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Documents: Contractor KBR Wants Government To Pay $85M

Court documents indicate the military contractor KBR is trying to compel the federal government to pay the $85 million dollars in damages that a jury awarded to a group of Oregon soldiers.

The filing came up in a dispute between KBR and the Oregon plaintiff’s attorneys over whether a court-imposed gag order should stand. The initial federal case is closed, but appeals may continue for some years.

Soldiers from Oregon and other states say they were exposed to carcinogens while guarding KBR employees at the Qarmat Ali water treatment plant in Iraq.  A Portland jury decided earlier this month in favor of 12 Oregon plaintiffs, and awarded them monetary damages.

KBR’s filing claims that the military decided not to perform an initial environmental assessment at  Qarmat Ali. Further, KBR says the US Army Corps of Engineers agreed to give KBR security against any losses for future claims regarding certain risks.

The case asks that the government cover all KBR’s fees and court costs, as well as any damages that might result from additional tort litigation.

Neither KBR nor the Army Corps of Engineers was available for comment.

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