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Oregon Soldiers' KBR Case Should Never Repeat, Say Reps

Rocky Bixby, a plaintiff in the case.

Rocky Bixby, a plaintiff in the case.

April Baer/OPB

The military contracting giant KBR has filed a suit seeking to make the federal government cover damages to  a group of Oregon National Guard soldiers. A jury awarded the soldiers $85 million as part of a lawsuit against KBR over the soldiers’ exposure to carcinogens.

Senator Ron Wyden said, “The contractor, KBR, is, in effect, trying to get a get-out-of-jail free card, after getting held liable for exposing our soldiers to these dangerous chemicals.”

Larry Roberta, a plaintiff in the case.

Larry Roberta, a plaintiff in the case.

April Baer/OPB

Wyden was able to arrange an amendment for the Defense Bill that would require the Pentagon to inform Congress about any contracts that would allow corporations to avoid liability for their work, and justify that provision. The notification would be made at the end of each fiscal year.


Wyden Amendment

The Senate passed the Defense Bill with Wyden’s amendment. Two Oregon Representatives, Schrader and Bonamici, said they’d push hard to make sure the provision is part of the House version as the House works on the bill this week.

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