KBR wins appeal; US court reverses $81 million judgment

KBR wins appeal; US court reverses $81 million judgment

11:16 AM, 18th May 2015
KBR wins appeal; US court reverses $81 million judgment

HOUSTON, US: Engineering company KBR Inc said that it won its appeal in the US court of appeals for the Ninth Circuit. The court of appeals ruled in KBR’s favour, and vacated and reversed an $81 million judgment against the company.

The now-vacated judgment had been entered by a federal magistrate judge in Oregon in favour of a group of Oregon national guardsmen who alleged they were exposed to Iraqi-supplied sodium dichromate in 2003 during the Iraq war when deployed by the US Army to provide force protection at a water treatment plant in Iraq. The court of appeals held that KBR was not subject to personal jurisdiction in Oregon, thus agreeing with what KBR had contended years earlier at the beginning of the lawsuit.

“This ruling is another major step in resolving the few remaining legacy tort claims related to KBR's work supporting the US military in Iraq. We look forward to bringing closure to all of those matters,” said Eileen Akerson, executive VP and general counsel, KBR.

Approximately 130 other plaintiffs brought a similar lawsuit in federal court in Houston, Texas. The federal judge in the Texas case granted summary judgment on the merits in favour of KBR with respect to all of plaintiffs’ claims except for their claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress.

KBR’s lead trial lawyer is Geoffrey Harrison, partner at Susman Godfrey LLP in Houston. KBR’s lead appellate lawyer, Warren Harris, partner at Bracewell & Giuliani LLP in Houston, argued the successful appeal.

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