Defense Base Act Compensation Blog

The Modern Day DBA Casualty

Suits over Iraqi convoy deaths delayed by ruling

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on March 26, 2010

HOUSTON — A federal judge on Thursday said most of the lawsuits filed over deadly ambushes that killed civilian truck drivers in Iraq can go to trial, saying it’s unclear if the military contractors being sued knew their workers would come under attack but still sent them into harm’s way.

But U.S. District Judge Gray Miller also delayed the cases, which were set for trial May 24, saying in a 41-page ruling that the companies being sued — Halliburton and a former subsidiary, KBR Inc. — could appeal his ruling. Miller did dismiss one lawsuit in the case.

KBR spokeswoman Heather Browne said the company will appeal.

“We are pleased that the court completely dismissed one of the cases and acknowledged that none of the tragic injuries and deaths that occurred were intentionally caused by KBR,” she said.

Halliburton spokeswoman Cathy Mann said because the “lawsuit is based on KBR activity in Iraq, we believe that Halliburton will be found to have no responsibility, legal or otherwise, for the actions alleged.”

Scott Allen, an attorney representing several injured drivers and the families of others killed in the attacks, said he was both pleased and disappointed with the ruling.

“It clearly shows we have sufficient evidence and have a right to proceed but we are somewhat upset for our clients, that their trial may be delayed,” he said.

Read the full story here

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