Overseas Civilian Contractors

News and issues relating to Civilian Contractors working Overseas

.KBR Requests That Losing Rape Claimant Pay Company’s Legal Fees

WSJ Law Blog  August 23, 2011

The skirmishing has not yet subsided in the high-profile suit brought by Jamie Leigh Jones, the Houston woman who claimed that she was raped while working in Iraq for defense contractor KBR

Jones had sought $145 million in damages against KBR, claiming it condoned a hostile sexual climate in Iraq, but a jury last month rejected her claims.

Now, KBR wants Jones to pay for its legal fees and court costs. Here’s a report on the filing by the Disputing blog.

In its motion seeking to recover more than $2 million in fees, KBR alleged that Jones’ rape and hostile work environment claims were fabricated and frivolous. The company has also requested that she cover its court costs of $145,000.

In a reply brief, Jones countered that there is “nothing frivolous” about her claims, as evidenced by the fact that the judge agreed to let her proceed to trial and the jury deliberated for more than 10 hours before reaching its verdict.

Her lawyer, Todd Kelly, told the Law Blog that in 16 years of practicing law he has never had a case where a defendant requested that a plaintiff cover its legal fees.

Jones does not have the means to cover KBR’s fee request, “nor could I,” Kelly said. “They have beaten us and now they are attempting to crush us,” he added. “This is an attempt by KBR to chill other people from bringing claims against them

Please read the entire post here

August 23, 2011 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, KBR, Rape | , , | Leave a comment

Jury rejects woman’s rape claims in KBR suit

Houston Chronicle  July 8, 2011

Jurors in a Houston federal courtroom on Friday rejected a former Conroe woman’s claims she was drugged and gang-raped while working for Kellogg Brown and Root in Iraq in 2005.

The jury also rejected Jamie Leigh Jones’ fraud claims against the Houston-based defense contractor.

Jones, 26, had sued KBR and former KBR fireman Charles Boartz, accusing the company of creating a “sexually hostile working environment” at its Camp Hope installation in Iraq in 2005. She named Boartz as one of the alleged rapists.

Boartz, 34, denied raping Jones, saying the two engaged in consensual sex. The jurors agreed with Boartz.

The jury also found that KBR did not commit fraud by inducing Jones to enter into an employment contract.

By answering “no” to those two questions, jurors were not obligated to continue deliberations on other questions in the jury charge.

The month-long trial ended earlier this week, with both sides delivering closing statements on Thursday. The jury deliberated about five hours on Thursday and six hours Friday.

Jones sued KBR in 2007, accusing employees of the former Halliburton subsidiary of imprisoning her in a shipping container for more than six hours after she reported the alleged attack. She testified during the trial that she was denied food, water or the opportunity to call home for help.

In closing statements Thursday, Jones’ lawyers said the company gave the green light for other employees to commit similar offenses by neglecting to enforce its sexual harassment policies as far back as the late 1990s.

Lawyers for KBR and Boartz accused Jones of making up the attack, pointing out that doctors’ tests showed no sign of drugs in her system after the alleged incident. Defense attorneys throughout the trial accused Jones of lying repeatedly on company documents and questioned what they said where inconsistencies in her story.

Jones’ lawyers asked jurors to order KBR to pay up to 5 percent of its net worth in actual and punitive damages, which they said would have amounted to more than $114 million

Please see the original story at The Houston Chronicle

 

July 8, 2011 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Halliburton, Iraq, KBR, Legal Jurisdictions, Rape, Safety and Security Issues, Sexual Assault | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Women team to stop alleged contractor abuse in Iraq

Christine Dobbyn at KTRK TV Houston ABC Local

See also MsSparky

HOUSTON (KTRK) — For the first time on Monday night, we heard the story of a local woman who claims she was brutally attacked and raped while working for an American government contract company in Iraq. Now, we’re continuing the story with reaction from the company — KBR — and how other women say it happened to them too.

The story of 27-year-old Anna Mayo is graphic. “He was grabbing my hair and grabbing my hair, and my face and at one point he had my face and he was ripping it, he had gloves on and I was biting him so hard, I could taste, I could taste the gloves, I could taste the blood, I could taste the smell,” she said. Mayo was working at KBR’s Ballad Facility in Iraq last November when a man claiming to be a maintenance worker attacked as she lay sleeping in her bed. “I remember poking him in the eyeballs because he was on top of me, and I took my nail and digged it into his eye, and it’s like he was mocking me,” she said.

He put a rope around her neck and she passed out. When she came to, she was being raped. “It was almost like a relief because it didn’t hurt as bad as when he was ripping my face off,” Mayo said.

Her injuries left her in intensive care.”A girl that I worked with at the warehouse came in, looked at me, sat down and fainted — that’s how much of a monster I was,” Mayo said

Mayo has filed a lawsuit against the government contractor and subsidiaries, saying, “It is not the first time that KBR has had problems with sexual violence in its workspaces, nor the first time that it has been put on notice of these rampant violent behaviors.” But KBR says it in no way condones or tolerates illegal or unethical behavior saying “Sexual misconduct is not tolerated. Ms. Mayo’s allegations to the contrary are not correct.”

Anna Mayo is just one of a group of women to come forward with claims of being sexual assaulted while working in Iraq or Afghanistan for KBR. Another Houston woman filed suit against the company just a few weeks ago. And this woman — Jamie Leigh Jones — made headlines when she decided to show her face and share her story after alleging she was gang raped and left in a shipping container with no food and water for hours in 2005. “I really believe that there is strength in numbers, and we’re going against a giant and with our voice, we will be able to conquer what’s headed towards us,” Jones said. Jones has also challenged the company’s arbitration policy.

Houston Attorney Todd Kelly represents Jones, Mayo and four others. “Companies only have one sense of conscience, and it’s their bottom line,” Kelly said. “A jury is going to have to tell KBR and Halliburton that they don’t appreciate how they are treating American citizens in Iraq; it is the only way to stop this.” Kelly says he has received many calls from women making claims from sexual harassment to sexual assault. “They care about business as usual, move the perpetrator to somewhere where he can keep doing his work, and get the injured women out of the way,” he said.

KBR says while Mayo’s lawsuit identifies her attacker as a KBR employee, the Army’s criminal investigation division found he was not a KBR employee but employed by a subcontractor. The Army has assumed full control of the investigation. “He’s walking around somewhere, and there’s some woman who doesn’t know,” Mayo said.

Mayo claims her attacker was located, but he resigned and was allowed to leave. “If somebody said it’s like the wild, wild west and somebody will enter your room and beat you and rape you and let them go home eight days later, I would have not gone,” Mayo said. And now she battles nightmares and lasting images of the night that changed her life.

A court of appeals just dismissed some of Mayo’s contractual claims, which a win for KBR. The rest of her allegations will be dependent on a ruling in another pending case against her former employer. Jones’ case is scheduled to go to trial next May. KBR disputes much of her story. We also want to note KBR is a former subsidiary of Halliburton. Halliburton is mentioned in some of the cases, but broke ties with KBR in 2007.

November 10, 2010 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Contractor Oversight, KBR, Rape, Safety and Security Issues | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

KBR changes policies to comply with Franken Amendment

Thanks to MsSparky for the best in KBR updates

Well….it’s official. By KBR’s own email admission, they will no longer force you into “behind closed doors secret arbitration” if they falsely imprison you, if you are raped and/or assaulted by a boss or co-worker, if you are discriminated against or harassed by your boss or co-worker  etc. One might think they made these changes because it was the morally and ethically right thing to do. But sadly, that is not the case. KBR had to be forced to make these changes. Thank you Jamie Leigh Jones and Senator Al Franken! SHAME ON YOU KBR!

Below is an excerpt from “The Weekly Delivery” KBR’s LOGCAP III weekly magazine distributed to all employees.

This information applies to you if you are currently covered by the Dispute Resolution Program.
AMENDMENTS to the DISPUTE RESOLUTION PROGRAM
Effective March 29, 2010

Copy of February 23, 2010 e-mail:

TO: All KBR Employees
FROM: Andrew Farley, Senior Vice President & General Counsel

Since 1993, the Dispute Resolution Program (DRP) has helped employees with finding productive solutions when workplace conflicts occur. Recent legislation and experiences have necessitated some amendments to the DRP and we are now giving you 30 days notice of these changes, which provide as follows:

  1. The DRP will now exempt from arbitration any claim under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 or any tort related to or arising out of sexual assault or harassment, including assault and battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, false imprisonment, or negligent hiring, supervision, or retention (See Plan Paragraph 2.E.4 and 3.E)
  2. Clarifies who is covered by the Dispute Resolution Program (See Plan Paragraph 2.G)
  3. Updates the selection process for the arbitrator (See Rules Paragraph 4 and 5)
  4. Makes two typographical corrections in the Vacancies paragraph, with references to Paragraphs 5 and 6(instead of 6 and 5 as before) (See Rules Paragraph 6)
  5. Refines how the hearing location is selected and set by the arbitrator (See Rules Paragraph 7.A and C)
  6. Further defines the circumstances under which an arbitrator may modify an award (See Rules Paragraph 27
  7. Clarifies the limitations for filing formal DRP proceedings (See Rules Paragraph 34.B)
  8. Updates the International Ombudsman Association Standards of Practice in the Appendix, now dated 2009

The changes will go into effect on March 29, 2010. However, no change shall apply to a Dispute which is initiated prior to March 29, 2010.

The Dispute Resolution Program brochures will be reprinted and available to you soon, but in the mean time, the revised Plan and Rules is available online at theDRP website.

Should you have questions about these changes, please call the DRP office at 713-753-5383, or 800-947-7658.

Thank you.

Read this with the comments at MsSparky

April 9, 2010 Posted by | KBR, Rape | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Halliburton drops high court appeal in rape case

HOUSTON — Halliburton Co. and KBR have withdrawn an appeal asking the Supreme Court to block the trial of a former military contractor from Texas who says she was raped by co-workers in Iraq.

Halliburton confirmed today that the appeal was withdrawn, but wouldn’t elaborate.

Jamie Leigh Jones says she was raped while working for KBR in Baghdad in 2005. She later sued KBR and Halliburton, which split in 2007.

Halliburton and KBR had argued that Jones’ case should be settled in arbitration as required by her contract. A lower court ruled it could go to trial, which is set for May 2011.

The Associated Press usually doesn’t name people alleging sexual assault, but Jones’ identity has been broadcast in media reports and on her own Web site.  Original story at  bostonherald.com Also See Ms Sparky

March 22, 2010 Posted by | KBR, Rape, Sexual Assault | , , , , | Leave a comment

Appeals Court Sends Contractors Case to Court

NEW ORLEANS — The case of a Texas woman who alleges she was gang-raped by co-workers while working for a military contractor in Iraq will go to court.

A three-judge panel from the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans ruled Tuesday that Jamie Leigh Jones’ claims against Halliburton Co., former subsidiary KBR and several affiliates can be tried in open court. The companies contended Jones signed an agreement that requires all of her claims against the companies to be resolved privately through arbitration.

The Associated Press usually does not identify people alleging sexual assault, but Jones’ face and name have been broadcast in media reports and on her Web site. She also described her allegations in testimony before a congressional subcommittee.

Halliburton and KBR are headquartered in Houston.

Original Story here

September 15, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment