KBR Exposed Soldiers and Contractors With Toxic Burn Pits, According to Burke O’Neil LLC

November 10, 2009

WASHINGTON, Nov. 10 /PRNewswire/ — Sixteen new lawsuits allege that KBR, Inc. (NYSE: KBR) jeopardized the health and safety of tens of thousands of American soldiers and private contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan by burning vast quantities of unsorted waste in enormous open-air burn pits with no safety controls.

The lawsuits were filed during the past week in federal courts throughout the nation by Burke O’Neil LLC and co-counsel on behalf of military veterans and private contractors. The suits allege that round-the-clock hazardous emissions from the burn pits caused illnesses such as multiple cancers, respiratory disease, pulmonary complications, chronic coughing, debilitating headaches, and neurological and skin disorders.

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.

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.

Susan L. Burke, Elizabeth M. Burke, and Susan M. Sajadi, of Burke O’Neil LLC, in Washington, D.C., and co-counsel represent the more than 200 veterans, KBR employee-contractors and families in the cases which are pending in 37 states.

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. KBR willfully endangered these men and women who honorably served their country in military service or in support of the military.”

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 new cases were filed in federal courts in Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, and Washington. Earlier this year, dozens of 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.

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

Attorney Contact: Susan Burke, of Burke O’Neil LLC, 202.445.1409.

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


Source: newswire

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