KBR/Halliburton Immune from Prosecution for Cancer Exposure in Iraq

Monday, September 13, 2010
Lt. COl. Jim Gentry died from exposure to toxic chemicals in Iraq
Former Halliburton subsidiary KBR got quite the deal from the Bush administration when it agreed to help rebuild Iraq’s infrastructure following the 2003 invasion. Not only was it paid millions of dollars for the work, but it was also indemnified from having to pay any American soldiers for making them sick from cancer-causing chemicals located at the sites that KBR worked on.
This legal protection became known after 26 National Guardsmen filed suit against KBR for exposing them to hexavalent chromium at the Qarmat Ali water plant. The soldiers guarded the water facility without being told about the presence of the dangerous chemical which they claimed made them sick.
But any settlement involving the Guardsmen won’t be paid by KBR, thanks to the little-known indemnity provision of its contract. Instead, American taxpayers will be on the hook for the damages. In addition, Secretary of the Army John McHugh has made it clear that “The specific indemnification provisions associated with this contract and task order remain classified.”
-Noel Brinkerhoff
McHugh Letter to Blumenauer (Secretary of the Army) (pdf)
Another Lawsuit Over KBR Iraq Toxic Exposure (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)


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