More War Veterans Sue KBR Over Iraq and Afghanistan Burn Pits, According to Burke O’Neil LLC

June 11, 2009

WASHINGTON, June 11 /PRNewswire/ — Five new lawsuits allege that KBR, Inc. (NYSE: KBR) jeopardized the health and safety of American soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan by burning vast quantities of unsorted waste in enormous open-air burn pits with no safety controls.

Three of the lawsuits were filed Wednesday in federal courts in Kansas, South Carolina, and Utah by the Burke O’Neil LLC law firm and co-counsel on behalf of 25 military veterans and private contractors whose illnesses – which include multiple cancers, respiratory disease, chronic coughing, debilitating headaches, and neurological and skin disorders – were allegedly caused by round-the-clock hazardous emissions from the burn pits. Two more lawsuits were filed today in Ohio and Florida federal courts.

KBR is accused of allowing thick, noxious smoke, coming off of flames sometimes colored blue or green by burning chemicals, to hang over U.S. bases and camps across Iraq and Afghanistan since 2004. In April and May, 21 other current and former military personnel, private contractors and families of men who allegedly died as a result of exposure to toxic emissions from KBR burn pits brought similar claims in courts in nine states.

William O’Neil, Elizabeth M. Burke, and Genevieve McCormack, of Burke O’Neil LLC, in Washington, D.C., and co-counsel in Florida, Kansas, Ohio, South Carolina, and Utah, represent the veterans, KBR employee-contractors and two families of veterans who allegedly died of cancer after prolonged burn pit emission exposure.

According to the complaints, the burn pits are so large that tractors are used to push waste onto them and the flames shoot hundreds of feet into the sky. KBR allegedly burned waste such as biohazard materials including human corpses, medical supplies, paints, solvents, asbestos, items containing pesticides, animal carcasses, tires, lithium batteries, Styrofoam, wood, rubber, medical waste, large amounts of plastics, and even entire trucks.

Attorney Elizabeth M. Burke, of Burke O’Neil LLC, stated, “KBR utterly disregarded the safety of the troops when they chose to use open air burn pits and failed to use incinerators and other safer methods of waste disposal. The hazards of operating large open-air burn pits were well known, and KBR promised to minimize the environmental effects of the burn sites they operated in Iraq and Afghanistan. Instead, by forsaking safety for money, KBR willfully endangered these men and women who honorably served their country in military service or in support of the military.”

The plaintiffs in the new filings include the family of the late Air Force Major Kevin E. Wilkins, of Eustis, Florida; John A. Wester Jr., of Murray, Utah; Derrol A. Turner, of Goose Creek, S.C.; Vincent C. Moseley, of Summerville, S.C.; Alex Harley, of Goose Creek, S.C., Benjamin Boeke, of Grove City, Ohio; Craig Kervin, of Perrysburg, Ohio; Barry Zabielinski, of Kent, Ohio; Wallace McNabb, of Mankato, Kansas; Maurice Callue, of Miami, Florida; Dennis Wayne Briggs, of Kissimmee, Florida; Edward Lee Buquo, of Tallahassee, Florida; Wayne E. Fabozzi, of Niceville, Florida; Sharlene S. Jaggernauth, of Alexandria, Virginia; Floyd James Johnson Sr., of Malvern, Florida; Tamra C. Johnson, of Riverview, Florida; Richard Lee Keith, of Pierson, Florida; Daniel Santiago Morales, of Saint Cloud, Florida; Phillip McQuillan, of Naples, Florida; Ildebbrando Perez, of Ocala, Florida; Luigi Antonio Provenza, of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Ruth Ann Reece, of Odessa, Florida; Eduardo Saavedra Sr., of Orlando, Florida; Michael Donnell Williams, of Sanford, Florida; and Jermaine Lynell Wright, of Deltona, Florida.

The legal team for the plaintiffs intends to seek class certification of the lawsuits to cover costs of medical monitoring, future medical expenses, and other damages for other individuals exposed to KBR burn pit emissions.

The defendants are KBR, Inc., of Houston; Kellogg, Brown & Root LLC, of Austin, Texas; Kellogg, Brown & Root Services, Inc., of Houston; and Halliburton Company, of Houston.

The five new cases are:

  • “Maurice Callue, et al., v. KBR, Inc., et al.,” in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida (Case No. 09-21590).
  • “John A. Wester Jr., et al., v. KBR, Inc., et al.,” in the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah (Case No. 2:09-cv-531).
  • “Derrol A. Turner, et al., v. KBR, Inc., et al.,” in the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina (Civil Action No. 2:09-cv-01530-DCN).
  • Wallace McNabb, et al., v. KBR, Inc., et al.,” in the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas (Case No. 2:09-cv-2303-JAR-DJW).
  • “Benjamin Boeke, et al., v KBR, Inc., et al.,” in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, Eastern Division (Case No. 2:09-cv-479).

Attorney Contact: Elizabeth Burke, of Burke O’Neil LLC, Charlottesville, Va., 434.249.1275.

Media Contact: Erin Powers, Powers MediaWorks LLC, for Burke O’Neil LLC, 281.703.6000.


Source: newswire

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