In an important ruling on August 16, 2012, Judge Vanessa D. Gilmore in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas denied KBR’s Motion to Dismiss in the matter brought against KBR by U.S. and British servicemen who suffered from exposure to sodium dichromate while guarding KBR’s Qarmat Ali water treatment plant during the Iraq War.
KBR had sought to dismiss on the grounds that the plaintiffs’ claims were barred by the Federal Tort Claims Act, which provides immunity for lawsuits brought against the U.S. government. KBR also argued that the claims should not be heard because they were political in nature and because they were acting on behalf of the U.S. government to restore oil production in Iraq.
KBR’s arguments were rejected by the Southern District of Texas because KBR was not acting in direct connection with hostilities in Iraq.
The ruling paves the way for trial in this matter, which is currently set for later this year.
Doyle Raizner is lead counsel for the plaintiffs in this matter, styled McManaway, et al. v. KBR Inc., et al., No 4:10-cv-01044.