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KBR can’t recover $2M from Jones; case not frivolous says Judge

Jamie Leigh Jones

John O’Brien – (Legal Newsline) – HOUSTONĀ  – September 27, 2011 – Jamie Leigh Jones, the woman who alleged her employer was at fault for a rape that a jury said never happened, must pay court costs to the company she sued but not its attorneys fees.

U.S. District Judge Keith Ellison ruled Monday on Kellogg, Brown and Root’s motion for costs and attorneys fees, more than two months after a federal jury found that Jones was not raped while an employee of KBR, a former subsidiary of Halliburton.

He ruled that Jones is on the hook for KBR’s $145,073.19 in court costs. Citing a federal rule of civil procedure, Ellison wrote “costs – other than attorneys fees – should be allowed to the prevailing party.”

A federal jury decided in July that Jones, whose case became a talking point for those who sought mandatory arbitration reform, was not raped in Iraq while employed by KBR. The company moved on Aug. 17 to have its attorneys fees paid by Jones. KBR spent more than $2 million on attorneys fees.

In fighting the lawsuit, KBR had argued a mandatory arbitration clause in her employment contract had prevented her from suing the company in open court. An appeals court sided with Jones on that issue, but jurors ruled in July that Jones and Charles Bortz had engaged in consensual sex. Read the remainder of this entry »