Thursday, September 9, 2010

Federal Court Allows Burn Pit Claims to Proceed Against Halliburton & KBR

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 Kellog 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 to read more about burn pit claims for benefits and lawsuits. Call Jon L. Gelman at 973.696.7900 or e-mail jon@gelmans.com


Related Articles
Halliburton, KBR Ordered by Judge to Face Military Suits Over Pit Burning (Bloomberg)