irag. The electrocution was determined to be caused from a water pump that was improperly installed and not properly grounded by KBR.

KBR has always claimed the Army was responsible and that they (KBR) were protected by the Political Question Doctrine and immune from civil action. Well I guess that may not be the case.

I will update when I get more information! It looks like Cheryl Harris and Ryan Maseth just might get their day in court!!

UPDATED: Other articles are this decision to reverse lower court ruling

Federal lawsuit against contractor is revived in Pa. soldier’s shower electrocution in Iraq

Fed court revives KBR electrocution suit

Suit Over Pa. Soldier’s Death in Iraq Is Revived-AP

 

Leaked Memo: Afghan ‘Burn Pit’ Could Wreck Troops’ Hearts, Lungs

A bulldozer dumps a load of trash into a burn pit just 300 yards from the runway at Bagram Airfield, January 2012. An Army memo from 2011 found the burn pit is associated with "long-term" health effects on soldiers at Bagram. Photo: U.S. Army

By Spencer Ackerman  @ Wired.com

A bulldozer dumps a load of trash into a burn pit just 300 yards from the runway at Bagram Airfield, January 2012. An Army memo from 2011 found the burn pit is associated with “long-term” health effects on soldiers at Bagram.

For years, U.S. government agencies have told the public, veterans and Congress that they couldn’t draw any connections between the so-called “burn pits” disposing of trash at the military’s biggest bases and veterans’ respiratory or cardiopulmonary problems. But a 2011 Army memo obtained by Danger Room flat-out stated that the burn pit at one of Afghanistan’s largest bases poses “long-term adverse health conditions” to troops breathing the air there. Read the remainder of this entry »

Blood Money

War profiteering has never been so profitable for the wrongdoer and so dangerous for our troops and the taxpayer.  Please sign my petition (SIGN HERE)

More than 200 soldiers are suing KBR for knowingly exposing them to toxic chemicals in Iraq, whose effects started with nose bleeds and could end with cancer. KBR says that didn’t happen. But even if it did, the company isn’t responsible. Taxpayers are.

Craig Malisow – (Houston Press) – February 15, 2012

Basra, Iraq: July, 2003
Oregon National Guardsman Larry Roberta says he went to Iraq fit, and came back barely able to breathe.
Oregon National Guardsman Larry Roberta says he went to Iraq fit, and came back barely able to breathe.
Larry Roberta, a specialist in the Oregon National Guard, sat on a stack of sacks brimming with one of the most carcinogenic chemicals known to man and chomped on his chicken patty.

Unsuccessful in his mission to swap his rations with any of the British soldiers, who were stocked with heavenly corned beef hash and chocolate pudding, he braved the mystery meat’s gooey coating while keeping an eye on the contractors’ trailer a few yards away. While the Kellogg Brown & Root guys ate inside the trailer, Roberta could’ve taken lunch in one of the vehicles, but he figured vehicles were prime targets for any insurgents or Saddam loyalists who might be scouring the area. Better to suffer the hundred-plus-degree heat.

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

By Mike Francis, The Oregonian

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)