The Oregon Qarmat Ali Vets’ case, Bixby v. KBR, continues. A group of 12 of these veterans won a stunning $85 million verdict against KBR for toxic harms suffered in Iraq at a KBR- contaminated site. After the verdict, and while the case was on KBR’s slow-track appeal, the U.S. Supreme Court issued, Walden v. Fiore, an opinion in an unrelated case that changed the rules of jurisdiction. When the case came before the Ninth Circuit, it remanded the case because jurisdiction was improper.
And then KBR filed a claim for costs against these veterans, seeking approximately $850,000 from 12 sick vets who provided KBR with security. KBR got paid handsomely for its war-time work on a no-bid contract. KBR is seeking to have the United States indemnify it for all costs in these lawsuits. And even so–after winning on a technicality–KBR is now seeking to bankrupt these vets.
There are countless horror stories involving our vets. And this is one more. They served. They were sent. They did their jobs. They sacrificed. And now this.
It is perhaps too much to hope that anyone will care. And that is the point of this post. Thanks are due to members of the Oregon Congressional Delegation: Senator Wyden, Senator Merkley, Rep. Blumanauer, Rep. Schrader, Rep. Bonamici, and Rep. DeFazio did Oregon proud when they wrote this Ltr Or Cong to DOD 15 July 2015 letter to the Department of Defense, blasting KBR and calling on the Department of Defense to take over these cases and resolve them equitably.
“These veterans deserve better***.” I couldn’t agree more.
Debbie Bixby-Farwell says
Rocky Bixby is my Brother. I can not believe that KBR is going to get away with this injustice. Rocky and 11 other men and women took care and protected KBR's property and now they are so deadly sick. To me, it looks like the case against KBR should be ruled under the grandfather act. The judgment should be upheld and these vets need to be paid for their jobs they did for KBR. Many of these vets will not live long enough to ever see any justice. KBR should be totally ashamed of themselves and their actions. How would they feel if one of these sick vets where their brothers or sisters? I bet they would be more then willing to pay. The U.S. Military should never have to work for KBR again and KBR should never be able to get any help from any of our vets.
David Sugerman says
Hi Debbie-Thanks for your comment. Your brother is one of my heroes. It is an honor to serve as his attorney.
While I was there at qarmat ali I was not on the list of veterans in the law suit because I did not even hear about it till the list had been turned in. So all I can do is seek compensation through the VA for my ailments because of it. I am glad our congressional delegation is standing up for this.
David Sugerman says
Thanks for your comment, Danieljay. I am sorry we did not connect years ago. I am glad that you are seeking relief through the VA. I know that can be frustrating, but it also helps keep the pressure on. I hope that gets you the relief and benefits that you need and have earned.
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