A federal jury in Portland has awarded $85 million in damages to twelve former soldiers who were exposed to hazardous material while on duty with the Oregon Guard.
The jury deliberated for two days on evidence presented in a three-and-a-half week trial.
The guardsmen were serving in Iraq in 2004 when they were assigned to guard the Qarmat Ali water treatment plant.
Many reported immediate signs of exposure, and some said they experience lasting effects.
The jury found KBR was negligent in failing to inform the soldiers about risks to their health.
The award amounts to more than $7 million for each plaintiff.
David Sugerman is their lead attorney. He says the veterans were ecstatic, and feel the cash awards prove their story was heard.
“The money the jury assessed will help fix the things these guys face ahead. It buys them peace of mind. It buys them some measure of comfort.”
But the money’s not a sure thing. It’s expected the case will be appealed. That process may well take years.