Archive for February, 2010
Today, the federal court dismissed the claims of the Indiana National Guardsmen in ‘McManaway et al v. KBR, Inc.’ pending in Evansville, Indiana. The Court found that the KBR defendants could not be sued in Indiana. We are disappointed by the ruling, particularly since so many of the veterans we represent are exhibiting symptoms of exposure to toxic sodium dichromate / hexavalent chromium. We will fight to hold KBR accountable for what happened to our Iraq veterans at Qarmat Ali. Doyle Raizner and co-counsel intend to refile the veterans’ claims in another federal-court jurisdiction as soon as possible. This development delays but does not deny justice for the Indiana Guardsmen in this case. The truth of what happened at Qarmat Ali will be told, and we believe it will be told in a federal court. The firm and co-counsel represent other veterans in Qarmat Ali-related cases pending in West Virginia and Oregon federal courts.
On February 22, 2010, Doyle Raizner LLP filed suit in district court in Harris County, Texas against Zurich American Insurance Corp. and its adjuster related to their handling of an injured worker’s claim for worker’s compensation benefits. In this case, the injured worker received multiple reports from neutral state appointed doctors supporting the worker’s claim for benefits that the carrier and its adjuster refused to accept. The injured worker was forced to hire counsel and receive an order from the Texas Department of Insurance requiring Zurich to pay the long sought after benefits. Unfortunately, the many month delay caused significant financial and emotional damages for which this worker and his family are still fighting to overcome.
Today Judge Mike Miller conducted a hearing on depositions in Texas Windstorm cases pending in Harris County. Currently, the depositions of certain Texas Windstorm executives are scheduled to take place beginning in late March and continuing into early April, and the depositions have been noticed in Galveston County under a deposition order. We have been concerned that Texas Windstorm is not moving promptly to complete production of written discovery, including documents about their claims handling practices, and that Texas Windstorm would use its own delay in producing documents as an excuse to further delay depositions in these cases. Doyle Raizner does not believe the deposition process should be delayed further, and accordingly we filed a cross notice of these depositions in our Goddard v Texas Windstorm case. Judge Miller determined that the depositions should proceed under an order that obligates Texas Windstorm to produce its witnesses for deposition promptly. The Court’s order will be posted within the next several days at the Court’s website: Harris County Ike Docket
Veterans exposed to hexavalent chromium deserve lifelong health care and Purple Hearts, Sen. Ron Wyden says | Health & Fitness News – OregonLive.com
Article published today in The Oregonian by writer Julie Sullivan regarding the sodium dichromate exposure at Qarmat Ali. Ten Doyle Raizner clients in the Qarmat Ali litigation appeared at a press conference with Sen. Wyden in Portland, Oregon. The article can be found at: http://www.oregonlive.com/health/index.ssf/2010/02/wyden_extends_hand_to_help_ore.html
Doyle Raizner represents the historic Galveston Balinese Room in suit against Texas Windstorm Insurance Association
Like many other homes and businesses, the Balinese Room was destroyed during Hurricane Ike. Build on a 600 foot pier at 21st Street and Seawall in Galveston, the Balinese Room over its lifetime hosted such greats as Frank Sinatra, Bob Hope, Jack Benny – and generations of Galvestonians. It survived Hurricanes Carla and Alicia, and was vacant for nearly 20 years before being restored by Scott Arnold and his Arnold Properties, Inc. in 2001. All that remains today are the pilings shown on the photograph below – and the memories of those who participated in its history. Unfortunately, TWIA has not honored its contract to fairly and reasonably protect the financial, historic and cultural value of this important part of Galveston history.
At a press conference in Portland, Oregon this morning, Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon called for legislation to protect soldiers exposed to sodium dichromate by Kellogg, Brown and Root (KBR) at the Qarmat Ali water treatment plant in Southern Iraq. Ten former Oregon National Guard troops were on hand ,and Spc. Larry Roberta spoke on behalf of this group of Doyle Raizner clients.
Along with members of the US Army National Guard, a large contingent of the British forces deployed in 2003 were also tasked with protecting KBR’s Qarmat Ali project near Basra, Iraq. Unfortunately, these men, primarily members of the RAF Regiment, were likewise wholly unprotected against the hazards of sodium dichromate-an anticorrosive chemical containing nearly pure hexavalent chromium, a carcinogen- even after its presence and dangers of unprotected exposure were known to KBR’s managers for months and months.
We are proud to represent Andy Tosh, a retired sergeant from the RAF Regiment now living in Lincolnshire, as he has joined the case of West Virginia veterans suing KBR for knowingly exposing them to the hazards at the site without protection. What appears clear from documentation provided to the British Forces is that at the same time KBR’s managers were documenting elevated chromium levels in the admittedly inadequate blood testing of KBR’s civilian employees, KBR’s managers apparently deliberately told British Forces exactly the opposite. Accordingly to an internal KBR memo dated August 8, 2003 “60 percent” of workers showing symptoms” was being found, while the KBR personnel in liaison with the British forces were telling them (accordingly to a British Forces fact sheet, “b. Biological monitoring test results to which we have been given access for contractors and American forces have been within normal limits.”). Andy Tosh and his fellow members of British Forces, part of the Multinational Forces serving in support of Restoring Iraqi Freedom, were entitled to and did rely on the knowing misrepresentations by KBR’s managers about the hazards they faced at the time of their exposures, as well as the serious health consequences they now face. It is simply not right that these men serving their country, in this case America’s staunchest allies in the United Kingdom, have the bear the consequences of these deliberate decisions by KBR’s managers.
At the Houston law firm Doyle Raizner LLP, we are immersed in several complex and constantly evolving areas of law. Our experienced attorneys apply genuine passion in our strategic advocacy efforts for injured maritime workers, soldiers severely harmed by military contractors while deployed overseas, and people injured while working and traveling internationally.
Given the unique direction and scope of our extremely active practice, we feel it is important to share our views, observations and experiences with the public. This blog is meant to be an informative, engaging venue for other lawyers and the global public — anyone with an interest in the causes and people we champion.
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