Decision Overturned: No Justice For Burn Pit Veterans

Burn Pit Veterans

Benjamin KrauseOregon veterans and victims of toxic burn pit exposure linked to contractor Halliburton were devastated when the 9th Circuit overturned a landmark $85 million verdict. Soldiers contend they were knowingly exposed, but the allegations have obviously been denied.

What a shame? I was thrilled to hear the veterans were going to get justice. I was saddened to learn Oregon Federal court cannot bring justice to its citizens. What do you think?

Halliburton’s subsidiary Kellogg, Brown and Root (KBR) allegedly exposed soldiers to toxic burn pit smoke at Qarmat Ali. The 9th Circuit held that Oregon veterans were unable to hold KBR accountable in their home state. Instead, counsel for the veterans now plans to sue KBR in Houston.

The lawsuit contends:

The suit contended KBR exposed soldiers to a carcinogen at Qarmat Ali, a plant where water was pumped underground to drive oil to the surface elsewhere. For decades, Iraqis had treated the water with sodium dichromate, an anticorrosion agent that contains hexavalent chromium, a known carcinogen.

Iraq’s Southern Oil Co. took delivery of sodium dichromate, an orange-yellow crystalline powder that is banned in the U.S., in bags that were stored on site. Soldiers and others testified that the material was loose and drifting around the site, and had contaminated areas even outside the chemical injection building where it was added to the water.

There are currently 12 Oregonians in the lawsuit and another 21 Oregon guardsmen are waiting to sue KBR.


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  1. This is sad to read, but it’s no surprise to me. Veterans get screwed over by the courts. The courts determine that veterans should go to the VA and get screwed over by the VA. There’s no justice!

  2. “This procedure of pumping water underground to drive oil to the surface elsewhere” is the initial method of fracking, but with very bad anticorrosion toxins containing carcinogens to help prevent the water flushing pipes from corrosion. I guess nobody gave a shit whether it killed anyone at Quarmat Ali plant over in the “Middle East”, that lusious quagmire of shit cesspool who’s people are as stupid as monkey shit.
    I was in a waiting room at the VA hospital last year and this douche-bag fart veteran was voicing his opinion openly to everyone about how this country needs a president like Dick bag Chenney. I told him he was a complete asshole and that dick- nuts was a murderer, crook, and not even worth taking a leak on while he lays in his casket. The veteran was shocked at my opinion of Dick. His face dropped that anyone had anything bad to say about Dick. What fuck’in planet do these people come from? Planet Uranus? Veterans are not all on the same page.

  3. I am a little surprised that the jurisdiction issue here at hand was apparently not well thought through. SCOTUS may in fact not be the best first alternative as it is under no obligation to here the case, and would most probably remand it to the proper jurisdiction (Houston). SCOTUS hears less than 1% of the cases presented to it each year. I do wish the Oregon veterans the very best of luck. I am myself a disabled Vietnam veteran (presumptive agent orange leukemia) and sorrily I am seeing history repeat itself. Good luck Oregon!!

  4. Erin came out of MASRY & VITTITOE. This firm helps hide the (brownfield site (not a real superfund site) that contains 250 deadly toxins left by the military, Boeing & NASA& Kaiser has a medical complex on this site. The whole town of Downey is a toxic, the military knows it and it’s been a town for awhile, Exposing private citizens including kids, state & federal civil servants to stuff like chromium hexolate, radiation, depleted uranium. A SLAPP SUIT by Stuart Lichter, brought out the whole toxic story about a former federal GSA employee who bought the toxic property and built a movie studio that has been leveled but NOT THE KAISER medical complex & WHY does kaiser gets immunity well it’s because its federal/military. Downey is still toxic and it’s because the DOD/Kaiser don’t have to do a damn thing but make money by making people sick including our vets. Get sick from the top & underground toxins and then you go to kaiser(military) and you are given more toxins via unapproved meds or vaccines and more with dirty testing equipment plus uncaring kaiser personnel which sound like the VA’s personnel. HMMMMM!.
    SEIU trains AFGE civilian personnel to not care about our vets. You all would be surprised as to why the unions do not encourage employees to do the right thing., Cause then kaiser/military cannot ask for more money out of your taxes every single year and then there will be less money for unions via membership.
    That’s the way that works..AND innocent sick or disabled are deliberately caught in the middle of that money strategy..

  5. Another vet has stolen a bit of my thunder on this — having already mentioned Feres. Still, this may prove a blessing in disguise.

    Without knowing all the details, the plaintiffs have a couple of options. They can either refile this in the proper jurisdiction, or they can appeal to SCOTUS. An appeal to SCOTUS would possibly open the door for many other lawsuits if the case goes the right way..

  6. Ben–How do these veterans get around the Feres doctrine? It is well established that it also applies to defense contractors. This was one of the big issues we ran into during the Agent Orange litigation (I was one of the original named plaintiffs). In fact, the only reason Dow and Monsanto settled is that it was cheaper than continuing to litigate even though the court made it pretty clear that if no settlement was reached, the case would, no doubt, ultimately be dismissed on Feres grounds. I think the case that extended Feres to contractors involved an Air Force test pilot flying an experimental plane for Bell that they knew was a piece of shit likely to explode, which it did.

  7. It was dismissed on a technicality, at least it was not dismissed WITH PREJUDICE, and they can refile in the appropriate jurisdiction. God save the Queen!!

  8. Sadly, it’s almost a futile attempt to try to sue Halliburton for anything! It’s the epitome of the Military Industrialized Machine. They have their fingers in *everything* and immediately after 9/11, Dick Cheney made sure Halliburton would be entirely off-shore and tax-exempt by relocating and building their MASSIVE Halliburton HQ in one of the Middle East countries that start with a Q.
    Halliburton also happens to own quite a few companies, but pays even less taxes than a mom and pop diner.
    Halliburton is a collective of War Profiteers, also known as DOD Contractors that are exempt from UCMJ and Military Jurisdiction, thus, making it near impossible to file any claim against them and succeed because $$ talks…why else would this suit be entirely overturned?
    History shows where the manufacturers of Agent Orange filed for Bankruptcy, in order to make them exempt from being sued in Class Action…but still Agent Orange was manufactured for the U.S. Department of Defense primarily by Monsanto Corporation and Dow Chemical. Corporate Welfare at the price of human lives. These Burn Pits are no different.

    1. If they can get a new heart for Cheney they can do anything.bury it on the back page and it never happened SOP.

  9. Prolonged exposure to breathing high concentrations of chromium over months or years is known to cause lung cancer..

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