Thursday, January 10, 2013

KBR Wants American Taxpayers To Pay Their Fine

It figures that this disgusting company would turn around and try to stick responsibility to the American public.

More Americans need to know the truth about KBR (formerly associated with Haliburton) and the insidious secret indemnification clause in their contracts with the United States.  It is despicable.

In November, a jury found KBR, the military's largest contractor, guilty of negligence in the poisoning of a dozen soldiers, and ordered the company to pay $85 million in damages. Jurors found KBR knew both of the presence and toxicity of the chemical. Other lawsuits against KBR are pending.

KBR, however, says taxpayers should be on the hook for the verdict, as well as more than $15 million the company has spent in its failed legal defense, according to court documents and attorneys involved with the case.
It makes my blood boil to read this.

The public doesn’t know what the indemnity agreement actually says because the military considers it classified. Until recently, the veterans exposed to the toxin couldn’t know either, nor could attorneys at the Department of Justice, who were left battling the contract in the dark, according to a source there.
 This company is a joke, and yet, our government can't seem to cut ties with them. 

Another soldier, Larry Roberta, now 48, was exposed to the chemical after a gust of wind blew it into his eye and into a chicken patty he was eating. After washing his face and mouth, he tried washing the chicken, because it was the only food he had left for the day. "It tastes like a mouthful of nickels,” Roberta said. “I just kept washing my mouth and I couldn't get that taste out."

Roberta said he now requires an oxygen tank because he has less than 60 percent of his lung function and gets migraines stemming from the eye that was exposed to the chemical. He had surgery to fix the muscle at the top of his stomach that prevented food from coming back up. “I can’t throw up, I can’t even burp,” Roberta said. “You know, when you can’t burp, the air has to come out the other end, which makes me the stinky dog that nobody wants to let in the house.”

Roberta said he doesn’t think U.S. taxpayers should have to pay for KBR’s mistakes.

"The United States Army Corps of Engineers is not in the business of restoring oilfields, therefore they hired KBR as their subject expert," Roberta said. "KBR was paid a good sum of money to do a job and unfortunately it didn't get done well. … The end results were okay, but they made some mistakes along the way."

Gentry’s wife said the “bailout” fits a KBR pattern.

“Whether it’s morally, ethically or even fiscally, there was no accountability then and there is no accountability now,” LouAnn Grube Gentry told The Huffington Post. “In fact, they continue their negligence and indifference. And just as an example of that is they continue to overbill the government for the legal fees. And to me that in itself proves that they are profit-mongering and their sole motivation is profit.”
 Read Senator Wyden's letter to the Secretary of the Army here

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