Overseas Civilian Contractors

News and issues relating to Civilian Contractors working Overseas

KBR: Feds Should Pay Lawsuit Damages

Associated Press at ABC News  November 28, 2012

An Iraq war contractor that lost an $85 million verdict to a group of sickened Oregon soldiers has filed a lawsuit seeking to force the federal government to pay the soldiers’ damages.

In early November, 12 Oregon National Guard soldiers won the verdict against Kellogg Brown and Root, an engineering and construction firm that helped lead the reconstruction work in post-war Iraq. The soldiers were exposed to a toxin while guarding an Iraqi water plant.

In the new lawsuit, KBR also demands that the government pay more than $15 million in its attorneys’ fees.

At the heart of the suit is a so-called indemnification clause that KBR alleges it agreed to with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in March 2003. The clause was designed to protect KBR against “unusually hazardous risks” in its work in Iraq.

In a Nov. 16 filing in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, KBR argues the clause makes the government responsible for the results of its actions in Iraq, including the Oregon verdict.

“Based upon an erroneous legal and factual analysis of the terms of the indemnification agreement, (the Army Corps) has refused to indemnify (KBR) for the costs of defending against the various third-party lawsuits,” KBR attorneys wrote, “and has refused to participate or assume direct responsibility in defending (KBR) in the underlying tort litigations.”

KBR said in the suit that it had no insurance to cover its wartime work, and the government’s refusal to involve itself in lawsuits constitutes a breach of the indemnification agreement.

Please read the entire article here

November 28, 2012 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Contractor Oversight, Follow the Money, Iraq, KBR, Toxic, Wartime Contracting | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Taxpayers may not be on the hook for KBR’s legal costs in sodium dichromate suits

Oregon Live  June 26, 2012

It’s not clear who’s going to pay legal costs for defense contractor KBR Inc., which is being sued by National Guard soldiers who accuse the company of knowingly exposing them to a carcinogen.

While the company persuaded the Army Corps of Engineers to write an indemnification clause into its 2003 contract to restore the flow of Iraq’s oil, the Corps has twice refused KBR’s request to cover its costs in the two lawsuits proceeding against it in Oregon and Texas.

Lawyers for KBR say they believe the company is entitled to have its expenses covered by taxpayers but is proceeding through the litigation in the meantime at its own risk and expense, said Geoffrey Harrison of the Houston firm of Susman, Godfrey. The company expects to challenge the Corps’ denial “maybe at the end of the case,” he said.

June 27, 2012 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties, Halliburton, Iraq, KBR, Lawsuits, Safety and Security Issues, Toxic, USACE | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment