Through the Freedom of Information Act, The Huffington Post reported today that it has acquired the signed indemnity agreement between the United States Army and KBR (at the time known as Kellogg, Brown, and Root).
The Army official that signed the agreement at the insistence of the Houston-based private contractor was a former Enron executive. Thomas E. White was named secretary of the Army in 2001. He signed the agreement on March 19, 2003 after considering “the availability, costs and terms of private insurance to cover these risks, as well as the viability of self-insurance, and have concluded that adequate insurance to cover the unusually hazardous risks is not reasonably available.” His memo concluded that the use of the “indemnification clause in this contract will facilitate the national defense.” There is no indication that KBR disclosed at the time of the contract-add any information or knowledge KBR had about the longstanding, widespread use of hexavalent chromium at Qarmat Ali, or any other specific hazard to the troops and other men on the ground at KBR’s work sites.
White resigned his position as secretary on April 23, 2003 amid questions about his ties to Enron Corp. He sold millions of dollars in stock in 2001 and claimed it was a requirement under government ethics rules. White and his wife were also investigated by the Pentagon’s inspector general for using a military jet for personal travel.
The language of the no-bid, cost-plus with award fee contract relates to the bellwether trial against KBR in Oregon where 12 veterans were awarded more than $85 million in damages stemming from KBR’s knowing exposure of the men to hexavalent chromium at Qarmat Ali. The additional “bailout” agreement, which was demanded by KBR after initially grabbing the multi-billion dollar no-bid, cost-plus award fee contract for Iraqi oilfield reconstruction, purports to shield the company from various liabilities, including financial costs associated with unusually hazardous risks including
Doyle Raizner has filed another suit against Blue Cross/Blue Shield Texas for wrongfully denying emergency medical care to a pregnant policyholder. The suit alleges BC/BS Texas refused payment for an emergency c- section delivery, necessary to save the life of both mother and child, on the ground that maternity care was not covered under the policy.
The plaintiff became pregnant, with a due date in June 2012. On June 23, 2012, she was admitted to a medical center in Austin for scheduled induced delivery. During the delivery, the plaintiff’s medical providers observed complications which endangered the health and lives of her and her unborn child. The physicians determined that it would be necessary to perform an emergency Cesarean section operation in order to save the lives and health of both the plaintiff and her unborn child.
BC/BS Texas has repeatedly issued a denial of payment for all medical services rendered in connection with the emergency medical procedures. BC/BS Texas maintained its denial even though the plaintiff continued to present evidence demonstrating that her claim for coverage was expressly provided for by the Policy and despite the input of the Texas Department of Insurance, which submitted inquiries on behalf of the plaintiff to BC/BS Texas.
Doyle Raizner represents another client with similar circumstances. BC/BS Texas was sanctioned by the Texas Department of Insurance in that case for the same exact misconduct. Unfortunately and despite being told their denial was inappropriate, BC/BS Texas engaged in the same improper denial behavior toward yet another Texas policyholder and mother.
Doyle Raizner remains committed to helping both plaintiffs pursue justice against this insurance company’s serial misconduct and breach of its obligations.
Mike Doyle appeared on Current TV’s top rated show “The Young Turks with Cenk Uygur” to discuss the $85 million verdict against KBR and the secret indemnity agreement.
Click here to watch the segment.
The Huffington Post published an article concerning the indemnity agreement between KBR and the government. KBR has sued the government for indemnity arising out of the $85 million verdict in favor of 12 soldiers exposed to sodium dichromate in Iraq while protecting KBR engineers repairing a water treatment facility.
The Huffington Post’s front page headline of “We Poison, You Pay” is a concise summary of KBR’s apparent legal position. And while KBR presses the government for indemnity, they seem to be unwilling to disclose the full terms of their indemnity sweetheart deal to the public. Beyond seeking indemnification for their liability to our soldiers, KBR is also demanding that the government pay their legal fees,which so far total more than $15 million.
The verdict involved a bellwether group of the first 12 of 162 soldiers we are proud to represent. With an average case award of over $7 million, KBR faces an exposure of over $1 billion for their misconduct in Iraq. Unfortunately, despite the verdict, and the public outcry as evidenced by the thousands of comments made in response to the Huffington Post article, KBR’s behavior seems to continue to worsen.
Click here to read the article in its entirety.
Doyle Raizner is pleased to announce Patrick Dennis has become a partner in the firm. Patrick has been with the firm since 2007.
Patrick obtained a B.S. in Political Science at The University of Houston, where he graduated summa cum laude. At The University of Houston, Patrick was active in the Spirit of Houston Marching Band and supporting Cougar Athletics.
Patrick received his J.D. from The University of Texas School of Law, where he graduated with Honors. Patrick practiced litigation at Vinson & Elkins in Houston for three years before joining Doyle Raizner LLP. Patrick was admitted to the Texas Bar in 2004 and the Arizona Bar in 2012.
Patrick’s trial experience includes successfully serving as first chair trial attorney in personal injury matters, including maritime and other catastrophic injury cases. Patrick was also part of the firm’s trial team that achieved an $85 million verdict against defense contractor KBR, Inc., and currently manages the firm’s pharmaceutical and maritime practice.
Our website dedicated to litigation against KBR is now restored. You can click here to visit KBRLitigation.com and get caught up on what has happened since the trial ended. Background information about the case and videos are also available.
We stand with our clients in the pursuit of justice against a company dedicated solely to their own profit margin.
After several weeks of an informal, partial gag order entered at the request of KBR shortly before the verdict was delivered, we are now able to comment more fully on the verdict, the full facts of the case, and other developments in the fight for the Qarmat Ali veterans. As was widely reported, on November 2, 2012, an Oregon jury unanimously returned an $85 million verdict in favor of the plaintiffs in the first lawsuit for KBR’s misconduct at Qarmat Ali. This first trial pitted 12 US National Guard veterans against defense contractor KBR, and the twelve jurors not only found KBR liable for negligence in causing harm to these men, but also confirmed by “clear and convincing evidence” that KBR was guilty of “reckless and outrageous indifference to a highly unreasonable risk of harm and conscious indifference to the health, safety, and welfare” of our troops.
The facts of the trial were simple: KBR promised the Army’s Corp of Engineers it would repair a the Qarmat Ali water injection treatment plant in southern Iraq and that KBR’s “subject-matter expertise” would allow it to fully evaluate and safely repair the facility. Unfortunately, instead KBR knowingly exposed the military personnel providing security and the other personnel working at Qarmat Ali to massive levels of sodium dichromate present at the site after decades of use by the Iraqis as an anti-corrosive. The soldiers returned home to face medical issues ranging from respiratory dysfunction, persistent skin rashes, and even cancer. The commander of one of the National Guard units, Lt. Col. James Gentry of the Indiana National Guard, died of cancer attributed to the exposure in Iraq, and one of his men also died from lung disease attributed in part to his exposure at KBR’s Qarmat Ali project.
The damages received by the each of the 12 plaintiffs included actual damages of $850,000 and $6.25 million in punitive damages, totalling $85 million for
Doyle Raizner has filed a maritime personal injury lawsuit against Florida Marine on behalf of a contractor who was injured while unloading a barge belonging to the company. The plaintiff was an employee of Accutrans at the time of injury. Accutrans was contracted by Florida Marine.
The plaintiff fell into a hatch while walking the barge. The hatch did not have nonskid coating and resulted in a serious and debilitating injury. The hatch was slippery, unprotected, defective, and unfit for its intended purposes.
Florida Marine is responsible for the safety aboard its vessels and was negligent in ensuring the safety of all of those aboard. The company also exhibited gross negligence by recklessly and dangerously failing to carry out its safety obligations in violation of many US laws.
The plaintiff is asking for past and future medical treatment to be paid along with compensation for loss of earning capacity. Doyle Raizner stands behind their client in the fight against Florida Marine’s negligence and gross negligence.
The recent meningitis outbreak stretching across the country has placed the owners of the compounding pharmacy where the disease originated in the spotlight. The pharmacy was a family business and the family’s wealth and business tactics are being exposed.
The Conigliaro family of Massachusetts started with recycling business in the early 90s that prospered and lead to other business opportunities. The boom of the healthcare industry helped propel the family into a multi-million dollar business that provided them with multiple homes, luxury cars and other assets. Some of the homes listed include a $4.2 million Boston penthouse and a $2.35 million Cape Cod vacation home.
The most troubling of all the new information coming to light is the role of a family member not listed on the founding documents or website. Dr. Doug Conigliaro, an anesthesiologist, is described by employees as the person in charge. Dr. Conigliaro was fined $10,000 in 2002 by the Florida state medical board for malpractice. The fine resulted from a lawsuit filed after Dr. Conigliaro punctured the spine of a woman while inserting a pump to deliver painkillers in 1995. She became paralyzed below the waist and died in 1998. The suit was later settled for $1 million.
When officials saw the pharmacy after the outbreak was reported, they found dirty mats and hoods, a leaky boiler, dark debris floating in vials of medicine and evidence the pharmacy was not properly sterilizing its products. The family has not made any statements and is only speaking through their longtime attorney.
Doyle Raizner represents many victims of the outrageous conduct exhibited by the Conigliaro family and the New England Compounding Center, and stands behind them in the search for justice against a family and corporation who placed profits over safety.
Doyle Raizner has filed a Motion to Dismiss and Motion for Permissive Abstention pursuant to the Wilton/Brillhart doctrine established by the United States Supreme court on behalf of a Dallas homeowners association. The Motion is in response to a declaratory action filed by Lloyd’s London in federal court in the the Northern District of Texas.
After Lloyd’s London failed to cooperate and refused to pay benefits due and owing under the policy, the homeowners association was forced to invoke the appraisal provision of its policy. The mutually-agreed upon umpire issued an appraisal award in favor of the homeowners association, which awarded damages for all buildings in the association. However, rather than pay the homeowners association in accordance with the award, Lloyd’s London opted to file the declaratory action in federal court, seeking declarations of non-liability and asking the court to intervene and set aside portions of the award for more than half of the association’s buildings.
Prior to filing the Motion, Doyle Raizner had previously filed suit against Lloyd’s London on behalf of the homeowners association in state court for violations of the Texas Insurance Code, breach of contract, and fraud, among other charges. Pursuant to the Wilton/Brillhart doctrine, a federal court should abstain from adjudicating actions when a parallel proceeding is pending in state court between the same parties regarding issues of state law. The pending state court action between the homeowners association and Lloyd’s London contains claims that arise solely under Texas law and would properly be ventilated at the state court level.
The adjuster assigned to estimate the value of damages on behalf of Lloyd’s underestimated the damage, failed to apply reasonable standards and did not promptly provide a reasonable explanation. Failing to provide notification of acceptance or rejection to the plaintiff by the 15th business day is a violation of the Texas Insurance Code. Lloyd’s committed bad faith by not properly handling their policyholder’s claim. Each