Casper Vets’ Lawsuit Against KBR Has Been Transferred to Maryland; Dozens Of Similar Toxic ‘Burn Pit’ Cases Have Been Filed
A federal lawsuit filed in Wyoming against Halliburton subsidiary KBR for operating toxic burn pits in Iraq that sickened Casper veterans has been transferred to Maryland, according to court records.
This move was expected because of the volume of similar cases.
Casper attorney Jason Ochs is representing five Casper plaintiffs – Terrance Sordahl, Keith and Laura Jones, and James and Julia Savino.
Last month, they sued KBR for operating "burn pits" that openly exposed the soldiers to "horrific, life-altering and health damaging toxins,” Ochs wrote in his complaint.
Contrary to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and military guidelines, KBR burned corpses, body parts and medical waste often just a few hundred yards from camps of American troops stationed in Iraq. Other materials burned including spent munitions, pesticides, tires, solvents, plastics, batteries, mattresses, and vehicles.
"These are young men, who have had permanent respiratory changes in their lungs, and will have permanent change in their lifestyle as a result," Ochs said last month.
The Casper plaintiffs are not alone.
Twelve civil actions filed in other states were transferred in 2009 to U.S. District Court in Maryland. Since then, 46 similar cases have been filed, according to the transfer order filed in U.S. District Court in Wyoming on Monday.
Ochs said this court will oversee the discovery phase during which records and contracts from KBR will be gathered, and then KBR probably will file motions to dismiss the cases.
If the plaintiffs prevail in this phase, the Maryland court will send the cases back to Wyoming, he said last month. "And we will be able to try these cases in front of a Wyoming jury."